web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bugger!
    This election campaign was a roller-coaster of unexpected revelations and controversy. For the Greens this meant our strategy of running a clean campaign, sticking to a clear plan and releasing properly costed, practical policies never made the impression it should...
    Local Bodies | 21-09
  • Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose
    I see suggestions that the National Party somehow manipulated results to gain their unprecedented win as an extension of “dirty politics”. I have no doubt that there has been a vindictive streak in ministers’ ranks for some time as this...
    Closing the Gap | 21-09
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #38
    "Today, we march... In Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Rome, Stockholm, Paris, Madrid, Porto, Geneva, Ljubliana, Budapest and so many other places." - 350.0rg SkS Highlights As to be expected, Dana's The 97% v the 3% – just how much global warming are...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Hard News: Five further thoughts
    1. Christ, what a shellacking. Click around Harkanwal Singh's Herald interactive. In electorate after electorate, polling place after polling place, National won at least a plurality of the votes. Even where voters collectively chose to return their Labour MPs to...
    Public Address | 21-09
  • The law of unintended consequences. Data security edition.
    This report from Flashpoint: ‘Measuring the Impact of the Snowden Leaks on the Use of Encryption by Online Jihadists’ (available here as web page or PDF) concludes (SPOILER:) Meh, not so much. The Flashpoint report recounts how the use of...
    The Paepae | 21-09
  • A healthy dose of humble pie
    I got one thing right about this election. I managed not to do anything as misguided as publicly state a prediction that National would get anything like as low a vote total as 44% ... as for instance, did Bryce Edwards. Yep,...
    Pundit | 21-09
  • Alas no mystery – it’s voter apathy
      There once was a PM named Key Re-elected with a majority The left fell flat What happened Matt? Alas  it’s voter apathy...
    Politically Corrected | 21-09
  • Labour must change
     Labour's problems can't just be fixed by a switch at the top. Change requires more than that. It must challenge the intellectual, organisational and cultural fundamentals of what it means to be Labour....
    Pundit | 21-09
  • Looking Ahead
    Win or lose, there are never any final battles in politics. A defeat simply means the firing of the starting gun for the next round in a never-ending struggle. And, especially for the left, it is the struggle that matters....
    Bryan Gould | 21-09
  • Left in tatters.
    A while back I wrote a post arguing that the NZ Left was in serious disarray. Various Left pontificators fulminated from the depths of their revolutionary armchairs against my views, denouncing me for being defeatist. I responded as politely as...
    Kiwipolitico | 21-09
  • Psephology-o-rama: Hangover nerdery edition
    I was really privileged to be able to work with the TV3 election night team last night, providing some quantitative analysis on the results as they came in. One of the things we put together was a tool that could...
    Polity | 21-09
  • The Key to a 4th term
    The coming days will see a welter of words on the reasons for the spectacular success of National and the failure of the broad left. As a 'pundit', I might as well add my views....
    Pundit | 20-09
  • Democracy 101
    Earlier this week Scottish voters participated in their independence referendum. There are many, many points to be made about this. Most notably, however, is the fact that the percentage of people turning out to vote in this democratic process was around...
    My Thinks | 20-09
  • Gutted
    OK, so 24.7% is a disaster. Three years ago we were saying 27.5% was a disaster, and this is substantially worse again. It is true that the government had some economy-based tail winds this time round. But the government also...
    Polity | 20-09
  • What it all means for the Labour Party
    An analysis of what went wrong and why, and what it means....
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • NZ General Election results
    Congratulations to the winners, commiserations to those who missed out. These are the results as at close of counting 1:10am today. This is where the rubber hits the road in a democracy. Check electionresults.govt.nz for latest results. {Fill the in...
    The Paepae | 20-09
  • Hard News: The sole party of government
    It turned out to be a great night for the National Party and its leader. For everyone else, the 2014 election result ran from disappointment to disaster.Even New Zealand First, which doubled the support it was showing in polls only...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • Electoral Fraud, Hacking, Law Breaking = National Winning?
    No matter which party you support, how does it make one tiny bit of sense that a party who in their own internal polling was only getting 42% support just days before the election can jump to 48%? Also, when...
    An average kiwi | 20-09
  • Election results, my first thoughts and so on
    So, the 2014 election results are in, with an emphatic win for National. Six years into his Prime Ministership, and having just been re-elected for a third term, John Key has achieved what very few NZ politicians have done before...
    Transport Blog | 20-09
  • Lessons to be learned
    As the gloating on the right wing and throughout the mainstream media begins, it's important that those who stand up for democracy don't lose heart.For a start, every defeat you can walk away from has at least one silver lining....
    The Jackal | 20-09
  • Three more years
    This election result is not the end of the world for me. I don’t have kids. I don’t have to worry about whether their school will be closed, or privatised, whether they have shoes to wear or a lunch to...
    Boots Theory | 20-09
  • The 2014 election result
    I have a few thoughts about the result last night. They are in no particular order so I’m just going to type them up and see how they fall. National appear to have won an outright majority despite being shown...
    My Thinks | 20-09
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #38B
    2014 on track to be hottest year on record Arctic Sea Ice to reach sixth lowest extent on record China's dirty coal ban causes waves "If we want to prevent conflicts, we have to address climate change now" India's push...
