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The Cyprus solution

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, March 26th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, Europe - Tags: , , , ,

One of the consequences of the big banks being allowed to socialise their losses (have taxpayers pay for their bailouts) is the sovereign debt crisis that is messily unfolding in Europe. The latest hotspot is Cyprus.

One of the EU proposals for dealing the debt in Cyprus was to “levy” (simply take) a percentage of all bank deposits in the country. That led to mass protests, panic, a run on banks, and a government backdown. (It also sent a shock wave through other countries, and at home in NZ speculation that National was preparing for a similar process, followed by a lot of learned reassurance that such a thing could never happen here.)

Now we have the next stage of the unfolding situation in Cyprus:

Cyprus strikes last-minute EU bailout deal

Agreement set to involve heavy losses for wealthy investors, while those with savings under €100,000 will be spared

European leaders reached an agreement with Cyprus early on Monday morning that closes down the island’s second-biggest bank and inflicts huge losses on wealthy savers. …

A meeting of eurozone finance ministers that started six hours late reached an agreement in the early hours of Monday morning to finalise the fine print of the deal. Savers with deposits of less than €100,000 (£85,000) would be spared but it was thought there would be heavy losses inflicted on the deposits of the wealthy.

Laiki, or Cyprus Popular Bank, is to be closed, with its good assets transferred to Bank of Cyprus, the country’s biggest bank, where savers would suffer big losses in return for equity shares. Those with more than €100,000 in Laiki would also be hit hard.

There is some justification for this move as a form of (albeit fairly extreme!) progressive taxation (and also in the suggestion that many of those big accounts are held by foreigners as a tax dodge). None the less a solution that hits the wealthy instead of the poor, for a change, is certainly notable. I can’t help but think that it is going to send a shiver up the spines of the ultra-wealthy international money set. How will they respond? What next for Cyprus and the EU? Interesting times.

48 comments on “The Cyprus solution”

  1. A,

    I really wish you would stop using the word taxation for what really is theft. Added to that it isn’t the really wealthy who get screwed unless you consider everyone with savings over €100,000 wealthy.

    The brutal theft of peoples savings over which they have it may be assumed to have paid their taxes to pay for the derivatives gambles of their bank is outrageous and while I am happy to hear that the church is losing some €100 million indicating that they must have some €350 million in their bank accounts (so much for them helping the poor) the reality is that the money will go to the really rich i.e. the private interests that rule the global banking system at the cost of the middle class and the sort of better off than most.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      A bank is a business, if it fails you lose your money. No difference from a finance company

      • MrSmith 1.1.1

        The difference is the Government bails you out if your a bank Ghost, and even sometimes if your a finance company especially when enough of your farmer mate stand to lose their shirts.

  2. infused 2

    It can happen anywhere. Regardless of the insurance. Who funds the insurance?

    • grumpy 2.1

      The old BNZ had their losses insured by a company registered in the Cook Islands……

  3. prism 3

    Added to that it isn’t the really wealthy who get screwed unless you consider everyone with savings over €100,000 wealthy”

    I think all ordinary people would consider that having this sum of savings indicated being wealthy – it is $200,000 odd in spare money.

    The sacked bank teller in Cyprus who was interviewed on radio this morning was beside herself – how will she live, get more paid work, there is no social security.

    • Tiresias 3.1

      No, EU100,000 = NZ$154,000

      You are defining ‘ordinary people’ purely in cash terms? If you have $155,000 in the bank you can’t be an ‘ordinary person’?

      So you can’t be an ordinary person if you own a $250,000 home mortgage free? Suppose you’re a single child and your parents have just died leaving you with $500,000 house they worked all their lives to leave to you, which you sell to pay off your own mortgage and put the rest in the bank for your kid’s university fees, or your retirement, or a new car and that big holiday you’ve always dreamed of next year.

      Have you considered that whatever your income, there are a great many people in Africa, Asia and South America would have a hard time not regarding YOU as wealthy?

      • prism 3.1.1

        tiresias you have hit it on the nail. anyone who has the sort of financial situation you refer to is in an extraordinary position – they are in a different strata than their ordinary friends and family. the opportunities that mortgage free or thousands that are spare cash in the bank allows change one’s outlook on life. and don’t waste my time with your relativism. we are talking about the experience of the economy in a developed country.

