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The Heart of Utoya

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, July 31st, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

So Breivik has given us an eyes wide open gaze into the abyss. Chilling isn’t it? Much has been written in the last week about the political atrocity he committed, yet this article in the Sunday Star Times today is equally wrong. Here is why.

Many years ago I recall listening to a BBC correspondent reporting from the war in Kosovo. It was one of those 30min slots which allowed for some real depth. And for the first 15min or so we got depths alright. All these years later and I’ve still heard nothing quite so graphic or disturbing. It detailed what happened when war came to these small towns and villages, when neighbours who’d lived as companions all their lives found themselves and their families on wrong sides at wrong moments.

I’m tempted to go for effect and retell one story that haunts me still, about a girl gang-raped in her own home and what they did with her eyes afterwards. Sometimes you have to think that if us humans had any conscience at all we would collectively and simultaneously simply cease to exist under our cumulative, crushing burden of shame. But that will do.

The crucial question this BBC man asked was this. How was it that these people who had grown up together, had lived, worked, traded and married among each other… could so tragically turn on each other with such venom? How did this happen in a country that while it had it’s problems, like all others, was a by and large quiet, pleasant place to visit and have a nice holiday?

And the answer he made was the best I have heard yet.

The fact is that there is always evil among us. The psychopaths and misfits, the dysfunctional and the angry who are always capable of these acts. There are a thousand Breiviks lurking at any moment, who’ve sedulously nutured a myriad narrow grievances to justify their hatreds. They are the loners, both physically and metaphorically, who’ve drifted too far away from the rest of us. Human love hasn’t touched them in too long, their souls starved, their egos fed fat with grief, anger and bitterness.

In the normal course of events society holds them in check. The will of the majority acts to suppress and for the very large part prevent their twisted idle fantasies from become real.

But not all times are normal, and all societies have their hidden fault lines. These cracks in the human psyche can be racial, or religious, or economic… but for the most part they lie dormant. Yet they store a dark power… a power that ambitious actors, self-serving political leaders sometimes seek to exploit for their own personal advancement. When the political discourse becomes tainted with this poison, deliberately fed to us … those evil ones at the bottom of society, thrive upon it. Their dark plots, their soaring orgies of death are suddenly, instead of being vile and unacceptable, are now vindicated. And the unacceptable suddenly becomes possible… approved of even. Instead of universal voices of condemnation, you know there are others out there who will believe you died a hero.

Of course no-one necessarily directed Breivik to make these bombs, arm himself and commit slaughter. But his motives for these evil acts were empowered by those who approved of them.

And it only takes one act at the wrong moment, one act of terror that strikes unreasoning fear and loathing into the ordinary people, and these dormant fault lines are activated. The people polarise into mutually suspicious, energetically fearful blocks. One act of terror becomes several, and they feed on each other. Then… and this is the dread thing…. society unzips from the bottom upwards in an unstoppable torrent of death. No-one is exempt, nowhere is safe.

John Key was correct in this particular… this unravelling can happen ahywhere, it is wrong to think little safe NZ is somehow immune.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. We must learn, as each generation must, that the correct response to terror is to have the courage to face it fully in all its pale dripping ugliness, and to reject the power it seeks to have over us.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. The correct response to terror is the courage to mourn your losses with dignity, and facing your enemy ask, “Is that the best you can do?” And then patiently seek justice… not vengence.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. He sought to activate our fault lines. And we must learn to disarm them.

This is why we will not tolerate the injustices of casual sexism, racism, greedy exploitation and callous cruelty, because these acts only feed the subterranian tensions between us. All these non-essential differences must be put aside. There is but one human race, there is but one planet that nutures us, and all the life we share it with.

This is the lesson at the heart of Utoya.

46 comments on “The Heart of Utoya”

  1. higherstandard 1

    I whole heartedly agree.

  2. vto 2

    Yes well said Mr Logix. I agree that things in many areas of life can come suddenly undone, rupturing as said along subterranean faultlines.

    It is at times a thin veneer.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    In tough times and economic decline, extremist groups always pick up momentum. People feel excluded and angry about what is going on in their society and they turn to those who vent the same feelings and anger.

