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The end of Back Benches

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, June 28th, 2012 - 30 comments
Categories: tv - Tags:

Back Benches was a brilliant show. A lovely amateur air that never became awkward thanks to the unflappable humour of Wallace Chapman and Damian Christie. I never got along in person but it was a great watch. And it was clear that it was the audience that made it. They brought a vibrancy and a direct interaction for the politicians that no other show has.

It’s a sad world where the self-indulgent wankery of Media 7 gets to live on where a show that actually provided a public service as well as being good entertainment gets canned.

The last show was classic Back Benches. A massive crowd packed in to the new pub with the Backbencher closed by fire. Peter Dunne was greeted with a minute of massive boo-ing – the man must have stab-proof hair to face that kind of overwhelming criticism and not realise that some serious self-reflection is in order. Wallace naturally tried to control the boo-ing, but what can you do? The audience spoke. The other four MPs all got applause, including the Nat – only Dunne has acted in such a way as to prompt a polite, middle-class Kiwi audience to boo.

The debate was good and feisty. Turei, Harawira, and Ardern had some great lines, although Harawira needs to get that gay marriage policy sorted – the Overton window has moved.

There was a great moment when Wallace called Ardern the Labour leader – having the previous week attributed David Shearer’s New Zealander of the Year award to David Parker!

Dunne tried to bore you to death, while Burrows was his usual nutty self – he denied that there are 200,000 children in poverty! Then he told us how lucky we are to have National because government debt is low by international standards before turning around and saying that asset sales are needed to control government debt. Burrows is great because he tries to run the government lines but does it so badly that he reveals to everyone that they are lines. He did everything but drop his cue cards!

An MP can get away with running lines in an interview with a journo who’s only half-awake and doesn’t know the facts but in front of an audience of half-soozled political watchers, it just doesn’t fly – the moment a stock line starts to come out, the boos start. Good MPs learn; Nats don’t.

And, then, the fire alarm went off and they had to evacuate. But in that great, by their bootstraps, way, they kept on filming and interviewing the MPs out on the footpath. Hilarious.

The show ended with some heart-warming statements and some hypocritical crocodile tears from Dunne who said it was a tragedy to see TVNZ7, even though – as Ardern pointed out – as Minister of Revenue, Dunne was the only one in a position to make a difference. I think it’s great that the last show didn’t opt for soppiness, that the arguments were still there, and the audience told the MPs exactly what they thought of what they said.

Let’s hope we’ll be saying Back Benches again before too long.

(PS. I love Farrar whining about the audience in his post on the last show: ‘there should be two National MPs – lolz, ho quickly he’s forgotten that National had a policy of not putting MPs on the show in the 2008 campaign; ‘the audience has become too partisan’ – people with political opinions taking an evening out to attend a political TV show, who would have guessed?; ‘they shouldn’t have booed Dunne’ – yes, they should have, if no-one else provoked that response even from audience members on the other side of the spectrum, then the problem is with Dunne. But, then, of course Farrar hates the audience, he would prefer to pontificate and only listen to the sound of his own voice. That’s the liberal elite for you. Maybe Russell Brown will have him on the new Media 7 … I’ll never know because, like everyone else, I won’t be watching.)

30 comments on “The end of Back Benches”

  1. dd 1

    I like backbenchers.

    I also like media 7. What don’t you like about it?

    • felix 1.1

      Nothing wrong with it, but it’s a bit like one of those middle aged Grey Lynn dinner parties where everyone pretends they’re a lot less conservative and staid than they really are.

      • Johan 1.1.1

        Felix,

        What you just said is the whole problem about TVNZ7. It is seen as a channel for white liberal lefties who think they are the centre of the world and always want someone else to pay for what they want.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          What weird stereotypes you have in your head.

          Are many of these people supposedly gay as well?

        • mike e 1.1.1.2

          nothing like the SCF bailout though yohan .
          Or the 43million dollars for TV3
          Or the 10’s of millions thats going to be spent brain washing the publiic who don’t agree with asset sales..
          oh the price of freedom!

