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The Human Cost of Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, May 18th, 2014 - 131 comments
Categories: admin, Economy, notices - Tags: ,

The Sir Douglas Robb Lectures for 2014 start tomorrow evening in Auckland. These three free lectures are being given by the authors of “The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better“, a book much hated by those amongst us who would prefer that societies either didn’t exist or  were more unequal and tilted in their favour. Based on many of the trolls here on this topic, it’d appear that most Act supporters and many National supporters appear fall into this category*

Robb-Lecture-2014-Poster

 

 

* It is my contention that most of the people who decry this book are also people who haven’t read it. I think that they are also the same people who don’t read all of my posts before they start commenting on them. So lets try a wee experiment in inequality shall we!. People putting in links to “disprove” the claims in The Spirit Level into this post will be called on to show that they have in fact read the book. Those who cannot display their personal knowledge of the contents of the book will receive a free and unencumbered banning until after the election. This will be known as the “fine print”. Please refer to it as such. 

 

131 comments on “The Human Cost of Inequality”

  1. RedLogix 1

    When I was reading the book it occurred to me that while there are clear and measurable challenges associated with the kind of absolute poverty (defined as <U$10k pa/person income) – the more insidious and harder to define problems arose from the psychological impacts of a steep social gradient … regardless of income.

    In one rather literal sense this could be labelled ‘the politics of envy’. Yet the bizarre and unexpected hints in the data is that gross social inequality is bad for everyone – regardless of their perch on the pecking order – which rather puts envy out of the picture.

    I would argue that the most corrosive stress on people is a sense of powerlessness in the face of a perceived need. Some societies (I’m thinking here of India) have cleverly dealt with gross inequality by socially defining away the need for dignity and justice in this life. Who cares what happens to you in this life – when the reincarnation principle will make it up to you in another. Who can argue with an implacable fate? Why stress about the unchangeable? And why would gross inequality matter in this life?

    But when this one short life we have matters, then justice matters too. It is plain that some people contribute more than others, and our traditional, long evolved sense of equity approves of them being better rewarded for it.

    But there is some ill-defined point at which ‘getting more rewards for more merit’ is twisted into ‘using your privilege and status to rip the system off’. At some point what was fair – transforms into unfairness. Our instincts are perhaps troubled by it – but our mind has trouble putting words and definitions around it. Maybe extreme wealth and poverty is just something we did not evolve with – and we haven’t yet developed a strong social adaption for.

    Which is where Pickett and Wilkinson have done such valuable work – putting a rational white coat onto this otherwise dark moral specter.

    • Interesting red.

      The most corrosive stress? Powerlessness is definitely up there but for me inequality is absolutely corrosive. Inequality eats self esteem and most if not all of today’s woes can be traced to inequality imo – or more correctly the practice of inequality.

      Reincarnation is actually all about what you do now and not about any rebirth because what you do now determines (amongst so many things) what will happen to you after death – at least that was my understanding when I believed in it. But, you know, there are as many ideas about reincarnation as any other thought about what happens after death. IMO reincarnation is about modifying or understanding behavior and consequences today and any social inequality understanding it brings/creates acceptance for/contributes to, is a by-product, albeit a happy by-product for the elite.

      I am not sure i’d say that some people ‘contribute’ more that others simply because the measurement of ‘contribution’ is entangled in so many artificial societal constructs that its meaning is almost subjective. That some are better rewarded (for what?) is an area where the ‘practice of inequality’ rubber hits the road.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The most corrosive stress? Powerlessness is definitely up there but for me inequality is absolutely corrosive. Inequality eats self esteem and most if not all of today’s woes can be traced to inequality imo – or more correctly the practice of inequality.

        Powerlessness, anxiety, loss of sense of control, expectations/reality gap, those are the psychological stressors which wear people down.

        Inequality generates all those things but it is also upstream from them, more abstract and less biological.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          i dunno – inequality permeates – it generates anxiety, powerlessness and so on but they are generated by inequality. This is not just an abstract concept but a real world reality. I’d also argue that there is a biological aspect to inequality – that wrench in the guts when you see it in action, when you experience it, especially when you aren’t expecting it.

          • karol 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, marty, and it impacts materially on people’s daily lives – on their actions, life opportunities (or lack thereof), their daily work, home and community lives, etc

  2. greywarbler 3

    FI
    Sir George Douglas Robb, CMG (1899–1974) was a New Zealand surgeon, medical reformer, writer, and university chancellor. He was born at Auckland on 29 April 1899[1] and educated at the Auckland Grammar School and at the University of Otago (MB ChB). Robb had a reputation as something of a maverick and a rebel against the conventional medical establishment, as is discussed in a chapter in Brian Easton’s book The Nationbuilders[2]

    Robb was influential in the formation of the Auckland Medical School as part of the University of Auckland. From 1961 to 1962, he held the year-long position of President of the British Medical Association.[3]

  3. karol 4

    One website says this:

    All lectures will be recorded and available a week after the lecture.

    Does this mean they will be available online?

    If so, I’d prefer to listen to that, than trek into Auckland CBD 3 nights in one week.

  4. fisiani 5

    The book should be called Cherrypicking for idiots as that is what it have proven to be. The Spirit Level Delusion has conclusively debunked the findings.

    • felix 5.1

      Would you care to walk me through one of these debunkings, fiz?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      No it hasn’t but the supposed debunking has. It’s just that you don’t want to believe reality as it gets in the way of your preconceived ideology.

    • lprent 5.3

      Yeah I’m quite interested in how much people have actually read of the book when they get around to “debunking” it for reasons to do with the fine print.

      In my experience almost every “debunking” appears to have been done by someone who hasn’t read books in knowledgeable detail.

      For instance I totally agree with Danyl at Dimpost talking about the Piketty book

      I will write more about the actual book later. But I’ve been interested in the debate in the economics blogosphere. Left-wing economists all seem to think Pikety is right and right-wing economists all seem to think he’s wrong. (I would note that the objections I’ve heard from some on the right: ‘Piketty disregards the decline of inequality between nations, cf the development of China,’ or ‘Pikety disregards the ability of education and skills transfer to reduce inequality,’ seem to be issues Piketty addresses in the introduction to his book. Maybe there are more substantive critiques out there?).

      I read the Spirit Level and I have quibbles about some of the stuff in it. I then read some of the criticisms including “The Spirit Level Delusion”. They cheerfully cherry picked their way around the book they were attacking, and didn’t deal with the points or alternate explanations. Basically it was a book that was clearly written as an attack by a moronic hack (Christopher Snowdon) doing the same poor quality of research and analysis that Ian Wishart does.

      For instance they attacked the detail on changes in teen pregnancy and crime without looking at the demographic age changes or the changes in social policy that The Economist was detailing this week. Incidentally I had to laugh about this moron putting in a very selective quote from The Economist shorn of the criticism of Christopher Snowdon’s book on his website. Needless to say it had no link – for very good reason.

      Essentially Christopher Snowdon is a stupid arsehole who didn’t manage to disprove anything in particular.

    • Sanctuary 5.4

      fisiani! Here is your big chance to confront these charlatans bro! As I recall, you claimed they were in hiding after being unable to counter your withering analysis and denouement of the spirit level. Yet here they are. bold as brass and larger than life lecturing in publically advertised events. How do you explain this fisiani? What do you put this failure to heed your informed arguments down to? Why do you believe you’ve not received the airing you deserve? is it all a conspiracy, perhaps?

      • lprent 5.4.1

        I suspect that his withering analysis and denouement was fatally crippled by his never having read the book.

        As I recall and in retrospect (after reading it myself), his analysis was like looking through a desert window left for a hundred year and which had sagged into a yellowed semi-opaque distorting lenses. I was basing his opinion on crowing by others who’d also about poorly written analysis by a hack whose only real qualification in the subject was that he was a favourite of a rightwing thinktank with a dubious connection to the infamous tobacco lobbyist coverups. The actual analysis by Christopher Snowdon looked like he’d scanned the book through a large condom (to avoid contamination by the intellectual), but not actually read the book.