    Turning individuals disconnected from broader society against others and against those vulnerable is part of that.

    The NZ Herald says Breivik was networked into a massive Right Wing nationalistic network which spanned across all of Europe.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10741722

  4. Jenny 4

    But not all times are normal, and all societies have their hidden fault lines. These cracks in the human psyche can be racial, or religious, or economic… but for the most part they lie dormant. Yet they store a dark power… a power that ambitious actors, self-serving political leaders sometimes seek to exploit for their own personal advancement. When the political discourse becomes tainted with this poison, deliberately fed to us … those evil ones at the bottom of society, thrive upon it. Their dark plots, their soaring orgies of death are suddenly, instead of being vile and unacceptable, are now vindicated. And the unacceptable suddenly becomes possible… approved of even.

    REDLOGIX

    In today’s Herald On Sunday, Matt McCarten puts the same thing, this way:

    “Targeting the vulnerable has no place here”

    Over the years in New Zealand we have had our share of organised race scaremongering over Asians, Pacific Islanders and Maori. But gays, unionists, the unemployed and other beneficiaries have been regularly included too. We will always have among us psychotics with murderous intentions. They seem to poke their heads up when the political climate is heightened by politicians creating a space for these nuts to think of their delusions as justifiable.
    One of the things I’m proud of about New Zealand is that most Kiwis consider themselves fair-minded and accepting of others. Consequently, these sorts of hate campaigns have never gained a permanent hold of our body politic.

    That is a way we can honour those poor murdered and broken kids on the island of Utoya, who were only there because they wanted to make a contribution to the democratic life of their world.

    We have an election in a few months. Any politician who demonises a vulnerable sector of our society for expedient political gain should not receive our vote.

    I’m sure that would be the legacy the Norwegian dead would want to leave us.

    Matt McCarten

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Thanks Jenny… Matt is reliably onnit.

      We have an election in a few months. Any politician who demonises a vulnerable sector of our society for expedient political gain should not receive our vote.

      The lesson is that it’s not just bad politics; at the wrong moment it can be hideously dangerous as well.

    • weka 4.2

      Aye, and it’s why the raids on Tuhoe and activists were particularly despicable. Demonising completely the wrong people but doing it in a way that encourages the people that are the real problem.

      • grumpy czeching in 4.2.1

        Oh, come on now.

        You mean we should clamp down on extremists running around in the bush with guns – but it’s OK if they are Tuhoe and Pakeha radicals??????

        • lprent 4.2.1.1

          How about giving up on the idiotic rhetoric. As far as I can see from the available information:-

          1. The weapons were reasonably controlled (at least as well as farms I’ have been on). There weren’t people banging off rounds into the air trying to hit frigging magpies.

          2. At the training camps they weren’t running around in the bush with guns. Where they were using weapons it was in a basic range.

          3. What they were doing bears more similarities with the rah-rah exercises I did when I was still around corporates than when I was in the army.

          4. As far as I can see most of the people charged are not extremists. There are a couple of people that I wouldn’t want to get too damn close to. But I can find similar idiots at any rural pub on a friday night as well. Not to mention the “accident waiting to happen” feeling I get when ever I’m around some gun ‘enthusiasts’

          Basically if you want to discuss this stuff then please drop the phrases that immediately associate you with the morons of the sewer. You know the ones – those who appear to be incapable of understanding anything unless it is phrased as some preprogrammed meaningless and inaccurate phrase. Something like “extremists running around in the bush with guns”.

          The people that seems to best describe in operation 8 were probably some of the police.

          • grumpy czeching in 4.2.1.1.1

            Let’s wait for the court case eh?

            You’re up early this morning…….

