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The privilege of real-name blogging

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 pm, November 27th, 2012 - 112 comments
Categories: blogs - Tags:

Brian Edwards is the latest to wade into the “anonymous bloggers” debate.  I’ve previously posted about the reasons people use pseudonyms, and my personal “justifications” for arguing that a pseudonym does not automatically render a person’s statements worthless.

But there’s the other side to it, the side I glossed over in that post:  the privilege of real-name blogging.

To Brian’s credit, he includes talkback radio under the heading of “anonymous commentary”, and when prompted in comments, the truly anonymous editorials of the Herald and Listener, but it’s pretty clear that it’s bloggers Brian has in mind when he talks about “cowardice”, when he states

More contemptible by far than the anonymous correspondent is the anonymous blogger, particularly in a democracy like New Zealand where freedom of speech is limited only by the laws of defamation.  Such lack of spine contrasts starkly with the courage of those anonymous bloggers and pamphleteers who are the advocates of freedom and democracy in totalitarian societies.

Brian also notes that of course, we “anonymous” bloggers (and seriously, the only thing that truly offends me about this eternal argument is people’s insistence on pretending there’s not a clear difference between anonymity and pseudonymity) will object to being labelled cowards.  So well done, Brian, you’ve got me.

You’ve also got privilege.

You’ve got the privilege of being a person in a career, in a social position, in a financial situation, which mean that stating your personal political biases for the world to see doesn’t pose you any risk.

You get to get up in the morning and sit at your computer and type whatever you darn well please into the text field.

You don’t have to worry that your manager will see it, and if not fire you, just mildly bully you on an ongoing basis at levels HR refuse to acknowledge until your work situation becomes unbearable.

You don’t have to consider that future employers might labour under the impression that a  person’s opinions about completely unrelated policy makes them unsuitable for employment.  Or that having political opinions at all rules you out of all public service, NGO, or media roles – or the entirety of customer service.

You do have the same concerns about scum like C*m*r*n Sl*t*r using your personal opinions to attack you – but again, you’re in a position and a career where you’re fairly well protected from such attacks.  You’ve got clients and contacts who are already well-aware of your political leanings.  Anyone who might have had a problem with them probably doesn’t work with you.

You don’t, therefore, have to worry about people saying “Look, I know he’s a turd in the NZ media punchbowl, but some people do take him seriously, so we can’t employ you.”

And you know, none of that is really your fault.  You shouldn’t feel bad for being in the kind of position where you can say whatever you like with no fear of damaging reprisals.

What is your fault is not realising that that is a type of privilege.

And lacking that privilege is not cowardly.

People protecting themselves by using pseudonyms, and thus giving themselves more freedom to express their opinions – and knowing that those opinions don’t come with the “established columnist” and “expert media advisor to H1″ bonuses – are not “cowards”.  They’re people with a much clearer picture of how the world works for people who aren’t Brian Edwards.

And seriously, Brian.   “Anonymity Pandemic”?

~

PS. Just for Brian, who thinks

My position is that there often is and that anonymity permits or encourages people to be less considered, less reasonable, less restrained and more aggressive, more intolerant and more abusive than when they put their names to what they have written or said.

I haven’t even used the word “fuck” once!  …  Oops.

112 comments on “The privilege of real-name blogging”

  1. marsman 1

    Clear and to the point QOT. It is weird though that Edwards et al seem not to be bothered by anonymous Editorials in the tabloids which pose as our national newspapers, Editorials that many a time are clearly written by the National Party and/or the Business Roundtable.

    • karol 1.1

      Yes, marsman.  And also, there’s a hot issue about journalists using anonymous sources.  I came across a lot of google hits on that when I was researching the topic today – controversial topic.

      The use of anonymous sources has been a controversial subject for many years. Some news outlets insist that anonymous sources are the only way to obtain certain information, while others hold strict prohibitions against the use of unnamed sources at all times.

      News organizations may impose safeguards, such as requiring that information from an anonymous source be corroborated by a second source before it can be printed There’s a lot of hits about the pros and cons, and ethics of using anonymous sources.

      Critics say anonymous sources undermine credibility. Defenders say whistle-blowers would not come forward without the protection of anonymity. Journalists Ken Paulson, Ben Bradlee, Michael Isikoff, Evan Thomas and Geneva Overholser take a critical look at the use of anonymous sources and the impact they have on the public’s perception of the news media.

