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The elite’s excuse for opposing a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, February 15th, 2013 - 66 comments
Categories: class war, jobs, wages - Tags:

Don’t you love hearing the rich say the working poor can’t have more pay? The faux concern that higher wages cost jobs from the same people who support huge executive pay packets and tax cuts? If you really believed higher wages meant fewer jobs, you would cut the CEO’s pay in half, not dick around over a few dollars an hour for real workers.

Of course, the truth is more money in working people’s hands means more demand for the basics, meaning more jobs. It’s well-established empirical fact. Anyone who argues otherwise is just using a false justification that masks their real – much less altruistic reasons – for wanting the poor to stay poor.

Well, let’s test them. How about this – the 44 top paid CEOs in the country get over $62 million between them. Halve that and you’ve got enough for over 800 living wage jobs. What do you reckon, righties? If you really honestly believe higher wages leads to unemployment, you’ll join with me in calling on those CEOs to take 50% less of the ungodly amounts they’re paid and put 800 Kiwis into work with the savings.

No? Don’t support that? Just want to sanctimoniously tell the working poor they mustn’t have more pay and give bullshit excuses about job losses when what you’re really worried about is making sure the labour cost in your retail goods and restaurant bills doesn’t go up, and, of course, in maintaining the gap between you as the wealthy elite and the poor?

Because, really, what’s the point in being rich if there’s no poor to look down your nose at?

66 comments on “The elite’s excuse for opposing a living wage”

  1. Stan 1

    You will never ever get rid on inequality, it is a fact of life. Orwell was quite right when he said all men are equal but some more equal than others.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Sure you can get rid of inequality, an 89% tax rate on all incomes over $500K pa will do it.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Your benefactors wouldn’t like that.

      • indiana 1.1.2

        How can you demand equality when your proposal to achieve equality is based on in-equally treating all income earners? Shouldn’t the path to equality mean that everyone gets treated equally…i.e everyone pays 89% tax irrespective how much you earn?

    • One Tāne Huna 1.2

      Stan, are you familiar with the concepts “greater” and “lesser”? Next, imagine that there can be “greater” and “lesser” degrees of inequality.

      Next, imagine that not only can inequality manifest in these so-called “greater” and “lesser” amounts, but that its level can actually be quantified.

      Then you might avoid coming across as a complete idiot.

    • Lightly 1.3

      Orwell wasn’t saying that inequality is an immutable law of nature. In fact, he was satirsing those who do.

      “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” is a line used by the corrupt new rulers (the pigs) in Animal Farm to justify their privilege

      You illiterate dork

      • Lightly 1.3.1

        the more I think about it, the more stunned I am that you think that Orwell was saying inequality is normal and unavoidable.

        You’re probably one of those idiots who reads (or, more likely, doesn’t read) 1984 and thinks that Orwell was an anti-communist rightwinger.

        In fact, he was a life-long socialist, but he was also an anti-totalitarian and elitist government, whether it came in the form of fascism, communism, or capitalism

    • Tom Gould 1.4

      Indeed, and if all the hard left can come up with is ‘eat the rich’ nonsense like this, they will always struggle to get it up. What a sick joke to suggest that the pay of 44 people out of 4.5 million is the reason some people are poor. Ridiculous. No wonder these class warriors are so bitter and filled with rage and despair. It’s always someone else’s fault. Their glass is always half empty, unless its a chardy while plotting the revolution.

      • One Tāne Huna 1.4.1

        When are you going to stop molesting Mr. Strawman?

      • mickysavage 1.4.2

        Tom and Stan are busily avoiding the point by suggesting that inequality is inevitable. It may be but this does not mean that we have to accept there being more and more of it.

        • Colonial Viper 1.4.2.1

          Well that’s right…they’re being pedantic…If you get paid $25/hr MS and I get paid $20/hr they get to call that “inequality”.

          And they would be right.

          But its not a circumstance where you make more in one week than I make in one year. Which happens far too often today.

      • Lefty 1.4.3

        Indeed, and if all the hard left can come up with is ‘eat the rich’ nonsense like this

        Whats wrong with eating the rich?

  2. Ennui in Requiem 2

    Zet, lets just look at it slightly differently: these individuals work for organisations that effectively tax us. Like telcos, banks, power companies and yes, government departments. They are NOT capitalists, they are the top functionaries. They take no risk with their own money, they don’t generally own their organisation. And they garner the cash because their organisations can “clip the ticket” on pretty much everything.

