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The Bechdel Test

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: blogs, feminism, Media, Politics, youtube - Tags: , ,

‘The Bechdel test’ requires a movie to pass three questions:

1)  Does it have two or more women in it (who have names)?

2)  Do they talk to one another?

3)  Do they talk to one another about something other than a man?

The two minute video below explains…

Check out this listing of movies that pass and fail the test.

(Via Neatorama, via Sociological Images via Feminist Frequency)

44 comments on “The Bechdel Test”

  1. QoT 1

    I await with bated breath the cries of anguished white boys, “But you CAN’T expect EVERY movie to feature multiple three-dimensional women with dialogue! What about Shakespeare/Victorian mysteries/etc etc?”

    I would point out that actually, there would be no problem with all-male buddy films in a world which also had a plentiful supply of all-women buddy films (in the same genres). But then they’d have to start thinking about things and that hurts.

  2. Carol 2

    Watching Alien Resurrection . It kind of passes the test – except the 2 women who talk to each other about stuff other than men are cyborgs & not totally humanoid beings.

    • Zorr 2.1

      One of them is an android and the other is Ripley – neither is a cyborg. Learn your sci fi terms! ^_^

      Just going through Wiki for some quick and easy definitions:
      Cyborg – cybernetic organism
      Android – synthetic organism
      Ripley – kick ass

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Neither of them are totally humans though.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          The whole movie seems to emphasize that if you don’t have while ‘blood’ or a tendency to fry metal when you bleed – then you’re there as a victim..

      • Carol 2.1.2

        Oh, you’re probably right on the Android case. I hadn’t seen this movie in a long time. I was using the term Cyborg as Donna Haraway does. The android just seems human.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg_theory

        For her a cyborg can be a mixture of human and animal, or human and machine. Ripley is a mixture of alien & human, so she’s a cyborg in Harraway’s conception of it.

        But anyway, neither are totally human, which was my main point.

        PS: On second thoughts, Ripley’s a creation of human technology that mixed human and alien elements. So she’s kind of a human-alien-machine hybrid.

        • Tigger 2.1.2.1

          The test is ‘women’ – not ‘human women’. Artificial life forms have rights too!!!!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            Actually, wasn’t that the main gist of that particular movie?

            The main critique I’d say about “Ripley” was that she was portrayed more as a female being a male than as a female.

    • Anita 2.2

      I think one could reasonably apply the Bechdel test to a cartoon in which all the characters were animals if the animals had a female/male distinction.

      • Tigger 2.2.1

        Shrek is the one the movies that fails the test according to the video. A little nasty of them to include Milk in the list. Might fail the Bechdel test but it it’s a gay male movie – yes we’re men but we’re men who never see ourselves in media….

        • Anita 2.2.1.1

          I guess whether that bothers you depends whether you think the Bechdel test is a value judgement, or a judgement of fact able to be used to inform value judgements or movie preferences. For me I find it useful in considering whether I will enjoy a movie; there are very few movies which fail they test which I have genuinely enjoyed, the presence of significant characters with whom I feel a connection is important to me.

          I wonder if the queer community has developed a similar test for the presence of real queer characters (I sure haven’t heard of one but it may exist). Similarly it would provide a useful way of summarising whether a movie contains well developed queer characters, something that would be important to some queer moviegoers.

          • Carol 2.2.1.1.1

            Well, Anita, there are so few queer movies, I’d go and watch most ones available.

            But as far as lesbian/bi women characters go, they can probably be slotted in as a subset of the Bechdel test: e.g. Bound, Imagine Me & You, etc, etc. If they spent most of their time talking about men, I’m sure it’d be pretty much a fail. Also it’d be a fail if one of the women dies or goes off with a man.

            Also, plot/dialogue are not the only elements that are used to judge a lesbian/bi woman character/story as a pass or fail. There’s often intense scrutiny on HOW it’s done in comparison with heterosexual characters and romance. So there’s usually quite a bit of comment on sex scenes , whether the actors/characters look like they are into it, whether there’s tongue etc etc.

