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The corruption of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, June 11th, 2013 - 67 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, democracy under attack, greens, john key, russel norman, Spying, telecommunications, uk politics, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The governance of the five nations linked by the Five Eyes Echelon spy network share many similarities in the ways the shining ideal of democracy are consistently being undermined.  In each country, the details are a little different, but they follow the same pattern.  Of the five countries, the US wields the most power with the UK being second-in-command, while Australia, Canada and New Zealand have the least leverage to maintain their own interests and independence.

The same kind of neoliberal, corporate-friendly, beneficiary-bashing, anti-worker, anti-democratic and big-brotherish measures favoured by the US and UK governments have been adopted by the Key government.  They don’t always take the same form, sometimes the NZ version is a little milder, but the end result is similar: more power and wealth for the 2% less for the rest.

So it is chilling to read the result of the latest measures by the UK Cameron government, aiming to tackle the use of corporate lobbyist to bribe members of the Houses of Commons and Lords, as reported by Seamus Milne in The Guardian. The evidence is as damning as it is shocking to those of us who favour democracy and a socially just and fair society:

First a Tory MP and then a clutch of greedy peers were caught on camera apparently agreeing to take cash from journalists posing as representatives of foreign companies. “Make that £12,000 a month,” grinned Jack Cunningham, Tony Blair’s former “enforcer”.

UK corporate lobbysists

After Cameron and Clegg failed to respond, they finally came up with legislation to (allegedly) curtail such corrupt practices:

So on Monday they came up with a plan: to crack down on trade unions. Wrapped in a panic bill to set up a register of lobbyists are to be powers to police union membership lists and cut union spending in election campaigns. The first will make what is already the almost impossible task of holding a legally watertight strike ballot still harder. The second is a direct attack on Labour funding.

The contemptuous class cynicism of the coalition leaders’ response takes some beating. Not only are unions the most accountable and only democratic part of the political funding system; but by including anti-union clauses in the new bill, Cameron and Clegg want to ensure Labour’s opposition – all the better to change the subject and wrongfoot the opposition in the process.

This kind of Orwellian doublespeak, and diversion is a hallmark of Key’s government, as outlined by Russel Norman in his ‘Muldoon and Key’ post.  It doesn’t take exactly the same form as under the Blair and Cameron government’s, but the underlying aim is the same.  In NZ as Norman explains, as with Muldoon, the Key government’s anti-democratic measures includes “The concentration and abuse of power”, Rigidity against change”, and “Divisiveness”.  In explaining the latter, Norman outlines a more subtle form of corruption than that of UK lobbying:

To be with Key and National is to get special favours. It is to have tender processes designed so that you’ll win. It is to get $2 billion in tax cuts. It is to get shoulder-tapped for a top job by one of your old schoolmates, it is to get a job you applied for a month after it closed, or to get a job for which you were underqualified  because of your profile as a sportsperson and a Key supporter.

To be against Key and National is to be silenced. It is to have Ministers breach privacy obligations by releasing your personal information to the media. It is to be the subject of personal attacks from right wing lobbyists if you dare to speak out to protect the environment. It is to have “threats and budget cuts… used to silence dissenting voices,” according to New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond.

The NZ government’s abuses of power include extensive abuses of urgency in the House, anti-protesting laws, over-riding local democracy, disallowing rights to family carers, and the government’s Bill to make,

it legal for the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders and expands its power to do so.

The latter makes legal capabilities already used by the US government through its part in the Echelon electronic spy network using the Thin Tread and Prism capabilities.

Echelon watching you

While John Key denies that the GCSB has been using such US-based systems to by-pass laws against spying on Kiwis, others have expressed concern.  Nicky Hager points to the undemocratic, Soviet style capabilities of the US agencies.  Meanwhile, “information technology and telecommunications lawyer Michael Wigley” argues that there is nothing to ensure the GCSB doesn’t make use of such systems in the future, and that,

 the agency has said it has not been involved in any reciprocal information sharing but that doesn’t rule out non-reciprocal information sharing.

The latest revelations related to the Kim Dotcom saga indicate the ways such powers can be used in the service of powerful corporates, in this case those of the Hollywood industry.  NZ Herald’s David Fisher claims that “top secret documents” show that Prism-like strings of data containing information on or related to Kim Dotocm were fed into the Echelon system.

Given the widespread corruption of democracy in the services of the rich and powerful elites, Green MP Stefan Browning is right to call for the end to:

our intelligence agencies spying on legitimate, peaceful, political dissenters.

He also urges people to submit to

the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. Submissions close 5pm, Thursday 13 June.

and argues for an inquiry in to abolition of the SIS.  Browning also calls for measures to

enable better oversight, a regular parliamentary select committee should replace the government-dominated Intelligence and Security Committee, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security should become an Officer of Parliament.

