web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Have they got to 2000 yet?
    The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians...
    Tumeke | 31-07
  • Who do you believe?
    On the back of numerous controversies that have plagued the National led government over the last few weeks, the left wing block of Labour and the Greens have managed to increase their support from 38.5% to 42% in the latest...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Labour can’t keep rewarding failure
    A recent column I wrote in the NZ Herald earned a ...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Lack of media interest in election policies
    It is hard not to feel that there is a major problem with mainstream media bias when the main opposition party announces that it plans to raise the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 (14%...
    Closing the Gap | 31-07
  • The agony of Gaza – What price the right of self-defence?
    As I write, the conflict in Gaza has seen yet another ceasefire deal squandered, with more death and destruction. Israel has repeatedly claimed its right to self-defence as justification for ‘Operation Protective Edge’. That claim is supported by leading Western...
    frogblog | 31-07
  • Murray McCully’s taxpayer-funded pissups
    Today was the last day of Parliament before the election, so naturally the government used it as cover to dump the quarterly Ministerial expenses reports. The media picked up pretty quickly on Tim Groser's $300 dinner of foie gras, (endangered)...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • STOP BOMBING ALREADY!!! (Leaked White House Transcript. 30 July 2014, EST )
    Gaza, an open-air prison? Israel’s $3 billion-a-year welfare check threatened? America scolds Israel? STOP THE PRESS!!! A leaked White House transcript of a heated phone-call earlier today reveals that US President Barack Obama told Israel’s Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to...
    Snoopman News | 31-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31A
    10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change A carbon tax that's good for business? Alaska communities at highest risk from ocean acidification Climate criminality': Australia OKs biggest coal mine IPCC climate change report's findings must be...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 July 2014
    Roy Morgan has just released their latest poll, and finally there’s some relatively good news for the Left! It certainly didn’t take long for Micky Savage at the Standard to have a quick half-gloat… Or Martyn Bradbury at the Daily...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-07
  • Is the Gaza conflict going to resolve differently this time?
    The world witnesses yet another tragic spectacle of the perennial Israel /Palestine war over Gaza. There are the appalling pictures of dead and injured children in schools and hospitals. Enormous explosions are seen on our screens where multi-story buildings are...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Parliament rises on a good note, thanks to some meddling kids
    The above video provides a good introduction to the slavery conditions of workers on foreign charter vessels fishing in NZ waters, as well as the Christchurch Anglican church’s involvement in it. While the Government took a while to act on the problem,...
    Cut your hair | 31-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #4: Aotea Arts District
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 4: Aotea Arts District What if Aotea felt like an Arts District? The area around Aotea Square is home to a surprising number of performing arts venues. I say surprising because it’s not often that you feel...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Overview: 2014 Poll Results (January – July)
    I'm currently completing a detailed Two-Part Post analysing Opinion poll trends over the last few years. Specifically, Part One will take a close look at the disparities between(1) Poll support for each party in the 18-month run-up to the last two...
    Sub zero politics | 31-07
  • The Māori Party and slave-fishing
    In the early C19th, when William Wilberforce was camapigning to abolish slavery in Britain's colonial posessions, he met with strong opposition from the British establishment. Few of his opponents were bold enough to say that they actually approved of slavery....
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Colin and Jamie walked into a bar …
    A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties....
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Our Work and Wages policy
    I want New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent, society in the world. To get there we need to grow the economy. But we also need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. That’s because...