       

    • Tim 1.2

      Funny how even the most reasonable of persons don’t like every aspect of a democracy, a we the people, a collective, an anonymous, a community. What is it with the likes of Brian and others that seem to feel the need to identity – such that they can place a label, on anything that expresses an opinion.
      I’m not Tim! I have very valid reasons for being who I am. If I landed in Nadi, I’d probably be escorted somewhere.
      Brian, and MANY MANY others – check ya shit and just consider that there are valid reasons why people don’t necessarily want to be identified.
      I sat with the enabler of the last PSB programme that went to air before TVNZ7 was axed. He/She was desperate not to be identified.
      Don’t be a muppet Bria – EVEN the anonymous deserve a voice

  2. leftriteleft 2

    I believe it’s the message – not the messenger.
    I worked in a newspaper for over 40 years on the production side. In my day no reporter put his name on a story. It’s a new trend and I believe not needed.

    • karol 2.1

      Ah yes, agree, lrl.  I’ve also been doing some reading today for a post on that, using like, academic sources and all – blind (anonymous) peer review beats argument by star name. Will probably be ready in a day or so.

      • “blind (anonymous) peer review beats argument by star name.”

        Peer-review is blind to avoid biases, peer reviewers aren’t the one publishing the article, they tear it apart looking for errors but the article itself is still published by a person whom you can credential check via full-name and organisation

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Exactly, TC.  Did you actually think about what you wrote?  I’ll repeat it:

           Peer-review is blind to avoid biases

          This is based on research evidence that shows your previous knowledge about an author will effect your judgements of their writing.  Of course, we live in a world of copyright, and status via ownership of your own work, so that’s why the work is eventually published under the author’s name.

          • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.1

            Using peer review is bad example though because peer reviewers are scholars in their field who are aware, specifically of false claims, logical fallacies, with an in-depth knowledge of which ever field they are peer-reviewing.

            When publishing to the wider public though people should be able to independently review the authors accreditation.

            • karol 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Why? What’s wrong with using your own critical judgment of a piece of writing?  And especially when several people look at a piece of writing critically, offering views on it, they probe its weaknesses.

              Some MSM journalists are not authorities either on what they write, but they just get seen as experts by some because of their “names”. 

              • Part of critical judgement is consideration of the source of the story.

                • karol

                  So?  If a person is using a pseudonym, you can build up a critical view of their writing. And I hope when you developed your own view of any given topic before you’d look at more than one source anyway.

                  Most bloggers are not presenting any new information, but critically commenting on stuff that is already in the public domain. 

                • As long as you don’t have multiple people blogging under the same pseudonym, I fail to see how anonymity prevents you from considering the source of a story in any way that is actually material to the qualities and biases of the writer in question.

    • “In my day no reporter put his name on a story. It’s a new trend and I believe not needed.”

      Firstly, when did reporters file as anon?
      Secondly, totally disagree, if you are employed by a mass-media source I think it is important to put your name to a piece so the reader is able to identify the journalist and appreciate the bias the writer might put to their work. Would you feel comfortable if the Herald stared posting Whale Oil without identifying him? Putting your personal name to something gives it greater integrity because your name is on the line as a ‘public figure’ of sorts

      Blogs not so much though I do think to gain greater credibility you need to display your credentials.

      Commentators not at all though

      • karol 2.2.1

        The NZ Herald publishes editorials anonymously, so who knows if WO wrote any of them?

        In any case, those editorials can stand or fall on the quality of the writing, whoever writes them. 

      • lprent 2.2.2

        They didn’t file that way. Nor for that matter do the authors here and even most of the commentators here (I’m always amazed at how much trust many of you place in us).

        What they did was publish anonymously. Go back to your local library a few decades and look at authors in the local newspapers. Oh why bother tending the ignorant….

        Here have a look at a Auckland Star from 1945 (looks like 1945 is the latest in Papers Past).

        You’ll find the odd article by a named correspondent. Most of the articles are “PA” press association or cables by really really anonymous authors.

        You really are awfully young right? Mind you most journos appear to be quite quite ignorant …. of the history of the profession OF Course….

        • TheContrarian 2.2.2.1

          More sanctimonious shit from lprent.

          • lprent 2.2.2.1.1

            And I regard you highly as well….. :)

            Did you read it?
            Or are you too in love with your own reality? :twisted:

            • TheContrarian 2.2.2.1.1.1

              I wish the posters at The Standard good luck in winning Pulitzer’s and being considered leaders in the journalistic and political sphere under their various guises.

              • karol

                Ha ha – like that’s what we are looking for….?  What’s wrong with a little critical discussion of current political issues from ordinary folks?

                And how many MSM NZ journalists would be up for one of those awards? 

                PS: If you have so little faith in the writing here, why are you here?

              • lprent

                I don’t think that we’re interested in doing any of those things.

                For a starter have a look at the right column up towards the top – see what is in the box marked “Opinion”. We really don’t do journalism.

                In the political sphere I find that writing operational code was far more interesting and useful than blathering opinions. I’m always amazed anyone bothers reading my posts. But I write because I want to.

                And I thought that the Pulitzer was restricted to Yank journos.

                You really do have some strange ideas.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.2.3

        It’s not quite so simple as that.