            There’s probably more time spent on TV than film because it usually includes a larger range of women characters and lesbian stories.

            http://www.afterellen.com/

            Is a key site where all this is monitored. And having decided a year or so ago that “Hollywood just isn’t into us”, they also trawl the world for TV programmes & films that are avaliable online (Germany & Spain are pretty good sources), plus direct to web drama series (a form of screen production that has escalated in the last year or so).

            • Anita 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Carol,

              I totally agree about the limited number of queer movies, what I was thinking more about was mainstream movies which have a token queer character or two. What would be the tests, stated as simply as the Bechdel test, which would allow us to rate mainstream movies with queer characters so that we can separate movies which have only a token queer character from those which have queer characters with real depth? (or any depth at all :) )

              • Carol

                Anita, I’m not sure that it’s possible to cover all the negatives with one or two points, but I’ll take a stab:

                1) Does one or more of the LGBT characters get punished/die (pretty much the same thing in most stories)

                2) Is the main story focused on a heterosexual character and/or relationship.

                Oh, It should be framed in the reverse/positively:

                1) Does the LGBT character live and/or not get punished?

                2) Does the main storyline focus on an LGBT character/s and/or relationship?

              • Anita

                Hm… I think the dieing might cause problems – Four Weddings and a Funeral springs to mind, while the gay characters are not the main characters, they are significant, their relationship is portrayed as archetypally healthy, and the death is not amn implicit punishment IMO.

                I’m also going to struggle with positive phrasing but…

                1) Does one or more LGBT characters have a role within the main narrative arc(s) of the movie?

                2) If the most significant LGBT character is not queer, does the most significant LGBT character have a relationship or sex life which is
                a) included in the movie; and
                b) no less healthy than the main character’s

                3) Do the LGBT characters make it to the end of the movie without experiencing punishment (either implicit or explicit) for their sexual orientation?

  3. Carol 3

    Well, I certainly like Alien Resurrection because of those two female characters. And as Haraway says, we’re all cyborgs really.

    I do think it passes the test. Though, I wonder if there isn’t an element of exceptionalism about these two characters, in the Hollywood scheme because they are human creations and not fully human females – probably both created by men as well.

  4. SHG 4

    Where the Boys Aren’t 6

    1) all-female cast
    2) lots of interaction between the characters
    3) they don’t discuss men at all

  5. wtl 5

    While I don’t dispute the fact that many movies are male-character-centric (it’s pretty obvious I’d say), something tells me that all three criteria are actually closely correlated with a single variable: the proportion of characters in the movie that are women:
    Criteria 1) directly depends on the proportion of characters in the movie that are women.
    Criteria 2) would be more likely be true if there were a greater proportion of characters in the movie that are women, as they will have more chances to interact.
    Criteria 3) would be more likely true since the conversation in most movies revolves around the other characters in the movie, and if those other characters are more likely to be women, than it is more likely to hold.

    But I guess the point of this test is to try to get a point across, as simple arguing for a 50/50 cast is easier to shout down :)

    • Carol 5.1

      I haven’t seen the Sex and the City movie, but do the women in that talk about anything but their relationships with men?

      oooh: anti-spam word “roots”

      • QoT 5.1.1

        Exactly! Part of the issues around the Bechdel-Wallace test is the fact that for a film to feature two named speaking women in the first place, it’s generally a chick flick – whereas films with multiple named speaking men can be in any genre.

        Same goes for my fave, Pride & Prejudice – a five-hour miniseries in which if they’re not talking about Darcy, Wickham or Mr Collins in particular they’re still talking about marriage/men in general.

        • Bored 5.1.1.1

          On the Chick Flick front I thought immediately of Thelma and Louise…..at first sight it passes the BW test except it is actually a blokes road movie with a couple of women playing surrogate blokes. The lady presenting in the clip is depressingly correct.

          As a bloke I find the movies obsession with “action”, sex, violence and stereotypes a real turn off. But they sell, and are easy formulaic vehicles. Now if the lady in the clip might get together with her friends and write a real script, something to trump the status quo, that would really help, we guys might even get into it.

