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The Greens: Party democracy and parliamentary politics

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, June 9th, 2013 - 106 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democratic participation, greens, local government, national/act government, russel norman, same old national, spin - Tags: ,

Yesterday The NZ Herald’s John Armstrong followed the Lusk plan in attacking The Green Party: he picked up and ran with accusations made by “right wing bloggers”.  In his attack on recent changes to remit procedures at the party’s annual conferences, Armstrong used as much spin-and emotion-laden language as he claimed the Greens’ Russel Norman had been using when critiquing key’s anti-democratic government.  A more balanced account of the Green Party rule change was reported by Isaac Davison in yesterday’s Herald.

The Green Party rule change does raise some issues about the possibilities for bottom-up democracy, within a parliamentary system that is pretty much organised on a top-down basis.  This is something worth discussing, without the right wing and  anti-Green spin that is used by Armstrong.

In his piece, Armstrong presented the highly flawed argument that the rule changes were equivalent to the raft of anti-democratic processes enacted by our present National-led government:

It therefore took some gall for Russel Norman to use the conference as a platform to tear strips off the Prime Minister for being increasingly undemocratic and even Muldoonist in his actions, when the endorsement of another item on the conference agenda stripped away rights from the Greens’ grassroots membership and reinforced the already heavy clout of those in the party’s hierarchy.

So much for democracy. Not that too many at the conference seemed to mind. By all accounts, the motion to streamline the party’s antiquated remit system easily obtained the required 75 per cent backing to effect a change to the party’s standing orders.

Get that?!  A rule change that won a vote by the party membership with well over 75% for the change, is equated with the following:  the NAct government’s on-going excessive amount of abuse of urgency in the house; over-riding local democracy in Canterbury and Auckland; changing the GCSB in support of foreign commercial interests; making democratic protests illegal around some mining areas; taking away the democratic rights of family carers of disabled people…. and on it goes.

A more balanced article was published by Davison.  He gives both sides to the issue about the rule change.  It now means that for remits to reach the floor of the annual conferences, a local branch must get the agreement from 2 other branches, including one from another region.  Previously a remit had required only 12 signatures.  The argument against this remit goes:

One party source said the effect of the rule change would be to wipe out any debate on grassroots-sponsored remits at the Greens’ conferences.

The requirement that the backers of any remit would have to get the endorsement of a branch in another region would require driving hundreds of kilometres around the country to lobby other members.

“It wouldn’t be worth the effort,” one party member said.

The argument for the remit, which apparently got about 80% support, goes thus:

Party co-convener Georgina Morrison said that there was some contention about the amendment, which the party felt was “normal and healthy”.

She said the party was always working to be more professional and to have high-quality remits, but any important grassroots proposals would not be censored from the party’s annual meeting.

If issues raised by the party’s local branches were not dealt with at the annual meeting, they could be raised at other party meetings.

The article reports that one green member was suspicious this change was done in anticipation of a Green-Labour government:

One Greens member was suspicious about the timing of the rule change, believing it had been done before next year’s election to stifle any internal criticism of the Greens’ performance in any subsequent coalition with Labour.

Ms Morrison dismissed this as “absolutely ridiculous”, and said the Greens were already planning how their executive and MPs would continue to remain engaged with members as the party grew larger, or if it entered Government.

“We want to take the membership with us.”

Remits debated at the annual meeting influenced how the party was run, but did not determine Greens’ policy.

This does raise an important issue about the difficulties a smaller party has in negotiating with a larger one within a government alliance.  Along with that come crucial questions about the role of the flax roots in determining caucus policies.  The caucus needs some flexibility in negotiating with another party, and in the heat of parliamentary politics, sometimes decisions need to be made quickly.

The Green Party is in a tricky position.  It values bottom-up democracy, but we have a parliamentary “democracy” that often works against that.  Nevertheless, at least with the Greens and Labour such parties, such debates are given some public airing, unlike the secrecy with which the National Party conducts its party procedures.

106 comments on “The Greens: Party democracy and parliamentary politics”

  1. Jane 1

    Was it over 75% of all party members that supported it or 75+% of those that were attending the conference?

    • outofbed 1.1

      That would be the delegates selected by the members to represent their views.
      It was not a major change
      Nothing to see here

  2. KJT 2

    All that has changed is some administrative process.

    Unlike all other NZ political parties, the formation of policy, and the choice of leaders and MP’s remains democratic and bottom up.

    And. Also, unlike other NZ political parties, and decisions of parliament, if Green party members decide it is not working as planned, they can soon decide to change it. same as we can change out leaders that do not follow policy set by members.

    Greens. Policy formation. decided by all members.
    Labour. Policy formation. Caucus.
    National. Policy formation. Party funders, including US RWNJ..
    UF. Policy formation. Dunne.
    NZF. Policy formation. Peters?

    Greens. Party list and leaders. Decided by all members.
    Labour. Party list and leaders. caucus.
    National. Party list and leaders. Party funders, including US RWNJ..

    It is easy to see that the Greens remain a democratic party, unlike any of the others.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      All that has changed is some administrative process.

      Putting more time demands and overhead on members to make their voice heard.

      • A little more, perhaps, and only if they want their voice heard at the most high-profile meeting. They can always just make friends in other branches and email each other about their remits.

    • Wayne 2.2

      KJT, try and be balanced, and actually look at the National Party constitution. Do really you believe that Simon Lusk really controls the National Party. No one I know in the National Party would give any credence to that, and I am in a position to know.