    Labour campaign | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill today 31 July 2014 reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Purge! Trotter vs Quin vs Labour
    In the last couple of days there have been two columns looking beyond the election to, in the eyes of the authors, the inevitable internecine Labour blood-sports that follow. Each has a purge to propose. Phil Quin thinks Labour is...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey. Tertiary education is full of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Fiji: The law means nothing II
    Last month, we saw how Fiji's electoral law works in practice, when the supervisor of elections was instructed to register dictator Voreqe Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party despite the name being similar to that of the wound-up One Fiji - an...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Unbelievable
    Why didn't Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully act sooner in the Malaysian diplomat case? Because he couldn't be arsed reading his email:DAVID SHEARER (Labour - Mt Albert) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did his office receive an email at...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The last day
    Today is the last day of Parliament for the term. After spending the morning on non-controversial legislation - including apparently the anti-slave-fishing bill - the House will have its last Question Time and then an adjournment debate. And then they'll...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Traffic still at 2007 levels
    Gerry Brownlee’s media release yesterday trumpeted up traffic levels in 2013 surpassing those in 2012 – apparently this is a sign of New Zealand’s economic recovery that we’re driving a bit more. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Oily pigs at the trough
    We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Thursday July 31
    Top of the AgendaRussia Reacts to New U.S., EU Sanctions...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Fascinating chart on global income change
    Last year Joseph Stiglitz, Prof James K Galbraith, and Branko Milanovic presented a paper that included the following graph, which set the economics world all a-twitter: It shows the change in income around the world in roughly the first 20...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Nurses celebrate partial victory for new grads
    Nurses celebrated yesterday when they learned their 7000 signature petition had helped pressure the government into funding a further 200 more positions in the nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Adjournment Speech
    Speech – Mana Party Itd be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global...
    Its our future | 30-07
  • Development opportunities after CRL: Will Newton become a second Newmarket?
    A couple of weeks ago Auckland Council quietly released a new version of its Capacity for Growth Study. The CFG study is an important and interesting document – it models the potential for future residential and business development under current...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 30-07
  • Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Novopay debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house. Glenn Barclay, PSA...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Israel celebrates killing of children
    As the Israeli bombardment and occupation of Gaza intensifies with Unicef estimating that 230 Palestinian children have been killed to date, the international response to numerous Israeli war crimes appears to be floundering. Although an investigation will be conducted, without...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • From truffle to light crude; oil doesn’t come cheap
    The Governments oil salesman Simon Bridges just can’t catch a break these days. Whether it’s having to admit that he’d never even heard of NZ’s largest forest park (Victoria FP) which he’d just opened up to drillers or getting stick...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-07
  • Nick Smith hides shameful vacant house numbers
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has lodged an official complaint against Housing Minister Nick Smith with Parliament’s Speaker for refusing to release data on the number of vacant state houses around the country. “Nick Smith is clearly embarrassed by the...
    Labour | 31-07
  • GC Star supports Beyer +video
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer. In a short video clip, Waititi announces that he supports “the iconic and the wonderful” Beyer in her bid for New Zealand’s...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Mana supports the Silent Leaders Challenge
    “Tomorrow I will be participating in a challenge to break the silence about hearing loss”, said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “I’m doing it to feel what it is that those who are hearing-impaired face every day”...
    Mana | 31-07
  • ADJOURNMENT SPEECH – MP Hone Harawira
    It’d be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global Financial Crisis with a...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Evidence refutes doomsday wages predictions
    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should cut the tired old rhetoric about rises in the minimum wage causing job losses and understand New Zealand has a serious problem with low wages and working poverty that needs to be addressed, Labour’s...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
    Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven ‘Everything’s Sweet ’Joyce, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers...
    Labour | 31-07
  • McCully’s excuses in tatters
    New evidence has emerged today that shows Mr McCully’s excuses for not knowing about the Malaysian diplomat case don’t stack up, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Mr McCully said he had received no information about the Malaysian diplomat...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Poisons Centre 50 years; celebration or wake?
    The Government’s plan to roll a number of helpline services together looks set to proceed with disastrous consequences, Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark says.  Latest reports suggest Australian company Medibank is the most likely provider....
    Labour | 31-07
  • Green Party statement on passing of FCV legislation
    The Green Party congratulates all parties in Parliament for supporting the completion of the Foreign Chartered Vessel legislation.Legislation passed today ensuring the end of a shameful era of human rights abuses under successive governments and several fishing companies."Human rights and...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza
    The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Veterans short-changed by new Act
    National Government reasons for rejecting a recommendation by the Law Commission to give veterans a payment to cover funeral expenses don’t stack up, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff. The Veterans’ Support Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence
    A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a...
    Labour | 31-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing vessels in New Zealand waters before the end of the Parliamentary term, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Ae Marika! 29 July 2014
    It wasn’t till I read John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald last week that I realised what a huge impact the Internet MANA tour has had, but the reality is that we achieved what no other political party has...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “Eight children were killed in Gaza last night, they were playing in an...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    The end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools - the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today."Today's announcement that the National Government...
    Greens | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “That will put around...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
Images of the election
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere