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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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    (This was originally posted at The Standard.) Despite John Key’s key message du jour, the parties of the Opposition are talking policy. A (totally unscientific) look at party websites reveals Labour and the Greens have put out hundreds of pages...
    Boots Theory | 23-08
  • Read it and weep. Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’
    Nicky Hager‘s important new book Dirty Politics – How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment is out (and quickly ‘sold out’ in some places). The information in Nicky Hager’s book exposes — and for some of us, confirms — our worst...
    The Paepae | 23-08
  • John & Crusher – the Social Dominators & their followers
    The Social Dominator:   “Social dominance scores correlate very strongly with these answers to the Power Mad scale. High scorers are inclined to be intimidating, ruthless, and vengeful. They scorn such noble acts as helping others, and being kind, charitable,...
    eropei | 23-08
  • I do not condone this…
    . . I won’t spend too much time on this – it’s not worthy of attention except from the Courts. I’ll state the obvious that I am no fan of right wing politics; neo-liberalism; the ACT Party, or John Banks’...
    Frankly Speaking | 23-08
  • I do not condone this…
    . . I won’t spend too much time on this – it’s not worthy of attention except from the Courts. I’ll state the obvious that I am no fan of right wing politics; neo-liberalism; the ACT Party, or John Banks’...
    Frankly Speaking | 23-08
  • Is it the right time for Solar Homes?
    The Green Party has some great transport policies, and have recently announced their support for the Congestion Free Network as one of those policies. However, I haven’t been as impressed with the Greens’ energy policies (or any of the other...
    Transport Blog | 23-08
  • Labour to Abolish Secondary Tax – Fantastic News For Those With More Than...
    Those of us who have a second or even third job, can rest easier – if they get out and vote for Labour / Greens / NZ First. Article below from MSN News “Labour will scrap secondary income tax, if...
    An average kiwi | 23-08
  • Conservatives want assurances on National’s morals before offering co...
    So I hosted an Epsom candidates' debate Thursday night; great turn out and lots of good questions from people in the audience of over 160. But there was a fascinating statement by Christine Rankin there that deserves a bit of...
    Pundit | 23-08
  • We Are Asking the Wrong Question
    The charge sheet against John Key could hardly be more serious. If it could be shown that he had misused his position as the Minister for the security and intelligence services to discredit his political opponents and had then lied...
    Bryan Gould | 23-08
  • Is Simon Lusk a psychopath?
    National party consultant Simon LuskYou may have noticed that the mask has entirely slipped from the National parties face, taking their pretence of being honourable with it. Because of the revelations in Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, no longer...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • July 14 Patronage results
    The patronage results for July are now available and they show another strong month of growth. Auckland public transport patronage totalled 72,740,387 passengers for the 12 months to Jul-2014, an increase of +0.5% on the 12 months to Jun-2014 and +5.9%...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Would the real National Party please stand up
    This election campaign is turning into a joke. National, through John Key and to a lesser extent Steven Joyce, appear to be telling us either not to believe emails people from their sidewrote or that somehow a smear campaign involves...
    My Thinks | 22-08
  • A right wing conspiracy
    In just one week we've gone from the Prime Minister claiming that nothing in Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty Politics, was true to irrefutable proof that Ministers and their staff were directly involved in smear campaigns using the poisonous blog...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • The Prime Minister responds again
    Hello there. I just wanted to spend some time to respond to some of the baseless accusations that have been flying around this week. First of all, Labour need to be ashamed about the way they have behaved. They have...
    My Thinks | 22-08
  • The most bullshit OIA response ever
    On July 30, we learned via Question Time that Murray McCully had allowed an email informing him that the Malaysian government was not waiving Muhammad Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity to sit unread in his mailbox for an indeterminate amount of time....
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Lucy
    ...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Sick again
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 42I've got nothing interesting to share about the world - my temperature is up and I feel crummy - again.  It's probably nothing much, but after a week of lethargy and...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Voice-over!
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 38Political scandles notwithstanding, I've spent the last two days learning how to be a voice artist, in as much as this is possible in a two day period.  It was a...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • My mechanic is a right-winger
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 37My mechanic is one of my favourite service providers.  On days when I have to leave my car for repair he drives me to work while telling hilarious, off-colour stories about...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Craft Kitchen
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 36Craft Kitchen is an organic, gourmet sort of cafe which opened near the corner of Ponsonby and Great North Roads a bit over a month ago.  The first week it was...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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