    Skeptical Science | 20-09
  • ROUT!
    Triumphant! John Key leads National to its greatest victory since 1951, routing the forces of the Left in the process.  Progressive New Zealanders, we have some very serious thinking to do.This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite....
    Bowalley Road | 20-09
  • The Greens’ new caucus
    Despite goals of 15% and 20 MPs, the Greens only managed to just scrape over 10%, with their only new MP being James Shaw, with Steffan Browning missing out on getting back into Parliament. The Greens traditionally pick up an...
    Progress report | 20-09
  • Brief thoughts on National’s historic victory
    The National Party is an incredibly well resourced, well managed, professional political party and it turns out that these things counted for a lot last night. The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won...
    DimPost | 20-09
  • Labour’s new caucus
    It’s brutal. My expectations weren’t great, but this loss is much worse than I predicted. Labour’s worst defeat since 1922. Here is Labour’s new caucus… MP Seat David Cunliffe New Lynn David Parker List Grant Robertson Wellington Central Annette King...
    Progress report | 20-09
  • Five stages of left: a visual post election representation
      (Image source: distractify – Stuck Cats)...
    Politically Corrected | 20-09
  • Legal Beagle: Election 2014: The Special Votes
    We have a provisional result, and now await the official result after special votes are counted. Special votes are:those cast overseas;those cast on polling day by people voting outside their electorate;those cast by people who enrolled after the printed electoral...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • 2017
    .   . Bugger. Ok. We pick ourselves up, dust off, and  start working for a victory in 2017 (or earlier) tomorrow. . . = fs =Filed under: Various Tagged: 2017 Elections...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • 2017
    .   . Bugger. Ok. We pick ourselves up, dust off, and  start working for a victory in 2017 (or earlier) tomorrow. . . = fs =Filed under: Various Tagged: 2017 Elections...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • The Specials
    Based on the way the Special Votes fell in recent Elections, we might expect:- the Nats' Final Result to be about 0.5-0.7 points down, so perhaps around 47.5% or thereabouts- Labour to be up about 0.4 points, so around 25%-...
    Sub zero politics | 20-09
  • Legal Beagle: Election 2014: the no threshold counterfactual
    As I have done on election night of the last two elections, I present below the New Zealand House of Representatives, had the election been conducted with no threshold: National – 57 ACT – 1 United Future – 1 Conservatives – 5...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • I was wrong
    Of all the blogs I’ve written, I think the most off the mark was this one where I said I was “(tentatively) happy about Internet Mana.” Second would be this one where I underestimated how bad Dotcom’s failure at the Moment of Truth...
    Cut your hair | 20-09
  • A trifecta of electoral suck
    This week has been a trifecta of electoral suck. First, Fiji voted for dictatorship. Then Scotland voted to remain subjugated to Westminster. And finally, New Zealand voted for a third-term majority National government. The last boggles me. Not the fact...
    No Right Turn | 20-09
  • The Final Election Result Is – 48% of Kiwis Are Arrogant Idiots!
    Though there is still about 18% of the vote to come in, it looks fairly certain the proven incompetent, dishonest and corrupt National Party are going to get at least 48% of the vote. Incredibly we had actual evidence National...
    An average kiwi | 20-09
  • 50 Canadian climate researchers speak out in support of the People’s ...
    The Canadian government is hell-bent on exploiting the Alberta tar sands to the fullest extent possible, even at the expense of the global climate. Canada simply cannot meet its carbon pollution reduction pledges if it continues to expand tar sands...
    Skeptical Science | 20-09
  • Election 2014!! The live, rolling, increasingly intoxicated Post From Hell
    7pm - Drinking red (naturally) wine.  A 2011 Mt hector Pinot Noir.  Very nice it is too - likely the last nice thing I may experience for the next couple of hours.  We're doomed, I tell you, doomed!  And if we're...
    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Speaker: A live peek at your cray
    On Saturday morning London time, a rag-tag bunch of left-wing weirdos will descend on my flat to huddle around the glow of livestreams, making panic pikelets and schadenfreude pie, and wishing it was evening here so we could justify sinking...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • Election Day Post # 10
    The last of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #9
    The ninth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • The Big Man
    So, Alex Salmond has announced he will step down as First Minister of Scotland.  This is, of course, being presented as throwing his toys and peevish behaviour following the independence referendum and the defeat of the 'Yes' campaign.Which is an...
    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #8
    The eighth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #7
    The seventh of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #6
    The sixth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Another Song For Election Day (As Requested By “Kat”)
     NOT DARK YET: Bob Dylan's haunting hymn to the failing day and advancing night.   I was born here and I'll die here against my will I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still Every nerve in my body...
    Bowalley Road | 20-09
  • Man Steals Nun’s Blue and White Livery, Says Newspaper Made Him Do It
    Tapping into the Party Line: A prominent talkback radio listener detected a subtle right-wing tone at work in The New Zealand Herald‘s advertising.    By Hemi Iti, 20 September 2014 An Auckland man was charged with theft and impersonating a...
    Snoopman News | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #5
    The fifth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
Public service advertisements by The Standard