        Would you feel comfortable knowing that the byline is not telling the full story? That a number of journos worked on a piece, and some weren’t ‘credited’?

        How much info is the reader entitled to about the editing process?

        Do by-lined journos get to tell their editors that ‘No, if you cut those paras then you can’t run it under my name?’

        Should they be able to? Should we know the name of the editor then?

        Jack Shafer mate. He’s a hack from way back:

        http://blogs.reuters.com/jackshafer/2012/07/06/how-the-byline-beast-was-born/

        And any way. if you can’t spot bias in the text, then knowing the name of the jouno isn’t going to help you none. Reckon you’ll be likely to start using the name of the journo as a shortcut for looking for bias. And you know what that’s called in the latin eh?

      • just saying 2.2.4

        Routine use of by-lines came in in the 80s during the infotainment revolution.

  3. Agreed entirely.  There are a number of reasons why someone would want to blog anonymously.  What happens though is their alter ego builds up a reputation depending on the quality of their comments.  Some, for instance Felix are always taken seriously because of the history of their commenting.

    They should not be written off, just because they choose not to expose themselves to the type of shyte that our friend Cameron subjects them to. 

    • Tim 3.1

      +1 (as they appear to say from time to time).
      Some have VERY valid reasons for wanting to retain anonmity in a public sphere in such a context.
      Some may even blog anonymously in “spaces” (to coin the new-found buzz) such as this, whilst all the while operating elsewhere whilst known. There’s nothing necessarily sinister.

    • Ron 3.2

      I wonder how having a real name would tell you anything. Geoff Sinclair talking about his days on the Star claimed he wrote under many names, I suspect that many papers still follw that course,

  4. I agree with this on some levels but, I believe if verbally abusive and personally directed comments are made, they should be attached to a real person.

    • I agree but only that the posters themselves should attach their real name – the comments section is the wild west.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Why? Rationale? or mere assertion.

        I’m particularly interested in WHY you think there should be a distinction between authors and commentators.

    • lprent 4.2

      Around here they usually are. I’m usually the one doing it….

      But that is partially my role. I drive off the complete idiots. I usually emulate the person I’m attacking, except far far more viscous, nasty , obnoxious, persistent or whatever….

    • QoT 4.3

      verbally abusive and personally directed comments

      Boy, that doesn’t cover a wide range of things entirely dependent on your personal bias at all.

  5. Bill 5

    Okay, and contrary to Brian’s argument, why should an opinion/idea/ analysis be afforded more or less weight or credibility simply because it does or doesn’t have a publicly recognisable personality behind it? (Whether that personality is a reporter, politician or whatever.) In other words, what’s wrong with ideas, analysis or whatever standing or falling simply on their own merit? That’s not to say that some prefunctory statement of a writers’ political or cultural position shouldn’t be made where appropriate (eg, editorials). Meanwhile, on blogs, discerning a persons basic position, angle or take, more or less happens anyway over a number of posts or comments.

    • karol 5.1

      And we also make or own critical judgements of the writing, or screen performance on MSM journalist.  I think some blogs provide a really good forum that encourages people to read/view critically, rather than just accept stuff because a name person said/wrote it.

      • David H 5.1.1

        And by the time it’s been through the mill here it’s been dissected, and examined, every which way. And commented on from every angle. So, if the subject is the important thing, does it matter a whit if My name is Arthur, Martha, or Fred?

    • QoT 5.2

      publicly recognisable personality

      You’ve just made me think of something else, Bill – the faith we put (or people assume we should put) into a person’s “public personality”.

      I think we can all quickly come up with a few names of people who got to make big serious political statements on the basis of their public personas who were later discovered to be not so credible *cough*GrahamCapill*cough*.

      Their credibility was based on bullshit. At least the credibility of a pseudonymous blogger is based only on their own arguments – so even if I’m really a dodgy sockpuppet, nobody’s being asked to believe my arguments on the basis that I’m a Respected Pillar Of The Community.

      • weka 5.2.1

        “At least the credibility of a pseudonymous blogger is based only on their own arguments”
         
        I think that is true to an extent, but bloggers also build reputations and become ‘public personas’ (albeit on the internets). eg you and lprent both have pretty obvious reputations beyond the content of any individual post you write. The only way to avoid that would be to write anonymously (!) on a collective site where everyone was writing anonymously.
         
        I do think that the left wing blogosphere is more egalitarian, and less celebrity/personality-as-authority focussed than mainstream culture though, so I take your point.

        • QoT 5.2.1.1

          Oh, that’s absolutely true, weka – I was more making the point that, unlike (to pick a name completely at random …) John Armstrong, people don’t come to read my posts with a huge dollop of “this person is An Established Authority as decreed by The Mainstream” served up first.

