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The flag diversion

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, January 30th, 2014 - 119 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, national, same old national, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Tangata whenua flag

Election year is now upon us and both National and Labour have started aggressively.

National knows that its prospects for the election are not good.  With no viable coalition partners it has been forced to talk up the Conservative Party and make overtures to NZ First.  Key no longer has the option of pretending to be principled when it comes to doing deals with Winston Peters.

National has also been forced to consider adopting Labour Policy.  Suddenly it supports paid parental leave, and it is working out what is the minimum it can do to  make it look sympathetic yet more fiscally disciplined than Labour.  It obviously understands that supporting rich corporates and not supporting families is political poison.

The cynicism is extreme and voters should be reminded that National voted against Labour’s introduction of paid parental leave in 2002 and also voted against Sue Moroney’s bill in 2012 as well as announcing that it would veto the bill.  Its recent conversion is no doubt due more to focus group data than a real belief that the state should help young families so that their babies have the best start possible.  I am sure that voters can distinguish between the committed and the cynical.

National has launched a sustained attack on Labour’s Best Start Policy.  It seems there was a bit of wriggle room in the speech language and instead of David Cunliffe saying that 59,000 kiwis would receive Best Start for the first 12 months he should have said that 33,000 would receive it for 12 months and 26,000 would receive paid parental leave for 6 months and Best Start for the next six months.    But really, is this justification for the beatup?  In either case support for young families would be significantly improved.  And no doubt if there is justification for this to occur the policy can be changed so that Best Start and paid parental leave can both be paid at the same time.

The Herald is doing its best to help the Government.  It has been publishing a particularly negative photograph about Cunliffe taken at the Monday speech.  And as Karol has pointed out it has chosen to interview an employee of the far right Maxim Institute to provide comment on the benefits or otherwise of Best Start.

Growly Cunliffe

TV3 initially came out swinging but has now backed away from its former position.  It accepts that 33,000 kiwi families will get Best Start for the full year and another 26,000 will get paid parental leave for 6 months and Best Start for the next six months.  David Cunliffe accepts that the drafting of the particular passage of the speech could have been better.  TV3 has described the incident as a blunder in an otherwise popular policy.  It is good to see that TV3 has backed off its previous description.

The overall impression is that National is playing catch up on this issue and is maintaining peripheral attacks on the detail of the policy in an attempt to denigrate it.  Once the effects of this initial bluster wears off I am sure that the policy will be popular.

So what does Key do?  He announces an review of the country’s flag.

This is an interesting tactic by him.  His base, the conservative farmer sorts hate any change, particularly one that would suggest that New Zealand is a proud independent nation rather than an adjunct to the United Kingdom.  He obviously thinks that he can burn some political capital with his base and gain support from his less secure supporters.

His proposal, that the Government comes up with an alternative flag and then at this election a referendum is run on which flag should be the country’s flag, is undemocratic in itself and will probably fail.  It would be much better for there to be a simple question, should a new flag be adopted, and then the public be allowed to propose alternative designs with the best subject to some sort of selection process.

It does not need to be done this year.  I agree with Key that this debate would be a distraction during election year where much more important issues than the particular characteristics of a piece of fabric need to be discussed.

But you have to wonder at the timing.  Could it be that Key prefers us to concentrate on what a piece of fabric should look like rather than what we are going to do about child poverty?

119 comments on “The flag diversion”

  1. Meg 1

    While I do support the idea to look at a new flag, it has come out of no where from Key and smacks of desperation.

    • weka 1.1

      It came out of Key’s sleeve, where NACT have been keeping it specifically for when they need to use it as a distraction from Labour. They couldn’t use Bene-bashing Bennett this time because it would make them look vindictive and anti-family.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.1

        Murphy’s Law: When planning a new $100 million factory, the board will spend more time deciding where to put the water coolers than deciding whether the factory should be built.

        Why? Because everyone can have an opinion about water coolers.

        So let’s argue about the flag and ignore the country’s social, economic, and environmental fiascoes.

        How many more of these b.s. diversions can Key pull out his ass before the election?

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.1.1

          Brings to mind the old saying “To fiddle while Rome burns”:

          “To ‘fiddle while Rome burns‘ refers to the belief that the infamous Emperor Nero played the lyre (there were no fiddles yet) while Rome was burning.