      I know that that people in political parties like to mock other parties, but you did look like you were trying to make a serious comment about parties and internal democracy.

      I might just as well refer to the Greens and Morris dancing – but I know the Greens have moved on from that.

      • KJT never mentioned anything about Simon Lusk. And unlike the Greens and morris-dancing, there is actually a party faction that would like to sell policy to US interests, and as we have no visibility of how the National Party makes policy, there is no guarantee that isn’t already happening.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.2

        Dr. Mapp; pull the other one. KJT doesn’t assert that Lusk controls the party. He asserts that its clients make its policies.

        Lusk’s manifesto whines about MPs failing to obey clients’ wishes, which tends to undermine the proposition that clients make policy. On the other hand Sky City, Charter Schools, the Hobbit deal, deregulation/underfunding/Devoyding of regulatory bodies, and the ongoing assault on human rights, especially in the workplace.

        Lusk’s preferred policy settings are more naturally suited to ACT, but he knows that would make his creatures unelectable, so he has to attach them to the National Party, where they value his shrewd counsel. That’s influence, not control.

        • Wayne 2.2.2.1

          But how much influence does Simon Lusk really have? I suggest not much. And as you know I think the Greens are having to work pretty hard to show that the Nats are hard right wingers, at least if the near universal reaction to Russell Norman’s speech is anything to go by.

          Much of Russell’s complaint is about process rather than outcome. But any Govt constantly gets people and companies putting forward various propositions.

          For instance it is hardly surprising that oil companies might say to Govt (actually any Govt) that it is too risky to have protestors within 500m of an operating oil rig or a moving survey ship. I imagine they actually said a greater distance. At sea, 500m seems much shorter than the same distance on land, and in my view is hardly a constraint to lawful protest at sea (as oppossed to protest that seeks to stop the activity, but then such protests are unlawful). Of course on land 500m would be an unreasonable restriction. For instance at Waihopai protestors can go right up to the fence to make their point. And not forgetting the unreasonable restrictions on the protests against the Chinese President in 1999.

          By the way, who else had $400 million for a convention centre? Commonsense says no one. I note that pretty much that same deal was done in South Australia (under a Labor Govt I think).

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.2.1.1

            We’ll never know who else had $400M for the convention centre, because the other bidders were never asked what they’d pay for a law change that affected their bottom line.

            The attempt to curtail freedom of expression at sea will doubtless be challenged in court.

            As for Lusk, I think the recent kerfuffle was very much about seeking to limit his influence, but Collins was the intended target.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.2

            By the who else had $400 million for a convention centre?

            The government. We know this because the arseholes are spending $400m of our money on an irrigation system for farmers.

          • ghostrider888 2.2.2.1.3

            Petrostates (look them up).

          • karol 2.2.2.1.4

            Much of Russell’s complaint is about process rather than outcome.

            Isn’t democracy largely about process?

            is it possible to have a democratic outcome from an undemocratic process?

            And how many Kiwis, especially Aucklanders, really put the SkyCity Conference Centre deal & its pokies as something of benefit to them?

          • Shaz 2.2.2.1.5

            Wayne,
            Your comment above.
            “By the way, who else had $400 million for a convention centre? Commonsense says no one”

            I’ve heard this before from another National Party member – almost the exact same words. Dressing up a false tender process by hinting that anyone but a fool could see this was only ever going to go one way – Sky City’s – is a rather ugly sort of Realpolitick. Is this really what this National Government’s legacy will be to NZ?

            It’s a serious question.

            I would argue that if the real situation were known to other tenderers ie. Invest up front and reap the rewards in terms of law changes, access to SOE property and 40 year guarantees of business continuity then I daresay (sadly) that other tenderers would have adjusted their bids accordingly.

            • Wayne 2.2.2.1.5.1

              But only Sky City could actually benefit this way; ie pay $400 million but get an extension of their gaming licence (which would have happened anyway). I can not believe that a Labour/Green Govt would pass legislation to completely outlaw casinos, which is about the only way to terminate Sky City.

              No one else had anything that they were doing that could conceivably have them come up with $400 million.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                That’s entirely dependent on which legislation the National Party was prepared to sell. Are you saying Lloyd Morrison wouldn’t have stumped up $400M in exchange for some changes in investment banking regulations?

              • Shaz

                So the tender process was a sham, a fig leaf to provide cover for an agreement advocated by Sky City and pre-agreed to by government to change the law, provide lengthy licences and guarantees for compensation in case of future law change and that sits well with you because it makes common sense.

                I ask because above you have agreed (above) that it is fair to say that democracy is about process.

    • Rich 2.3

      Excellent.

      (To be fair to Dunne, his party list, leadership and policy formation are all decided by the sole party member, the Right Honorable Peter Dunne).

    • The Fan Club 2.4

      Oh look for heaven’s sake. The next Labour leader will be elected by members, MPs, and the affiliated unions. The policy process in the NZLP is a partnership between caucus and the r&f, with a heavy tilt towards the r&f. Get your facts right, eh?

      On the other hand, the Greens remain a party so weak in on-the-ground volunteers they had to pay people to collect signatures! I mean, for reals, this is laughable.

      • weka 2.4.1

        How many members does Labour have? How many members do the Greens have?

        How many signatures did Labour get? How many did the GP get?

        Spin it all you like, but the GP are just better at some kinds of organising than Labour (and vice versa I’m sure). Don’t know why you have to be such an arsehole about it.

        • The Fan Club 2.4.1.1

          So, in other words, the Greens are better at the kind of organising that involves paying people money? I’m more than happy to acknowledge that.