Welcome to the Brave New World of Ministries of “Truth”.  Who can stop this widespread attack on democratic processes and replace it with a system that aims for a socially just, and fair society that works for the benefit of all?

 

 

67 comments on “The corruption of democracy”

  1. Humph 1

    It’s fine to say voters should make submissions on bills (when they’re not ‘debated’ and enacted behind closed doors…), but who has the time – and more importantly – the inclination to wade through screeds of (deliberately? and often confusing) verbose text?

    Most people work 40 hours a week and expect elected beneficiaries to ‘do the right thing’ – it’s their job, in theory, to read and understand newly dreamed up legislation. It’s this in particular that stifles democracy in this country, we don’t have the time and the bloggers and journalists that do are more often than not ignored.

    The political system has to change or we’ll only slip further down the slippery slope of tyranny due to an ever greater lack of transparency.

    Voter advocates for new legislation are needed, paid and sourced in the same way as jury duty. Under the current legislative procedures, this is the only way transparency can be revived under National from its almost lifeless shell.

    The Swiss system of (near) direct democracy must also be seriously considered. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best there currently is. Also, and this is my personal favourite, the career politician as a ‘job’ does not exist.

    • Drakula 1.1

      I think you have a point there Humph, I would like to know more about the Swiss System I think the partisan system is on the wane.

      Democracy has been corroded away it no longer exists!

  2. Bill 2

    Who can stop this widespread attack [on democratic - strikeout?] of unaccountable processes and replace it with a system that aims for a socially just, and fair society that works for the benefit of all?

    Only you and me. But that would require an onslaught of democracy. And that in turn would require denying positions of representation to people – any people – because they will always seek to develop ways or processes to secure their position. And that inevitably entails they wind up working for their own interests and (at best) not the interests of those they claim to represent or (at worst) decidedly against the interests of those they claim to represent.

    And seeing as how the world is heading for ‘interesting times’ with climate change and resource depletion, developing truely democratic systems of governence shouldn’t be treated as just some intellectual game, but rather a task of quite marked imporatnace to be undertaken with urgency.

    But I understand most people will just continue with the same old, same old and angle to survive by hanging on in there as the systems of governence we’ve become inured to these past 100-150 years become a brutal, blood letting train wreck.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Only you and me. But that would require an onslaught of democracy.

      And not just any “democracy” but localised democracy. At the neighbourhood, work place, town, and regional level. A good large chunk of the detailed decisions currently being made in Wellington could be better made at a lower level.

      Also agree that this is a massive matter of urgency now, when you look at where we are on the curve.

      Every imperial system in decline seeks to assert more and more control over both their citizens and imperial holdings from the centre of empire.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Hmm. I don’t know of anything the term ‘democracy’ can be meaningfully applied to that isn’t immediate and local.

        As for town and regional levels of governence – they become problematic insofar as the tendency might be to elect representatives to those remote centers of decision making. And that puts us back on the path to square one.

        There was a youtube vid on Brian Eno I was watching a few days ago that contained an unexpected and hopeful snippet. Back in1970 John Conway developed a simple computer programme that demonstrated how complexity arose, quite naturally from simplicity rather than from any plan or complicated arrangement being imposed from above.

        Natural complexity then, just is. It doesn’t need to be managed, drawn up or over seen. It’s dependant upon the configuration of simple elements. So democracy would, arguably, naturally give rise to self sustaining yet dependent complex systems in the larger scheme of things eg, the larger economy etc.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.2

        CV +1 +1 +1 +1

    • prism 2.2

      Someone with the loudest voice or hardest ideals or best manipulator will always appear at the top of the pile Bill. Somone always gets to manipulate the discourse, either openly or covertly. They will call on authority, a populist, their God made in their own image, somebody else’s God, scientific proof from those who haven’t even gone to the Unseen University.

      What about the wisdom of the masses? A group of everyday citizens who don’t know much but know what they like is a recipe for porridge and bullshit mixed – perhaps useful for muck spreading. Or perhaps used as stucco on a solid structure. But of variable quality. We would just get a new sort of leaky building with the broad mass standing to their opinions.

      Select committees as now should be informed by fora who collect data and then present scenarios produced on computers using that data and attempting to show present, past contributory information and then likely future outcomes. Legislation would have to be explored thoroughly in this way so that some smartarse can’t push through some brainstorm or scheme for enriching his or her family trust whether it’s good for the country or not. And pilot schemes would be encouraged, publicised, monitored and assessed all the time. So we would address needs and visions of different approaches. And then the positive ones could go into law for five years and then be reviewed. With this system we wouldn’t have all this education argy bargy.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Select committees as now should be informed by fora who collect data and then present scenarios produced on computers using that data and attempting to show present, past contributory information and then likely future outcomes.