          Nero was rumoured to have started the fire to clear space for his Domus Aurea.

          Idiomatically it means someone is doing nothing about a serious problem.”

          http://www.ancientl.com/roman/idioms-greek-hebrew/

    • It’s ironic that the people who claimed changing the flag was a vital step to redefining ourselves as an egalitarian modern nation now see it as a “distraction” because somebody they don’t like is proposing it.

      It was a distraction when Helen Clark talked about it, too.

      • Murray Olsen 1.2.1

        That worries me a bit as well. However, I don’t think Key is particularly interested at all in getting the Union Jack off our flag (Sir John?) and I don’t think an All Black jersey with the sleeves cut off is an inspired choice.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.2.1.1

          “…I don’t think an All Black jersey with the sleeves cut off is an inspired choice.”

          LOL

  2. captain hook 2

    Keys version looks like a melanoma!

  3. ianmac 3

    Key is giving the fingers to NZers by proposing a referendum after totally rubbishing the outcome of the previous one.

    The only Leader being interviewed re the Key/flag distraction, who wondered just why now, was Hone. Exactly Hone. Why now!

    A choice between the present flag and one chosen by Cabinet is another kick in the guts for Kiwis. Arrogance?

  4. Bill 4

    According to the electoral commission or whatever they’re called, a referendum will cost about $10 million. The recent postal referendum on a far more serious matter was slammed as a waste of money ($10 million) by John Key.

    I really hope the Greens and Labour, if asked about their position on this, point out JKs hypocrisy on $10 million spendng, the fact that far more serious issues occupy their time, suggest it’s the same for most people, and knock this fucked up potential waste of $10 million into touch quick smart.

    • weka 4.1

      A referendum held a general election costs much less.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Just heard the electoral commission on Radio NZ give a $10 million costing.

        • veutoviper 4.1.1.1

          And the spokesperson also said on RNZ National’s midday report that it was about the same cost as a postal referendum. The spokesperson also said that it would now be a logistical nightmare to have t the referendum with this year’s general election.

          This is not yet up as a separate item on the RNZ website but is about 10 minutes in to the overall Midday Report recording http://www.radionz.co.nz/radionz/programmes/news-bulletin/audio/2584019/radio-new-zealand-news

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            Is the cost the same because they have to rush it? I thought part of the argument against the last one was that it was more costly to hold stand alone referenda than ones at a general election.

            • veutoviper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know weka. I was a little surprised at the comment by the Electoral Commission spokeswoman that the costs were pretty much the same, as I also thought that in the past (including re the assets sales referendum) the argument had been that stand-alone referenda cost more that those held with general elections.

              RNZ have now put up a separate item on the logistics etc of holding the referendum but the only recording they have included is the segment from Morning Report. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/234665/flag-referendum-would-be-major-exercise\

              This link does not include the specific comments from the EC spokeswoman on costings so the only way to hear what she said is to endure the first 10 minutes or so of the full Midday Report recording I linked to in 4.1.1.1 above.

              • weka

                Thanks, that is curious.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Yeah, not so curious that we would be under the impression that the postal referendum cost more than one done at a general election:

                  This being because we got our information from mainstream media sources – who appear to specialise in conveying inaccurate, or just plain wrong, information.

                  **note to self: must remember to be even more sceptical of what I read and hear from mainstream media sources,**

    • geoff 4.2

      I really hope the Greens and Labour, if asked about their position on this, point out JKs hypocrisy on $10 million spendng, the fact that far more serious issues occupy their time, suggest it’s the same for most people, and knock this fucked up potential waste of $10 million into touch quick smart.

      Fucking good point, Bill!

  5. Wairua 5

    I believe that a new New Zealand flag may appropriately be a giant Red Herring on a background of your choice ..

  6. McFlock 6

    Asked whether a flag debate could overshadow the Government’s messages about more important issues such as the economy, Mr Key said: “That’s always a risk and that’s one of the things we would have to consider.”

    I’m sure he’d be saddened and disadvantaged if his economic management were overshadowed by bits of coloured cloth fluttering in the breeze.
    yeah, right.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    A diversion.

    Nation states are fading from favour in the era of global capitalism and free trade, borders mean less than before, useful only to whip up nationalism for commercial sporting rivalry or racism against immigrants and refugees.