        • Ari 5.1.1.2

          I wonder if what Jane Austen wrote would be any different if she had thought about the Bechdel test while writing. (not that it existed back in her time, of course)

          I can think of books that aren’t marketed at women that pass the criteria, but not any films.

          • Carol 5.1.1.2.1

            There is a general perception in the industry, that men watch films a lot and need to be catered for, while women are more into fiction TV.

            I don’t know how much marketing and promotions result in a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy when it comes to box-office & ratings stats.

            But perceptions can change….. on a bit of a tangent:

            I few years back, within the last decade, I used to ask anyone who would listen why only men did the voice -over promos for up-coming TV programmes – you know, those annoying voices that drown out the music while credits are rolling on TV. Most people, including quite a few young men & women (teens, early 20s) would say that people just wouldn’t accept it because male voices were more authoritative.

            Then one day, a few years back, I noticed that it was a woman’s voice doing the voice-over promo. And after that, I noticed that they would be done sometimes by men, and sometimes by women. As far as I’m aware, the sky has not fallen… in fact I haven’t seen anyone comment on it or complain.

            So, the moral is, IMO, the powers that be should just do it, with confidence & in good faith, and people will see all those discrimatory “perceptions” are built on thin air, and of little substance.

          • QoT 5.1.1.2.2

            Well, it’s a bit unfair to Ms Austen, since if she were versed in feminist theory she could have very well written the exact same books, just with a bit more savagery against a society which much more explicitly than ours forced women to centre their lives around men.

            Which could lead me into a whole other rant about the current “common knowledge” about Austen’s works (I think it was Karen Healey who had a masterful [mistressful?] stab at a comic author who used the phrase “swoons like a heroine in a Jane Austen book”) and the fact that her works *have* been largely reduced to shallow Chick Flicks.

            What’s depressing is when you go through modern sci fi which is lauded for having Strong Female Characters and sure, they pass – on the basis of ONE scene or ONE line.

            • NickS 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Which authors? Because I’m running out of good sci-fi (and non-lazy fantasy) to read…

              • lprent

                Just found the sequel to Cyteen by Cherryh in Wellington on the weekend.

              • NickS

                I tried reading that, but too much science in university has left me unable to read some of the older stuff :(

                And way too much Alastair Reynold, Sir Terry and tvtropes mean I’m a bit snobby on writing style and structure.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Tried Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovaks series?

              • NickS

                I have actually, probably wont read Altered Carbon again, but I’m on the hunt copies of Broken Angels and Woken Furies since Morgan tends to write quite well . Though presently I’m aiming to collect Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series via trademe.

                Oh yeah, Sean McMullen’s Greatwinter trilogy is pretty good, some annoying science fantasy with genetics, but the characters, plot and world-building make up for it.

                There’s also Ian McDonald’s books Chaga and Kirinya books, though I don’t quite know if Chaga fits the literary version of the Bechdel test, though he does female characters much better than Peter Hamilton. And also, there’s Ian Irvine’s View from the Mirror quartet, still a bit iffy over the later sequels, plus I’ll throw in Charles Stross, Paul McAuley and Peter Watts as authors to read.

  6. joe bloggs 6

    is there a similar test for the portrayal of men in television commercials?

    Seems to me that the male TV commercial archetype is rather harshly portrayed as a hapless fool who can’t find his way around a pot drawer in his own kitchen…

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      ” archetype is rather harshly portrayed as a hapless fool who shouldn’t be expected to do any housework that he is clearly incapable of, and should be left to take the kids fishing or play with their toys, while the better half makes more effecicent use of all the groceries she probably also does the shopping for.

      Fixed.

      • joe bloggs 6.1.1

        yup that’s the stereotype alright… so you’ve noticed the unsubtle barrage of put-downs of men on commercial TV as well…

        • Ari 6.1.1.1

          There are certainly better ways to engage the interest of women than to put down men, but try telling that to marketing execs.

          • Anita 6.1.1.1.1

            Tho one has to ask, given the implicit put down of women is at least as offensive as the explicit put down of men, exactly who the ads are aimed at.

  7. Brett 7

    I find it hard to believe that people pay good money to study this shit.

    • Anita 7.1

      I think if you’d actually watched the video or read any of the links you might not have made that statement.