        Very Star Trek but people aren’t going to go for that. Why have select committees of MPs involved at all? They seem as much a part of the general riff raff as anyone else. but a society run by self proclaimed experts and specialists is doomed to failure, if not through silo thinking than through lack of buy in and legitimacy. It’s also a philosophy in harmony with the elitist nature of groups like Bilderberg who intrinsically believe that they are more competent and visionary at ruling than any of us.

        What about the wisdom of the masses? A group of everyday citizens who don’t know much but know what they like is a recipe for porridge and bullshit mixed – perhaps useful for muck spreading. Or perhaps used as stucco on a solid structure. But of variable quality. We would just get a new sort of leaky building with the broad mass standing to their opinions.

        Maybe you should consider history for a moment, and think about how the Kurow Three, Davidson McMillan and Nordemeyer, changed the course of this country, people who were no more than a run of the mill doctor, school principal and priest.

        Letting a bunch of self proclaimed technocrats and specialists run the country, might as well put Treasury in charge and be done with it.

      • Bill 2.2.2

        The loudest voice, the idealist or the manipulator can only thrive where democracy is absent or severly compromised.

        And who makes everything that is good or worthwhile function and advance in civilisation if it isn’t us ‘everyday citizens’ and our collective skill sets? People acting in concert aren’t thick or stupid Prism. It’s the denial of our legitimate agency by illegitimate authorities that’s the recipe for porridge and bullshit.

        • karol 2.2.2.1

          I agree that strong local democracy is (part of what is) needed for democracy to thrive, but I disagree that it is the whole of the solution.

          I tend to agree with Prism though, that the loudest voices, the most manipulative and power hungry people will dominate if there are not significant measures to prevent that.

          Even if we have strong functioning local democracy, there will be those with access to the most powerful arms, electronic surveillance systems, and/or propaganda platforms who will be able to over-ride local democracy. These resources have been developed already, and can’t be undone.

          People acting in concert, in the interests of the people are part of the solution. But there also need to be systems in place to hold the power hungry in check. Those more over-arching systems are also a potential threat to democracy, hence the need for counter-balancing checks, one of which should be strong local democracy.

          I see no easy solutions.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1

            These resources have been developed already, and can’t be undone.

            Of course they can. You defund them.

            But there also need to be systems in place to hold the power hungry in check.

            Some established ways work best. Civil institutions, workers unions, collectives, binding referendums (local and national). Civic education and civic participation.

          • Bill 2.2.2.1.2

            power hungry people will dominate if there are not significant measures to prevent that.

            Such significant measures are intrinsic to a functioning democracy. And if they are left out or not developed and honed, then you don’t have democracy. What you have is something like we have now – a primer for tyranny.

            ..there will be those with access to the most powerful…

            How? Democracy encourages legitimate empowerment and denies illegitimate empowerment of the types you mention. What you say kind of suggests a two tier arrangement where some people live and act from within democratic systems of governence and some (mysteriously) not only live seperately and hold sway over those that do.

            I suspect you are unwittingly taking aspects of present day social configurations and projecting them onto, what would be in reality, a completely – a radically – different complex of social structures with entirely different encouragements, rewards, fears and punishments to those of the present day.

  3. ianmac 3

    Against Atomic Weapons. But you cannot uninvent the technology. Just try and control it.
    Against wholesale trawling of the internet. But you can’t uninvent the technology. The best we can do be made fully aware of how it it works and try and have mechanisms to control it.
    This Government is in Denial and we do not get to know the full extent.
    “…it legal for the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders and expands its power to do so.”
    What to do about it. Mmmm.
    David Shearer does have Question 4 today which asks “Has he received any information that shows foreign intelligence agencies are routinely collecting emails,………….”

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      You don’t “uninvent” technologies, you defund them, and then you stop acting in ways which keep fanning the fires of extremism and terrorism.

      Just ask yourself. Where did the IRA come from? Who formed Al Qaeda and where did they get their military training? What’s the history of Iran that they are now so set against the west?

      • karol 3.1.1

        Sounds simple.

        But who/what decides, enforces and maintains such a policy?

        Also, how to ensure the power-hungry don’t find some way to accumulate wealth, resources and/or assets?

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          In a (necessarily) undemocratic market economy there are massive, inescapable and inbuilt incentives, alongside obvious avenues or ploys, to accumulate wealth, resources and assets. And if you take away those incentives and avenues for accumulation (through, for example, the development of a democratic economy that places economic/political/social power firmly in the hands of those producing and consuming – distribution becoming a natural adjunct to the excercise of that decision making power), then you, obviously, also take away the market economy in the process. Not a bad thing in my book, but we know that…. ;-)

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          Also, how to ensure the power-hungry don’t find some way to accumulate wealth, resources and/or assets?

          I don’t think that the accumulation of wealth and assets in of itself is a huge problem; the problem is when individuals can do it on such a massive scale capable of distorting the whole of society and the whole of government.