    They are generally rent seekers, they generally provide no new value to any transaction, in short they are parasites. Smaller business can do without them. And the “consumer base” (aka citizenry) would be well rid of them.

    Your suggestion of halving their income to create jobs is obviously not going to happen, BUT that is no reason why their salaries (and the whole cadre of “managers” within these “tax empires”) should be paid more than the rest if us. A direct result of paying them the same as our meagre rations is that the size of our bills from their organisations should go down.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 2.1

      EnnuiinR Hear hear! How could we decouple the salaries? We would have to get rid of the Higher Salaries Commission or whatever. Would that require legislation or something less – say an order in council or whatever. And requiring a good return from SOEs as government does, should include a salary cap from the top echelon. Those who think they are worth more on the overseas market can bu..r off there and we will train up some of the rising talent.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Too complicated, an 89% income tax on personal earnings over $500K pa will do just fine.

        No idgit is worth more than $2000 pay per day anyways.

      • Ennui in Requiem 2.1.2

        No, its more fundamental: we give teeth to legislation and regulation of monopoly / duopoly / cartel behavoir etc, take the money out of it. We also re nationalise all power, telco, etc and further put in place a public service pay scale with a maximum pegged as a multiple of the bottom wage.

  3. Stan 3

    If you seriously think that will ever happen I respectfully suggest you are in laa laa land.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      If you seriously think that will ever happen (Senior Executives giving up a fraction of their own pay to create new jobs) I respectfully suggest you are in laa laa land.

      You might be right.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        Nope, Stan’s comments reveal Stan’s ignorance and that’s about it.

        “Research indicates that firms will respond in a number of ways to minimum wage increases. The most common response is to reduce wage relativities across staff.”

        NZ Treasury Regulatory Impact Statement. 2009.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          NB executive management in these corporates are not considered staff.

          • Rob 3.1.1.1.1

            What about stay at home relatives that contribute nothing to society, and spend all day commenting on blogs, what should they contribute?

  4. TightyRighty 4

    I’d rather take that 50% and have 100% more CEO’s. that would mean thousands of extra jobs for the unemployed.

  5. TheContrarian 5

    Without commenting on the $18.40 figure one thing I can say is that $13.50 is ridiculously low.

    • NickS 5.1

      Yeap, when looking for work on student job search I’ll usually pass over any jobs with that rate unless it’s offering really good work conditions or I’m super broke as usually another, better paying job will pop up.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Problems with the “living wage”.

    1. It will be highly inflationary. Not only will companies have to pass on the cost of the “living wage”, but other more-skilled staff members currently being paid at that level will demand an increase in their wage to maintain the differential. These costs will be passed on to consumers, many who will be on the “living wage”. So, the “living wage” will unlikely keep up with cost of living increases, so probably won’t be an actual living wage no matter what level it is set at.

    2. Exporters won’t be able to pass on the costs as they can only get the market rate in the given export country. So, it will be bad for exporters.

    • Lightly 6.1

      it wouldn’t be inflationary – it would be a redistribution of income. And if its adoption creates a one-off increase in inflation it’s spread across all consumers, whereas the benefits of the living wage are concentrated on those who need it. In other words, it does its jobs.

      Exporters’ labour costs are a small portion of their costs. Most low paid workers don’t work in the tradable sector. Even in a worst case scenario, the increase in costs to exporters would be a couple of percent – miniscule compared to the costs of the rising exchange rate.

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        I fail to see how you can claim it is a redistribution of wages unless you are saying that the tax-payer will top up the wages (which is effectively what happens now under WFF). And the fact that workers will seek to maintain pay differentials means that increases won’t be limited to those on the “living wage”. Also the velocity of money through various stages of the production cycle means that the effect won’t be one-off. So, it will be inflationary.

        Also, if the wage costs are set at a higher level than what employers think is the actual value, then employers will look to find ways to reduce the number of employees at that level, through automation, system improvements, etc.

        Finally, there will be less incentive for employers to take on new employees, so unemployment will rise.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          What are you so afraid of?

          When and if inflation begins to bite down the track, we’ll just take money out of the economy.

          Also, if the wage costs are set at a higher level than what employers think is the actual value, then employers will look to find ways to reduce the number of employees at that level, through automation, system improvements, etc.

          This is beneficial. NZ enterprises investing in higher technology for their factories and businesses.

          This will let employees move to higher skilled jobs.

          Finally, there will be less incentive for employers to take on new employees, so unemployment will rise.