      Tho I must say that I am ever grateful to the number of private individuals who have paid their own good money for Alison Bechdel’s comic strips and books.

      The original, I think, is here.

      • Brett 7.1.1

        I did watch the video.
        Does a certain percentage of movies have to involve woman have deep discussions on “meaningful topics” such as climate change, feminism etc.
        The majority of people, woman included find these types of movies dull beyond belief, which is why you don’t see a lot of that style of movie made.
        I know this really grates feminists but a lot of woman like talking about men, babies,shopping etc.
        Just except it and you will be a lot happier.

        • just saying 7.1.1.1

          Watch it again Brett. It’s got nothing to do with “deep and meaningful” or worthy conversations, just two women (with names) in one movie talking together, even for a few seconds, about anything at all – except a man, just once in the movie. It’s about what this absence in most mainstream movies is telling us, and what it means.
          Think 51 percent of the human population.
          Get it?

        • Anita 7.1.1.2

          If you did watch it and read the links then why did you say the following?

          people pay good money to study this

          • Jewish Kiwi 7.1.1.2.1

            Haha, he isn’t going to answer that, Anita. He just talked out of his arse and then spent his next comment walking back, trying to qualify himself. Nitwit

  8. To my mind, the saddest inclusion in that list is ‘Watchmen’.

    Oh, that film deserves to be there. But what’s sad is the comparison to the comic. That comic had some pretty impressive feminism in it, because even where Sally and Laurie where talking about men, they were also talking about the changing expectations and goals of women in incredibly male worlds, and about the fact that they were, to a certain extent, bound and restricted by their relationships (it doesn’t get more boyish than superhero comics!) It had impressive gender reversal stuff, like where Laurie is the person who teaches Dan the Nite Owl that it’s okay to get turned on by his costume. It had the most impressive examination of the “rape=romance” trope that I had ever seen – as in, I felt like it was in the comic so they could directly engage the systemic problems that produce that narrative trope. All in all, the comic, I felt, if not entirely successful, and not a full pass, deliberately set out to discuss some of the sexism in the superhero world.

    And then the movie comes out, and it’s like all that intelligence evaporated and was replaced with B.S. and fight scenes!! It makes me think of Edward Said’s great comment about how everything that isn’t normative is “politics”. And, what? Too complicated? Oy!

    (anti -spam word: “character”)

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    Hi. My name is Ian and I'm a campaigner with Greenpeace. I'm also a new dad and a big fan of LEGO. She's a little young now, but I know that in a few years my baby girl will be...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-07
  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting
    Longtime readers of this site may be aware of my occasional bursts of fulmination about overhopped stunt beers -- and my calls for New Zealand craft brewers to produce more sessionable brews in the classic best bitter style I think...
    Public Address | 23-07
  • More stat-juking
    There were more allegations in Parliament today that the government is juking the stats, with Andrew Little pointing at a report from the Taranaki Daily News that a Crown prosecutor had claimed:"There was one occasion in 2012 when it was...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • A cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand
    Russel Norman- General debate speech, 23 July 2014   Together, it is possible to build a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand. A New Zealand in which our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our precious beaches are safe...
    frogblog | 23-07
  • Using Ministerial Inquiries to Close Down Debate
    As a young MP in the British House of Commons in the late 1970s, I rapidly became aware that half the political stories in Fleet Street originated with the Press Association’s indefatigable political correspondent, Chris Moncrieff. I was regularly button-holed...
    Bryan Gould | 23-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • TDB New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 picks
    NZIFF is here, our picks this season are… The Dark Horse Boyhood Leviathan Is the man who is tall happy?  Hot Air Maps to the Stars Snowpiercer Toons for Tots InRealLife Print The Legend E-Team The Internet’s Own Boy: The...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A tale of two men: Cunliffe’s apology for rape culture vs Key’s dismiss...
    The manner in which Cunliffe has sought to address rape culture vs Key’s dismissal of it yesterday is a remarkable contrast as stark as the bias over Cunliffe’s holiday vs Key’s holiday. Key takes weeks off to pose for selfies...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07