          In a “market economy” which empowers capital, the massive accumulation of capital automatically translates into massive influence over the economy. This is what should be disallowed.

          This is not a new problem of course and there have been many effective ways to manage this in the past.

          For instance, an 89% income tax rate on earnings over $400,000 pa would effectively cap incomes near 10x the median working wage. A 50% death tax applicable to every dollar of assets over the first million dollars automatically undoes a lifetime worth of wealth concentration, and encourages capable people to focus their talents on more than making more and more millions off the communities they live in.

          And possibly most importantly – a massive societal revaluing (up valuing) of unpaid work, emotional labour, and other non-financial contributions to the nation by ordinary people.

          • karol 3.1.1.2.1

            However, such measures cannot be implemented at a local democracy level. It requires an over-arching system of governance.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m not saying that a sovereign system of governance will not be necessary in future. I’m saying that significant parts of that governance can be devolved downwards.

              Also, there are plenty of powers that could be decentralised from Wellington.

              For instance, why not enable regions or cities to set their own fuel tax, and have them develop and run public transport with it?

              Or whenever a major property asset is bought/sold, why not allow regions or cities to set a stamp duty to ensure that the local community benefits?

              • Bill

                Why not go much further along the path that would devolve power – right on down to the immediate local level – and ‘lock it in’ through establishing and developing robust and inter-locking democratic systems?

                If you leave any remote governence in place then we’re going to wind up right back here again.

                • karol

                  But how can you successfully and enduringly “lock in” devolved power, without an over-arching system of governance? One local democracy is only stable til another local coup decides it wants to start colonising others, possibly by force of arms.

                  • Bill

                    It gets locked in by dint of the fact that many interlocking democracies constitute ‘a’ democracy and that would be like confronting a behemoth for anyone inclined to usurp it or control it. You could swing your question on it’s head and ask how you achieve any democracy if an overarching system of governence is left in place?

                    As for control and power being taken at the barrel of a gun, well…that’s kind of how we got into this mess in the first place, right? But that was off the back of many disparate – often isolated – systems of governence existing in the world…many of which were undesirable. And it was in a point of time when securing resources in order that market economy advantages could be built up made sense to small elites who already had populations under their undemocratic control.

                    And how would a similarly medacious small elite even begin to gain traction in a democracy? I can’t see how they could or even why they’d want to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And how would a similar medacious small elite even begin to gain traction in a democracy? I can’t see how they could or even why they’d want to.

                      The traditional way is by using democratic systems to gain a foot hold, and then by dint of some “emergency” declare those same democratic systems suspended in favour of emergency powers…

                      An educated involved populace is very good protection against this kind of thing though.

                      One local democracy is only stable til another local coup decides it wants to start colonising others, possibly by force of arms.

                      I certainly see this happening in the USA; however it is not NZ culture to allow or participate in this (even though we have a million firearms in this country).

                      But how can you successfully and enduringly “lock in” devolved power, without an over-arching system of governance?

                      There are many many ways, especially if the power of central government is limited and towns/regions have their own ability to tax and manage assets.

                      Of course, anything can be unpicked over time, but the 5th Labour Govt made it painfully easy for the NATs to do that. Channel 7 public broadcasting as a counterbalance to a fully commercial TVNZ – a “balanced” system which Labour created? The NATs just defund the Channel 7 part of it and it goes away, leaving just the commercial part. Nothing could be easier.

                    • Bill

                      CV – you seem to be assuming that democracy involves heirarchies and that people/groups occupying certain points of whatever heirarchy would then find themselves in a position whereby they could ‘game’ the entire edifice. Granted, that’s entirely the situation in this system we call ‘social democracy’. But an actual democracy simply couldn’t have such structures. If it did, it wouldn’t – couldn’t – be democratic.

                      In a democracy there are no footholds – they simply don’t exist – and no possibility of anyone (or group) securing a position whereby they could unilaterally ‘call the shots’ because the possibility of their being such positions of power and/or influence doesn’t exist.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s roughly thereabouts that you lose me slightly Bill. Humans, like other primates, whether pre-historic, pre-capitalist, pre-industrial, whatever, naturally form into communities with a definitive (if quite flexible) social framework and social ordering. And a hierarchy (or maybe multiple overlaid hierarchies), no matter how subtle, is going to be part of that.

                      Put in a more practical example: a large proportion of employees out there today would shy away from the chance of being “their own boss” having to take collective responsibility for all kinds of issues, as opposed to just doing a solid 9 to 5, taking orders but walking in and walking out, and collecting a regular pay cheque every fortnight.

                    • Bill

                      If it’s natural to form into heirarchies, then how could it ever have come about that I was a member of a collective where no social heirachy existed? It couldn’t possibly have happened.