          • One Tāne Huna 5.2.1.1.1

            Sophistry, I’m afraid. You have established your own authority, but authority it remains, with all of the expectation/responsibility that entails.

            • QoT 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I disagree. I see a significant difference between establishing authority purely through what I’ve actually produced, as opposed to getting the advantage of pre-existing authority/cred which others have bestowed on me.

              Here’s a comparison: I’m an author at The Standard because I established my blogging cred through several years’ writing. Josie Pagani is a commentator on National Radio because of her (assumed) activist/candidate history and connection to left-wing influencers.

              And fuck knows what kind of “responsibility” you think I’ve brought down on myself by simply stating my opinion online under a consistent handle.

      • Bill 5.2.2

        It was (obviously) many years ago that I first puzzled over why so many people would hang on the words of a certain Margaret Thatcher. whateer she said would permeate ‘everywhere’.Now, I get that she was the PM of Britain. But that just led to all sorts of questions about the why’s and wherefore’s of our perception of authority and our abeyance to their opinions and preferences..our adoption of an ‘anti-filter’ if you, like. We approach certain people or the positions they occupy with preconcieved notions geared to garner acceptance or respect – and that happens whether we are talking of a minor shaper of opinion (Edwards, Fisk or whoever) and those in positions of greater power (establishment authorities, from teachers on up to political leaders, church leaders, economists etc).

        It’s not a good thing, in my opinion.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.2.3

        imo, that is excellent critical writing Oueen for a Day :)

  6. BM 6

    It’s the risk you take, if you want to put your head above the parapet be prepared to get it shot off.
    You’re a very outspoken and abrasive blogger , eventually your real life will become known to people on the web.

    And It may very well affect employment and other aspects of your off line life but that’s the situation that you have put yourself in by being up front and out spoken, if being found out concerns you it may pay for you to reanalyze your blogging style.

    • karol 6.1

      Actually, I have always assumed, whether writing as a blogger or blog author, that my identity could be discovered by someone.  I write accordingly.  I guess it depends what you want from posting/commenting.  I value reasoned discussion based on evidence.

      • BM 6.1.1

        I don’t think anyone has an issue with what you write Karol, most of if not all of your stuff is well thought out and not particularly controversial.
        I don’t agree with a lot of what you write but you present it in a manner where the majority of people will respect your view point.
        Not too many people calling for your head over at Whale oil either, so I wouldn’t be to concerned about people tracking you down and exposing you.

        • Jackal 6.1.1.1

          If people have a problem with what somebody writes BM they should attack what is written. Most websites have a right of reply and there are more options than merely taking a defamation case as the increasingly deluded Brian Edwards seems to believe.

          As a writer who is often attacked on sites like Whaleoil and Kiwibog, I have little concern with those cowards ever tracking me down or exposing who I am. In fact it wouldn’t do my blogging any harm at all.

          My decision to remain anonymous is based on the fact that bloggers like Slater, Farrar and Odgers will say or do pretty much anything to discredit those they oppose. That vindictiveness is echoed by those currently in power. Why make it easy by giving them a target to shoot BM? It’s much better to let them make complete fools of themselves instead.

          It would appear to me that people who write dumb shit are often exposed anyway, Cameron Slater being a case in point when his illegal naming of sexual abuse victims caused him to be arrested and prosecuted and then outed for the idiot he is.

          So there are rules that most anonymous bloggers in New Zealand adhere to. In this respect I think it’s mere anonymous opinion that Edwards dislikes, not any clear evidence of wrongdoing. Why for instance is the opinion of an anonymous blogger in New Zealand not as worthwhile just because (according to Edwards) we don’t live in a totalitarian society? How nice to live a life of privilege eh!

          Clearly his argument is weak at best, with anonymous opinion gaining merit because of what that opinion is, not who is making it. In this way an argument based purely on what is being said and not a cult of personality is even more compelling to people who do not base their beliefs on an outdated hierarchical system… Perhaps why Edwards et al. dislike anonymous bloggers so vehemently.

    • QoT 6.2

      if you want to put your head above the parapet be prepared to get it shot off.

      A wonderfully dangerous little conflation you’ve got going there, BM, when “expressing an opinion in a public forum” is equivalent to “putting your head above the parapet”.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      So you think that someone losing their job over what they said that didn’t relate to or affect their work, in their own time on an internet site is fine?

      • QoT 6.3.1

        Blah blah free market blah blah asking for it blah blah stop being an unladylike bitch, QoT blah.

      • BM 6.3.2

        Why would some one lose their job over blogging comments that had no bearing on the their work.
        The only time there would be an issue is if your comments broke your employment agreement by negatively affected the company you worked for.

        Politics and religion is pretty dangerous territory though, here be dragons.

        • QoT 6.3.2.1

          Because most employment agreements/codes of conduct are written with deliberately vague terms (like how most job descriptions tack on “and other tasks as may be required from time to time”), and deciding whether or not something “has bearing on a person’s work” is hardly a black-and-white issue.