          • weka 2.4.1.1.1

            No, and I’m sure you know this already and are just being an arse, the GP organise well to suit their memberhip base and what they are trying to achieve.

            How many members does Labour have? How many members do the Greens have?

            How many signatures did Labour get? How many did the GP get?

          • Murray Olsen 2.4.1.1.2

            The Greens are better at creating jobs. In this case they were part time, short term ones. There are enough people who need a few extra bucks, thanks to 30+ years of Rogernomics. I’m happy they managed to help a few of them out temporarily.

      • Aotearoean 2.4.2

        You are really annoying Fanclub. You diss the leader that the Labour Membership wanted and you then say that the increased democracy that the rank and file achieved at the last conference is a good thing.

        Can’t you get your story straight? Are you in favour of a mass membership democratic Labour Party or do you prefer to it being controlled by a bunch of careerists?

  3. KJT 3

    The message has gone out. Greens are a sensible and realistic threat to the looting of New Zealand.

    The RWNJ media have been told to:

    Endlessly repeat these memes, “the Greens are unrealistic, communist and loony”.

    The RW media will keep repeating these on the usual idea that, if you repeat crap often enough, even those who should know better begin to accept it.
    They will not engage in any discussion or supply underlying evidence for these assertions, as they know full well there isn’t any.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    this change, however it is dressed up, reduces the impact that individual members and individual branches have, cuts out outlier ‘out of the box’ thinking and gives advantages to orthodox, mainstream, centralised policy making.

    I so hate party officials saying things like, ‘Trust us, we have every intention (for the moment and while it suits us) of taking the membership along with us.’

    The most remarkable thing of course is why a large group of Green Members at the meeting would vote for their own voices as branches and individuals to be substantially softened.

    My summary: this change reduces the power and voice of outlier members and branches, gently moves policy making towards an orthodox middle of the road, and despite what might be claimed, doesn’t appear to solve any actual major policy development problem that the Greens were having – so u have to ask why was it done.

    • outofbed 4.1

      No doesn’t do that at all Just tries to streamline the Agm process And my God if you have been to many Green Agm’s you would know why.
      The grassroots democratic process of the Green Party has not been undermined one iota with this changes

    • Ant 4.2

      CV has it right, just further sanitising by the Greens into a ‘safe’, middle-class lifestyle brand.

      They don’t want any hokey ideas popping up that will be reported in MSM.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        They don’t want any hokey ideas popping up that will be reported in MSM.

        Which frankly, given the proven hostility of the MSM towards the Greens, seems like a perfectly sensible defensive posture. In a much different world the Greens could afford to try and be ‘perfectly democratic’ and allow every member unlimited scope for self-expression. But in this world no organisation can afford that. Some form of internal discipline is necessary.

        Politics is a brutal game; to pretend otherwise guarantees failure. The skillful part is to understand this while remaining true to your own authentic self.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Someone below described Green remits as typically being for changes to the party constitution and not for policy or coalition decisions. Given that, I think that the impact of the change will not be a problem, and will help the AGM focus on its business.

    • Shane Gallagher 4.4

      Hyperbole much?

      All this means is that is someone wants to bring a remit to the AGM which is costly in both time and money for the members they will have to have had two other branches look over the remit and point out things like “that is already in the constitution – can’t you lot read?”, “that doesn’t make any sense”, “that rule has already been changed – didn’t you read the extensive notes sent out on this?”, “that is already being debated in a specially convened committee and you should try reading your emails”, “that wording is really bad – we don’t understand what this means”, “we decided that at the last agm – stop trying to re-litigate this issue just because you didn’t like the result” etc. (and these are variations on real world examples).

      If the remit proposed is worthy then you will get support. There are things like email which you can send items like remits to other branches for them to debate. In Auckland most of the branches are really close to each other. I live in Dunedin and we have one of the biggest provinces in the country and our branches are literally hours away from each other and we manage to talk to each other a lot and really well. We meet as often as possible in person, email and skype lots. There are excellent provincial level systems in place so it is quite trivial to have a remit debated at a bunch of branches. Seriously this is nothing.

      And what is wrong with having a well worded and thought out remit brought to the AGM? It shows respect to the other members. You take a big chunk of time and money out of your life to do good and to have it wasted by an ill-thought out and badly worded remit is really, really annoying. It is not respectful or thoughtful.

      • weka 4.4.1

        Thanks Shane, it’s good to have input from someone in the GP who knows how it works.

        As member who hasn’t been to meetings for a long time, I’m unclear now on how things work at the regional/local level now. Is that structure and process online (eg via login)? Or do I have to go to an actual meeting to find out?

    • weka 4.5

      I so hate party officials saying things like, ‘Trust us, we have every intention (for the moment and while it suits us) of taking the membership along with us.’

      CV, the quote in Karol’s post made me cringe a bit too. It came across as being spoken by someone who sees themselves and the organisation they work for as separate from the members. Bit patronising, hopefully nothing worse than that.

  5. Clockie 5

    “This does raise an important issue about the difficulties (are smaller) has in negotiating with a larger one within a government alliance.”

    Should that read: “a smaller party..”

  6. Oscar 6

    Drive hundreds of kilometres to lobby other branches? Have these members not caught up with skype, email, Facebook and other forms of communications that will enable them to lobby just as effectively? They could all hangout on Google+ and have debates there too.