  4. Tiresias 4

    Do you honestly think this is a solution that ‘hits the wealthy’?

    Do you honestly think ‘the wealthy’ have their wealth sitting in bank deposit accounts?

    No. ‘The wealthy’ own property, own shares and businesses, own precious metals and art-works none of which are being sequestered in this grab – which is almost entirely designed to prevent debt-default losses falling on the wealthy who own banks or who have shares and bonds in German, French, Dutch, Italian and Greek Banks who stood to lose if the Cypriot banks went under.

    This hits depositors at a single moment in time. Your business just received a payment for work done under a contract? You have your firm’s payroll handled by Laiki and transfer funds in to meet it? You just sold your business and were looking invest in another? Your surviving parent just died and their estate was being wound up for distribution? You were a small, conscientious saver looking to your retirement who didn’t trust the share-market but wanted to help Cyprus by saving? Tough. You lose.

    Because of its historical links with Britain Cyprus is unique in the EU by using English commercial law – which is globally respected and understood – and has respected courts. For this reason many Russian companies doing international business and many international companies doing business with Russians were registered in Cyprus to take advantage of this with their commerce passing through Cyriot banks – eg BP-Russia. No-doubt some of this was dodgy, but no more than passes through the City of London or New York on any one day. It is these perfectly legitimate companies doing perfectly legitimate business that are being stung by this, and the damage to Cyprus, the damage to the necessary fidelity of transaction that underlies international trade and the damage done to the whole EU ideal have yet to be realised.

    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      Very Wise appraisal T.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      No. ‘The wealthy’ own property, own shares and businesses, own precious metals and art-works none of which are being sequestered in this grab – which is almost entirely designed to prevent debt-default losses falling on the wealthy who own banks or who have shares and bonds in German, French, Dutch, Italian and Greek Banks who stood to lose if the Cypriot banks went under.

      That’s one of the few things that I agree with you on.

  5. vto 5

    Bank meltdowns.

    Coming to a town near you. (You’re a good keen man if you take the bright sunny outlook and bet on it not happening in a town near you).

    The system is systemically stuffed. This is the continued playing out of the end-game.

    • Tiresias 5.1

      One bank’s loss is another bank’s gain – there’s only so much you can stuff in a mattress and the rest has to go somewhere.

      What is interesting now in the Cyprus fiasco is the losses are falling on two banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki. Laiki was in a very bad way and probably deserved to fail while Bank of Cyprus was probably salvageable except that it’s now to be saddled with a lot of Laiki’s problem accounts which will probably kill it. However Cyprus has a lot of smaller banks that didn’t have exposure to Greece and so were still solvent.

      The original scheme required the holders of accounts even in the solvent smaller banks to bail-in to help save Laiki and BoC. Now if you had the good fortune to be with one of the smaller banks you’re OK, but if you had the misfortune to bank with Laiki you lose much more – up to 40% rather than the original 10%.

      So the lesson is, if you’re going to put money in a bank take a good look at its balance sheet first and, of course, don’t forget to take into account everything that’s going to happen in the financial world for the next couple of years or so.

      Oh, and both BoC and Laiki passed the banking ‘stress tests’ run on all European banks by the ECB only 18-months ago, so it’s clear you can safely rely on official pronouncements.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      +1

      The system is structurally unsound and we’re just starting to see the cracks appear.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    So what are the alternatives?

    Way I see it there are only so many broad options available.

    -either some sort of jubilee in which the debt is simply ruled to no longer exist

    -the debt gets paid out of created money

    -debt gets paid by someone else (ie the govt) borrowing to pay it

    -the debt gets paid by looking about and seeing who has a big stack of cash and saying, sorry mate, you’re paying everyone else is broke.

    Every one of the methods hurts someone. There are bad ways and worse ways of doing all of them too, but which way you choose is going to come down to a political choice that will be called ‘theft’ by the people who end up paying.

    • vto 6.1

      Lending money comes with risk that it wont be repaid.