          Now you’re being ridiculous. Aggregate spending and demand in the economy is going to climb, employers will need a lot more staff to keep up, or risk losing business to competitors.

          You really ain’t very good at this mate.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            “When and if inflation begins to bite down the track, we’ll just take money out of the economy.”

            Taking money out of the economy will increase unemployment. Probably at the expense of those on a “living wage”.

            “This is beneficial. NZ enterprises investing in higher technology for their factories and businesses.

            This will let employees move to higher skilled jobs.”

            Why would they bother training for higher skilled jobs if they can’t get higher than the “living wage” which will be an effective ceiling for many.

            “Now you’re being ridiculous. Aggregate spending and demand in the economy is going to climb, employers will need a lot more staff to keep up, or risk losing business to competitors.”

            Remember, aggregate spending and demand increase is highly inflationary, reducing the spending power of the “living wage”. So, you are in affect agreeing with me. By your own argument, the resulting inflation will prompt the RB to withdraw funds from the economy, hurting those on the “living wage” when they lose their jobs as a result.

            Your turn.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah you’re full of shit.

              IF and WHEN inflationary pressures become excessive, the Govt has many choices to pull inflation and money out of the economy.

              Currently however the NZ economy has a huge amount of productive under-utilisation and that will keep inflation low for a long time.

              • Rogue Trooper

                as i commented the ova’ day, i don’t believe that this living wage is gonna fly; Corporate response-
                “if min wage goes up, we’ll have to source cheaper options” (I’m thinking, that recycle robot left cleaning up the planet…)

                • Colonial Viper

                  Economic blackmail.

                  Usual capitalist/bankster tactic.

                  BTW the State can always return the favour.

              • tsmithfield

                “IF and WHEN inflationary pressures become excessive, the Govt has many choices to pull inflation and money out of the economy.”

                And one of those ways is to tolerate an increase in the rate of unemployment. For other methods the government has at its disposal, the effect is to increase unemployment. So it seems to me that you are unwittingly advocating an increase in unemployment.

                “Currently however the NZ economy has a huge amount of productive under-utilisation and that will keep inflation low for a long time.”

                “Productive under-utilisation” is effectively the current unemployment rate. As shown above, a “living wage” will increase not reduce “productive under-utilisation”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  More bullshit baffles brains from TS.

                  Read up on your NZ history. NZ had decades after 1940 with near zero unemployment, manageable inflation and workers able to buy a house and support a young family on just one income.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      it won’t be inflationary – not while there is plenty of spare productive and competitive capacity in our economy. Consumers will continue to shop for good deals and will reward suppliers who can deliver on them.

      Trust the market tsmithfield.

      2. Exporters won’t be able to pass on the costs as they can only get the market rate in the given export country. So, it will be bad for exporters.

      What a weird thing to say. With a lower NZ dollar, exporters will get more NZD per unit sold overseas. More NZD garnered means more profits.

      • tsmithfield 6.2.1

        Except, if the “living wage” is inflationary, then the dollar will go up, as the RB will need to lift interest rates. So, exporters will be worse off, not better.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Its easy to depress the NZD ts.

          • tsmithfield 6.2.1.1.1

            Yeah. Just vote a left government in. The NZD will quickly “adjust” to that change of circumstances.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              LOL that’s exactly what John Key reckoned the Goldman Sachs bankster said about a Labour win

              • McFlock

                but but but Labour will increase the minimum wage, which apparently will increase inflation and cause OCR adjustments that’ll raise our exchange rate! So under labour our dollar will simultaneously increase and decrease in value?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah that’s about where we get to with these privilege protecting Righties. But hey, free market neolib economics has worked so well for NZ and for Europe and the USA, what can possibly go wrong with more of the same medicine.

                • tsmithfield

                  Nothing contradictory there at all.

                  The first instance describes the effect all things being equal.

                  The second instance describes the effect if a left leaning government ever actually gets a chance to impliment a whole suite of loony policies (e.g. money printing etc).

                  • McFlock

                    lol

                    So basically, if a left wing government entered power and implemented measures like minimum wage, printing money, increasing benefits to a dignified level, and greater access to healthcare and education, then:
                    the dollar would decrease,
                    exports increase,
                    more people would be paid more (and fewer paid gazillions) so inequality would decrease,
                    more people would be employed actually making shit for the export market,
                    and more taxpayer money would be spent on healthcare and education.

                    Sounds like hell. I can see why tories want to avoid it…

                    • tsmithfield

                      There is a difference in the effect of a decrease in the value of the dollar that makes exporters more competitive compared to the dollar crashing in an uncontrolled way, with all sorts of negative consequences.