        But hey. That is a rigorous analysis by the lazy…

  5. Clean_power 6

    Two academics lecturing from their ivory towers with little to go for.
    On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life. We are not born equal, after all.

    • McFlock 6.1

      and john key loved to see wages drop.

      Doesn’t make it a good thing, though.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life. We are not born equal, after all.

      Agreed; some people are natural born-to-rule arseholes.

    • karol 6.3

      Yes, higher murder rates, lower life expectancies, more mental illness, more infectious diseases, etc, etc, just add spice to life. Sit back and enjoy the show on, desolation row.

    • greywarbler 6.4

      ‘We are not born equal after all.’
      True but nearly, all look pretty helpless and a baby’s cry probably sounds the same in any country.. Inequality shows up more in the quality of help the mother gets.

    • vto 6.5

      “On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life” …
      … and this is an illustration of the thinking…. . try not to despair folks

      • Colonial Viper 6.5.1

        Let’s see the born-to-rule arsehole volunteer for a year living on $230 pw so he can get some “variety”

      • Roy 6.5.2

        It is also an illustration that some people are born with much less empathy than others.

    • RedLogix 6.6

      We are not born equal, after all.

      Drop the stupid strawman. No-one, but no-one in this debate is seriously arguing we are all the same and should earn the same income and be perfectly equal. Of course the other absurd extreme would be a totally unequal world in which one person owned everything.

      Yet right now some 85 people control more wealth than the entire bottom 3.5 billion humans on the planet – we are are much, much closer to being totally unequal than completely equal.

      Somewhere in between these extremes lies a happy medium – and all that is being advocated here is some movement back in that direction.

      Shit this is so obvious – did it have to be said?

      • vto 6.6.1

        “did it have to be said?”

        But that’s it mr illogix. Human’s don’t respond to logix stimuli, and this is what so many miss

    • Draco T Bastard 6.7

      We are not born equal, after all.

      I’m actually sure we are. Different, yes, but equal in those differences.

      • Puddleglum 6.7.1

        A good point Draco T Bastard.

        People seem to misunderstand the word ‘equal’.

        ‘Equality’, in the political sense, is about equal rights. ‘Equality’, in the economic sense, is about having the same economic resources.

        Yet, when people say ‘how ridiculous, after all we aren’t born equal‘ what they mean is that we aren’t born with exactly the same features (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.). That really is irrelevant to the political and economic senses of ‘equality’, quite obviously.

        It is perfectly possible for different social and economic systems to produce different outcomes as a result of the same ‘inborn’ features.

        At the extreme, for example, only the physically strong might do well in a particular society (i.e., gather to themselves the economic benefits available in a society). In another, only the morally bankrupt may gather the same resources. In yet another it might be intelligence. In a further society it might be physical appearance. Clearly, what you are born with is subordinate – in terms of economic outcomes – to how a society makes use of what you are born with.

        Put simply, material outcomes are not directly determined by the nature of the attributes with which we are born (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.).

        And the explanation that claims that the most important attribute that determines outcomes is ‘effort’ really annoys me. It is so manifestly wrong it is hard to understand how people who take their cognitive abilities seriously can hold to the view.

        First, it assumes that less ‘effort’ is required for some of the longest hours worked, the most distasteful work, the most psychologically draining work and the most emotionally demeaning occupations than is required for the most well-rewarded ones. Just nonsense – unless a very peculiar definition of ‘effort’ is being used.

        Second, even if it were the case that differences in ‘effort’, in a particular society, are responsible for ranking people’s relative economic success it is as clear as the nose on anyone’s face that the relationship between ‘effort’ and reward is in no way linear.

        Our modern economy is like a vast machine. Rewards accrue differentially to people depending upon which bit of the machine they operate. Disproportionate rewards, that is, are a function of the place one occupies in that vast machine – it does not depend upon one’s effort.

        I’m baffled by – and shocked at – how many people think so simplistically about this very basic structural mechanism that is partly responsible for producing such repellant levels of inequality of economic outcomes in our society.

        And then there’s the racheting of inequality through privilege, parents’ economic and cultural capital, etc.. But that’s another story.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.7.1.1

          +111

        • greywarbler 6.7.1.2

          Roy says “It is also an illustration that some people are born with much less empathy than others.”

          Empathy is something learned Roy. Just as almost everything is from the time of birth – although there are a lot of unrealised experiences in a baby’s brain from before birth that will provide instinctive behaviour, research shows, but most of that can be over ridden in time by learned experience.

          There has been controversial work on the means of shaping behaviour called operant conditoning, and there is also an approach called classical conditioning. These understandings get used in propaganda and PR hype, and political spouting. So it pays us to know how our minds work and try to keep from being taken over by blatantly false ideas received uncritically.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning

          Puddleglum points out -
          “It is perfectly possible for different social and economic systems to produce different outcomes as a result of the same ‘inborn’ features….
          Clearly, what you are born with is subordinate – in terms of economic outcomes – to how a society makes use of what you are born with.
          Put simply, material outcomes are not directly determined by the nature of the attributes with which we are born (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.).”

    • Tracey 6.8

      you are one of the 50% of employees in nz earning less than 30,000 per annum aren’t you.

      • Colonial Viper 6.8.1

        Median NZ income including beneficiaries, retired etc is circa $29K pa.

        Median full time working wage is around $41K pa.

        I suspect about 80% of NZ adults are on $50K pa or less.

        It’s pathetic

    • Mike S 6.9

      Inequality is not about wanting everyone to be the same and have the same incomes, that’s a ridiculous strawman arguement.

      It’s about the increasing gap in income and wealth yes, but it’s also about equality of opportunity and the means to feel part of community and society. Please don’t start saying we all have equal opportunity in this country as that is utter BS. There will always be exceptions but the chances of someone coming from a poor background becoming wealthy are next to none, no matter how hard they work, whereas someone born into a wealthy family is far more likely to stay wealthy.

      There are so many things that contribute to growing inequality. Even small things all add up to increasing the gap. For a simple example, those on low incomes are more likely to have a car older than 10 years so they must pay twice a year for a warrant of fitness whereas someone with a newer car, (who is more likely to have a higher income) only have to pay once a year. $50 may seem nothing to someone on a comfortable income, but $100 is often impossible for someone who struggles just to pay the rent and buy essentials.

      This can lead to not getting a warrant, getting fined, not being able to pay the fine so costs are added and it is paid off out of wages meaning less take home pay for the bills, etc,etc. So such a small thing has potential huge consequences for a low income person.

      A recent study (can’t remember where I read it but can probably find the source if needed) showed that unless you are wealthy you have zero chance of being listened to by government, let alone having favourable policy changes. If you are wealthy, you have much easier access to politicians and far more influence over policy decisions.

      There are probably thousands of situations, rules / laws, areas of influence, socio economic factors and so on and so on that all contribute to growing inequality. The big question for those who choose to ignore it is at what point does it stop? When a tiny percentage of people own all of the wealth in the world? What level of inequality do you think is acceptable?

      There is an interesting short animated clip called wealth inequality in america, it is only 6 min long and quite eye opening.

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

  6. tsmithfield 7

    So, it follows that if the government clipped the wealth off the wealthy and sent it overseas to poor countries rather than distribute it in NZ, then NZ society as a whole would do better? After all, NZ society would be more equal, and according to “the Spirit Level” that should lead to all sorts of wonderful societal outcomes.

    • McFlock 7.1

      lol

      Did you just draw a logical extension of a book’s thesis based solely on the title?

      Maybe you should read the book. It might make you less of a dick.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        If the title doesn’t accurately reflect the thesis then they should change the title.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          What a load of shit.