  5. Its not about ‘evil’ as some inborn lurking troll waiting for the right moment to jump out.
    ‘Evil’ is something society does to people. And in particular capitalist society which reduces people to ciphers in the market devoid of humanity. What passes today for humanity is what survives that dehumanisation process. We see it in the Middle East when people fuse as a single force to fight dictatorship.
    The particular ‘evil’ that Redlogic addresses has been searched into most deeply by those who asked why fascism? in the interwar period. One in particular Wilhelm Reich a Marxist psychoanalyst in his books like ‘Listen Little Man’. What seems like some inborn evil force is in reality an authoritarian personality that is the product of capitalism where people are raised as passive victims of an exploitative and oppressive system, and when being offered a plausible reason for their pain, the alien, the jew, the criminal, the communist, then submit themselves to authority and follow the strong leader. Hence the Authoritarian Personality (more commonly knows as ‘passive/aggressive) as normal under capitalism.
    Such a personality type explains better the willingness of masses of people to submit to inhuman actions in the name of some greater good such as racial purity, family values, the national ‘spirit’ etc all the so-called values that underpin 20th century fascism, and some of them to become the shock troops of violent reaction.
    Fascism is a social movement that comes into existence when capitalist crises raise the prospect of socialist revolution, and the ruling class must mobilise social support in disaffected elements to smash that threat. That is why while particular scapegoat groups are chosen, Jews, Muslims, etc the real target is always the threat of ‘communism’ as the post-capitalist moment of modernity when all the old divisions are replaced by the ‘commune’ and in particular that which underlies all that is ‘evil’ in capitalism – private property.
    That’s why Breivik and all those who appeal to such exclusive and particularistic values against the rise of modernity, cosmopolitanism and ‘multiculturalism’, are neo-fascists targeting the biggest threat of all, the rising up of the ‘socialist’, ‘cultural Marxist’ even social democratic masses against the system that dehumanises them and replace it with real freedom based on equality.

  6. aj 6

    Thank you redlogix (and Matt McCarten) for so eloquently pointing out why we must continue to have faith in humanity

    • SHG 6.1

      This would be the Matt McCarten who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the UNITE workers, right?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        And that, if it’s true, means he was wrong how?

        • SHG 6.1.1.1

          It means he’s a hypocrite and I shouldn’t listen to him full stop. I’m sure Winston Peters occasionally says sensible things too.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Guess you don’t listen to hypocrites Paula Bennett, Bill English or John Key either.

            • SHG 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Arent the lefties supposed to be the good guys? Doesn’t that mean that when a union leader steals hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hardworking Kiwis he represents, that’s EVEN WORSE than when a fatcat company owner does it?

              • Colonial Viper

                So you only pay attention to bad guy righty hypocrites, not good guy leftie hypocrites?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2

            People can be right about some things and wrong about others. Sure, he can’t thunder with self-righteousness about tax cheats and I haven’t seen anything to prove that he stole from Unite. Neither of these things are part of what he wrote about in his column.

      • Deadly_NZ 6.1.2

        It wasn’t workers money tosspot!!! it was IRD’s money.
        Link —> http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5342791/IRD-chasing-Matt-McCarten-company

        Go read Then come back and try again Troll.

  7. Jenny 7


    I well remember the times when at the height of Winston Peters anti-immigrant campaign in the ’90s, the number of violent attacks against immigrants increased almost overnight.

    There were several news reports of Asian men and women being assaulted as they walked in the street.

    One of the most notorious cases was an organised campaign against a Somali family of refugees in Mt Roskill who were terrorised by stone throwing gangs who regularly gathered outside their rental house to smash the windows.

    These attacks came to an end when a large anti-racist protest called on Anzac day (which was joined by some old soldiers straight from the Anzac day celebrations, some wearing their medals), marched through the main streets of this Auckland suburb denouncing Winston Peters racist scapegoating and urging residents to reject racism. The large turn out of locals supporting the march discouraged the racists who had felt that they had been given legitimacy by Peters public statements.

    Will Don Brash’s plans to run an electoral campaign of slurs against Maori and beneficiaries also encourage thugs to violence?

    • SHG 7.1

      I well remember the times when at the height of Winston Peters anti-immigrant campaign in the ’90s, the number of violent attacks against immigrants increased almost overnight.

      That’s why I instantly feel positively-inclined towards a political party whose leader flatly rules out a partnership deal with Winston Peters.