    Afaik this change appears to be nothing overtly substantial, and reduces the time necessary to have to debate every penny spending remit that’s submitted. At least the peer review process that’s now in place will reduce the number of frivolous remits.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I think your comment describes the direction the Greens are taking. After all its fair to expect your comfortable middle class membership to all have broadband.

      • kiwicommie 6.1.1

        *shrug* In the US most people can afford internet, even the homeless – though they get it free in starbucks and fast food chains.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          OK Aotearoa GP members living in homeless poverty in the US are set

          I actually find this ‘let them eat cake’ attitude hilarious

          ‘Anyone who is anyone in the Greens can just conference call in using Skype from their iPhone’

          • kiwicommie 6.1.1.1.1

            I am not a member of a political party so I wouldn’t know, but having had a quick look at their website – it does seem rather quiet in their overseas forums. Then I would say that the 20,000 or so NZ’ers living in the states are disconnected [from NZ] much more so than NZ’ers living in Australia. Skyping in is more plausible if you are living overseas, but in New Zealand skype is made too expensive by internet charges. I find ‘free internet’ a joke in New Zealand, because they act like data Nazis (especially the WCC) and only allow email and website access.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.2

            You don’t need every branch member to have access to broadband.

            You need just one of them to have access to dialup, and know a few email addresses for members of other branches.

            This is not a huge ask to have a platform at the national meeting, and you should stop trying to blow it up into one.

            • Ant 6.1.1.1.2.1

              It creates unnecessary barriers for members to participate in their own party, as a change it privileges those with more resources (including time), who are also most likely those in already entrenched positions of power.

              • Colonial Viper

                This is the proven Labour Party pattern. Another thing which happens, based again on Labour Party experience, is that the rules (formal and informal) for getting a remit through become increasingly complex and hard for non party professionals to navigate.

                I take it however that party remits in the Greens are still binding on caucus and leaders: that is exceptional and must be kept (if it is true) as it keeps caucus in line with wishes of the party.

                • “..I take it however that party remits in the Greens are still binding on caucus and leaders: that is exceptional and must be kept (if it is true) as it keeps caucus in line with wishes of the party…”

                  um..!..no..!..not according to the body of the article..

                  ..they are not ‘binding’..

                  phillip ure..

                • The Fan Club

                  Also, again, wtf? The policy process in the NZLP is dominated by r&f. It’s just that you’re the exact kind of clownish incompetent that the system’s set up to keep out. Trust me, CV, it’s not the professionals that fuck you over, it’s other r&f who don’t want to put with your bullshit.

                  • weka

                    Charming. It’s that kind of interpersonal nastiness that sometimes makes me hope the Labour party eventually dies*. We desperately need people in the world of politics who have emotional and social intelligence.

                    *and frees up the rank and file to join another party where they can be productive and useful.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Since I know the names of a few of the MPs and paid staff who were targetting me, TFC’s claim is rather hilarious.

                      It’s just that you’re the exact kind of clownish incompetent that the system’s set up to keep out.

                      Apprently, along with a good chunk of the party’s own MPs and LECs. Fiendishly clever system Labour has got going on there.

                  • The Fan Club

                    Pfft name names CV, or stfu. Because I will be totally honest, and say that the people I talked to who wanted you (and the rest of the conspiracy theorists in these parts) to FOAD were not staffers. They were not MPs. They were members who wanted to win elections, not indulge in ego-trips.

                    More seriously, look, the point of the Labour Party is to change the world. It is not a plaything for the crochet-y, the swivel-eyed loons, and the otherwise unable to find a warm room on a Tuesday night. If you want a party driven by the membership, one of the follow-ons is that the membership needs to be a disciplined, effective body. Many of the foibles that we let go in the years that the membership didn’t matter can no longer be tolerated.

                    And the same goes for the Greens.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because I will be totally honest

                      Meh. That’ll be a cold day in hell.

                      More seriously, look, the point of the Labour Party is to change the world.

                      Meh.

                      I will add, the authoritarian, born to rule perspective suits you to a tee.

                    • ghostrider888

                      FWIW, if i was to become a member of a political party it would be the NZLP, wart and all. They always get my votes anyway, Working Class Man and all that.

              • RedLogix

                It creates unnecessary barriers for members to participate in their own party

                I think it creates a necessary barrier for members to leap over internally before their ideas are going to become public domain.

                I think that’s pretty reasonable; if you are not willing to make this effort, an effort required to protect the party from hostile external attack, then you have to ask yourself exactly why you are a member and whose purposes you are serving.

                • weka

                  I can see both sides of it.

                  I agree that there are other ways for people to get involved if they don’t have or manage the internet well. I’m not sure how this would work at the local level. We’re not talking about individual members, we talking about a branch having to send a remit to other branches before going to the AGM. If any branch in NZ doesn’t have the ability to do that (as opposed to individuals), then I find it hard to imagine that the GP wouldn’t step up and help.

                  On the other hand, the idea that anyone with the internet can manage skype or google+ is sign of how out of touch some people are, and I’m not talking about those that struggle with online interactions. There are increasing numbers of people with access to technology (both hardware and skills to use it) who now fail to understand that not everyone else does and the fact that this disadvantages some people. I hope the GP doesn’t lose sight of this.

                  On the other other hand, we’re talking about political activism here. I agree with RL, some effort needs to be made, and I’m sure that support will be offered too.

                  • ghostrider888

                    article on te news suggests majority of New Zealanders do not understand the features of UFB.
                    btw, then there is the suggestion that VDSL-capability may, for some time at least, undermine the efficacy of the UFB roll-out. Go figure. (1.5 B).