    The 85 supreme bludgers that according to Oxfam own more than the poorest 3.5 billion of earth’s citizens, shift their squillions around the globe digitally. They could perhaps do with a new flag–the Jolly Roger?

    A new kiwi flag is easy, just a copy of the US one and replace the stars with logos–Warner Bros, the Aussie Banks etc.

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    Here is my opinion on it:

    [1] Key is trying desperately to raise a red herring to distract people during this election year because he is sensing that he and his party and coalition partners are going to lose this coming election and/or, Key is trying to create an immortal legacy for himself by pushing this issue forward now and wanting a referendum on it at the election this year!

    [2] During this year, people should be more focused on political party policies and leaders and not be distracted by Key’s cunning tactics of introducing what is at present an unnecessary and absolutely non urgent ‘change of flag’ issue.

    [3] In my opinion, the flag issue should be raised sometime in the near or distant future when the people are ready to change to a Republic.

    [4] And at that time, it would be very fair and good to incorporate some Maori cultural aspect too in the design.

    ———————–

    I think it would be good idea for the leaders of opposition parties to expose Key’s cunning ploy.

    A matter such as the change of flag of a country is a serious issue and needs some time, a few years of discussion and careful consideration, different designs incorporating history, aspirations and culture.

    The ideal time would be when and if the nation is ready to become a Republic.

    Perhaps a campaign needs to be started to thwart Key’s cunning trick by pushing the point that it is too hasty to change the flag at this time. The discussion and debate needs at least a couple of years.

    If Key still decides and insists on a referendum this year itself, then, among others, ONE of the choices in the vote should be
    (..) This is not the right time to change the flag.

    • weka 8.1

      Good points and a nice counterpoint to Key Inc wanting a new logo.

    • mickysavage 8.2

      Agreed Clemgeopin. When the current monarch shuffles off I think it is a good time to discuss a change to a republic and this would also be a good time for a debate about the flag.

      • Clemgeopin 8.2.1

        Yes, and if we then decide to remain with the monarchy and not become a republic, we could then still have a debate whether to change the flag or not.

    • Clemgeopin 8.3

      I also think that a referendum result on such a serious issue as change of one’s nation’s flag should be valid not just on a simple 50% plus majority, but on an overwhelming majority such as 2/3 rds (67%) or 3/4 rs(75%}. Do you agree?

    • ianmac 8.4

      Clemgeopin.
      (5) Mr Key knows that his time as PM is running out so it is now or never to establish his fame (or infamy.)

      • Clemgeopin 8.4.1

        Yes, to offset his historical infamous legacy of pro-wealthy policies, pro-corporate and big business largesse, stupid asset sales and anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-freedom laws.

  9. Poission 9

    Correct call,it is a diversion to deflect from Wheelers OCR statement.Which is the constraint on policy objectives and projections.

  10. framu 10

    and a diversion that will rapidly backfire

    people are already seeing straight through this, and thats before we even start to factor in the RSA pointing out that the very year Key wants a ref is the same year as… 100 years since gallipoli

    also – doesnt a ref have to be a yes/no answer? (ie: it cant be a “pick a or pick b” question)

    • Tracey 10.1

      It can be should the nz flag change…

      And prior advise thatf if majority says yes then another ref or a group present 3 choices

      I favour a new flag. Like hun terwassers. But 10m will fund bones food in schools programme wont it…

      • framu 10.1.1

        except thats not what key is quoted as intending

        according to reports he wants to pick one with his cabinet and then present that as the only option without even asking if the change is first wanted

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 10.2

      the very year Key wants a ref is the same year as… 100 years since gallipoli

      My grandfather served at Gallipoli, and his gravestone is engraved with his name, rank, unit, and a Silver Fern.

      • framu 10.2.1

        well i guess thats why the rsa have come out and said that they oppose changing the flag then isnt it

      • Tracey 10.2.2

        Do you think it is one of the top 10 issues facing nz?

        How do you reconcile the pm wanting to spend millions on a referendum when he thought the last one was a waste of money?

  11. Tracey 11

    Law society today criticised the use of urgency this govt as a reach of human rights… national responds with a new flag a d a royal visit… get rid of union jack and fawn over royals. No contradiction there.