          You did see the “almost” in the title? Maybe you should have read the book to see what qualifiers and equivocations that “almost” implies. You might find that the book addresses moron-tory absurdities.

          By your logic “A brief History of Time” was neither brief nor a complete history, and it dealt with time AND space so you should probably get your money back.

          But thanks for admitting that you’re just another tory fuck who doesn’t read the book before he criticizes it.

        • felix 7.1.1.2

          So according to you, “accurately reflect” means “contain all the information and arguments in the thesis itself so I can comment on it without reading the book, particularly the fine print”.
          :roll:

          • tsmithfield 7.1.1.2.1

            McFlock, it seems to me that your avoidance of my argument is implicit acceptance of the proposition that the relative wealth of a country has far more to do with the social well-being of that country than the degree of social equality.

            If that is the case, wouldn’t it be a better goal to boost the average wealth of a country rather than equality?

            [lprent: You are aware how I view the "no answer = implied agreement" approach? In my view it is a step worse than the pwned/owned stupidity for a number of reasons. In a site as busy as this it isn't practical to consider that people have even seen a comment. But more importantly because I have to exert myself crushing the inevitable flamewars that result from its use. Consequently I have a tendency to ban people who try to use it.

            Of course in my usual reflective style I start from your assumption that you will sight and read this note. A lack of response means that you have and have agreed that you are abjectly apologizing for its use and will not do it again. Consequently any further use would be a repetition of the offense and warrant the use of an increased severity of the sentence. :twisted:

            I'd suggest you heed this warning that it is a very bad idea to try to start using this technique. ]

            • karol 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Then why are such things as child well being, worse in the US, than in most countries that are generally not as wealthy, but have less inequality than the US?

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1.2

              You didn’t make an argument.
              You asked a nonsensical question based solely on the title of a rather lengthy book.

              But seeing as you have now made an argument, no it would not. We have seen that to “boost the average” does nothing for the poorest. Reducing inequality (for example taking some from the top decile and giving that fraction of their income to the bottom decile) does help the poorest. And because the poorest spend rather than invest (because they cant afford to), that helps the economy for people who actually make and sell things.

            • vto 7.1.1.2.1.3

              tsmithfield … “If that is the case, wouldn’t it be a better goal to boost the average wealth of a country rather than equality?”

              if you knew anything about averages you would never have written what you just did you stupid idiot

              ffs, another illustration of the thinking… try not to despair folks

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

              • Good point vto.

                Even accepting tsmithfield’s argument, boosting the median wealth would be far more sensible.

                And, interestingly, clustering individuals’ wealth around the median, at least for those below the median, would be even better – but then that starts to look very much like improving equality, of course. :-)

                • lprent

                  You going to confuse tsmithfield with all of these statistical concepts.

                  One of the things I found so interesting about the debate over the Spirit Level as I was wending my way through the references on wikipedia 3 weeks ago, was just how petty some of the criticism was. It was a book aimed at a general audience. Not a research paper.

                  Yet there were idiots wanting a research paper level of material on how a explanatory regression line was calculated. But the book had a reference to a bibliography complete with an old-style link to exactly that. Why didn’t they just access that?

                  I was able to get to copies of a fair chunk of the referenced material I was interested in, and I don’t have the academic resources of a university library.

                  • Agreed, lprent.

                    A lot of the criticism has been polemic in non-peer-reviewed outlets.

                    Peer-reviewed criticisms have been of the usual level and none that I’m aware of have claimed to completely debunk the thesis or claim that it is a scandalous piece of pseudo-science as many self-styled critics on the internet have claimed.

                    • lprent

                      Looked to me to be the same kind of approach as happened in climate change. Don’t deal with the argument, don’t go near the referenced papers, just nitpick on wording and layout. Buy a few retired profs who need their pensions topped up. Pay for a few “studies” from pliant thinktanks.

                      The tobacco company approach to science. Obscufucate and buy a few more years. About the only thing I couldn’t figure out was who was paying for it to happen.

                    • McFlock

                      Looked to me to be the same kind of approach as happened in climate change.

                      Same approach, same crowd. In the closing paragraphs of smithfields link to a review of Snowden’s book:

                      For those that follow the politics of climate change this should all sound eerily familiar. Wilkinson and Pickett claim to be representing a ‘consensus’ view that does not exist, data is massaged to conform to a pre-defined message, opponents are labelled as industry stooges or as being unscientific and on and on. It is no surprise that some of those most enthusiastic about the Spirit Level are also enthusiastic supporters of anthropogenic global warming.

                      Those labels are pretty accurate, but “massaged” data means “not cherry picked”, and John Oliver accurately described the non-existent sicentific consensus on AGW.

        • lprent 7.1.1.3

          Perhaps you should learn to read what you criticize? I can’t believe that you think yourself competent to criticize something on the basis of a title.

          I always thought you were a somewhat mindless dick. But this really does take the cake.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.1.3.1

            1prent, when this was discussed in depth some months ago, I pointed out that the charts provided showed correlations that existed only because of the presence of one or two outliers. Others much more qualified than me have made similar criticisms

            If that criticism holds true, then it is quite valid to question the book.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.3.1.1

              Yes, if the underqualified tory propogandist holds true, then… actually, that’s a motherfucking big “if”.

            • lprent 7.1.1.3.1.2

              Ben’s posts? I thought you were wrong then. But at that time I had neither read the book or some of the critics of the book.

              Perhaps you should try this approach of actually understanding what you are criticising before you indulge yourself in being a fool.

              By the sound of it, you haven’t even read the book whose review you linked to. Why does that not surprise me.

              In my opinion, Snowdon is a mindless cretin when it comes to statistics and I was really glad I hadn’t paid to read his trash. He is one of the few people who I’d consider make Ian Wishart look good on his research, and I consider Wishart to be untrained and more concerned with making a story than doing actual careful research.

              I think Snowdon is just a very stupid hack with no credentials nor ability to understand the area he is criticising. It shows all of the way through his book. About the only thing it is good at provide a good link for mindless morons like yourself in your unthinking and unread bigotry.

              Now it sounds like you have two books to read before you can really indulge in debate on this subject. Because you can’t even judge the validity of Snowdon’s book until you read both eh?

              • lprent

                Incidentally, I am not looking forward to reading what? the 700+ pages in Piketty. Has anyone had time to read it yet? Is it worth the effort?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Has anyone had time to read it yet?

                  Ha, not yet but what I have read has been worthwhile.

            • Puddleglum 7.1.1.3.1.3

              Interestingly, that link goes to a Snowdon review on the London Book Review.com site.

              I hope that site title is not just piggy-backing on the more well-known (and highly respected) London Review of Books?

        • Tracey 7.1.1.4

          like when prebble wrote
          “i’ve been thinking”?

        • Roy 7.1.1.5

          If you’d actually read the book you would know that the title is very apt.

    • Lloyd 7.2

      Sending more aid to third world countries so that those countries don’t flood our borders with economic refugees or generate terrorists to attack us when we travel overseas would appear to be practical survival policy. Aid aimed at birth control and education in poor countries would appear to be of benefit to the wealthy in this country, eventually.

  7. Skinny 8

    Here is a link that highlights the inequality gap widening after Union membership declined. Bit of the Great Gatsby from pre World War 1;
    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1026472/new_chart_finds_correlation_between_income_inequality_and_union_membership

  8. Colonial Viper 9

    Dmitry Orlov spot on with the rule of “Moneybags Logic

    Well, job one for [oligarchic government] seems to be to make sure that the rich continue to get richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is… well… class dismissed. If this sort of public policy seems self-destructive to you, that’s probably because it is. Whenever it is allowed to run its course, the results are abysmal—especially for the rich who continued to get richer, whose corpses end up festooning lampposts and whose arterial spray adds a touch of color to city squares.