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.2

        That’s very funny and very accurate. The policy for those of us from Epsom is that, to attend a Grey Lynn dinner party, it is necessary to go to Zambesi and spend more than the per capita GDP of most sovereign nations on a shirt that looks sufficiently old and torn that you look sufficiently poor, casual and liberal-left to be accepted at the dinner party at the $2 million villa (also rennovated to look sufficiently poor, casual and liberal-left) — but there is never any problem fitting in because, by the third bottle of $120 Waiheke red, the conversation usually turns to the overburden of taxation and which private schools over on our side of town are best.

  2. Carol 2

    Let’s hope we’ll be saying Back Benches again before too long.

    How? Whats the plan? I noticed Clare Curran made a good suggestion in Question time a couple of days ago:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/5/3/d/50HansQ_20120626_00000012-12-Television-Public-Service-Channels-Closure.htm

    Clare Curran: Following the axing of public broadcasting television channel TVNZ 7 on 30 June, will he commit to reserve spectrum for a public service or non-profit public interest television channel for the future; if not, why not?

    What about getting behind Triangle going digital and nation-wide? Triangle continues to broadcast some really good, relatively cheap, local current affairs, plus international news programmes. And some of the local programmes then get put online, like Bomber’s shows.

    http://www.tritv.co.nz/

    • dd 2.1

      Could Maori Tv not pick it up? I can’t imagine the budget for the show is that huge….

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Sky TV is looking at it . Not really a specialist show for Maori TV

        • dd 2.1.1.1

          With some slight adjustments it could slide in. Probably need a new co host along with other changes. But I could see it working.

          It could be on prime i guess.

          • felix 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah and if you change the focus of the show from politics to cosmetics it could probably fit on the new Shopping Channel too.

  3. js 3

    The last Court Report tonight should be good. And I hear that KimDomCom was in the audience for the last Media 7 taping last night. All those TVNZ7 shows (including the Good Word, Hindsight etc) show that NZ can do inexpensive, relevant and entertaining television. Without constant intrusive advertising. Will be sadly missed. I thought jacinda’s final comment on Backbenches last night was brilliant – just taking an extended commercial break until the Labour/Greens government brings back public broadcasting.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Its innovative television and like most innovation, it must move aboard to get funding.

  4. Hilary 4

    I think it is a bit counterproductive to have a go at Media7. As a viewer I like all the NZ-made TVNZ7 programmes, including that lovely old fashioned crafty one. Media7 worked hard to find a temporary home. But this is a fight for ongoing secure public broadcasting and it would be more effective to be as inclusive as possible.

  5. Rosie 5

    Had always wanted to watch TVNZ7 and couldn’t until our very old TV gave up the ghost and we got a new telly and have since been able to pick up some extra free chanels. Only got to see two episodes of Back Benches and really loved it. I like it how the poli’s are put into a natural social setting, (the Kiwi pub)and removed from their minders. Also enjoyed many other good programmes on 7, including secrets of the seven sisters about the history and function of the oil industry. And now its almost all over!

    Aerobubble refers to innovative televsion above, and innovative anything is the enemy of the nat govt. No wonder they canned it. They don’t want NZers questioning, thinking and reflecting. Just dumb us all down with endless celebrity ‘reality’ contests and US cop shows.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Its well remarked that we are an innovative nation and we don’t translate this into businesses.

      TVNZ7 is soon to be yet another example of this.

      Backbenches is cheap TV compared to The Nation and Q&A, and much better since they don’t have journalists talking to journalists like they all know stuff, were original, and not rewarded for their positioning in the meme market place by institutional parties.

      Why exactly are, for example, we finally building a highway system at the start of peak oil? because too many eminent people pooh pooh any idea that they don’t yet have a financial angle on, and since most innovation produces yet to be rewarding products and services, there’s no financial angle for power brokers. Its called conservatism, and its endemic in our business elites, often the placeholders of also rans throw backs thrown out of EU, US, OZ because of they were too conservative.
      Hired by NZ firms who desperately want to keep capital growth up even at the expense of long term stakeholder interests.