      And why I feel instant antipathy towards a political party whose leader leaves the door open to working with Peters if it would gain that party the Government benches.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        So you criticise ACT and Brash for their recent advertisements attacking Maori? And think that John Key should rule out working with them?

  8. Bill 8

    Breivik perceived a threat to an external authority he believed in. He had (has) an image of that authority that is informed as much by nostalgic myth as anything else. His equivalence with that fiction resulted in a perceived threat being experienced on a personal level.

    And that’s not evil. It’s sadly prevalent. Many a person identifies with a sports team, builds a myth around that focus and reacts emotionally to events connected to ‘their’ team. And those emotional reactions often include violence. Different magnitude, but same thing.

    Putting the specifics of Breivik aside, there is a world of difference in the effect of individual acts in a coherent functioning society and the effects of acts of individuals in dysfunctional or broken down societies. One doesn’t equate to the other and neither does one usher in the other. In the former situation, presiding centers of authority prevent the ascendancy of any would be pretenders or their organisations and sanction them according to their own rules. That’s not the case in the latter scenario.

    In the event of social breakdown there is no effective presiding authority.

    That wouldn’t be a problem if we were answerable to society for our actions. But we allow ourselves to be answerable to power; to various authorities that preside over society instead. That’s the nub of the problem.

    When those authorities disintergrate, a power vacuum presents itself…there is a ‘free for all’… and conflict or competition aimed at assuming the mantle of authority ensues. And since we are inured to appealing to external authority rather than assuming and excercising our society’s affairs ourselves…directly and democratically…we become subject to a ‘roll of the dice’ to determine the nature of the authority that will hold sway over our lives.

    Ultimately we defer, either fearfully or willingly to the next set of rulers (the ‘will’ of the majority). And there will always be a next set of rulers…and a next set…and a next set, because it is the nature of heirachy that it will ‘crystalise’ and implode under the weight of its inertia at some point in time.

    And in the space between the formation and disintegration of external ( ie detached and heirarchical) authority, expressions of human behaviour will be as expressions of human behaviour are within environments that legitimise disparities of power and agency.

  9. Oligarkey 9

    It’s too easy to blame the social outsiders imo. In my experience it’s creative, intuitive types, who are too conscientious to do what it takes to climb the ladder, that end up being socially marginalised. Granted, many lone wolves on the right, in no way fit this description. But it’s unfair to charge all socially marginalised people with this mentality.

    The real evil actually exists at an institutional level. The international mafia (Cosa Nostra), intelligence, security service, banking, military and secret society nexus is collectively a very closed and insular world. It’s a faceless evil which operates ultimately on a means-to-ends basis. To them, the world is “the grand chessboard”. No crime is too heinous. The darkness which is inherent in the human psyche is exacerbated by this mutually reinforcing evil at the top. It is a case of “as above, so below”. These evil people have been able to convince most of the rest of us that life is all about competition, when we humans are actually most happy when we’re serving a good common purpose in the spirit of cooperation. Pieces of opinion like this by people on the left actually glaze over these truths, and do much damage to the causes that the left are supposed to be about.

    An extremely committed study of the life and death of John Kennedy is the point i started at to reach these realisations. So to those that think these ideas are “crazy”, i’d simply ask you to think for yourself, and begin with listening to this 5 minute excerpt from a speech by JFK.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhZk8ronces&feature=related

  10. Oligarkey 10

    But JFK was just reinforcing what Eisenhower had said in his last speech as president in 1961. This excerpt is only 2 minutes long.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd8wwMFmCeE&NR=1

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Good clips. I wonder what Eisenhower and Kennedy would make of the State of the Union today.

  11. Oligarkey 11

    If those two videos are enough to spark your interest (and they should be), i’d recommend taking the time to watch the doco series “The men who killed Kennedy” as the next step. There is speculation in this series, but the facts were enough to get me to read more, and now through much reading, and fact checking, i can’t come to any other conclusions than those i’ve expressed above.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAynJWVCO9Q

  12. SHG 12

    I’m not sure what the word “evil” means in the parent post. Someone want to define it for me?