    • Jenny 6.2

      At least the peer review process that’s now in place will reduce the number of frivolous remits.

      Oscar

      What is frivolous, and what is not. Is purely a subjective call.

      Oscar, will the leadership be required to release their grounds for rejecting member remits. Or indeed their reasons for favouring others. So the members can judge for themselves if these reasons are valid or not?

      Or do the leadership have cart blanche right to reject or approve member remits without any justification or explanation?

      I imagine this sort of behaviour could be very disheartening, especially if the members forwarding a remit had gone to the trouble to jump through all the new bureaucratic hoops and hurdles put in their way.

      Oscar as well as making it harder to present remits in the first place which you have mentioned. More worrying in my opinion is the new power given to the executive to either approve, or veto, all Green Party member remits even if they manage to pass the new higher threshold.

      A party that gives it’s leaders the power to veto, or pass on member’s remits as they see fit without explanation, can hardly be called democratic. Effectively reserving as their right the power to shape party policy.

      What checks and balances, if any, are in place?

      Are there any rights of appeal?

      Can the submitters ask for the grounds for the veto of their remit by the executive?

      Could a successful members petition circulated by email through the whole party membership overturn an executive veto?

  7. ghostrider888 7

    Here is a take on coalitions (including the Greens) from Matt Robson, over at The Daily Blog
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/06/08/now-dunne-is-done-lets-consider-the-not-so-grand-coalitions/

    • Jenny 7.1

      Matt Robson. Now there is a voice from the past. If anyone knows anything about cost of trading principle for cabinet positions it must be him. Matt Robson, to keep his cabinet posts traded his Alliance Party anti-war principles away, and ended up with neither cabinet post, or principles. Leaving him in the end with not even a party.

      • ghostrider888 7.1.1

        so, coalition insights gained from personal experience, being the bitterest form of learning.

        • Jenny 7.1.1.1

          Indeed.

          Wisdom is what we use to avoid making mistakes.

          We achieve wisdom by making mistakes.

  8. Armstrong should join the tea party here in the states, he has just the brain for it. Alternatively after 2014, when his party darlings are turfed out he can move to the UK and suck up to the Conservatives or Labour over there.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    Not being party to the Green’s inner workings, do they have some sort of policy group(say a branch) that signals the imtention of forming a policy in some area and asks all the other branches for their thoughts?, remits? and then gathers the remits all up into a pile to lay out into a tentative policy with not negotiable lines and nice to have things to go back to their conferences to vote on?

    I guess I’m thinking of some sort of crowd sourcing within the party by those who are interested in particular areas

    • This will undoubtedly happen under the new system. :)

    • Shane Gallagher 9.2

      Anyone in the party can submit a policy for debate. It then goes to the policy groups to develop. There is a lengthy process of consultation and analysis before it goes to the wider party. It is member driven and quite a robust process.

    • KJT 9.3

      Sort of correct.

      Green policy is developed by policy groups, under major policy headings, which any member can join. There is no barrier to members forming further policy groups if it is not already covered.

      The process is consensual and robust.

      It can be complicated and long winded, but that is democracy in action.
      Also has the advantage that pros and cons of any policy are very thoroughly covered.

    • weka 9.4

      Policy up for discussion also goes to the members direct via email. I got an email a few weeks ago with the latest policies needing feedback. There is a choice of website login, attending branch meetings, or emailing the policy networkers.

      • The Fan Club 9.4.1

        And then at some point the policy gets made up by some staffer in Russell Norman’s office?

        I mean really, if you want to claim NZPower went through channels, go ahead…

        • weka 9.4.1.1

          In what ways does NZPower not fit with existing GP policy?

          • The Fan Club 9.4.1.1.1

            That’s not enough: the claim is that Green Policy is democratically determined, not that parts of it are and then parts are merely consistent. NZPower isn’t, for that matter, consistent with the Greens energy policy, inasmuch as the previous policy clearly did not envisage such an intervention and neither endorses or discusses what form that intervention would take.

            NZPower was evidently not put to the party in any democratic means; nor, for that matter, was the Green response to KiwiBuild… KiwiPower wasn’t a “policy up for discussion [that went] to the members direct via email”. It’s just absurd to say the things you say about the policy process given the two most high profile recent policy announcements clearly didn’t happen that way.

            • weka 9.4.1.1.1.1

              Think you are getting lost in your own spin there dude. I didn’t say that.

              For some reason you think the GP should be absolutely pure in terms of process (god knows how you can sustain that view and still be political). As a member I’m keeping a quiet eye on what is going on, but I don’t feel particularly upset with the changes because I made my peace some years ago with the GP’s need to be pragmatic. It’s pretty bloody obvious why NZPower wasn’t discussed publicly ahead of time.

              It’s pretty weird to be lectured on democracy from someone deeply in the Labour Party, but of course the main reason you are here is to undermine your next coalition partner. Go figure.

  10. Green Viper 10

    Karol the debate was conducted behind closed with all media including Radio NZ excluded and no copies of the remit were made a valuable to media.There was nothing open about it. It was supported largely because the executive moved it and if anything there is still a massive groupthink in the party in support of the leadership. Dissent is ruthlessly weeded out and jumped on by the faithful. Metiria was quoted at one branch discussing the remit as seeing it as necessary preparation for government. At present the author of the Te Awa piece which criticised the changes is being hounded as the person who leaked the story to the Herald. He clearly had nothing to do with it but nevertheless is the victim of outraged posts on FB. All desperate and unpleasant as the Greens find themselves being outed as being undemocratic whilst professing to be the most democratic party in New Zealand.. You couldn’t make it up.