                      How could we, if heirarchy was simply ‘natural’ have possibly imagined to construct and develop systems that levelled hierachies of (say) knowledge/skill on an ongoing basis and further, safeguarded our social situation from being influenced by any such ‘external’ factors? We couldn’t have. At least, not any more than we could have flapped our arms and lifted off the ground – a natural limitation that we have to live with.

                      Yes, most workers fear the idea of a collective. That’s true in my experience. But is the fear natural? Or is it born of a lifetime of conditioning that sets up the vertical division of labour and deference to supposed authority as ‘a norm’ – a ‘norm’ that just happens to present an environment that day in, day out, picks away at their sense of self – their esteem – and any belief they might have had in their abilities as well as those of their workmates?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In a workers collective, on tax matters I would tend to defer to the opinion of the accountant in the collective. On a matter of a lease, I would probably defer to the lawyer in the collective. On the matter of the earthworks, I would usually defer to the landscape architect.

                      I might also give more weight to the opinion of someone who had been there longer with a proven track record of good judgement, as opposed to the new 17 year old kid on the block.

                      So hierarchies don’t need to be formal, but human beings rely on them a lot in every social situation. Every one’s say on everything is not going to be necessarily equal, nor should it be.

                      Yep I accept that there is a lot of social conditioning at play in the current arrangements.

                    • weka

                      “Put in a more practical example: a large proportion of employees out there today would shy away from the chance of being “their own boss” having to take collective responsibility for all kinds of issues, as opposed to just doing a solid 9 to 5, taking orders but walking in and walking out, and collecting a regular pay cheque every fortnight.”

                      They might be happy to have the collective take responsibility if it mean they didn’t have to be too involved (as opposed to one boss).

                      There are hierarchies and there are hierarchies too (or scales of grey). I’m thinking about one of the examples that Daniel Quinn uses in Beyond Civilisation. He talks about old style family circuses. There was definitely a hierarchy of sorts eg the ring master got paid more, but they had to do more work and take more responsibility too, which wasn’t something everyone wanted. But the reason they functioned well was because everyone had a role to play in the good of the whole organisation that in turn made sure that each individual was looked after (had a way of making a living).

                    • weka


                      If it’s natural to form into heirarchies, then how could it ever have come about that I was a member of a collective where no social heirachy existed? It couldn’t possibly have happened.

                      I’ve worked in collectives that purposely built in things like consensus decision making. But they were constructions, no natural evolutions. Personally I think we are probably too far away from our pre-patriarchal/dominator roots to know what is natural now.

                      But again, what are we meaning my hierarchies here? If I’m having brain surgery, I want someone in the room who is in charge. I don’t want consensus decision making about which part of my brain to cut into (at least not during the op itself) ;-) It makes sense to that in some situations having different levels of whatever is useful.


                      How could we, if heirarchy was simply ‘natural’ have possibly imagined to construct and develop systems that levelled hierachies of (say) knowledge/skill on an ongoing basis and further, safeguarded our social situation from being influenced by any such ‘external’ factors?

                      How did you level hierarchies of knowledge/skill? Are you talking about power?

                    • Bill

                      How did you level hierarchies of knowledge/skill? Are you talking about power?

                      There was a firm commitment to skill sharing. And without market impositions, no-one had anything to gain from being possesive over their skill sets. Of course, there was a balance insofar as there was no desire to ‘burn out’ any particular person who happened to possess a wide set of skills or particular skills that were going to be in high demand. Incidently, I think that’s where I realised that the old maxim ‘From each according to their needs, from each according to their abilities’ was utterly unrealistic.

                      Am I talking about power? Yes insofar that if a group is relying on one person who is in possession of any required knowledge or skill, then an opportunity exists for that person to ‘control’ certain agendas. And yes, insofar as people gained a sense of empowerment.

                      As far as deferring to somebody with a skill when a particular task is being undertaken, I believe a distinction has to be made between deferring to their practical knowledge but not allowing that to bleed into other areas of the relationship eg elevating that person to a de facto ‘boss’ position whereby they adopt and deploy the ‘usual’ psychological traits of the boss directing or controlling the worker.

                    • weka

                      So would it be fair to say it was a leveling of power rather than skill eg you can have people with skill sets that are rare and expert but this doesn’t give them more power than anyone else?

                    • KJT

                      Effective company board meetings are deliberately structured so that everyone has an equal chance at input and the less assertive are able to speak. Good boards do take advice from those with expert knowledge in their own area.

                      Then, when the same people get into Government, they do the opposite.

                      I fancy the idea that occurred in some Polynesian societies. the “talking Chief”, to make the speeches, then the “doing Chiefs” who took charge in their own areas of expertise. The navigator when at sea, the expert on crops when planting and the expert on warfare when fighting.
                      Unlike us, they did not make the mistake of giving the “talking Chief” “the windbag”, power over the others. He was their mouthpiece, not their boss.
                      The point is the tribe chose whoever they felt had the best skills to lead on each occasion. After the need was over the “Chief” reverted to being one of the tribe.