  12. BM 12

    I think Key should be congratulated for raising the debate on should we keep or change the flag.

    From what I’ve read, seen and heard the general consensus is that people feel that politicians are only in it for themselves and never listen to what the voters says.

    By raising the flag topic, it provides a platform that everyone can get involved with, offer an opinion,have a say and vote on what our flag will be, makes people think their opinions count for something.

    They don’t call John Key, the PM of the people for nothing.

    • weka 12.1

      “the PM of the people for nothing”

      lolz.

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Oh man, I just had a horrible thought – maybe our local tories are all being controlled by alien brain parasites, but the human hosts occasionally manage to phrase things in such a way that they type the truth without the parasite noticing?

        Sort of Stargate meets Torchwood:Children of Earth.

      • risildowgtn 12.1.2

        +100000
        needed a good laugh

    • Tracey 12.2

      You mean like with the assets sales referendum

      • srylands 12.2.1

        asset sales (sic) were not a suitable topic for a referendum. The flag is a suitable topic.

        • Ross 12.2.1.1

          srylands,

          You would have to be a moron. Why don’t you bugger off to Farrar’s site unless you can engage your brain.

    • Clemgeopin 12.3

      BS, unless you are being sarcastic!

    • framu 12.4

      “By raising the flag topic, it provides a platform that everyone can get involved with, offer an opinion,have a say and vote on what our flag will be, makes people think their opinions count for something.”

      no – thats bollocks. Key intends to put forward his idea and then ask us to pick the current flag or his brainfart. Please point out where that process does anything you claim it does

      • BM 12.4.1

        no – thats bollocks. Key intends to put forward his idea and then ask us to pick the current flag or his brainfart. Please point out where that process does anything you claim it does

        If Key was an idiot he’d do what you suggested.

        But he’s not, this is a feel good, patriotic rah rah gesture, the whole process will be as inclusive as possible.
        I would expect there to be a TV series called something like

        Our National Flag- your vote, your choice…
        where all the flag artists and their designs are show cased and people get to vote on the different designs to narrow the choice down to maybe 3 designs + the existing flag.

        Those chosen designs then become the choices of the referendum.

        • Hayden 12.4.1.1

          …this is a feel good, patriotic rah rah gesture…

          Jeez, that’s a bit cynical, isn’t it?

        • Clemgeopin 12.4.1.2

          You know this how? No such idea was stated by Key yet!

        • framu 12.4.1.3

          “He said that finding a consensus on a new flag would be difficult and if ministers backed a change, the Government would decide on a design and ask the public to vote for or against it.

          “We have to make it simple,” he said yesterday”

          so its not what i suggested – its what key is quoted as intending to do

          link

          Please point out where that process does anything you claim it does

          • felix 12.4.1.3.1

            “Please point out where that process does anything you claim it does”

            Well it does show that Key is an idiot, just like BM said. So that’s something.

        • Tracey 12.4.1.4

          Do you ever go back later and re-read things you wrote here?

        • risildowgtn 12.4.1.5

          No
          Its diversion tactics.

    • Rosie 12.5

      Lol, who calls him the PM of the People? Puppet of the Corporates more like!

    • miravox 12.6

      “I think Key should be congratulated for raising the debate on should we keep or change the flag”

      I dunno, I reckon this should be part of the constitutional review his government set up. He’s got the report, why not wait until the recommendations are presented in a cohesive way forward?

      I guess he only wants the public concerned with the symbols of state rather that the workings of the State.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.6.1

        Plus one Miravox.

        No need for your opinion of whether we should sell the country, now pick out some nice curtains.

    • They don’t call John Key, the PM of the people for nothing.

      He has to pay them? Actually, on reflection, they don’t call John Key ‘The PM of the People’ at all.

  13. Yoza 13

    There’s always the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand. , although similarity with the St. George Cross and the fact the ‘United Tribes’ consisted of Nga Puhi with a smattering of Tainui adherents probably wouldn’t go down well anywhere south of Auckland.

  14. SpaceMonkey 14

    Desperate stuff from Key… second only to his use of WMDs to justify the GCSB and other five-eyes members from spying on New Zealand.

  15. Policy Parrot 15

    Come to think of it, isn’t this what Jenny Shipley did when faced with the likelihood she would lose power at the next election?

