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The Greens: Party democracy and parliamentary politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We want to take the membership with us.”

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

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

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

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

  1. Jane 1

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

    • outofbed 1.1

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

  2. KJT 2

    All that has changed is some administrative process.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      All that has changed is some administrative process.

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

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

    • Wayne 2.2

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

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

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

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

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.2

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

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

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

        • Wayne 2.2.2.1

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

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

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

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

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.2.1.1

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

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

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

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.2

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

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

          • ghostrider888 2.2.2.1.3

            Petrostates (look them up).

          • karol 2.2.2.1.4

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

            Isn’t democracy largely about process?

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

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

          • Shaz 2.2.2.1.5

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

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

            It’s a serious question.

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

            • Wayne 2.2.2.1.5.1

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

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

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

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

              • Shaz

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

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

    • Rich 2.3

      Excellent.

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

    • The Fan Club 2.4

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

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

      • weka 2.4.1

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

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

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

        • The Fan Club 2.4.1.1

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

          • weka 2.4.1.1.1

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

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

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

          • Murray Olsen 2.4.1.1.2

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

      • Aotearoean 2.4.2

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

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

  3. KJT 3

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

    The RWNJ media have been told to:

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

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

  4. Colonial Viper 4

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

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

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

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

    • outofbed 4.1

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

    • Ant 4.2

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

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

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

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

    • Shane Gallagher 4.4

      Hyperbole much?

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

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

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

      • weka 4.4.1

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

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

    • weka 4.5

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

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

  5. Clockie 5

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

    Should that read: “a smaller party..”

  6. Oscar 6

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

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

      • kiwicommie 6.1.1

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

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

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

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

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

          • kiwicommie 6.1.1.1.1

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

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.2

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

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

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

            • Ant 6.1.1.1.2.1

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

              • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

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

                  ..they are not ‘binding’..

                  phillip ure..

                • The Fan Club

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

                  • weka

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

                  • The Fan Club

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

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

                    And the same goes for the Greens.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because I will be totally honest

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

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

                      Meh.

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

                    • ghostrider888

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

              • RedLogix

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

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

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

                • weka

                  I can see both sides of it.

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

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

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

                  • ghostrider888

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

    • Jenny 6.2

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

      Oscar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Are there any rights of appeal?

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

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

  7. ghostrider888 7

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

    • Jenny 7.1

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

      • ghostrider888 7.1.1

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

        • Jenny 7.1.1.1

          Indeed.

          Wisdom is what we use to avoid making mistakes.

          We achieve wisdom by making mistakes.

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

  9. RedBaronCV 9

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

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

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

    • Shane Gallagher 9.2

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

    • KJT 9.3

      Sort of correct.

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

      The process is consensual and robust.

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

    • weka 9.4

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

      • The Fan Club 9.4.1

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

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

        • weka 9.4.1.1

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

          • The Fan Club 9.4.1.1.1

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

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

            • weka 9.4.1.1.1.1

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

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

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

  10. Green Viper 10

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

    • ghostrider888 10.1

      Have seen these days coming.

    • kiwicommie 10.2

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

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

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

        • RedLogix 10.2.1.1

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

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

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

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2.1.1.1

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

            • Saarbo 10.2.1.1.1.1

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

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.2

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

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

            • RedLogix 10.2.1.1.2.1

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

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

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

            • kiwicommie 10.2.1.1.2.2

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

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

              • KJT

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

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

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

    • KS 10.3

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

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

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

      • The Fan Club 10.3.1

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

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

        • mickysavage 10.3.1.1

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

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.1.1

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

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

        • KS 10.3.1.2

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

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

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

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.2.1

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

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

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.2.1.1

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

              Of course.

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

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

            • weka 10.3.1.2.1.2

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

              Norman’a announcement –


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

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

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

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

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

              The policy –

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

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

          • The Fan Club 10.3.1.2.2

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

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.3

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

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

          • Aotearoean 10.3.1.3.1

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

  11. KS 11

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

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

  12. Green Viper 12

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

    • Jenny 12.1

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

  13. Jenny 13

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

    New Zealand election results 2002

    So how will it all work out?

    Here is my best guess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      more interesting reading. What about housework.

    • karol 13.2

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

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

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

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

      In his conference key note speech, Norman said:

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

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

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

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

      It’s all so heartbreakingly short-term.

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

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

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

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

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

      All very tricky as far as I can see.

      • RedLogix 13.2.1

        And of course there was this event:

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

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

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

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

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

        Note the date … this last Friday.

        • karol 13.2.1.1

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

  14. Yes 14

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

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

  15. peterlepaysan 15

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

  16. L 16

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

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    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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