                    • Bill

                      Both a levelling of power and a sharing of skills. No point in being too dependent on too few people in important areas. And as KJT signposts, no point in allowing power to accrue to and reside with certain given people ‘just because’.

          • Bill 3.1.1.2.2

            Taxation only offers a partial solution within the context of a managerial bureaucracy or some-such and in and of itself points to a major problem ie, a situation where an over-arching and remote system of governance has been allowed to persist. It also suggests that the market economy is persisting in some form or other. Taxation has no role in a democracy for that very reason – that it legitimises an illegitimate and unnecessary layer of centralised control/decision making and legitimises profit.

            Where producers and consumers make economic decisions on the basis of social need, then neither taxes nor central planning/decision making are needed.

            And individuals…specifically those who chase profit and who would be the precursors of corporate dominance within a market context…wouldn’t have the economic rewards they have in the present day. They would have lost their incentive and subsequent leverage. A democratic economy is implicitly geared by social need and such like and most definately not the profit motive. The profit motive would have as much relevence as pig ownership has in the modern western context. (Note that pig ownership is very important in some presently functioning economies and confers many social privileges…but not in ‘the west’)

            And with the profit motive effectively neutered, all the undesirable behaviours it promotes and rewards would likewise be of no use – simply wouldn’t find encouragement from the economic quarter.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Well without taxation you’re still left with the problem of how the commons is going to be funded.

              I’m familiar with the arguments around money not being a resource or store of value in of itself, but our economy still requires it to perform every single action, with or without a profit motive.

              And with the profit motive effectively neutered, all the undesirable behaviours it promotes and rewards would likewise be of no use – simply wouldn’t find encouragement from the economic quarter.

              OK so no profit motive – but people and organisations alike will still need an income in this economy to survive, right? Also the motivating forces for people in the current economy are (in no particular order): money, power, status, authority, security, intrinsic. What do you see that rebalancing to in future?

              • Bill

                but people and organisations alike will still need an income in this economy to survive, right?

                Maybe and maybe not. In kind of depends on how you define ‘income’. And there is no reason why income, if it exists, isn’t ‘communalised’. That was precisely the situation in the workers collective I was a part of. An income was generated – but not on the individual level. I mean by that, that we paid ourselves absolutely nothing by way of a wage. The money that was generated by the business (yes, we had a business – we weren’t a pile of useless dreamers) was allocated in various ways by us eg – building fund, maintenence fund, reinvestment into the business etc. And all purchases were made on a communal basis – food, whatever other consumables etc as determined by us – and we then just helped ourselves from what we had bought in.

                Would it be possible to expand that space we had created outward to encompass an ever greater proportion of what is produced and distributed so that no means of exchange is necessary? I don’t know. What I do know is that within the space we had, our interactions, behaviours and relationships underwent a remarkable change, freed as they were from ‘costing’ every activity or from weighing up activities against relative economic advantages/disadvantages.

              • Bill

                Where it’s demonstratably to an individuals advantage to cooperate, then the motivations of a competitive scenario lose their power – as do the rewards which either diminish or become ‘punishments’ or liabilities.

                Not trying to be trite, but under a market economy you gain advantages by being a bit of a bastard. Under a democratic economy, I’d suggest bastards would diminish their own status and standing and eventually learn that bastard behaviours were to their detriment.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep I can agree with all of that in principle, nonetheless money (and tax) has many important functions today which would still need to be fulfilled even if it were in other ways or via other accounting methods.

                And with the proviso that elements of individual performance, reward and recognition are still crucial for good societal functioning. They may not be financial rewards, but they must provide community and societal recognition for excellence and contribution, nonetheless.

                Communal enterprises can be very successful. That’s similar to the way that many silicon valley billion dollar corporations started out.

                • Bill

                  There are social needs to be fulfilled that we fulfill today using tax revenue. Many of those needs would persist (some wouldn’t). And if well structured democracies are anything, they are incredibly good at discovering novel solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

                  Functioning collectives/cooperatives/societies are very good at recognising and acknowledging the contributions made by people – much, much better than is the case in our atomised undemocratic society, sitting as it does beneath the over riding demands of the market economy and its singular means of reward flowing from its myriad of perverted incentives.

                  • emergency mike

                    So over on whaleoil there’s a post about a video of a guy doing a bad make up job on himself and making jokes about wanking.

  4. vto 4

    .
    So the British government is completely and utterly corrupt

  5. Clare Curran 5

    Perhaps people might like to read my post on Red Alert published on Sunday night which raises these issues and was perhaps the first comment made by a NZ politician.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/06/09/too-close-for-comfort-is-the-gcsb-spying-on-us/

    • Bill 5.1

      That the same site where attempts have been made to use log-on details to identify people and thence their activity on various sites and further to, on occasion, ‘shut them down’? Y’know, a bit like monitoring and spying….not to mention censoring. If so, we need to invent a more appropriate word to replace ‘irony’ Mz Curran.