    “The flag debate was stirred up again in 1998 when National Party MP and Minister of Cultural Affairs Marie Hasler called for the current flag to be replaced with a silver fern on a black background. The Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, tourism operators and others supported her suggestion. The RSA again argued in favour of the existing flag, but said that it would support a change to the flag if it was shown to be ‘the will of the people’ in a public referendum.”

    So shouldn’t the media be asking: “why bring this up now?” Smacks of distraction.

    • ianmac 15.1

      @ Policy:”So shouldn’t the media be asking: “why bring this up now?”
      The only Leader who asked that during the TV question to every Leader, was Hone.
      The only Leader who challenged the shortness of time before an Election was Winston.

      • Clemgeopin 15.1.1

        Yes, I noticed that too. It was a golden opportunity for the other opposition leaders to expose Key’s cunning bluff!

  16. MaxFletcher 16

    The timing of this ‘serious’ issue was certainly coincidental.

    “Inequality?…but but..THE FLAG!”

  17. Craig Y 17

    Hmmm. I think it’s a good idea to change the flag, but on the other hand, will it actually divert attention from core issues of economic inequality within New Zealand? No more than Colin Craig’s enthusiasm for the restoration of parental corporal punishment, I suspect. New Zealand’s voting public is nowhere near “post-materialist” enough for either. (And I’ll only become post-materialist in a post-capitalist society, thanks very much!)

  18. Craig Y 18

    But- I am a soft republican, so I support the idea of a flag change in principle. As a matter of fact, it seems to be one of those consensus parliamentary issues where there is little difference across party lines within the current Parliament. I think the left needs to steer this argument toward one in which republicanism, a new national flag and new national anthem are seen as one incremental solution to New Zealand’s democratic deficit. The other is a written constitution, and the third, of course, is a comprehensive welfare state and social citizenship that it enables.

  19. Jenny 19

    I have just heard on the radio that John Key is now saying, that he is only considering a referendum on the flag. Maybe he is starting to realise that it is on this sort of thing that sometimes electoral defeat hinges on.

    Especially if the Labour Green opposition Parties come out and say will oppose changing our nation’s the flag and think we should retain the current one. This would put New Zealand First on the spot, with their avowedly nationalist platform they could not possibly side with the Nacts. John Key must be realising by now that theis issue splitting New Zealand First away from any possible arrangement with National.

    We do not need a meaningless corporate type logo on the advice of some advertising excutives as a symbol for our country.

    • Jenny 19.1

      “It’s on the All Black’s Jersey”
      John Key

      (Along with all the other very similar corporate logos)

      The All Black’s Jersey

      Welcome to New Keyland

      Yeah Right!

      Tell John Key to shove his dirty attempt at the corporate branding of our nation.

      Bring on your referendum John Key, and we will vote it down in massive numbers, along with your government.

  20. Jenny 20

    Nikey

    “Just Do It”

    Jonkey

    “Just Did It”

  21. Jenny 21

    “How many countries in the world have a flag with an all black background?”

    No results found for “How many countries in the world have a flag with an all black background?”

  22. Jenny 22

    Will New Keylander taxpayers have to pay for the “Trade Marked” rights to the country’s new flag?

    Or will we just lease the rights until the next corporate rebranding?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9667574/Designing-a-flag-isn-t-black-and-white

    Designer Dave Clark was commissioned by the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1986 to create the first trademarked logo for the All Blacks, the silver fern design which remains today.

    Clark and his team also helped design all of the New Zealand Super Rugby team logos and names, Air New Zealand’s rebrand and the Auckland International Airport logo, among a host of other high-profile designs.

    Any new flag would need to be coloured, not just black and white, Clark said.

    Eweuu. I see a messy trademark infringement battle looming in John Key’s future.

    Or maybe, to avoid copy write infringement, and other (icky) problems we could go with pastels.

    Any new flag would need to be coloured, not just black and white, Clark said.

    “The things I’ve learnt over time is that, in terms of the colour you’re going to use, it should really try and reflect the colours of the country and the colours of this country are green and blue.”

    Any takers?

    Using black was a double-edged sword and could cause problems for a national flag, Clark said.

    “In branding and packaging, black gets used to indicate premium positioning, think chocolates or coffee.