      The risk has materialised. It wont be repaid.

      These were the rules.

      Now, onwards to ensure the drug dealer money-lenders dont get to do it again. No more interest. What gets me about all this shit is that the money-lenders are EXACTLY like drug dealers – load everyone up and when they finally overreach then waltz in and take the commodore. The parallels are exact.

      • Tiresias 6.1.1

        “Lending money comes with risk that it wont be repaid.”

        That’s true in the playground. In the world of grown-ups things are a little more sophisticated.

        1. The rule was that you could lend up to EU100,000 to a bank with a guarantee that it would be repaid. The attempt to say that wasn’t really a rule was the most inane part of this episode.

        2. There were also rules that said what banks could and couldn’t do with your lent money which were designed to encourage you into lending by reducing the risk, and the interest you were paid was mean to ‘compensate’ for what little risk remained. There’s no suggestion that Laiki lent money outside those rules and it’s arguable that ‘agreeing’ to the haircut on Greek lending forced on it by the EU was the only breach. Laiki may have unwise (in retrospect was unwise) in having such a large exposure to Greece, but that’s not strange given the relationship between Cyrus and Greece.

        3. Taking that haircut weakened Laiki and the financially literate, mistrusting Cypriot (and, very likely the astute and canny Russian drug-dealers) saw the writing on the wall so began pulling their money out, weakening Laiki still further. So the axe has fallen on the financially illiterate Cypriot mums-and-dads, businesses and institutions, or on those who believed the Government’s promise that deposit accounts would not be sequestered.

        4. Banks have spent generations and millions of dollars building up a reputation that lending money to banks by way of deposit is fundamentally different to lending it directly to businesses, home-buyers, used-car salesmen, and fundamentally safer. Their whole business depends on that reputation, and modern commerce depends on it too. The EU’s bull-in-a-china-shop approach to the Cyrus problem has blown a hole as big as a barn door in that reputation.

        • vto 6.1.1.1

          Sure T the details may be in the way you describe, however I see no case put forward that that has removed the risk that the money wont be repaid. There is always that risk – unless one is playing in the playground and you are the big kid (which is in fact exactl;y what is going on here – squaring up for a ding dong)

          • Tiresias 6.1.1.1.1

            vto – you’re right. There’s always a risk of losing the money . But you’re also wrong and missing the point.

            Because of the ultimate ‘rule’ – you risk losing ‘ your’ money – there are supposed to be rules that allow you to assess that risk, decide how much you want to risk and what reward you want for making that risk. In the regard of Cyprus’ bank those rules related to ‘guaranteed’ deposits, what banks can and can’t do with your money and the order of priority in which monies will be applied in order to meet debts.

            And in regard to Cyprus the hamfisted EU actions tore up those rules, as so made the risks of lending money to any EU institution unquantifiable. And the EU will suffer a loss of investment as a result.

            ie: Before Cyprus you ‘knew’ you could lend up to EU100,000 by way of deposit to any bank in the EU without risking losing it, because it was supposed to be guaranteed. Now you know that’s not true – the EU was perfectly prepared to stand-by while Cyprus sequestered money as a ‘tax’ from accounts <EU100,000.

            Before Cyprus you were supposed to be able to rely on banks not putting your money at risk by 'forgiving' massive loans to other people. Laiki was arm-twisted by the European Central Bank to write down its loans – loans made with your money – to Greece in order to save the Greek banks from having to make interest payments they weren't able to meet. But when as a result Laiki was faced with having to make interest payments it wasn't able to meet, including interest to you on your loan, the ECB didn't offer to come to the party to help out your bank. They just pulled the rug out from under it.

            So you're right – lending in Europe is right back to the playground where the big, strong boys like Germany can bully the little guys into coughing up without compensation, but that certainly isn't the way it's supposed to be done, nor the way it needs to be done if you want a thriving financial industry underpinning your growth and development.

    • Tiresias 6.2

      There was certainly no immediate need for Cyprus to be crucified. I have little doubt there was an element of ‘pour encourager les autres’ in it, and that the suffering Cyprus will now experience is being imposed to gratify the German domestic voter, both of which make a complete and utter mockery of any idea of ‘European solidarity’ supposedly underlying the whole EU project.