          • The Fan Club 6.3.2.1.1

            Well no, it’d very probably be illegal. (Especially if it was political commentary.) Of course you have limited ability to enforce that.

            Also you do know that almost no public service roles require a history of political neutrality? (I mean, like, the Clerk’s Office, Parliamentary Library, a few others.) Many public servants are allowed to engage in political activity.

            • karol 6.3.2.1.1.1

              It might be illegal to discriminate against someone in employment because of their political opinions, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be done in a way that is difficult to challenge.

              Yes, a public servants can engage in political activities in their own time.  But when a person becomes publicly known for their political activities, it may be hard to keep a separation between that person’s workplace and political identities: i.e. people may respond to the worker based on what is known about his/her political activities, and make it an issue.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.2

          Why would some one lose their job over blogging comments that had no bearing on the their work.

          Because their boss didn’t like their politics just as you imply here:

          Politics and religion is pretty dangerous territory though,

          • BM 6.3.2.2.1

            It’s the risk you take.
            To be honest I wouldn’t be too enthused having a hardcore political activist working for my company who in his off time spent hours on line discussing and planning the down fall of our current economic system.

            You’d have to seriously question his/hers motivation and loyalty to the company.

            • QoT 6.3.2.2.1.1

              Ah yes, but that’s the problem, BM – I don’t think a person who is, in their work hours, completely competent and professional and does their job, should be subject to dismissal just because their manager is a judgemental prat who can’t handle alternate opinions and the expression thereof.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.2.1.2

              To be honest I wouldn’t be too enthused having a hardcore political activist working for my company who in his off time spent hours on line discussing and planning the down fall of our current economic system.

              And that perfectly illustrates the problem within our society. People don’t have freedom because the boss may get upset.

              You’d have to seriously question his/hers motivation and loyalty to the company.

              Strange, I keep hearing from Treasury, National, and economists that motivation and loyalty comes with the amount you pay.

            • Rogue Trooper 6.3.2.2.1.3

              clever.not

          • Populuxe1 6.3.2.2.2

            However I’m fairly sure that would leave the employer wide open to be sued for wrongful dismissal. So perhaps not a good example.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.2.2.1

              If the employee realises or can prove that that was why they were fired and if they can afford a lawyer.

            • Rhinocrates 6.3.2.2.2.2

              Having been through a similar process myself, I can tell you it’s lengthy and gruelling. A campaign of smearing and intimidation was mounted against me, it took months, required expensive consultation with an employment lawyer, then lengthy negotiations by my union representatives and whole process left me seriously debilitated and on anti-anxiety medication. I eventually had a good financial settlement, but I didn’t get my job back (nor would I want it).

              Technically they may be “wide open”, but few people have the reserves, stubbornness or documentation to mount a successful challenge and the majority of times it doesn’t happen – and the bad employers know that.

              You may as well say that burglaries never happen because theft is illegal.

        • Crashcart 6.3.2.3

          Do you think MSM reporters should have to name all their confidential sources. After all those sources chose to put their head above the wall and make comments that may afffect their employment or even life. How can we trust what they say if they aren’t identified correct?

          The hypocrisy of the MSM on this is horrible.

          • Populuxe1 6.3.2.3.1

            What’s that got to do with anything? Journalist and source are completely separate roles. 

            • karol 6.3.2.3.1.1

              Actually some people, experts in the field, argue that anonymous sources one one of the authors who contribute to an article.  It’s certainly debated that source and author are not as separate as you seem to think.

        • mike e 6.3.2.4

          yeah right Blind Monetarist NZ has a Victorian attitude towards employment especially when national is in power!

    • Te Reo Putake 6.4

      A comrade once told me never to say anything on a telephone I wouldn’t want to hear repeated in court. Good advice. Blogging without identifying yourself allows a freedom to comment that is denied to us in the ‘real’ world. It is the most honest commentary to be found in any kind of media available today.
       
      I choose to use a pen name because of that freedom. And also because it drives Pete George crazy. But that’s just a bonus, it’s really about the freedom.

  7. just saying 7

    Do we really want to hear only from those with power, privilege, confidence, and relative immunity, punctuated by a tiny number of thick-skinned “mavericks” for the good-old-boys to rark-up for sport?

    Or do we want to find ways to foster genuine democracy and debate, to quieten those who have dominated the public discourse for long enough and to allow a space for those without the above advantages to be heard?

    We’ve done things Brian’s way for centuries. I’ve been hearing from Brian off and on, all my life. The fact that he doesn’t even see that there is an issue, even when people are (psuedonymously) telling him about their lived experience, says it all. What he says is trumps, and that’s as it should be.