    • ghostrider888 10.1

      Have seen these days coming.

    • kiwicommie 10.2

      Greens find themselves being outed as being undemocratic whilst professing to be the most democratic party in New Zealand.

      It depends on whether you vote for them based on how ‘democratic’ they are, or their policies. Political parties are always going to be semi-democratic internally, whether it is ‘left’ or ‘right’ as obviously some policy/personal disagreements are going to force the leadership to act in an authoritarean manner, towards unruly party members.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Oh brilliant, a justification to put uppity party members back in their place so that the leadership can get on with business as they see fit.

        Once this attitude takes hold this party is on track to be taken over by cliques and special interests like every other party

        • RedLogix 10.2.1.1

          As you well know all organisations have a handful of “uppity” members who have extremist ideas or obnoxious, timewasting, behaviours. You cannot pretend they do not exist.

          Now in the interests of ‘democracy’ you can give them full reign to their destructive powers, or you can impose a measure of internal discipline. This is one of the essential features of all collective enterprises. Or to put it another way, I’d very interested if you are able to provide an example of any large scale, long-term successful organisation that has zero internal discipline.

          The Green Party membership has for very long time enjoyed a very high degree of personal liberty, and in my reading this relatively modest procedural change is a small step towards restoring a degree of collective responsibility. As with all things there is a requirement to achieve a balance.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2.1.1.1

            The requirement that three branches agree is hardly onerous; the good ideas will still find support.

            • Saarbo 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Sounds like a good idea to me, I’ve seen some ridiculous remits go forward that should never see the light of day.

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.2

            Possibly my personal experience as an “uppity member” whom some in the hierarchy tried to discipline has coloured my views somewhat.

            Nevertheless I accepted above that as these remits were largely constitutional in nature then there is no real problem and yes it does help the business of the AGM, so I see the points that you and Mr Gallagher above are making.

            • RedLogix 10.2.1.1.2.1

              Point granted CV. Here is one of life’s very strange ironies.

              The left while passionately believing in the power and virtue of collective enterprise and responsibility, as individuals tend to be rather poor at the personal political skills and astuteness required to succeed within them.

              By contrast, the right while constantly touting the virtues of personal achievement and responsibility are often the masters of the skills needed to game the system.

            • kiwicommie 10.2.1.1.2.2

              Possibly my personal experience as an “uppity member” whom some in the hierarchy tried to discipline has coloured my views somewhat.

              I doubt I could join any political party in New Zealand, without disagreeing a lot with their party platform. So I would end up being an ‘uppity member’ at odds with the leadership. Some people could cope with being under a party structure where you have to hold the party line somewhat, but not everyone can cope with that – safe to say such structures aren’t for me. Don’t mind helping, but I draw the line at being a party member.

              • KJT

                Well. I am rather an uppity member of the Greens myself. having joined because I agree with their goals. Not always with their way of getting there.

                I have found that on the whole diverse views within the party are treated with a lot more respect than they were within Labour.

                And. The Greens process of picking the party list has resulted in a large group of competent and principled MP’s, which is more than I can say for any other party in Parliament.

    • KS 10.3

      GreenViper, by closing the debate to the media, it was more open to our members to say exactly what they wanted with far less fear that they would become a media issue. The irony is that it would not have been as robust a debate, making it even more open to media speculation. Other parties AGMs have become just set media pieces, with the real decisions made elsewhere.

      Dissent is not “ruthlessly weeded out and jumped on by the faithful”. The person who wrote the Te Awa article is the same who put an ad in the Herald two years ago to complain about the list ranking process. What do you think a party should do with a member who takes out newspaper ads when he doesn’t get his way? He would have been thrown out of any other party, but he is still an active Green as you can see. Yes, people naturally asked if he was up to something. Others pointed out why it was not a leak.

      So people remember what he did previously and are suspicious – what would you expect? We’re a party full of humans and there will be issues of all sorts. We deal with them as best as we can within our rules and people get more than a fair shake.

      • The Fan Club 10.3.1

        Actually, this is nonsense. The last Labour Party Conference was held in full view of the media, as I’m pretty sure everyone here knows, and it wasn’t a stitch up, as I’m pretty sure most people remember.

        Likewise, the idea that Green policy is written by members and Labour policy by caucus is nonsense — the NZ Power call didn’t go through the usual channels in the Greens, did it? (At the same time the Green leadership are making up policy on the fly, the NZLP is writing a binding platform on regional conference floor.)

        • mickysavage 10.3.1.1

          When Trevor’s tweets are made public fan club you can then claim that everything was fair and above board.

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.1.1

            Come on MS, there was blood on the conference floor in full view of the media. Of course you think it wasn’t particularly fair — in the long run you lost! But it was public, and it wasn’t a stitch up.

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1.1

              It wasn’t a stitch up. But it was pre-prepared and well co-ordinated.

              But that’s history now, Shearer is doing well so there are no more questions that we have the right Leader in place for 2014.

              Of course you think it wasn’t particularly fair — in the long run you lost!

              My friend, you seem to have an odd idea of what the “long run” is.

        • KS 10.3.1.2

          NZPower is well within Green policy. No need to make up policy on the fly.

          Our MPs have always been bound by all Green policy. Labour’s process to create a manifesto will determine which party policies their MPs are bound to. They will still be able to ignore the rest.