      Any of Pascal’s Bookie’s options, tho’, are ruled out by the fact of the Euro. A European-wide debt jubilee would involve so much money and so many intermeshed obligations it would crash the global financial system overnight, but there’s no way in a ‘single currency’ that debts can be wiped for a single player within it without raising howls of ‘unfair’ from the others.

      The depositors getting hurt in Cyprus – and Cyprus itself in the economic consequences to come – are actually suffering because of the haircut its banks agreed to in order to preserve the Greek banks last year, so in a real sense this isn’t even ‘theft’ from Cypriots to save Cyprus, but to save Greece.

      And it wasn’t even a political choice as, having once been thwarted by Cyprus’ Parliament presumably speaking for the Cypriot people, this deal was stitched up by the bureaucrats in Brussels in such as way as to by-pass Parliament.

      IMHO Cyprus’ best bet now would be to use the breathing space gained to secretly print a bucket-load of Cypriot pounds and leave the EU overnight, renaging on the debt it has just been blackmailed into taking on.

  7. erentz 7

    Oh please stop this crap that people who save are rich. I am beginning to feel like I’ve made a huge mistake saving all my life. Instead you seem to think I should have got into huge debt buying houses I couldn’t afford. How about instead of indiscriminantly taking the savings of people we take 25% of everyone’s house?

    • vto 7.2

      +1000

      That would highlight the reality of what is being taken at the barrel of a gun

    • TheContrarian 7.3

      Totally agree Erentz. My wife and I have spent the last 8 years living on one salary and saving the rest and avoiding debt at all cost. To me that seems like a smart move and I wouldn’t consider myself ‘rich’ . Just debt free.

    • Edmund Horner 7.4

      I agree. The proposed savings threshold of 100k is at best a proxy for wealth, and arguably a poor one. Having 100k in savings is not necessarily “wealthy” by any means. It could be what a person has managed to scrape together over their *entire working life* and is not remotely comparable to, say, earning 100k per year (which I would agree is relatively wealthy, but hardly 1% level).

      I don’t know the details; will the one-time tax affect only the remaining balance above a tax-free threshold of 100k? I’m not sure it qualifies as progressive taxation if not.

      Systematically taxing bank accounts is administratively easy. But it doesn’t target those who can really afford to pay, nor those who caused the crisis in the first place.

      • rosy 7.4.1

        I don’t really get why are they going after customers instead of shareholders. Surely it’s shareholders and management who made the decisions that took the bank down, not the customers who accept lower interest than they could get elsewhere because banks were lower risk, apparently?

        Why also, is the not targeting offshore investors who are avoiding tax in their own countries?

        Do executives still keep their jobs?

        • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1

          - The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank. The depositors do.

          – You target the depositors because the depositors have billions in funds that you can take immediately.

          – Most of the big deposits under threat are Russian. So they ARE targetting foreign investors. (But I read on ZeroHedge that the Russians have already got their money out of the UK and Russian branches of the Cyprian banks, which did not have controls applied to them).

          • rosy 7.4.1.1.1

            The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank
            They can if you seize the banks – a la Iceland

            So they ARE targetting foreign investors
            At 100 grand, they’re targeting locals more, I reckon – small business, professionals and people who have put away a bit for a rainy day.

            Really, it needs to be a million to target the overseas investors and leaving the people who make the Cyprus economy tick over largely alone.

            Imagine if they had’ve done this to Spanish/Greek banks… there would be a few German and other Northern European depositors that would be pretty upset, seems they don’t have much of a stake in Cypriot banks?

            • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1.1.1

              The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank
              They can if you seize the banks – a la Iceland

              I think you have your concepts slightly mixed up here. IIRC in Iceland, the government refused to bail out the banks from their massive bad debts, and nationalised them instead.

              Yes, the shareholders were all destroyed as the banks were allowed to fail and those share values went to zero. But there was no real money available in those shares anyway (they are shares not dollar notes).

              The Icelandic govt then negotiated with depositors when, and what portion of their deposits they would get back.