    I wouldn’t say anything at all in a forum like this without the protection of a pseudonym. That wouldn’t be the end of the world. Problem is all the many others like me who wouldn’t be heard either.

    Funny aside, a friend’s brother, one with lashings of intersecting privilege, used to regularly post under his own name in one of the bigger blogspaces. A couple of months ago, I sent a link to his sister, who never visits the blogosphere, as he was discussing something pertinent to a matter of family dispute. Haven’t seen him post under his own name since. And this little ‘pinch’ was just the merest hint of the kinds of risks others face.

  8. Ant 8

    Great post QOT.

  9. Blue 9

    There is a very long history and tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous art, music, literature and journalism, and it’s tedious to keep rehashing it every time some moron decides to get stuck into bloggers.

    The people who get on their high horse about the issue tend to be either:

    (a) Media professionals who write opinions under their own name for a living;
    (b) Vengeful muck-rakers;
    (c) Idiots whose main form of argument is ad hominem attacks; or
    (d) All of the above.

    None of the above categories is anyone whose opinion is worth much of a damn – even when they have their own name on it.

    • lprent 9.1

      Ah Blue.. You forgot “net newbies”.

    • McFlock 9.2

      wasn’t Ben Franklin an anonymous/pseudonymous leafleteer?

      • lprent 9.2.1

        Politics is littered with their polemics…coming to think of it so were the newspapers. What was that newspaper that was commonly known as the “Thunderer” for the particular in your face opinionated and outright strindent tone of their columns. Mostly anonymous or psuedonomyous as well..

  10. vto 10

    Brian, what difference does it make to your consideration of points made?

  11. I don’t mind “anonymous” bloggers as long as they use there real name when attacking those of us that do use our real name. Now those are the gutless wankers ;)
    Remember you are anonymous so you can reply.

    • vto 11.1

      I dont think I’m anonymous actually

      too many anonymous and cowardly spies

      • lprent 11.1.1

        And you are daft enough to comment where the sysops don’t respect privacy?

        • vto 11.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea, what’s a sysop?

          • travellerev 11.1.1.1.1

            System Operator=Iprent

          • Lanthanide 11.1.1.1.2

            Bit of an old term these days. It’s pretty much interchangeable with ‘webmaster’ when it comes to websites such as this, but even that is an old term as well.

            • lprent 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah. There are some things that I’m distinctly conservative on. Titles are one of them. :)

              To tell the truth if you have to do the same job I can’t really see the point in changing the title.

              In my case the art of running a *nix server is pretty much the same regardless what era it is. I started running *nix servers in (ummm?) 1989 on a xenix system for Cargo King talking to cash registers around the country. That was well before the web was available in NZ and we were still doing everything on 2400 baud modems.

              Handling a web site was just a layering on top of that.

              • Peter

                Those were the days. Well, not my days. One downside of increased bandwidth is that you value your data less, especially when you can just download it again at speed.

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.3

            Using the same email/handle as here on another site where the operators aren’t quite as fussy as we are about privacy.

            Data matching is going to be an increasing problem for pseudonyms when it hooks to a real world email.

  12. Pete 12

    Brian is applying a variant of the Greater Internet F**kwad Theory and to an extent it holds some water. We’ve all encountered trolls in forums that are unmoderated or poorly moderated and the Internet can be a hive of scum and villainy, but he’s also making an ad hominem argument in its own way which doesn’t addresses the merits of a blogger’s argument.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out my name. I use the same red star from the NZ flag as my gravatar all over the place (I actually pulled it from a screen-capture of the opening credits of Revolution) and on one major NZ blog I’m registered under my full name because the admins ask nicely that commenters do that (Public Address). I’m a little more free these days to comment politically using my full name because I no longer work in the public service, but I don’t want to jeopardise any potential return there with some throwaway comment that hangs around like a bad smell if some HR person Googles me. So on my own blog where I have a greater degree of control I use my full name. I can lock it down if I’m applying for a job, for example (yes I know with caching services nothing really disappears, but still…). In threads where I can’t delete my comments after a few minute I prefer to just merge into the crowd.

    Plus, going by my first name keeps things informal.

    If you really want to know, my name is Peter Sime. I blog sporadically at http://www.petesi.me and my Twitter handle is @petesime. My educational credentials are BA in History and an LLB from Otago, a BA (Hons) in History from Victoria (where they treat honours as a separate post grad degree), and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Victoria. I’m 178 cm tall. I’m currently reading Brideshead Revisited. I’m a librarian. Pleased to meet you.

    Knowing all that, does that change anyone’s opinion of my comments in the past, or will it affect their opinion in the future? I doubt it.