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed. Things might get as bad as 7% official unemployment.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    The second instance describes the effect if a left leaning government ever actually gets a chance to impliment a whole suite of loony policies (e.g. money printing etc).

                    Imma gonna let you finish but have to step in right here and ask if you voted for Don Brash? When John “let’s be more like Ireland” Key was in the finance role.

                    How very dare you Ts.

                    Fuckin shameless is what it is.

          • King Kong 6.2.1.1.2

            Yes, by making it read some of the economic buffoonery on here. Very depressing.

            • McFlock 6.2.1.1.2.1

              You do realise that the pictures on notes and coins are merely artistic representation of real people, not real people in themselves, right?

              While we’re at it, your TV is not full of very tiny (but incredibly horny and violent) gnomes.

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    Back in the olden days when Playboy was often illegal, a judge said, “I cannot define pornography, but I know it when I see it.”

    I cannot define immoral inequality, but I know it when I see it. I see it now.

    Why was there a revolution in France? Because by 1789 one third of the people of Paris were homeless.

    “But that can’t happen now. Yeah right.”

    A lot of tonight’s comments have been a pissing contest between those who thought Playboy was pornographic and those who didn’t. Keep pissing but no one is likely to change their mind based on the arguments above. My hope is that when the revolution overthrows neo-liberalism we won’t have a reign of terror.

  8. jim 8

    Surly it is immoral for a worker to earn a minimum wage, that does not support a worker or their family enjoying what others take for granted as normal, family days out, sport participation, going to the movies and the like,let alone earning enough to service the Kiwi dream a mortgage.

    My lad and two of his friends, applied for work in the South Island through W.I.N.Z. they were given assistance by W.I.N.Z for travel costs and assured that they would be going to a job that would employ them 40 hours minimum, when asking about the pay rate W.I.N.Z.assured them it would at least be set at the minimum wage.When they arrived at this Vineyard the contractor who was employing them said that he had accommodation for them at his farm, at the cost of $135 per week, that entailed a bed and a lift to and from the place of work,supply your own tucker.When asking him what the hourly rate was “we work productivity the more you do the more you get”,the job entailed what is known as vine rubbing at the magnanimous pay rate of 4 cents per plant.The boys said it was back breaking hard yaka and after paying the rent they and others had little left for tucker.

    This is the sort of exploitative employment that has been running rampant for the better part of ten or more years in N.Z.not only by wine exporters and their contracting agents, but also by many producers of food products who are making healthy profits yet plead poverty when asked to pay a affordable living wage.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.1

      Yep

      • jim 8.1.1

        They got back and held their breath that the minimum stand down period for applying for a benefit would not be extended, due to them not getting the sack,three months minimum stand down for not getting sacked.W.I.N.Z. eh!.

    • @Jim
      Your comment is are really good illustrative example of what I hear a lot of too.
      There is perhaps two types of employers in NZ (minus the corporations).
      ~Type one: who really are achieving a small profit and wouldn’t be able to afford a minimum pay increase.
      ~Type two: the type you describe.

      I was just having a discussion with someone the other day, how there appears to be a culture of begrudging employees wages; that the expense of wages are simply not considered a necessary cost of the business. (I.e. less vitriol about the cost of food, plants, fertilizer- the physical, non-human components to the business). There is no real acceptance of either the real value that the worker provides (no workers, no business; the workers are the business), nor that the worker requires to be able to feed, clothe and house themselves with hopefully a little over those costs to save for a rainy day.

      Sadly, I have seen these attitudes openly displayed by those who are paying the absolute minimum wage to boot. Very ungenerous attitudes all round.

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    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Bold response required to Blueprint
    The Government must give urgent consideration to recommendations in The People’s Blueprint if it is serious about tackling New Zealand’s deplorable record of child abuse and domestic violence, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The ‘one family, one judge’...
    Labour
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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 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
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    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 in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    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 in reference 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
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
    Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water....
    Scoop politics
  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
    Below are the details of the solidarity events in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark West Papua Independence Day, 1 December - there are four events this year: one in Christchurch, one in Wellington and two in Auckland. If you are...
    Scoop politics
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
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  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
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  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
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  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
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  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
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  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
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  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
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  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
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  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
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  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
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  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
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  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
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  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
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  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
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  • US Warning against GMO threat
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  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
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  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
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  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
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  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
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  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
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  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
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  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
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  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
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  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
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