              The real losers of the episode were the banks bondholders. Where the icelandic banks refused to make good on the options transactions etc that they had entered into.

              At 100 grand, they’re targeting locals more, I reckon – small business, professionals and people who have put away a bit for a rainy day.

              Yeah, there’s a fair bit of that.

              • rosy

                Ta, yeah, I’m not up on these banking things, hence the questions… still, it seems there are other options that would have protected the economy somewhat more than this one does (while understanding there are no ‘good’ options). I see this as protecting foreign institutions rather than the country, and it’s those institutions and tax dodgers, chasing unreasonable profit that should take the haircut. I guess there is nothing new there, but.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    It could be called progressive taxation (and it is right that they are not hitting small depositors the hardest), unfortunately the funds are not going to be used for the social good of the country.

    They will be used to deliver principal repayments and prop up yields to foreign creditors.

  9. r0b 9

    Please note that in the post I am not endorsing the action that has been taken here (though I wrote it in a hurry and it isn’t as clear as it should be). I said there was “some justification” for the move, not that I thought it was justified!

    Three factors for me:

    If it is indeed true (as stated in the article linked) that a sizable number of the accounts hit are held in Cyprus by foreigners (the international super-rich) avoiding taxes in their own country, then I have no problem with those folk being hit.

    This solution leaves the small savers alone which is absolutely a good thing.

    But this solution does hit a large number of Cypriot citizens who are good savers, and no 100K in the bank doesn’t make you rich in the context of saving for retirement. Those people got screwed and I’m very sorry for them. (Cypriot super-rich with more than 100K lying round in spare change I am highly ambivalent about).

    • And that is what they are counting on. You love to see the rich get a haircut so you will be silent about the fact that it is outright theft and if they can do it to them they can do it to everyone. By the way the whole exercise was not so much about the Cypriot banks as a move in the financial wars being wages in the run up to a global hot war. The Russian Oligarchs this was intended to hurt upsetting Russia where able to take their ill gotten gains out in the confusion running up to the bank “holiday” in Cyprus it appears.

    • grumpy 9.2

      Apparently the proposal is to hit only “unsecured” deposits. A different kettle of fish entirely.

    • Tiresias 9.3

      “If it is indeed true (as stated in the article linked) that a sizable number of the accounts hit are held in Cyprus by foreigners (the international super-rich) avoiding taxes in their own country,”

      It isn’t.

      “And the idea that Cyprus is a hotbed of Russian Mafia money also appears to be exaggerated. This looks to be a combination of a need to scapegoat the latest supplicant to the Trokia plus Anglo-German prejudice against Central and Southern Europe.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, Wachovia laundered over $800 million of Mexican drug money, and Standard Chartered admitted to “at least” $250 billion of Iran related money laundering. And HSBC, which paid the biggest fine ever in the US for drug-related money laundering for Central American groups, is now being charged by Argentina for similar activities. Let’s not kid ourselves. Citigroup has had a huge wealth management business, concentrated on Latin America, since the 1980s. What do you think that is about? To a significant degree, like Swiss private banks, Citigroup is the recipient of funds expropriated from national governments. For people like Martin Wolf of the Financial Times to get sanctimonious about what Cypriot banks are up to is more than a tad disingenuous, particularly when his own paper, the same day, describes how five Russian M&A transactions are having to be reworked due to the bank freeze in Cyprus. Yes, there is clearly dirty banking going on there. But it appears only 28% of the deposits are Russia related. A significant, if not overwhelming amount of that activity appears to be no worse than GE’s tax avoidance. And remember, depositors of every bank are being haircut to bail out the miscreant Laiki. That includes the roughly €3 billion of largely Russian deposits in the perfectly solvent Cyprus subsidiary of the Russian bank VTB. ”

      From: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/cyprus-will-the-mouse-that-roared-be-gored.html

  10. vto 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8471186/SCF-failure-costs-taxpayers-805m

    So each and every person in NZ has paid out $200 for the greedy investors in SCF.

    What a load of absolute fucking bullshit.

    What with the crap going on with EQC in Chch and people’s savings getting constantly raped and pillaged to support the moneyed elite, it is enough to make one ………………. fuck the system

  11. grumpy 11

    Many years ago, I was on the Board of a european company wishing to move to Cyprus for tax purposes. They had leased a whole floor to turn into offices and I visited twice.