    • ropata 12.1

      “greater internet f**kwad theory”, haha very true.

      this free speech concept is shocking isn’t it
      people expressing their honest opinion and being rude and offensive
      can’t have that old boy

    • Rogue Trooper 12.2

      I have watched Brideshead on film through twice, once in one go. Pleased to meet you :)

      -Rogue Sebastian

  13. Schlurps McGoo 13

    Quite a few authors throughout the centuries who wrote social and political satire, criticisms etc used pseudonyms.

    Jonathan Swift published under many pen names, Charles Dickens under just the one for the first few years.

    Mark Twain, Lewis Caroll, George Orwell, all not their real names.

    This Idea that using a pseudonym invalidates any point or argument you have to make is well…. false. All those authors listed are well recognised for having wrote arguments that were worthwhile.

    I would argue that if you use a pseudonym (like I am now) and others find the content abusive or offensive, well you’ve probably alienated anyone likely to agree with you anyway.

    So why try to police the net by insisting people identify themselves with their birth names or identity?

  14. redfred 14

    The use of pseudonym offers real freedom; freedom from the less formal power structures in society, boss, peers, neighbours etc.

    For Brian, it is about “Brand”, Brian is protecting the brand value of the real political commentator with a real name and therefore a more valuable brand.

    Feathering his own nest, fluffing his own pillow, stroking his own ego.

    He is showing his lack of understanding of this space, a real name has no more value than a pseudonym, I really enjoy NRT blogs, for the information and analysis, couldn’t really give a crap about the name on their birth certificate, they are NRT easy.

    Brian hasn’t evolved beyond the digital newspaper format he has been think the web provides. This type of forum offers the opportunity for everybody with out fear of favour to have an opinion on everything, that is the democracy of the web, that is the freedom of the web.

  15. Ed 15

    In the same week as it was reporting that whistleblowers are notable by their absence, with the explanation that despite legislation, fear makes such disclosures too personally expensive, I am surprised at any questioning of the need many have to post anonymously.

    Most people would not want to be identified as the person who disclosed something that embarrassed a Minister in the current government.

  16. Peter 16

    Well yeah. I post under my own name because I find it’s normally a good brake on what I might otherwise be inclined to say, if I was posting anonymously. I’d like to think that anything I would say on this blog I would be inclined to say face to face, perhaps after a few drinks for courage, but maybe still face to face.

    • McFlock 16.1

      you need to be a grumpy bastard like me. The only place I shut up a bit is at work. And even then the occasional f-bomb gets dropped (but not half as much as I want to – fecking computers).
         
      And I keep away from politics – I think there might be a national voter in the team ;)
                     
      But the interwebz is forever, and I got a wee bit of a surprise when I found that a google search still brings up some of the stuff I wrote as a teenager. If that doesn’t teach one a small dose of caution, nothing will :) 

      • lprent 16.1.1

        I have found snippets of stuff I wrote in the 80′s on BBS’es, the unearthing of the old usenet has me in some odd places, and I learnt long ago to never leave photos on the net.

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    What about those politicians, CEOs and Directors who refuse to front up to members of the public and answer questions. Who are essentially unaccountable, protected by layers of wealth, organisational structures and staff.

    Brian Edwards has lost the plot a little here.

    Why are his comments not just a subtle version of Armstrong and O’Sullivan’s jealousy and relative isolation now that places like The Standard has sharper debate, better ideas and more life than they can muster individually on their own pages.

    • ropata 17.1

      Not a good look from Edwards. It boils down to an attack on free speech in public.
      Requiring an online ID is the sort of thing a regime like the Egyptian govt would do to suppress dissent, or to use as evidence in a witch hunt

      Admittedly some people mess around on blogs during work hours. why ask for trouble :P

      • QoT 17.1.1

        Ah, well apparently Brian does see a difference between “anonymous” blogging in a democracy – which is probably cowardice – and anonymous blogging in a dictatorship, which is righteous.

    • Shaz 17.2

      Yes indeed – Brian has the wrong target – why is is that Minister’s refuse to appear on National Radio at least 3 times our of four preferring the adulatory soft spots on commercial statioms. We might know who they are but the public can’t subejct their poliies to scrutiny.

      A great post and discussion by hte way. I think the Standard’s standard of analysis and debate is getting progressively stronger and more satisfying.

  18. Jenny 18

    Most of us even if we gave our full real names would still remain anonymous except to our immediate friends and family and workmates. We are not politicians or business or media personalities.

    Brian Edwards doesn’t want to know who we are if we don’t comment in blogs. So why does he, indignantly want to know who we are, when we do?

    Is he trying to set himself up as some sort of bullying authority figure, imperiously demanding, “Give me your name young lady” before furiously writing it down in some little notebook to be passed on to the headmaster to go on my school record.

    What a twit.

    Edwards and others are upset by what people are saying on the blogs. not by who they are. That is his right. The real message behind his plaint; Due to the democratising power of the internet, too many people are now having a say. The previous gatekeepers of political debate like himself can feel their power to shape public perceptions slipping away from them.