  13. Vicky32 13

    Extremely well-written, Red Logix, I agree 100%…

  14. Andrei 14

    The crucial question this BBC man asked was this. How was it that these people who had grown up together, had lived, worked, traded and married among each other… could so tragically turn on each other with such venom?

    Because it suited the Socialists in the EU to dismember Yugoslavia and they stirred up nationalism, starting with Slovenia, in order to accomplish their ends.

    And when the lawful Government of Yugoslavia tried to restore law and order as things unravelled, first in Slovenia where it didn’t matter too much, then Croatia where it did and the Bosnia where things came really unglued – that Government was demonized not the least by the BBC.

    And when the lawful Government of the rump of Yugoslavia tried to restore order in Kosovo, you know stop the beheadings, rapes and Church burnings that were occurring there NATO bombed the crap out of Belgrade and also for some strange (not so strange if you understand their real purpose) reason Montenegro.

    And NATO having taken control of Kosovo did not stop the beheadings, rapes and Church burnings in Kosovo – no they continued apace

    And thus was Yugoslavia, a once multicultural and multiconfessional society dismembered by the EUSSR and is now seven, counting Kososv small unviable states ripe for the plucking by the EUSSR, well Slovenia is actually already in their hands.

    • Bill 14.1

      Care to name the socialist governments or institutions, Andrei? And explain what the fuck the military alliance NATO has to do with socialism?

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Andrei, you’re taking centuries of ethnic tensions, several clear examples of modern war atrocities, the power vaccuum left from Tito’s death, and blaming it all on the EU? And ‘socialists’? Don’t think so mate.

      • Andrei 14.2.1

        Even the United Nations recommended the Slovenia’s declaration of independence not be recognized but the German’s and the French recognized it any way, thus uncorking the bottle.

        Don’t y’all think it is a little uncanny that the Balkans circa 2011 looks pretty much the way old Adolf had it organized circa 1944.

        I wonder why that is? Can’t be a co-incidence now can it?

        • McFlock 14.2.1.1

          It’s also pretty similar to how it looked preWW1. So what’s your point?

          • Andrei 14.2.1.1.1

            Where did WW1 start my friend? And what was the goal of the aggressor?

            And wasn’t the post war WW1 formation of Yugoslavia an attempt to circumvent similar adventures in the future by creating a strong self sufficient state in the Balkans?

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah I can tell that talking to Andrei is going to be a historical merry go round of total pointlessness.

              • Andrei

                You don’t even know the history! That is why you still fall for the cargo cult that is Socialism

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah I’m a democratic socialist. It is a serious political economic philosophy thank you, not a “cargo cult” lol.

                  And what you say about the Balkan war has no relationship in reality, its your own strange fiction.

                • McFlock

                  sigh.
                   
                   
                  To be fair to Andrei, it’s probably an understandable pushbutton for him. A bit like a fmr Eastern European lecturer I had who was good for an extra ten points in any essay if you managed to include the sentence, no matter how thin the pretext, “but this [never/] happened in Eastern Europe and that is why Communism can never work”. Marks for Marx, one might say.
                   

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.2

          I think I’m getting a pretty clear idea of your concept of European politics. Blame ‘Socialist EU’ outsiders for the war and the atrocities insiders waged.

        • Bill 14.2.1.3

          So the UN (a liberal, though in your world ‘socialist’, institution) recommended that Slovenia not be recognised? As a way to dismember Yugoslavia. (sigh)

          Andrei. There is no doubt that a fuck of a lot of ‘real politik’ went on during that time. And there is no doubt that we were subjected to some pretty partisan propaganda. And no doubt that NATO committed atrocities. And that the UN was ineffective.

          But all that, lamentable and condemnable as it is, has got sfa to do with these socialist conspiracy fantasies you espouse.

  15. ChrisH 15

    It’s interesting to follow USA media stories about increasingly brazen flash mob robberies by the poor as America falls apart, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvvarvz3DQc. And then read the comments.

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    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way 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...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 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...
    frogblog | 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...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • 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 | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 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
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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