      • weka 5.1.1

        I had two words come to mind: bloody cheek.

        • Anne 5.1.1.1

          I think it is only fair I explain what may have happened Bill and weka.

          I saw Clare’s post for the first time this morning, and left a comment to the effect that karol had also written an excellent post over on The Standard. I saw the two – while emphasising different aspects – as being complimentary to one another. That may have lead to Clare responding in kind. There’s nothing wrong in her (Clare) doing that.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            It’s not the linking. It’s the penning of the post given the history of the author.

            • Anne 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Fair enough Bill. But maybe she should be given a bit of space to show she has… mended her former ways. At this point that’s where I think it should be. Lets leave it there.

              • weka

                For me it’s the linking, or even just the hubris of claiming something as she does it (eg being the first politician to comment). Has Claire Curran ever acknowledged the issue with Red Alert and login details? I doubt that she can acknowledge what happened to CV, but has there been any attempt to make amends? What would evidence be that she has mended her ways? I think she is quite capable of writing the post she did and still not being trustworthy when it comes to Red Alert or Labour members. That’s the problem.

                btw, I think it’s fine for her to comment here. More tact would be nice though.

    • karol 5.2

      Thanks, Clare. I was pleased to see that the Labour Party is concerned about the 2 Bills related to surveillance and the GCSB, as well as the implications of Prism & Thin Thread.

      However, your post doesn’t substantially focus on the main core of my post, “The Corruption of Democracy” apart from the final sentence, where you say:

      This is simply intolerable in a democracy where New Zealanders have ultimate power over the way they are governed.

      This seems too cosy a view of the current state of “democracy” in NZ. I disagree that “New Zealanders”, especially those with least power and the lowest incomes have “ultimate power over the way they are governed.” And I dispute that the majority of Kiwis have such power.

  6. vto 6

    So given that the Lords in the British Parliament are accepting money for policy…..

    Does that mean we need to know what Lord Archer and John Key meet about?

    In my opinion absolutely…. the conflict is immediate and clear.

    ————-

    In addition, from the above post it appears that the state and corporatism have merged and that we now have fully fledged fascism in our land (.. but no that can’t be right. Not here. Oh, it’ll be all right. I think thats rubbish. Now, what’s on the telly tonight (fucking dripheads)).

    And in evidence of the merger of state and corporate look no further than THE SKY CITY DEAL.

    Fascism is what we have in New Zealand.

  7. karol 7

    On the debate above with Bill and CV, I do think that hierarchies tend to develop over time in collectives as I saw in the network of women’s movement groups in London back in the late 70s. They developed because some people tend to be more active and have personalities that garner more attention than others. Some individuals do have a tendency to dominate.

    Maybe there are some collectives that remain non-hierarchical, but I think most will not.

    I favour a balancing between layers of democratic governance including strongly empowered local collectives, plus various layers of collective organisation that reach across geographic locations. Communities are no longer totally isolated within specific geographical regions. We live within and between multiple intersecting networks, linked by various forms of communication.

    I also think it’s necessary to work from where we are. Tearing everything down and starting again is (as yet) not an option. So I think local democracy needs to be restructured into flatter systems. And the more widespread layers need to be held accountable to local groups.

    • Bill 7.1

      Some individuals do have a tendency to dominate

      And well constructed meetings with well developed procedures suppress that tendency by deliberately empowering everyone by seeking their input and creating spaces that encourage those who are less confident…not allowing one or two people to dominate discussions and being careful to do that in a way that isn’t utterly dismissive of those with a penchant for being more vocal.

      Tearing down existing institutions isn’t necessary and any attempt to would probably and in bloodletting. Far better to create and develop democratic institutions that run in parallel with existing ones and that eventually supplant them.

      • karol 7.1.1

        Far better to create and develop democratic institutions that run in parallel with existing ones and that eventually supplant them.

        Yes, I agree with that.

        It’s possible, though not always easy (speaking as an ex-teacher) to manage, prevent individuals dominating. however, that dominance, it doesn’t always occur in organised meetings. it can be in the daily informal interactions in a community.

  8. karol 8

    I think one of the main stumbling blocks to a more democratic society is capitalism: it’s values of competitive, profit-making, status-loaded acquisition of material goods and power are firmly entrenched in a hierarchy of power.

    And now we have Palantir, now operating in a Wellington near you, as reported by Tova O’Brien on 3 News tonight. It’s part of the privatisation of the analysis of surveillance data.