    Now, you’d think that at least a few rich people here and there might realize this and do something about it; after all, they can’t all be completely stupid. Well, I think that it’s not a question of intelligence; it’s a question of sentience. These people are not people, they are moneybags. And moneybags have a logic of their own: I call it “moneybag logic.” This logic says that having more money is always good, having less money is always bad, and that therefore everyone should do everything possible to make sure that there is always more money. If that requires turning the Earth into a polluted, radioactive, lifeless desert, so be it.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/moneybag-logic.html

    • Tracey 9.1

      the middleclass have become the donkeys with the carrot but they think they are thoroughbreds waiting for the break that will come from their efforts.

      the lower classes know theyre on a treadmill for fuck all, the middleclass are the truly duped, voting for tnose who enslave them, and when they have moments of lucidity they change to the other party that dupes them.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        The middle and upper class want to get to have a clear pipeline to all the good things they want and not to have to worry about delivery. Any suggestion that the flow of goods and comforts will be lessened or is coming under threat and stern action to save the situation will be taken. It is a simple condition that relies on the perfect peace of being totally self-absorbed.

  9. Wayne 10

    I have read both books. I have no doubt that Pickett and Wilkinson will convince the Greens and a fair part of Labour.

    From what I understand of David Cunliffe’s budget speech, and other interviews he and David Parker have given, Labour will increase the overall tax take by around $2 billion or so dollars per year, maybe a little more. They would retain the level of the surplus at pretty much what the Nats propose. They will restart contributions to the Cullen fund and repay debt at pretty much the same rate as the Nats.

    So maybe an extra billion in social spending above the Nats per year over the next 3 years. You can certainly do something with that, but not all the promises they have made to date. Which seems to be extending Working for Families to beneficiaries, 10,000 extra state houses a year, paid parental leave to 26 weeks, and a host of smaller things.

    The only way to do more ( or even all the promises to date) is to increase taxes to a greater degree than has been suggested to date.

    I did say in a post earlier this week that the Nats typically like central govt spending to be 30% of GDP and Labour 35%. But much of the Clark era had central govt spending at more like 32 to 33% and that was with income taxes at 39% for incomes over $60,000. Of course surpluses mean the the Govt actually takes more than what they spend.A respectable surplus means 2% of GDP.

    David Cunliffe’s tax package does not seems likely to produce an increase in the size of the state by 5% of GDP. It will be more like the Clark era.

    Increasing the size of Govt by 5% of GDP means actually increasing govt by around 15%, with tax rises to match. Since clearly the lower rates will not go up, Labour would need two new top rates. 39% for income from $80,000 to $150,000 and 45%, (or perhaps 50%) for income above $150,000. It would be described by the media as a radical approach, and I can’t really see Labour doing that. Not when the bulk of voters are saying New Zealand is on the right track.

    The Pickett/Wilkinson approach really requires Nordic levels of taxation, which are even higher than the two top rates I have suggested. Typically a top tax rate of around 60%.

    It does seem that the Anglo nations for the last 35 years have basically gone for smaller govts than the Europeans, and that is irrespective of Conservative or Labour govts. And while I can see the Greens will go for the Nordic approach (presumably they will produce some form of costed budget), I cannot see Labour doing that.

    It is just too far away from the comfort zone of middle NZ, by which I mean people who readily shift between the two major parties, which is around 20% of all voters. And quite a number of social surveys indicate this.

    And when the bulk of New Zealanders are saying New Zealand is on the right track, Pickett and Wilkinson have an uphill job, except for the Greens and the left of Labour.

    I did note that Russell Norman described the budget as a Cabinet Club budget around 30 times in his budget speech. I can only assume Cabinet Club members were saying to John Key, do whatever it takes in social spending to win the election, produce a surplus, and we don’t expect a tax cut any time soon. Make sure the budget appeals to middle New Zealand.

    • McFlock 10.1

      I can only assume Cabinet Club members were saying to John Key, do whatever it takes in social spending to win the election, produce a surplus, and we don’t expect a tax cut any time soon.

      Tories have such a half-arsed definition of “whatever it takes” :roll:

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Very good with the numbers Wayne and of course you are implicitly pointing out that 95% of government spending and revenues are fairly fixed so it’s only around the edges that things can usually be done.

      You are however ignoring the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who live in relative poverty, suffer from ongoing unemployment and underemployment, with their potential for work, innovation and contribution to our real economy being lost to the nation every day.

      Your analysis also ignores the slowly closing jaws of the long term economic trap that western nations find themselves in – a toxic mix of peak oil, peak financialisation, peak resource extraction and oligarchic influence. And it’s going to get much nastier over the next 10 years.

      So where is the vision which is going to secure the future of the nation and its peoples – and not for yourself Wayne or your generation – but for those New Zealanders in primary school today.

      The top 20% most economically secure NZers today aren’t thinking about these issues that much and it’s not surprising that the major political parties continue to try and keep them happy with this ongoing game of ‘pretend and extend.’

      But that will change. Those on $75K pa are clearly noticing that their dollars don’t go very far at all these days, and they are wondering why their kids – whom they know are smart, educated, hard workers – are finding it tougher and tougher getting and keeping any decent kind of job.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1

        +1

      • Wayne 10.2.2

        An interesting post CV.

        I was expecting a bit more for Science and Innovation in the Budget.

        I see Science (Universities, CRI’s and private institutions like Cawthorn) will get an extra $177 million over 4 years. Actually a pretty good boost in funding, around 5% to 10% extra per year depending on the programme.

        Innovation for private firms, gets two tax initiatives, one to enable starts ups tho cash up their losses generated by R & D, and one that allows deductibility of R & D on capital expenditure. Both of these are quite useful and may be worth much more over time that further grants.

        But Callaghan Innovation did not get more money, either for itself, or for the grant programs it administers. The grant programs are currently $140 million per year. I thought that they might grow to $250 million per year over 4 years, or an annual increase of $30 million per year. Oh well there is always next year.

        And of course the Nats left a fair bit of head room for campaign promises in respect of the projected surplus of $1.6 billion for 2015/2016, and $3.5 billion for 2016/2017.

        By the way John Key is promising that there will be tax cuts for middle NZ as part of the Nats campaign, based on these future surpluses. He said they had the biggest need. Have a look at the tax tables as to where that will be.

        The rate that is out of kilter is the 30% rate for income $48,000 to $70,000. The rate below it is 17.5% and the rate above is 33%. So 30% is anomalous, and a pretty high rate for a middle income earner.

        A reduction to 25% (or at perhaps 27%) would provide a smoother step. Reducing that rate is aimed right at the middle of middle New Zealand. I guess the 17.5% rate could also go down to 15%, (but this is very expensive since just about every New Zealander is affected by this rate). And the bottom rate of 10.5% could go down to 10%.

        • Tracey 10.2.2.1

          where do you see the top rate, and why?

          • Wayne 10.2.2.1.1

            It covers both financial transfers through govt and the size of the state sector which have to administer the programmes.

            By the way it does not matter from a govt accounting perspective whether the people are civil servants or contractors. They are both covered by the calculations on the size of govt.

            • karol 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Thanks, Wayne. I think you must be replying to my question.

              I was thinking more broadly about what is meant by “size of government”? You view it’s size purely in $ terms.

              It’s a perspective I struggle with, because the neocon/liberal idea of “small government” seems to refer more (or at elast as much) to the amount government impacts on people’s daily lives – ie a reference to polciies , regulations, etc.

          • Wayne 10.2.2.1.2

            Leave the top rate where it is, perhaps push up the threshold to $80,000. I think the 30% rate is crying out for a downward adjustment. It is too close to the 33% rate and too far above the 17.5% rate.

            Tax rates in my view should be a smooth progression from the bottom rate to the top rate, with no steps out of the trend line.