    “In Western culture it’s also the colour of mourning, sadness and death.

    Icky

    Jenny the Banned@ Queen

    [lprent: Only a few more months to go.. ]

  23. Pretty cynical and typical move by key. The distraction aspect will frustrate labour, the inevitable choices will piss off many Māori because guess what flag won’t be considered, meanwhile the electorate will mistakenly feel that they have been given some ability to actually make change, when ironically the election is the actual change moment but this will be a nice distraction from that messy moment of politics.

    So imo key up to his usual tricks and i think any opposition has to react like Hone did after key’s recent attack on him (to support the Māori Party) – stick it back to him – get on the front foot and follow up hard. Too many free hits from key have built a feeling of overconfidence in him and rubbing his smug face in his bullshit is the best answer. Labour (in their own way and on the issues which they think are important) should use the example of Hone – does he lower his head to key – fuck no! The days of being nice to that wankey because he has pondscummed his way to the ‘top’ must be over if the left hope to get the treasury benches.

  24. newsense 24

    Time for some Kiwi/Iwi-esque shite…

    Key: The Things that Matter Labour: Our Children

    Key: The most important thing for me in politics is to change our flag Labour: One in Five NZ children in poverty

    Key and English: Paid Parental Leave is a ‘nice to have’
    Labour: 26 Weeks Paid Parental Leave and 25 hours free Early Childhood Education

    • srylands 24.1

      “Time for some Kiwi/Iwi-esque shite…”

      I hope you are not from Labour Marketing.

      Key didn’t say the flag was the most important thing.

      And there are no New Zealand children living in poverty.

      • fender 24.1.1

        Here’s something else you can sing to your cockroach, sslands. Some NZ sounds from ’81 for ya..

      • marty mars 24.1.2

        no nzchildren in poverty? – many have explained the error of your thinking, the paucity of your imagination, the boring regurgitated predictable lines you push, the idiocy of your conclusions, yet on you continue – the funny thing is you think you’re funny and you are but not for the reasons you suppose and if you ever figured that out you wouldn’t be seen again, but until then your extreme right wing views provide mirth so ta for that.

  25. Scott 25

    Part of the problem for the left, I reckon, is that the values of the left at its best – inclusiveness, equality, pluralism, and democratic debate – don’t sit well with the atavistic emotions that flags are intended to stir in the human breast. So lefties tend not to make the best flag designers:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/why-good-politics-make-for-bad-flags.html

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Heh, that’s sharp.

    • Chooky 25.2

      Scott …that is bullshit….many artists and designers ,in fact the greatest of them and the majority of them , have been Leftys…hence they are more than capable of designing a flag

      ( fascists dont generally make good artists or designers eg Hitler a failed artist and rejected by Disney)

      …what Key wants as a flag is most unoriginal…in fact it has been a NZ logo for years ….and quite frankly any flag Key brings in will be ceremoniously burnt around the country

      ….so I dont think it is a good idea to make a new flag out of our old silver fern as he wants

    • mickysavage 25.3

      Good stuff Scott. I am tempted to ask if we could use your post as a guestie but I would rather not buy into the Key distraction unless we have to …

      • Chooky 25.3.1

        …MS….fact is most Nation States do have flags….or do you suggest New Zealand should not have a flag at all !…….this is all very radical.

        ….Maybe New Zealand should do away with a flag altogether ….maybe we could be subsumed under the flags of China or USA or Israel or Australia to show our economic dependence and the changing of our values?…maybe we could change our flag every year or so…..as economic circumstances and and values change …or maybe we should adopt the flag of the United Nations….but if every country did this …we would not need a flag….ONE WORLD….a wee bit utopian imo

        imo…most objections to the New Zealand flag and the monarchy seem to come from Irish Catholics…or new immigrants…… however …even these people come from countries with flags

        …..and I have to say that for others subjugated by these nations these flags represent oppression too ….eg how do the Tibetans feel about the Chinese flag? or the Palestinians about the Star of David flag ….or the Aborigines feel about the Australian flag …or the countless peoples in South America and the Middle East about the Stars and Stripes?