          Didn’t mean to imply Labour’s conferences had become as bad as National’s. But will be very surprised if the next one is as open as the last.

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.2.1

            It’s not true that the NZLP ignores announced policy, just as a point. They just used to ignore remits. Which is bad, and that’s why we got rid of remits and replaced them with systems that are fit-for-purpose.

            (I don’t think NZPower was within the Greens energy policy — look at http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/energy-policy-summary and point out where it fits in?)

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.2.1.1

              It’s not true that the NZLP ignores announced policy, just as a point. They just used to ignore remits.

              Of course.

              Caucus announces the policy they have agreed on (so why would they ignore their own policy?).

              Party conference policy remits/policy council proposals were, as you say, routinely ignored or bypassed by the parliamentary wing.

            • weka 10.3.1.2.1.2

              (I don’t think NZPower was within the Greens energy policy — look at http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/energy-policy-summary and point out where it fits in?) The Fan Club

              Norman’a announcement –


              “Under our Progressive Pricing policy, every household will get a block of low-cost electricity each month from the savings that NZ Power achieves. That will save each family $300 a year, while encouraging efficient use of power at the margins.

              “NZ Power will be explicitly mandated to prioritise renewables, energy efficiency, and resilience of our electricity system. For the first time, we will have a major player in the system that is committed to energy efficiency.

              “We welcome the fact that Labour’s search for a solution to unfair and unaffordable power prices has come to the same conclusion as the Greens have. A single buyer that works for the consumer, not to make profits, is the way forward.

              “For too long, the electricity system has been used to leech profits from Kiwi families and businesses. The Greens’ plan will mean lower power bills, helping Kiwi families to warm their homes. It will also reduce power costs to businesses, which will help them hire more workers,” said Dr Norman.

              http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/greens-reduce-power-bills

              The policy –

              Key Principles
              1. The scale and rate of energy use are both key markers of sustainability and both are subject to ecological limits.
              2. All New Zealanders should be able to access affordable energy services that meet essential needs and enable participation in society.
              3. Due to both resource depletion and climate change, we need to progressively reduce our use of fossil fuels to a very low level, eventually providing all energy services from renewable energy.
              4. To avoid social, economic, and environmental disruption, the reduction of fossil fuel use needs to be planned, the burden shared fairly, and replacement energy sources need to have a low environmental impact.
              5. Energy services, such as warm houses, food production and supply, and industrial processes, must be provided using much less energy than now, through both improvements in efficiency and changes in behaviour. This is necessary to minimise environmental impacts and ensure the ongoing availability of energy services.
              6. Planning, regulatory and market decision-making must be coordinated to deliver sustainable energy services and embody a precautionary approach, and be supported by good information.
              7. Individuals, communities and businesses need to be empowered to make decisions about energy and its use that enhance sustainability.
              8. Iwi and hapu rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi to manage and develop their resources within the constraints of sustainability must be recognised and supported in the transition to a sustainable energy future.

              http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/energy-policy

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.2.2

            Er, you just meant to say they “set pieces with the real decisions made elsewhere”, an evidently false claim? I mean ffs!

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.3

          The last Labour Party Conference was held in full view of the media, as I’m pretty sure everyone here knows, and it wasn’t a stitch up

          What I do remember were many Labour MPs using the media presence as a staging ground for internecine warfare.

          • Aotearoean 10.3.1.3.1

            Yep, my clear impression too. But I did not see Cunliffe do anything wrong.

  11. KS 11

    Remits are supposed to be mainly about constitutional changes. In the past, we’ve had remits get to the floor that were not, usually ending up failing and being passed onto the Executive for action. There usually isn’t enough AGM time during a weekend to allow for heaps of time to be wasted like this. Most members are pretty tired of it, so most supported the small change that two branches had to suppport the idea within a proposed remit before taking up AGM time. Yes, it makes it slightly harder. Yes, that what most felt was needed, as wasting precious AGM time is not good for grassroots democracy either.

    Remits do not address policy matters or the formation of a coalition. That will be done at a special general meeting after the election where the only votes cast are by electorate delegates, same as with the recent remit decision. The Green Party’s future is very much in the hands of our members. John Armstrong’s hatchet job was absolutely shameful.

  12. Green Viper 12

    The Greens for years have been sneering at Labour citing theirs as a far superior democratic processes. Facts are very different now. Any Labour member can rock up to their LEC and move a remit and if supported find it on the AGM agenda. Whereas the Greens new process is Kafkaesque in its complexity Isn’t that what flaxroots democracy is all about?

    • Jenny 12.1

      I am not as familiar with the right parties remit process. But I imagine that they are not that different to Labour’s. Leaving the Green Party the new title holder for least inner party democracy.

  13. Jenny 13

    Past elections have provenly seen Labour favour conservative coalition partners over more left ones. Even if this meant bypassing the electorate’s more popular choice to go straight to a proven right wing partner with less electoral mandate.

    New Zealand election results 2002

    So how will it all work out?

    Here is my best guess.

    The Greens will take up the offer to enter into the Labour Government tent. New Zealand First will be also be invited into the tent as well, to counter Greens influence. Much the same way that Key plays off the Maori Party against ACT.

    Peter Sharples, or Tuoroa Flavell, (which ever of them remains in parliament), will get Maori Affairs. (All mention of them being ‘haters and wreckers’ forgotten). Their eventual capitulation over the Seabed and Foreshore, (even though under National), will see them in the good stead with Labour.