      So yes, welcome to NZ, its yet another lost opportunity from the same talking heads that use the same tired old arguments to stop any bulb of innovation in its tracks.

      Big cities world because the people who work there, by the time they get to the office, have had to give way, had to tolerate each other, had to more than wish their fellow man well but actively support each other in the rush to the office, to keep the traffic moving, and the city function.
      We have no such luxury, and where we do, the Auckland grid lock is held up yet again by the
      talking heads of journalist self knowledge joining the dots to come once again up with the conservative position, no to the rail loop, they cry. Cities create behavior, multi modal
      transport hubs create lateral thinking. Mono-car cities create linear conservatism.

      We need to break out of the stagnation of our conservative leadership. Yes, that includes Labour
      who brought us the ultra conservatism of them all deregulate and let bankers print money Douglas economics.

      Labour has yet to get an echo chamber of its own to create a new paradigm and it shows.
      So the only answer is to hold our collective noses and vote on mass for the Greens.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Why exactly are, for example, we finally building a highway system at the start of peak oil?

        Just for clarity: peak oil doesn’t have a beginning and an end, its just a point in time. Peak conventional oil production was 2005 or 2006.

        By adding in natural gas liquids, unconventional oil etc. we are still producing as much liquid fuels as ever. BUT there is double counting involved in that, and it does not take into account the reduced net energy available to the economy due to reducing EROEI.

  6. Vicky32 6

    Had always wanted to watch TVNZ7 and couldn’t until our very old TV gave up the ghost

    Mine hasn’t yet, so I’ve never seen it, which makes me very sad! It sounds as if it was wonderful..
     

    • Oscar 6.1

      Even a TV from the 1960s could watch backbenchers with a freeview decoder… What’s your excuse? Are you just another naive kiwi getting ripped off at the local TV dealership thinking they need a brand spanking new telly just to watch digital telly? Pshaw!

      • Rosie 6.1.1

        Oscar, I can assure you I’m not “another naive kiwi getting ripped off at the local TV dealership thinking they need a brand spanking new telly just to watch digital telly”.
        How offensively annoying of you when you have no idea of my circumstances, my smarts, and the myriad of reasons why our freeview decoder didn’t work out for us.
        What the F is wrong with people like you? Why do you have to be such a dick?

  7. chris73 7

    I’m sure it’ll be sadly missed by the dozens of viewers who watched it.

    • Hitch Lives 7.1

      Only dozens were watching? I thought there surely must have been more! Almost that many alone have commented on this very board. On what extraordinary evidence are you basing your extraordinary claim, Sir?

    • fmacskasy 7.2

      Chris73 – Slightly more than the number who voted for ACT last year? Or who now see Dear Leader as the Messiah?

  8. Hami Shearlie 8

    We loved Backbenchers. We have an old Tv but got a decoder and a dish!! It must come back – it was much more popular than many people think!!

  9. cin77 9

    Back benches was cool, I enjoyed seeing politicians away from their natural habitat and mixing with normal people. Good they managed to get some drama into the last episode too, Hone Harawira pulled it to get some alone time with the camera.
    First time I’ve seen Peter Dunnes hair too- that thing should be made a national treasure, its a feat of great architecture, imagine the hair spray involved!

  10. outofbed 10

    Back benchers viewer numbers were more than the readership of the Herald.

  11. Richard McGrath 11

    Back Benches was a great concept and I enjoyed watching several of the episodes and attending on one occasion. It inspired a few election meetings last year in pubs up and down the country. I was involved in one at the Royal Hotel in Featherston, one of the most entertaining evenings I’ve ever spent.

  12. OneTrack 12

    Backbenchers wasn’t that great but it wasn’t that bad either. It should be an easy argument to New Zealand On Air to get them to fund it, either on one of the commercial channels, or Maori TV which is already publicly funded, so should be cheaper.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Backbenchers wasn’t that great but it wasn’t that bad either.

      You miss the point completely. Backbenchers brought a kind of real life democratic and political exposure front and centre on the small screen like nothing else.

      If you are seeking Hollywood gloss, you’re using the wrong criteria.

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    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago

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