            Of course I know why the 30% rate was done. There was no money left to do all the smoothing in 2010, when the tax switch was done. The rate changes were to the two bottom rates, which are extremely expensive, since they cover all taxpayers. The threshold for the 33% rate was pushed out from $60,000 to $70,000.

            But clearly the smoothing could be done in 2016/2017.

            • geoff 10.2.2.1.2.1

              God you’re such a dinosaur, Wayne.

              Go and read Thomas Picketty.

              While you try and plaster a smiley face onto rentier society, Thomas Picketty has proven what the end-game is for the policies you advocate.

              • Wayne

                I do intend to read him, having at this stage only read the reviews (some quite long).

                I wonder how influential he will actually prove to be in NZ and Australia, which both sit in the middle of OECD inequality index, and without much change in the level of inequality over the last 20 years.

                Although you might say I am a dinosaur, I seem to be at one with most NZer’s who do seem to saying that NZ is heading in the right direction. And in most OECD social stats we sit near the top, even though we are in the middle for GDP per capita.

                • geoff

                  I don’t expect Piketty to make much difference. If decades of scientific research into global warming can still be undermined by the corporate media then a single, French economist will be no trouble at all for them to dispatch.

                • karol

                  I agree to some extent that income inequality rose most strongly in NZ in the last two decades of the 20th century. It depends which stats you look at as regards whether inequality has risen much in the last 2 decades.

                  If you compare the incomes of the top and bottom 10% in NZ the incomes of those at the top has continued to increase, while that of those at he bottom have been static. (as summarised here)

                  You also need to take into account the wealth gap. Income inequality feeds into the wealth gap, which is way larger than the income gap. And the wealth gap is harder to reverse – eg with respect to ownership of assets, including property etc.

                  Those saying the NZ economy is trending in the right direction to lessen inequality, follow the same economic model that resulted in the increase in the inequality gap – and that have continued to maintain a high level of income and wealth inequality.

            • Tracey 10.2.2.1.2.2

              you were in the wrong party wayne. do you vote ACT now?

              • Wayne

                Tracey,

                Not sure why you would deduce that from my posts here.

                Have a look at my views on tax rates. Pretty much mainstream Nat positions. In fact by suggesting no change in the top rate, but suggesting reducing the 30% rate that applies to income $48,000 to $70,000 I am probably somewhat to the left of center for the Nats.

        • Mike S 10.2.2.2

          $48,000 to $70,000 is not a “middle income earner”.

          Even 48k is higher than the median income from salary and wage earners so 48k to 70k is well above the “middle”.

          If you wanted to aim for the middle then you could look at the 30 to 50k bracket.

    • lprent 10.3

      It is nice that you have both read the book(s) and that you read my post down to the fine print. You are the first critic here who has. Doesn’t that say something about the critics?

      The volume is part of it, sure. However a hell of a lot of it is shifting the emphasis on where money is spent.

      For instance, I’m failing to see the point in the very large budgets for the NZTA’s new roads which appear to have little to no economic benefit. In fact in the current climate of falling usage of cars (from well before the GFC) I’m failing to see much economic benefit after completion of SH20, the remaining repairs and upgrades in ChCh, and some road straightening. Moreover the jobs it creates are temporary if there aren’t ongoing projects – which we don’t need.

      So rather than continuing with Bill English’s preferred 6% plus unemployment, why don’t we start upgrading the public transport services. There are sustainable jobs in those bearing in mind that everywhere that public transport is boosted at present it grows rapidly. Those types of jobs at a lower tech level than road construction then feed out into helping bring the bottom end of our economy up. It also would help reduce costs (running a car is frigging expensive these days) for other workers.

      I’m sure that if I had some time to mull it over, I’m sure that there are literally hundreds of places where the existing spending could be diverted into systems and projects that cause significiant shifts in equality of opportunity.

      Like removing the excessive subsidies to private schools? Putting that money into the state school system for the schools who need it sounds like it’d be a much better use of the taxes I pay.

      I really only have to look at the social stats for some of the UK’s inner city over the last 30 years to see how it can be done.

      A large chunk of that was simple redistributions about where government resources were expended. Perhaps we should try that first?

      • Wayne 10.3.1

        Bill English’s budget says unemployment will drop to 4.5%. Labour is aiming for 4%. Hardly a dramatic difference.

        • vto 10.3.1.1

          Bill English is certainly a very believable person who never deceives…… ffs

        • Lanthanide 10.3.1.2

          He must have had a change of heart since saying it was a hoax back in 1999.

        • Tracey 10.3.1.3

          hes also pretending we will have a surplus by turning a grant into an interest free loan and writing down the cost of rebuilding christchurch.

        • lprent 10.3.1.4

          I don’t have the figures here, but I thought that the budget was hoping for unemployment being 5% in 2016. (I do wish they’d qualify what they were talking about – HLFS or WINZ, under-employment (the more relevant) or unemployment).

          Ummm

          The strong employment growth is expected to drive a fall in the unemployment rate across the forecast period. The unemployment rate is expected to stay broadly steady at around 6.9% over the first half of 2013, before declining steadily, to slightly above 5% in March 2017. The rise in employment, fall in unemployment and pressures from the Canterbury rebuild are expected to put upward pressures on wages in the near term, with annual growth in average hourly earnings expected to rise to 3.2% in the December 2013 quarter, before moderating the following year. Over time, wage pressures will begin to grow again as the unemployment rate continues to fall.

          Oops that was 2013 budget

          Of course wages growth came nowhere close to that rate. What we saw through the year was a boost in the dairy and associated industry, and job losses in most other areas.

          Employment growth accelerated over the second half of 2013, reflecting increased demand in the economy and greater confidence in the economic outlook, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0% (Figure 1.6). With demand continuing to strengthen and confidence remaining high, further gains in employment are anticipated. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to around 5.0% in 2016, underpinned by a labour force participation rate that is assumed to return to its pre-recession peak in coming quarters and to remain at an historically high level. The higher labour force participation rate, coupled with rising net migration inflows, partly offsets the impact of stronger labour demand and results in only a gradual increase in wage growth.

          This years finger in the air

          Bearing in mind the effective increase in immigration as our job refugees come back from aussie and with the usual immigration running at the same levels, I think that forecast in National’s do-nothing environment is about as dated and useless as running iPhone 3G.

      • greywarbler 10.3.2

        Not when the bulk of voters are saying New Zealand is on the right track.
        Says Wayne. But the point is where is the track leading. These sort of questions lead to imaginative answers, as the replies are devoid of any real information as to what the interviewee’s opinion relates to.

        AA Milne had imagination and some thoughts on where it was right for people and perhaps voters, to go:

        Disobedience:
        King John
        Put up a notice,
        “LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
        James James
        Morrison’s Mother
        Seems to have Been Mislaid.
        James etc.
        (Commonly known as Jim)
        Told his
        Other relations
        Not to go blaming him.
        James James
        Said to his Mother,
        “Mother,” he said, said he:
        “You must never go down to the end of the town
        without consulting me.”

        Perhaps the voter was looking for a Parliament where she had a place:
        The Wrong House:
        I went into a house, and I thought it was a house,
        I could hear from the may-tree the blackbird call…
        But nobody listened to it,
        Nobody
        Liked it,
        Nobody wanted it at all.

        Oh well never mind – They’re Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.
        They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
        Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
        They’ve great big parties inside the grounds.
        “I wouldn’t be King for a hundred pounds,”
        Says Alice.

    • karol 10.4

      Wayne said:

      Increasing the size of Govt by 5% of GDP means actually increasing govt by around 15%, with tax rises to match.

      What do you actaully mean by “increasing the size of government”? Is that just about government spending, or the amount of people working in and for government.

      Does axing publc service workers and trimming government departments result in decreasing the size of government – even when the jobs previously don by government employees are contracted out to private enetities, and paid for out of the government coffers?

      So much focus on stats, so little focus on what this means for the actual real life experinces and struggles of people, especially those struggling to survive.