    As uncomfortable as it may be for media ‘personalities’ like Edwards,
    having to address the ideas raised in blogs like this one has become inescapable. If those ideas are being freely, democratically and intelligently raised and held by large amounts of people. They can no longer be ignored.

  19. Rhinocrates 19

    The fact that he mostly chooses to sneer at correspondents rather than address the substance of their arguments is disappointing. His put-down of “Trevor Kingswood” after they described the abuse she suffered after using a name that identified her as female is particularly nasty and deliberately avoids the point.

    I would have expected a lot better of him.

    • QoT 19.1

      Yes. The thing that really stuck out for me is that Brian’s real concern is that “Trevor Kingswood” might be a real meatspace name and the “real” Trevor Kingswood might object to pseudonym-Trevor’s opinions.

      Which is really just proof Brian doesn’t understand how names work, and may indicate he’s gone through life happily being the most important Brian Edwards in town, little realising how much all the other Brian Edwards are really sick of being mistaken for him …

      • felix 19.1.1

        So it’s not really about whether you use your real name at all.

        It’s about whether you’re famous enough to be allowed to speak.

  20. AwakeWhileSleeping 20

    A name is used to identify a blogger regardless of if it is a legal name or not and the writing style of a particular blogger becomes evident over time.

    The public can then choose what they read. Isn’t this the REAL threat Bryan?

  21. weka 21

    Strange that Edwards also thinks that commenters on his blog having to supply an email address means anything (fakeemailaddress@gmail.com). Unless he emails each address with a request for a reply before publishing comment… has anyone commented there?

  22. karol 22

    Just read through the comments under Edwards’ post.  Great last comment by Sanctuary @8.15am

    What Edwards doesn’t seem to get is that his attitude to on-line handles is a recipe for the narrowing of discussion to those closest to the constructed “centre”-ground of politics. Yes it is a way of cutting down on abusive tohlish comments.  But it’s taking a sledgehammer to a nut.  It also inadvertently cuts down on the amount of comments/posts that criticise the status quo, or offer radical alternatives.

    As sanctuary puts it:

    The point I wish to make is political debate has for fifty years become increasingly anaemic; More and more of what was once considered acceptable rough and tumble of a robust democracy has been walled off – there are no more rude hecklers at public meetings, no more pelting of candidates with fruit, etc. This “polite-tisation” of public political debate is to my mind a particularly insidious form of middle class capture, an extension of the middle class faux pas of talking about God to the vicar at the church fete into the sphere of politics.

    If you want an eg of that look at Public Address, which politely encourages real names for commenting. “Middle class capture’ is an apt description.

  23. Funny thing Anonymity.

    My Grandfather saved a 16 year old German soldier from drowning after his car drove into a canal in the last months of WWII. He did so while in the back of his house he had hundreds of what were then called underground Newspapers. Possession of anyone of those leaflets would have gotten him shot on the spot.

    When the war was over he was accused of aiding and abetting the enemy because he saved a 16 year old terrified child soldier forced to fight a lost war because there were none older left.

    He was convicted and send to prison because he could not prove he wrote some of the material on the anti German leaflets himself thus proving his deed was not that of a traitor but of a human saving another human in distress regardless of his Nationality while being loyal to his own people at the same time.

    I write under a monicker because the things I write about could get my husband fired because they don’t like politics and most certainly not “out there” politics.

    I also write under a monicker because we had to leave my home country because I dared to take on a Mafiose criminal without the safety of anonymity.

    Anyone who says I can only give my opinion if I give my real name should try to walk a mile in my shoes and can go fuck himself in the sanctimonious ass he/she is.

    • Great story Ev. Long live your family of battlers.
      The big truth teller in NZ at the moment is one Kim Dotcom.
      The establishment is worried that Anonymous is taking over the world.
      Wikileakers are being tried for treason.
      The spooks and backroom dealers have no place to hide.
      The MSM hacks are being hacked to death by the blogs.
      Who forgets Vladimir Illich “Lenin”?
      Who will remember Brian Edwards?

  24. Rogue Trooper 24

    Some excellent writing in this thread; hung on their own Petard.
    I only ever read the headlines and / or para intro’s in the dominant rags and daily one or three topical
    trending socio-economic national trends. Much better writing, objectivity and depth in the guardian etc
    on global issues and how they impact on Your futures.

    I agree with the concept “middle class” capture; it is evident in the language and assumptions of MSM
    writers generally, although, Tapu Misa is a very engaging writer, imo.

    Remember
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics_of_culture
    “you’re a womble…remember you’re a womble…remember member member what a womble womble
    womble you are”.

    from Tobermory to Great Uncle Bulgaria :)

  25. shorts 25

    Brian Edwards in this instance is simply an old man yelling at clouds

    let him be

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    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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