        ….for Christs Sake even the IRA has a flag

        //www.google.co.nz/search?q=ira+flag&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=T7LqUp7AJsSNkwWOx4GoBg&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1432&bih=747

        imo leave NZ flag as is but incorporate Maori flag /emblem of Maori choosing ( John Key stay well out of it)

  26. xtasy 26

    It is simple, change your pair of trousers, or your shirt, and the world will look a lot better. If you feel sick or unwell, do just that, and all problems will go away. You get sent this message endless times each day by the advertisers on media and elsewhere. So why do you doubt it?

    Do you doubt our “leader”, that he is NOT sending the “right” message to us? Oh, I fear, you are entering “dangerous territory”. Better review, rethink and join the flag debate right now, that is more important than anything else right now, as it will make us all feel a lot “better”!

    We want a “happy flag”, a “new flag” and our “leader” is so “liberal” and “inviting”, he even suggests we make our choices. What a wonderful “leader” we have, Kim Yong Key is the “best leader” we ever had. Do not doubt, it will be at your peril!

    • Chooky 26.1

      +100 xtasy

      the New Zealand flag as it stands is part of our history….it reminds us of the sacrifices of the ANZACs….it reminds us of the Treaty of Waitangi….a partnership between Maori Chiefs and the Queen Victoria

      …..and scoff as we will about New Zealand’s colonialist past it is not as bad as it could have been
      …..when I was 20 I once flew between Sydney and Canberra and sat next to an Aborigine leader…. an Australian MP….I think the first Aborigine to be an Australian MP…..He told me how much better the New Zealand Maori had had it in New Zealand with the early colonialists than the Aborigine had had it in Australia with early Australian colonialists..

      ( and I know this for a fact because i know someone whose ancestor was a chairman of an Australian bank( forget which one…probably now owns half of NZ bank accounts ) who told me his ancestor used to go shooting Aborigine for sport!..he wasnt proud of it!…..I digress)

      ….Anyway the old Aborigine MP told me how much he admired the New Zealand Maori( their fighting spirit and their adaptability) and that the New Zealand Maori were very lucky to have the Treaty of Waitangi….He had a lot of admiration for the Chiefs for signing such an agreement with the Queen and drawing up such a Treaty….he wished the Aborigine could have had such a Treaty …he had a great deal of mana

      imo the New Zealand flag should stay as is ( in respect for our very decent and brave (fighting against fascism) Maori and Pakeha ancestors who made great sacrifices in the world wars and who for the large part set out to build a socialist egalitarian NZ.. . )….But also have the Maori flag/emblem incorporated, even taking primacy , alongside the Union Jack emblem and the Southern Cross emblem….as a symbol of our founding document and legislation and people and place

      The Maori flag/emblem should be chosen by Maori….. and John Key should have no part of it

  27. xtasy 27

    This whole “flag business” is being raised at the wrong time, there are much more important things to focus on now! I would like a different and better flag, that is more representative and looks better to represent modern day NZ. But this is all a con. And too many “died” for the wrong ideas and for “flags”. It made me worried also hearing a RSA leader talk about the silver fern representing a “cowardly feather”.

    Some extremists from the other side that worshiped the flag per se were such as Horst Wessel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcCvcGuIqfo

    Stop this worship of flags, for damned god’s or whosoever’s sake!

    Get this country sorted out, before we discuss flags and whatever petty issues! Fuck John Key, the manipulator, to distract from what matters, I’d say.

  28. Scott 28

    I’m not so sure about the lack of aesthetics of fascists, Chookie: I think that the Nazi flag, which was the product of a good deal of experimentation during the early years of the movement, is an horrifically powerful piece of design. I’m writing an essay at the moment about Benjamin Work, a Tongan-New Zealand artist with some German ancestry (there are an amazing number of Germans in Tonga) who has been covering walls in Auckland with murals that feature a distinctly Tongan version of the swastika:
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/s403x403/57942_274257892708967_1768837750_n.jpg
    Ben’s image mixes Hitler’s symbol with the pala tavake, a famous head dress worn by the Tu’i Tonga, an ancient shaman-king and the effective overlord of the Tongan Empire in the late Middle Ages. There’s a sort of malign beauty to the mural which I find quite disturbing.

    Feel free to make the post a guestie should you want to go down the path of distraction MS.