      • Gosman 10.4.1

        It is total spend of the government as a proportion of GDP. Therefore it doesn’t really matter much if the Government is outsourcing services. It is still paying for them.

        [lprent: You are banned from making any further comments in this post. Check out OpenMike. ]

  10. Mike the Savage One 12

    There appears to have been a news mention on Radio NZ National yesterday, and TVNZ seem to have published something similar on their website, but it did to my impression not appear on the TV One news. A link is here:

    http://m.tvnz.co.nz/news/top_stories/5975043

    It is about the most recent OECD statistics showing that housing costs in NZ, based on the average wage, or income, are the most expensive in the whole of the OECD.

    I may suggest someone here does a good write up on that topic later today, being Monday. That is news that Labour and Greens may well gain some traction with!!!

  11. Gosman 13

    Their views on the link between crime and inequality seems to fly in the face of the actual evidence given crime rates have dropped significantly in most Western nations while inequality has increased. Additionally inequality has fallen in Venezuela yet crime has gone through the roof. It seems to me that there is a awful lot of cheery picking going on by Ms Pickett and Mr Wilkinson.

  12. Tracey 14

    to be fair, gosman is an expert in ” cheery (sic) picking”.

    interesting to note that is the pgrase of preference for two of our naysayers. at least gosman admits inequality exists, he just doesnt think it’s a bad thing.

    • Gosman 14.1

      Of course inequality exists. It is in fact vital for the efficient functioning of an economic system. Left wing utopian visions of societies with perfect income equality are pie in the sky dreams divorced from reality. They are also a major factor why hard core left wing ideas don’t tend to work when applied in real life.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        this messahe was brought to you by gosman who

        a. hasnt read the book; and
        b. hasnt experienced inequality except by paying 33% on every dollar over 70,000

      • vto 14.1.2

        Except gosman, exceptionally few people advocate for the type of hard core left vision you described there….

        unlike people such as yourself and Crazy Act Party Pill people who, at the other end of the spectrum, advocate for extreme right policies and see every person as a commodity to be traded for a dollar note …. This is a major factor why hard core right wing ideas don’t work when applied in real life.

      • Mike S 14.1.3

        So how much inequality is enough then Gosman? Are we at a comfortable level for you now or do you think inequality should rise further? At what point would you say “enough? Or do you think it’s ok if it just keeps increasing until the inevitable occurs?

  13. Tracey 15

    any irony that the lectures are in the owen glenn building?

  14. Tiger Mountain 16

    I’ ll cherry pick from pages 220 and 221 of “the Spirit Level” 2010 edition.

    It is interesting to see that Cuba is the only country that manages to combine acceptable living standards with a sustainable economy. The WWF World Wildlife fund, used the UN Human Development Index which combines life expectancy, education and gross domestic product per capita to illustrate this. Scarcely a single other country combines a quality of life (0.8 above the WWF threshold on the HDI with an ecological footprint that is globally sustainable.

    The authors note that because Cuba manages this without access to the greenest and most efficient technology it means that it could be done far more easily in countries with that access.

    • karol 16.1

      And this is about the human costs and benefits. Bunji did a great series of posts on TS about The Spirit Level. I linked to all of them in this post. Binji’s posts are a great resource and summary of the books.

      The human costs, as I summarised:

      In a hierarchical and overly competitive society we all suffer. Poverty results in poor health and this impacts on all areas of life. On top of that the stresses of inequality can be overwhelming.

      Bunji covered the human costs of a big inequality gap, compared with less inequality, with a post focused on each of the following:

      2. Inequality is bad for everyone’s health.

      Equality breeds trust; inequality breeds crime. (Or: Do you want to be a bonobo or a chimp?).
      Equality: better education and social mobility. Inequality: more teen pregnancies.
      Equality works better for a sustainable future.

    • Gosman 16.2

      Excellent. We should all live like peiople in that great bastion of economic and personal freedom of Cuba. Except a number of people in Cuba are willing to risk their lives to get out of ther place. Why is that?

      • Tiger Mountain 16.2.1

        Worse places to live than a tropical island awash in mojitos. I don’t think you would be welcome there anyway Gossie, private estates in Paraguay might be more your style. People leave there due to the consumerist lure of Miami and the hard times enforced by the 50 year old economic embargo/blockade courtesy of the yanks.

        The Cubans due to circumstances beyond their control moved to organic agriculture several decades ago and have kept a relentless focus on education and health. They train medical staff in many third world countries in exchange for commodities.

        The Cuban type of life style will become more common elsewhere as the fossil fuel burns out and the seas rise.
        All the capital and markets in the world don’t seem able to slow climate change.

        • Gosman 16.2.1.1

          I love how many on the left blame the problems of Cuba on the economic embargo by the US. Cuba is free to trade with most other nations. In fact they did so for almost thirty years reasonably successfully till the collapse of the Soviet bloc. If they hadn’t hitched their wagon to a failed economic system they wouldn,’t be in the mess they are now.

        • Tamati 16.2.1.2

          Having recently visited Cuba, I’d advise those supporting the “inequality is the root of evil” hypothesis not to use Cuba as a shining example of successful socialism. Stick to Scandinavia and comparing different American States.

          I can tell you for sure, most Cubans don’t sit around quaffing Mojitos all day.

          • Molly 16.2.1.2.1

            Recently visited – does not necessarily mean well-informed – unless you have researched the historical political background and visited a variety of different demographics while you were there – with the intent of becoming informed.

            A friend of mine recalled her experience as an AFS student in Chile during the coup of Allende. Her host family supported the coup, and for many years she believed that it was the equivalent of throwing out a fascist dictator. Her view was skewed by the – fairly wealthy – family she was staying with.

            I was overseas for many years, but did not extend myself to learn about the politics and the lives lived by those who resided in those countries. I returned to NZ, and discovered to my shame, I was equally uninformed about my own country.

      • Tracey 16.2.2

        meanwhile back at the thread about a book youhavent read, gosman.

        • Tiger Mountain 16.2.2.1

          good point Tracey,
          back on track, it is a challenging read for lefties too to test their theories against, the right can’t handle “The Spirit Level” in any way because the failure of neo liberalism to deliver anything of substance to most of us is well exposed.

          The writers are found wanting in solutions to inequality though despite seeming genuine with their community based companies etc. They fall into the common trap that revolution (as in a shift in class power, not just regime changes as in the middle East recently) is not on the agenda due to past failures.

        • Gosman 16.2.2.2

          Why are you assuming I haven’t read it?

          • Tracey 16.2.2.2.1

            apart from your responses strongly implying it the fact that you have drifted a long way from the book is quite informative.

            slylands can be found at 125 the terrace at about 10am most mornings. meet up with and you guys can pat each other on the back about how successful the current state of affairs makes you feel. just clean up after yourselves.

  15. tricledrown 17

    Wayne was [deleted]

    [lprent: If you are going to assert a fact about a person then make sure that you also provide a link. To do otherwise cause this site to become liable and I don't like that. I'd prefer to get rid of the fool that increased the risk. In this case I think that your assertion was completely wrong. ]

  16. Ron 18

    A busy week for those going to lectures but just in case you still have energy left the Fabians have a good lecture on tomorrow Ethics in Finance and the Regulation of the Financial Sector
    Details on their site here Fabians

  17. greywarbler 19

    I thought I would provide a change from Gosman who is filling in his meaningless days filling the Standard with electronic utterances.

    This link is to Rosemary McLeod ‘s piece on Featherston subtitled Death in a town that lost its values. Rosemary illustrates the backdrop of the town with high unemployment low opportunities and lower hopes for the future under present regimes. She suspects that many small towns like Featherston ‘have gone bad since the infrastructure that one surrounded them collapsed…

    With that went opportunities for work, which offers the ability to live decently, if modestly, that welfare does not. You can see how hopelessness sets in, especially if you’re unskilled. When the world doesn’t value you how can you value anyone, even your own kids?.