    The whole island was run by Russian Mafia, the locals usually had bugger all money and the economy revolved around being a tax have and the Russians.

    Clearly, the locals will carry the cost of this bailout as the Russians will have very little in Cypriot banks.

    One group of Russians wanted to go fishing so they bought a boat for good money off a local fisherman. When they left they just abandoned it at the wharf and he got it back free.

    A strange place…….

  12. arcadia13 12

    Wow…I bet David Shearers rapt he hasn’t got a Bank Account in Cyprus…or has he? *chortles evilly*

  13. karol 13

    Mana supports the petition to stop banks taking your money.

    they explain their support with reference to the dodgy practices of banks and the way profits from Kiwis are siphoned off overseas to Aussie and the US.

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    Trust is the essential service banks sell their customers. Trust has been broken. The EU forced the Cypriot government to seize personal bank accounts.

    My personal advice to everyone:

    1. Take your money out of the bank in cash and hide it well.
    2. Move your money to Singapore, Norway, or Switzerland. (These are among the few countries that have huge cash surpluses and are therefore unlikely to seize it from depositors. They are not part of the EU.)

    Is this socially responsible? No. But enough other people will be doing it so it is only a matter of time before we have widespread runs on the banks.

    The banking system is stuffed. If you don’t get your money out now, be prepared to lose it.

    I write this with a heavy heart. There will be no joy in what is inevitably unfolding.

    • karol 14.1

      Not that easy to open accounts in countries you don’t live in, or at least have physically visited, as far as I’m aware. Certainly not in Aussie, NZ or the UK.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        It’s fine if you have at least US$1M to deposit and your own private wealth banker to help organise it. :evil:

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Ah, yes. That’s why I had difficulty opening a bank account in Aussie from the UK, when I was planning to move to Aus. I’m a little short of a $mil.

      • AmaKiwi 14.1.2

        I do not know about the need to visit. Wikipedia shows 7 locally owned Singapore banks. Contact them directly and ask. They may have local representatives.

        If you must make the trip, weigh the risks.

        It is easy to exit a movie theater until someone yells, “Fire.” Then you are trapped.

        I don’t have a million either, which is why I cannot afford to lose what I have.

        • AmaKiwi 14.1.2.1

          @ Colonial Viper

          Wikipedia shows the 7 locally owned banks are full service banks. That means you should be able to open a simple savings account with less than $1,000. The locals do it.