    • Chooky 28.1

      Scott…. the swastika is a very ancient symbol….not invented by the Nazis but usurped by the Nazis

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

      I have seen the swastika painted on house doors in far out places in Tibet ( and they weren’t Nazis …they had probably never heard of the Nazis)

      Most fascists are very unoriginal people…in fact I would say they are emotionally and spiritually stunted people….they should not go anywhere near the design of a Nation’s flag

  29. Philj 29

    Xox
    The USA $ symbol on our flag would be appropriate for Key’s flag.

  30. lurgee 30

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a politician wondering about whether we should have a look at changing the flag is just that.

    I honestly can’t see how this could be a diversionary tactic. I credit John Key with more intelligence than that. After all, he’s wiped the floor with us twice now. Or are you suggesting that’s so easy even an idiot who thinks the public will be completely befuddled by a ploy so obvious can do that?

    I think Key has been so effective in colonising the middle ground (and some on the left so quick to abandon it in favour of a small-but-ideologically-pure corner of the debate) that he has driven many on the left quite mad. Everything has to be part of a Grand Conspiracy (possibly featuring a Needlessly Large Weather Machine and a Secret Base inside an underwater volcano). Which tells you a lot about how desperate he has made us. Every action and utterance is analysed and deconstructed to find the true motive, the real dark seedy manipulative purpose because, you know, it is impossible Key might just genuinely be wondering about whether we should have a look at changing the flag. It’s got to be something else. There has to be an ulterior motive! And we have to be the first to spot it or at least the ones braying most loudly about it.

    If Key had a motive beyond just wondering about whether we should have a look at changing the flag, I suspect it probably would be causing mischief on the left. Because – like it or not – he’s got our number. And the paranoid ramblings and aghast wailing emanating from the blogatariat prove it. An casual comment from Key, and the left is veritably turning itself inside out in an effort to show how caddish – and yet stupid – Key is, lobbing this debate into the middle of an election year. An so a lot of time and energy is wasted in Exposing John Key’s True Motive in wondering whether we should have a look at changing the flag.

    A less demoralised and desperate left would have said, “Yeah, we’ve been saying that for years, welcome to the party, John.” After all, mos of us would probably support replacing the flag , or at least talking about it. Gnashing our teeth at how duplicious Key is just makes us look sad and hopeless.

    In this case, I think he genuinely believes it is a debate worth having; and election year would be the obvious time to do it, as you’ll get a better response than with a stand-alone referendum.

    • miravox 30.1

      Yes, I credit Key with an awful lot of political skill. So much so that he would be unlikely to just muse about something that would take other political matters out of the headlines for no good reason.

      Moreover, I believe puddlegum (above) might be on to something as well.

  31. ecossemaid 31

    Keys Change The Flag Policy…….. Let’s run it up the flag pole and see who salutes the diversionary tactic!

    • Chooky 31.1

      ecossemaid +1 …like it !…….Hone Heke set a precedent and chopped down the flag pole

      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/hone-heke

      …..i reckon Hone Heke’s descendants and Tuhoi take part in designing the Maori emblem part of the New Zealand flag along with Hone and his Mother Titi ….Hawarera

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ng%C4%81i_T%C5%ABhoe

      ….. which also incorporates the old flag with Southern Cross and Union Jack, which was the symbolic British party to the Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Maori Chiefs and a founding document of New Zealand legal system…rights of Maori and ecology environmental values

  32. JM 32

    “Flags are bits of coloured cloth that governments use to first, shrink wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.”
    Arundhati Roy

  33. Skinny 33

    While Labour has done a good job with 
    the diversion argument. If Key continues the waffle they need to step things up with. It’s an attempt by National to use the upcoming royal visit to suck Labour into the Republic debate, strange tactic when you think a flag change usually come with independence?  

     Still the same I can see Key- National and their spin merchants trying to drum up nationalistic pride, which has been a proven formula in dictatorship run regimes like Zimbabwe and say Uganda. Time to start taking the piss. Here is an idea a three headed flag, Robert, Idi & John!    

    • Chooky 33.1

      …or big nostril….squinty little “all seeing” eye….. and cow’s anus ( sort of a modern art Miro or Dali)

      transl….John Keys nose….5 eyes……NZ economy

  34. captain hook 34

    Hey we about to have the New Improved New New Zealand with 20% increase in New Improved New Zealand power.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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