    Hone Harawira will get nothing. (As expected) But this will not stop him. He will continue campaigning around the issues of child poverty and social justice and Maori issues as vigorously as ever.
    In a nightmare scenario for the Greens, the Mana Party may even start campaigning on environmental and Climate Change issues downplayed by them in the run up to get cabinet positions.

    Russel Norman will settle for some sort of associate finance position. Metiria Turei will get the Social Policy portfolio, she wants.

    The New Zealand First Leader will reprise his previous role of international jet setter and baubel abuser. Other New Zealand First gains could be, Associate Defence, and Police Portfolios. (Not even a madman would let them near immigration).

    As the global financial crisis and the global climate crisis continue to worsen.

    It is likely that at some point during this administration, the Greens will suffer some huge sort of public hair pulling implosion due to their compromises over the environment and climate change. (Worsened by Russel Norman’s complete failure to make any inroads at all to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis.)

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      more interesting reading. What about housework.

    • karol 13.2

      Jenny: It is likely that at some point during this administration, the Greens will suffer some huge sort of public hair pulling implosion due to their compromises over the environment and climate change. (Worsened by Russel Norman’s complete failure to make any inroads at all to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis.)

      I’ve always been a little skeptical about Norman’s (shifting ti the centre?) economic policies, and am more a supporter of Turei on social policies.

      However, I don’t see Norman being weak on climate change, if last week’s Green party conference on it is anything to go by. Kennedy Graham said, in his press release about the conference:

      “The resounding message after hearing the leading lights on climate change in New Zealand is that inaction is not an option,” said Green Party climate change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham….
      \
      “It’s time for the Government to announce a serious binding reductions target and demonstrate how it will be reached. It’s time for the Government to sign up to the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

      In his conference key note speech, Norman said:

      To me it seems remarkable that a country so reliant on agriculture is actively investing in fossil fuel extraction and putting road blocks in the way of those who want to move towards a sustainable economy.

      The environment and economy are so interdependent, so entwined that thinking we can have one without the other is irrational….

      The National Government has not only killed any incentive for businesses to start transitioning to be less reliant on fossil fuels but has kept subsidising the very businesses that are adding to the problem.

      Not only that but National scrap environmental protections to make it easier to extract fossil fuels.

      It’s all so heartbreakingly short-term.

      The path towards sustainable energy is one best trod sooner no matter how tough it is. Lagging on this transition means losing opportunities. New Zealand is usually so light on its feet when it comes to picking up new technology and seeing which way the wind is blowing. Yet here we are ceding to the rest of the world the opportunities to be developing technology that will power new jobs and new industries.

      To have a vital economy and protect our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our farmlands and snowcapped peaks. We can’t be by-standers.

      As I indicated in my post, it’s a tricky thing for a party committed to democratic processes to negotiate working in a parliamentary system, which, is weighted towards top-down processes. There’s various conflicting tensions that need to be negotiated. At this stage I am not sure how successful the Greens will be. They are already coming under intense pressure from the media and right-wingers to be more MOR.

      However, they must surely see the Maori Party as a cautionary tale, and be trying to avoid the same fate. Remember how the Mp were once so strong for consulting with their members on anything?

      The majority of voters and the MSM seem to like a party with strong and decisive leaders, wile many on the left, including those who have given up on voting, want more democratic parties.

      All very tricky as far as I can see.

      • RedLogix 13.2.1

        And of course there was this event:

        When: Friday, June 7, 2013 – 9:00am – 4:30pm
        Where: Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament
        Kennedy Graham hosts a one-day climate change conference in Parliament on 7th June, with the aim of fostering cross-party and public dialogue on climate change.

        The threat is now urgent and we need to be working together to find common ground as well as debating our differences.

        The international community agrees that action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is needed, but New Zealand is failing to do its ‘fair share’. Scientists are warning of potential catastrophe if effective action is not taken, within this decade, to stop global warming beyond 2 degrees. New Zealand needs a climate change strategy and action plan, called for in a UN decision of 2010.

        The Government must act now, not some time in the future. We need an effective price signal to incentivise clean tech and innovation instead of subsidising pollution.

        http://www.greens.org.nz/events/climate-change-conference

        Note the date … this last Friday.

        • karol 13.2.1.1

          Yes, that’s the one I was referring to – I probably should have said “last Friday” not “last week”.

  14. Yes 14

    Finally finally finally…you have all come realise and starting to work out the greens are here to take over labour. Where is shearers backbone. Can’t even get a back page advert going.

    Greens took over alliance now labour…FFS labour get your arse into gear

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    The above comments have persuaded me that the only sensible thing I can do is to join the Civilian Party. The Civilian Party only needs 500 paid up members. It is currently recruiting.

  16. L 16

    This remit is a result of several poorly worded and out of scope remits originating from one branch and in particular one person who has been waging a war against the executive of the party. What the member fails to mention is that the remit will not stop his branch from bringing remits as it is a branch which contains three electorates so therefore will be considered three groups. Nothing to see here. Move on.

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  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics
    A transient political scandal which has been dealt with, resolved and thoroughly moved-on-from with no hard feelings at all has somehow been named as the Public Address Word of the Year 2014."I honestly can't understand how this has happened," said...
    Public Address
  • Station Boarding Stats for 2013/14
    Late last week Auckland Transport provided me with some fascinating stats related that broke down rail patronage results by station. The data is for the previous financial year -so from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 – and covers 10.05 million...
    Transport Blog
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
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  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
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  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
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  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
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  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
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  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
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  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
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  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
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  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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