    3 News can reveal that a controversial American data company called Palantir has set up base in Wellington and is dealing with the Government.
    Palantir helps spy agencies understand intercepted data. It is also the creator of software called Prism, though it insists it’s not the same PRISM that the US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower warned the world about. They say the name’s just coincidence.
    Palantir is a multi-billion dollar software company. It works with the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the US military, to name just a few. It helps spies trawl through, and make sense of, masses of data.

    Key doesn’t know if the GCSB uses this company but he has heard of them – great! Who IS in control of the country then? the Greens are worried about Palantir’s data mining activities. Oh, and more potential cronyism:

    Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, who also founded PayPal, spends a lot of his time in New Zealand. He knows the Prime Minister, but Mr Key says he didn’t speak to him about using Palantir’s technology.
    Both spy agencies refused to tell us if they use Palantir technology.

    Palantir is recruiting in NZ, they require their employees to be,

    “passionate about the mission”, “spend late nights in the vault” and “although you loathe bureaucracy, you believe a revolution in intelligence is imminent”.

    • prism 8.2

      I hereby announce that I am no longer going to call myself prism because the word has changed in an unpleasant way. I used the name because it seemed to put a positive light on the world. I will now be Rosetinted.

      • vto 8.2.1

        Claim the patent prism, it is exactly what they would do.

      • karol 8.2.2

        Ah, nothing is sacred to capitalists. Maybe you could sue them for breach of your copyright?

        • Rosetinted 8.2.2.1

          It won’t be long before someone works out how to patent the letters of the alphabet and then we will have to develop tonal grunts (again, though I don’t remember this happening you understand). Or we could try yodelling or the alpenhorn which have been used to call from mountain to mountain.

          I thought I heard that someone, was it actually The Obama, saying that the present patent system needs revising?!!?

          • karol 8.2.2.1.1

            Gordon Campbell has an article on Dotcom, copyright and patents, in the latest issue of Werewolf.

            It shows the need to patent and copyright systems need revising.

            Campbell points to the unequal treatment of patents and copyright: the treatment of online copyright infringement (Dotcom charges) is different from the treatment of patent infringers. Hollywood corporates are charged with patent infringement frequently – there’s been a couple of such cases against Warners – they get slapped with a wet fine notice and carry on with business as usual, while copyright infringers get a criminal conviction.

  9. Huginn 9

    Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is asking why we found out about this from a whistleblower and not the executives of the corporations.
    He tweeted a link to this:

    > how far up the chain of command did the decision-making process reach? Did the NSA contact the CEO of Verizon, the chairman of the
    > board of Google, etc. and say, “Do you mind if we take a peek?” or
    > did they target some VP of operations and say, “Do this for us, and
    > don’t tell your boss”?
    >
    > If the decision to comply with the request reached the executive
    > levels, why were there no mass resignations, a la Nixon’s Saturday
    > Night Massacre? Why did no one take a stand and say, “I will not
    > sign off on doing this”? If some number of executives all tendered
    > their resignations with no explanation, Wall Street would have taken
    > notice.

    We know what happened in the case of QWest before 9/11. They
    contacted the CEO/Chairman asking to wiretap all the customers. After
    he consulted with Legal, he refused. As a result, NSA canceled a
    bunch of unrelated billion dollar contracts that QWest was the top
    bidder for. And then the DoJ targeted him and prosecuted him and put
    him in prison for insider trading — on the theory that he knew of
    anticipated income from secret programs that QWest was planning for
    the government, while the public didn’t because it was classified and
    he couldn’t legally tell them, and then he bought or sold QWest stock
    knowing those things.

    This CEO’s name is Joseph P. Nacchio and TODAY he’s still serving a
    trumped-up 6-year federal prison sentence today for quietly refusing
    an NSA demand to massively wiretap his customers.

    https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-June/008815.html

  10. muzza 10

    Excellent article , Karol.

  11. karol 11

    Why NZ herald journalist, David Fisher is not keen on state surveillance capabilities:

    When the Operation 8 defendants were awaiting trial, one of those facing terrorism-related charges allowed me to sift through police evidence released under discovery. Among thousands of pages were dozens of text messages I had exchanged almost two years earlier with the accused person.

    A few years later, I asked a military source with extremely sensitive information: “What will they do to track down the source?” The source told me that my mobile phone records would show who I had spoken to and where I went.

    • muzza 11.1

      Having recently sat on a jury, what I learned up close, (not for the first time), is the level of incompetence of the so called, *trusted institutions*!

      *The Crown* prosecution, was built around failed *intelligence*, which had been *fashioned*, by officers who were *in training*, using witnesses that were not credible!

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    Follow the money.

    Ed Snowden said he could read any of your files, see all your accounts, bypass any passwords. No company will pass up an opportunity to mine their competitors’ files.

    NSA is about American companies dominating any and all foreign competitors. If they haven’t done it already, they will be doing it now.

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      Clarification:

      American companies will bribe NSA contractors to get them access to competitor’s data.

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  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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