    And this has resulted in sickening violence and deaths. Four young people, all parents, were found guilty in March of killing a man accused of rape, one wearing her special ‘stomping boots’, and then went to a service station, washed the blood off their shoes, and ate pies. Then went to some nightclubs and then to a local cemetery where one visited the grave of his partner and daughter. Also remembered is 6-year old Coral Burrows. Her stepfather killed her in 2003, after smoking P, on his fifth night and day without sleeping. (Mindless lives and deaths stripped of all purpose and nobility.)

    • Roy 19.1

      The catch there is that none of the murderers were Featherston residents. Three of them lived in Masterton and one in the Hutt valley.

      • greywarbler 19.1.1

        The catch is that Featherston happened to be the location for the murders plus other crime. And the point is that these are happening in the regions where there is not enough going on to keep young people occupied with lives to plan for. However in contrast with that there was Ewen Macdonald who had much to live for, and plenty of work and still committed crime.

        What values are the lads in the backblocks being taught. And there was a report about the violent and abusive behaviour of parents at rugby games and that kids were copying the adults. It was so bad that the young parents wouldn’t take it on and older men were stepping forward to help out as they were a bit distanced from it because of their age.

        It seems that rural practices and attitudes of respect and help for each other are not what they were, with serious rustling in some areas. Ewen Macdonald didn’t think twice about stealing a neighbour’s trophy deer – poaching is stealing – taking the heads and steaks and leaving the rest. He admitted it and didn’t seem to be ashamed of that or the other stuff he did. And found another guy to help him.

        • Phil 19.1.1.1

          What values are the lads in the backblocks being taught. [today?]

          I’ll wager all the money in my pockets, against all the money in your pockets, that they’re being taught the same values their fathers, and their fathers fathers, and the fathers fathers fathers were being taught.

          There’s a cultural phenomenon that we, as a species, have never shaken – belief that the old days were better. Based on interactions with my grandparents (before they passed away) and their siblings, I’d say that it’s almost certain the ‘good old days’ had a much greater quantity of vile and hateful racist, sexist, and homophobic tendencies than anything that exists today. I’d also wager that the Chris Trotter’s of this world suffer selective amnesia when they talk about how everyone got along and communities were more cohesive.

          • greywarbler 19.1.1.1.1

            Don’t wager anything Phil. It certainly is just conjecture that I have put forward. But the advent of psycho drugs and the long period of decline in opportunity of employment at a decent rate in the whole country made worse by the shrinking of numbers in farming communities will have had a downward effect on lives, future planning and values. Pinching the odd beast for dinner might have been ignored but organised rustling can put a family out of business. And the high jinks that might have led to problems in the past were of a different order than a home invasion, beating and murder.

          • Psycho Milt 19.1.1.1.2

            I’d also wager that the Chris Trotter’s of this world suffer selective amnesia when they talk about how everyone got along and communities were more cohesive.

            Fuckin’ A. As a teenager on the West Coast in the early-mid 70s, I saw no end of people that today’s wasters couldn’t teach a thing to. And no end of proof that ‘community cohesion’ is effectively another word for not rocking the boat or else.

  18. aerobubble 20

    Why did the allies, the humans first democracies, communist countries win over the fanatic and hierarchical? Simple. We were more equal and less bone’s to pick over. There is no time better than strife than to even scores. How many socialists, democrats in Hitlers armies trip up on purpose? How many buddhists drummed into the Jap airforce miss the US navy ships? Its because we don’t ask people to throw their lives away that we are a stronger society.

    And so the puzzle, why does it seem, thanks to all the spin, that we’d do anything, sell off our future for the planet to profit now. Its not only stupid, its crazy, as all it takes now is a few fanatical greenies to kick the system over to save the planet from our species. But you see we all still
    to democratic and free, that that is not happening.

    Its good economics, good politics, good society to be Green. Neo-liberals are fools.

    • How many socialists, democrats in Hitlers armies trip up on purpose?

      I remember watching a doco on guys restoring WW2 tanks, they were saying it was amazing how often the German tanks had obvious sabotage – bolts untightened, parts fitted backwards, pipes bent where it couldn’t be seen, cigarette butts stuffed down oil galleys…

  19. Ron 21

    I can confirm that John Key is not present at the lecture. Guess he will watch it on The replay