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  • Symposium on the way forward, 4: making our own revolutionary kaupapa and f...
    On Monday, November 24, The Freedom Shop, an anarchist centre in Wellington, held a meeting about the way forward for the activist left.  A number of speakers were invited to give ten-minute presentations; below is the presentation given by Don...
    Redline
  • When will the PM take responsibility?
    It often bemuses me as to why people would vote for a dishonest political party that has spent the last two terms in government undermining our once great democracy. Why on earth would voters support a scoundrel like John Key,...
    The Jackal
  • Gordon Campbell on the inquiry into one case of dirty politics
    Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released...
    Gordon Campbell
  • John Key: The buck doesn’t stop with me
    President Harry Truman famously had a piece of walnut wood on his desk in the oval office that read, "The buck stops here", and when the president referred to it in speeches it was to say that he had to...
    Pundit
  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world
    The “serials crisis” has been a feature of research life for over 20 years. According to figures from the US Association of Research Libraries, during 1986-2007 academic journal subscription charges increased by 340%, four times the rate of inflation.Publishers contribute...
    Public Address
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law. TEU, the union representing tertiary education staff, says the...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Being mindful of mental illness
    There’s a lot of mental illness stigma in New Zealand. From the friend or family member who tells you just to ‘get over it’, to the many little ways that living with a mental illness in an unsupportive environment slowly...
    On the Left
  • Auckland Transport November Board Meeting
    Every month I comb through the reports to the AT board looking at what the organisation is up to (that they’ll say in public). I’ve already covered the separate reports on additional bus priority and the New Network for the...
    Transport Blog
  • Henryk Grossman on the struggle for Marxism, 1883-1932
    Henryk Grossman, Fifty Years of Struggle over Marxism 1883-1932, translated by Rick Kuhn and Einde O’Callagan, with an introduction by Rick Kuhn; Ebook AU$6.34 from http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OE6KF7O and paperback AU$10 from redflag.subs@gmail.com reviewed by Tom O’Lincoln There is a story about Marx’s legacy that...
    Redline
  • Financial assistance for tertiary students
    I’ve gotten my final assignment back for the 300-level Policy Research & Evaluation paper I did last semester, and earned another A+ and another teacher telling me to do post-grad if I can afford it without starving. The only way...
    The little pakeha
  • A brief commentary from John Key, Prime Minister
    Hello. I’m not going to apologise. There’s nothing to apologise for. I have done nothing wrong. Yes I suppose a few people in my office may have possibly been in contact with people in Camoron Slater’s office, but I had...
    My Thinks
  • A surveillance power-grab
    Section 7 of the government's spy bill introduces a new power for police and SIS to access information held by Customs. Its not mentioned in the press release, and the bill's explanatory note is extremely vague. So what's it about?...
    No Right Turn
  • Another shoddy analysis
    What's the case for the government's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill? I've been reading the bills Regulatory Impact Statement, and the short version is that there isn't one. A RIS is a vital part of the quality control process for...
    No Right Turn
  • “We should be a working on the railroads…”
    Yesterday Peter asked if the Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations”?. In it he briefly mentioned engineer Joseph Wright who questioned how much the motorways would cost. In response I put this image in the comments however it probably justifies it’s...
    Transport Blog
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    frogblog
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    frogblog
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    frogblog
  • Counterproductive
    Since June, the US has been bombing Iraq. Since September, they've been bombing Syria. In both cases, the aim is ostensibly to stop ISIS. So how's it working out?About as badly as you'd expect:US air strikes in Syria are encouraging...
    No Right Turn
  • No justice in America
    On August 9, police officer Darren Wilson shot and murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.. The shooting of unarmed black men by American police is so routine that they don't even bother to keep statistics on it. And of course,...
    No Right Turn
  • The Andrew Little experiment has failed
    It’s time to admit that the Andrew Little leadership experiment has been a failure. A terrible failure....
    Imperator Fish
  • Abuse of power: The OIA / public records dimension
    One of the things to emerge from the "dirty politics" report is that the SIS pissed all over the OIA:The NZSIS also made a significant error in considering information requests by the news media. Such requests were, from 25 July...
    No Right Turn
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    frogblog
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
    The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations...
    Hot Topic
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • Cover up in the PM’s office
    Here's an extract from a very good post by Russell Brown this morning: But there’s more. The inspector, Cheryl Gwyn, has this to say: Witnesses appearing before this inquiry also produced documents. Documents were provided voluntarily by Mr Hager and...
    Polity
  • An abuse of power
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released her report into the release of information to Cameron Slater by the SIS. Its a lot to digest, but it looks like the core allegation of Dirty Politics - that the Prime...
    No Right Turn
  • Media Link: The Slater/SIS/PM’s Office OIA debacle.
    Sometimes one has to speak bluntly but honestly about unethical behaviour within the NZ intelligence community. The revelations about the way an OIA request from a notorious right wing blogger was  handled by the then Director of Security and Intelligence...
    Kiwipolitico
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter referring to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    ...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon Richard Prebble CBE,
    Out of the Red $29.95 The untold story of NZ's biggest business turn around....
    Scoop politics
  • Submissions called for two herbicide applications
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on the reassessment of the herbicide Firebird and an application for release of the herbicide Sakura....
    Scoop politics
  • Collins Inquiry – Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
    "I am pleased that the inquiry was undertaken and with the outcome announced today, especially given the unprecedented level of speculation, criticism and comment around investigations into the collapse of finance companies - much of which bore little...
    Scoop politics
  • #GivingTuesday focuses on charitable giving in Xmas lead-up
    More than 100 New Zealand charities are taking part in the inaugural #GivingTuesday being held on Tuesday 2 December....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
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