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    Potentia | 31-07
  • Closed Processes Don’t Make For Open Government
    New Zealand has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as an international citizen. We are regularly rated as one of the most effective democracies in the world, and we recently topped a survey as the world’s most socially advanced country. No...
    Bryan Gould | 31-07
  • EBS Newsletter Winter 2014
    Welcome to our Winter newsletter, we hope that you are well and managing to dodge the bugs in the classroom! Have a read through your newsletter below to make sure you know what you can access through your union and...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Stern Criticism of Westpac – From A Surprising Quarter
    A recently published article contains a stern critique of Westpac over their continuing financial support of coal miners Bathurst Resources, who have now begun removing “overburden” (i.e. the ecosystem) from the Denniston Plateau in preparation for larger-scale coal mining when...
    Coal Action | 31-07
  • AT drops Newton Station for cheaper CRL
    Auckland Transport have announced they are cutting the Newton Station from the City Rail link in favour of an upgraded station at Mt Eden. A significant design change to the City Rail Link (CRL), will save over $150 million, improve...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Sen Whitehouse Schools Sen Inhofe about Global Warming on the Senate Floor
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) throws down an epic schooling of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on global warming after Inhofe blocked a resolution from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Have they got to 2000 yet?
    The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians...
    Tumeke | 31-07
  • Who do you believe?
    On the back of numerous controversies that have plagued the National led government over the last few weeks, the left wing block of Labour and the Greens have managed to increase their support from 38.5% to 42% in the latest...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Labour can’t keep rewarding failure
    A recent column I wrote in the NZ Herald earned a ...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Lack of media interest in election policies
    It is hard not to feel that there is a major problem with mainstream media bias when the main opposition party announces that it plans to raise the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 (14%...
    Closing the Gap | 31-07
  • The agony of Gaza – What price the right of self-defence?
    As I write, the conflict in Gaza has seen yet another ceasefire deal squandered, with more death and destruction. Israel has repeatedly claimed its right to self-defence as justification for ‘Operation Protective Edge’. That claim is supported by leading Western...
    frogblog | 31-07
  • Murray McCully’s taxpayer-funded pissups
    Today was the last day of Parliament before the election, so naturally the government used it as cover to dump the quarterly Ministerial expenses reports. The media picked up pretty quickly on Tim Groser's $300 dinner of foie gras, (endangered)...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • STOP BOMBING ALREADY!!! (Leaked White House Transcript. 30 July 2014, EST )
    Gaza, an open-air prison? Israel’s $3 billion-a-year welfare check threatened? America scolds Israel? STOP THE PRESS!!! A leaked White House transcript of a heated phone-call earlier today reveals that US President Barack Obama told Israel’s Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to...
    Snoopman News | 31-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31A
    10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change A carbon tax that's good for business? Alaska communities at highest risk from ocean acidification Climate criminality': Australia OKs biggest coal mine IPCC climate change report's findings must be...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 July 2014
    Roy Morgan has just released their latest poll, and finally there’s some relatively good news for the Left! It certainly didn’t take long for Micky Savage at the Standard to have a quick half-gloat… Or Martyn Bradbury at the Daily...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-07
  • Is the Gaza conflict going to resolve differently this time?
    The world witnesses yet another tragic spectacle of the perennial Israel /Palestine war over Gaza. There are the appalling pictures of dead and injured children in schools and hospitals. Enormous explosions are seen on our screens where multi-story buildings are...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Parliament rises on a good note, thanks to some meddling kids
    The above video provides a good introduction to the slavery conditions of workers on foreign charter vessels fishing in NZ waters, as well as the Christchurch Anglican church’s involvement in it. While the Government took a while to act on the problem,...
    Cut your hair | 31-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #4: Aotea Arts District
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 4: Aotea Arts District What if Aotea felt like an Arts District? The area around Aotea Square is home to a surprising number of performing arts venues. I say surprising because it’s not often that you feel...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Overview: 2014 Poll Results (January – July)
    I'm currently completing a detailed Two-Part Post analysing Opinion poll trends over the last few years. Specifically, Part One will take a close look at the disparities between(1) Poll support for each party in the 18-month run-up to the last two...
    Sub zero politics | 31-07
  • The Māori Party and slave-fishing
    In the early C19th, when William Wilberforce was camapigning to abolish slavery in Britain's colonial posessions, he met with strong opposition from the British establishment. Few of his opponents were bold enough to say that they actually approved of slavery....
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Colin and Jamie walked into a bar …
    A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties....
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Our Work and Wages policy
    I want New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent, society in the world. To get there we need to grow the economy. But we also need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. That’s because...
    Labour campaign | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill today 31 July 2014 reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Purge! Trotter vs Quin vs Labour
    In the last couple of days there have been two columns looking beyond the election to, in the eyes of the authors, the inevitable internecine Labour blood-sports that follow. Each has a purge to propose. Phil Quin thinks Labour is...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey. Tertiary education is full of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Fiji: The law means nothing II
    Last month, we saw how Fiji's electoral law works in practice, when the supervisor of elections was instructed to register dictator Voreqe Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party despite the name being similar to that of the wound-up One Fiji - an...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Unbelievable
    Why didn't Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully act sooner in the Malaysian diplomat case? Because he couldn't be arsed reading his email:DAVID SHEARER (Labour - Mt Albert) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did his office receive an email at...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The last day
    Today is the last day of Parliament for the term. After spending the morning on non-controversial legislation - including apparently the anti-slave-fishing bill - the House will have its last Question Time and then an adjournment debate. And then they'll...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Traffic still at 2007 levels
    Gerry Brownlee’s media release yesterday trumpeted up traffic levels in 2013 surpassing those in 2012 – apparently this is a sign of New Zealand’s economic recovery that we’re driving a bit more. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Oily pigs at the trough
    We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Thursday July 31
    Top of the AgendaRussia Reacts to New U.S., EU Sanctions...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • No asset sales for Christchurch
    Christchurch City Council should not be forced into selling its strategic assets, the Green Party said today.Today's report into Christchurch City Council's finances by Cameron Partners shows that the Council is facing a substantial financial hole, with debt peaking in...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Plenty of options, asset sales not one of them
    Labour will vigorously oppose short term solutions to plug Christchurch City Council’s funding shortfall – including asset sales – which leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term, Labour’s Canterbury Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. Responding...
    Labour | 31-07
  • National forcing Auckland into second class rail
    National's lack of commitment on the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) is forcing Aucklanders to accept second best for their city rail service, the Green Party said today."National has queered the pitch by requiring unrealistic targets be met before it...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Nick Smith hides shameful vacant house numbers
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has lodged an official complaint against Housing Minister Nick Smith with Parliament’s Speaker for refusing to release data on the number of vacant state houses around the country. “Nick Smith is clearly embarrassed by the...
    Labour | 31-07
  • GC Star supports Beyer +video
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer. In a short video clip, Waititi announces that he supports “the iconic and the wonderful” Beyer in her bid for New Zealand’s...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Mana supports the Silent Leaders Challenge
    “Tomorrow I will be participating in a challenge to break the silence about hearing loss”, said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “I’m doing it to feel what it is that those who are hearing-impaired face every day”...
    Mana | 31-07
  • ADJOURNMENT SPEECH – MP Hone Harawira
    It’d be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global Financial Crisis with a...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Evidence refutes doomsday wages predictions
    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should cut the tired old rhetoric about rises in the minimum wage causing job losses and understand New Zealand has a serious problem with low wages and working poverty that needs to be addressed, Labour’s...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
    Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven ‘Everything’s Sweet ’Joyce, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers...
    Labour | 31-07
  • McCully’s excuses in tatters
    New evidence has emerged today that shows Mr McCully’s excuses for not knowing about the Malaysian diplomat case don’t stack up, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Mr McCully said he had received no information about the Malaysian diplomat...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Poisons Centre 50 years; celebration or wake?
    The Government’s plan to roll a number of helpline services together looks set to proceed with disastrous consequences, Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark says.  Latest reports suggest Australian company Medibank is the most likely provider....
    Labour | 31-07
  • Green Party statement on passing of FCV legislation
    The Green Party congratulates all parties in Parliament for supporting the completion of the Foreign Chartered Vessel legislation.Legislation passed today ensuring the end of a shameful era of human rights abuses under successive governments and several fishing companies."Human rights and...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza
    The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Veterans short-changed by new Act
    National Government reasons for rejecting a recommendation by the Law Commission to give veterans a payment to cover funeral expenses don’t stack up, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff. The Veterans’ Support Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence
    A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a...
    Labour | 31-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing vessels in New Zealand waters before the end of the Parliamentary term, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Ae Marika! 29 July 2014
    It wasn’t till I read John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald last week that I realised what a huge impact the Internet MANA tour has had, but the reality is that we achieved what no other political party has...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “Eight children were killed in Gaza last night, they were playing in an...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    The end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools - the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today."Today's announcement that the National Government...
    Greens | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “That will put around...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • You won’t believe Mike Hosking’s latest column
    You would think that after the furore caused by TVNZ appointing someone as biased as Mike Hosking to the election leader debates that he would be checking his privilege and pulling his head in so as to gloss over the criticism. You...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • 2014 and 1914
    Historian Nicholas Boyle (in ‘2014, How to Survive the Next World Crisis‘) foresees a big event happening this decade that will define the global geopolitical environment this century, much as World War 1 created the politics of the 20th century....
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • More NZers trust Kim Dotcom than John Key
    When asked by TVNZ who they believed – Kim Dotcom or John Key, an overwhelming number of people backed Kim over John…   Taking into account the bias of land lines opinion polls, that’s an extraordinary result and it’s a result that...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: Yet more changes at Radio NZ
      Paul Thompson is a man who can move mountains and in moving Radio NZ into another decade, he may have set off an avalanche – Chris Laidlaw retired and  replaced by Wallace Chapman, Geoff Robinson retired and replaced by Susie...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • ALCP only party to support Charlotte’s Web
    There has been no support shown for Charlotte's Web by other political parties, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party leader Julian Crawford says....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Petition on Bank Stability Dismissed
    The New Economics Party is disappointed that their 877 strong petition asking for a Parliamentary Enquiry on bank stability has been declined by the Select Committee on Finance and Expenditure....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Hutt Valley Man Continues Anzac Tradition in Queensland
    Lance Corporal (LCPL) Gregory Sanford says taking part in a warfighting exercise led by the Australians is good preparation for future joint operations....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Top Financial Analyst to join New Economics Party
    The New Economics Party has just added top financial analyst Nicole Foss as a spokesperson on the global economy. “We are delighted to welcome Nicole, Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth website to our team” said party co-leader Deirdre Kent....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Reassert the Place of Human Rights within the System
    “If there is one major challenge, it is to reassert the place and preservation of human rights within the criminal justice system”, said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. In a wide ranging speech ( http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/Papers%20and%20Presentations/140731Changing_Fashions_in_Criminal_Justice.pdf...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Banks Conviction: ACT Should Apologise to Epsom
    “The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fish and Game Important Public Environmental Advocate
    Fish and Game NZ is a vital environmental public watchdog and needs full government support - not abuse - in its important role says the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Technology get dangerous vehicles and drivers off roads
    Police is expanding its use of automated technology to catch criminals and make the roads safer for all users....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
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