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“The purists can weep”

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, November 3rd, 2013 - 105 comments
Categories: Economy, Privatisation - Tags: ,

Labour’s new KiwiAssure policy has been welcomed by John Armstrong as good politics. And it is. But it’s also good policy – at the same time we’ve got a government hell bent on making sure electricity profits flow to overseas investors, David Cunliffe’s policy is about giving Kiwi’s the ability to ensure that any money made from their insurance stays in the country and pays for hospitals, schools, and New Zealanders’ retirement.

But back to the politics. As Armstrong points out:

When it comes to honesty and ethics, the public ranks insurance companies only slightly above used-car salesmen.

So David Cunliffe cannot really go wrong in committing Labour to setting up a state-owned general insurance firm, KiwiAssure – especially at a time when private companies’ premiums are soaring through the roof and their cover is falling through the floor.

There’s a couple of other threads to this too, one is the close ties National have had with the insurance industry over the years (note how muted Gerry Brownlee has been about recalcitrant insurers in Christchurch), the other is that this policy is another milestone in the return of the Labour party to its roots – the last state insurance company was privatized in the dying days of the neo-liberal fourth Labour government. Which is why Armstrong’s comment that “the purists can weep” is so piquant.

David Cunliffe has brought the Labour party back. Not just to the members of the party but to New Zealanders. There could have been no more appropriate walk-on music as he approached the stage to deliver this policy than a song called “Aotearoa”. “We are New Zealand”. Indeed.

105 comments on ““The purists can weep””

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Wonder if Labour will be using that song as the anthem for their 2015 campaign.

    I’ve always thought Minuit really wrote themselves a winner in terms of royalities with that song. TV4 used it for advertising for a while a couple of years ago.

    • Saarbo 1.1

      wow, powerful video…great.

      That is New Zealand to many of us who proudly live in diverse communities. but I reckon half of National voters live in mono cultural environments (I was in Takapuna recently, ewww), we know from research that 70% of them dont know anyone who is unemployed, so wont appeal to them.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        It’s actually not really that representative at all: the photos are from Minuit fans who sent them into their facebook page back in 2009 when they made the music video.

        So it skews heavily young.

        • IrishBill 1.1.1.1

          I don’t know about that. I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of old mates in the tour footage.

        • Saarbo 1.1.1.2

          Well Lanth, it may be perfect if you consider this from the SST today.

          “Yet, from young people, there’s been barely a whimper.

          The point has been raised before – young people are bearing the brunt of decisions made in the name of necessity, so why aren’t they taking to the streets? More than that, many don’t vote. Although eligible voters aged 18-24 represented 13 per cent of the total voting age population in the 2011 general election, they accounted for nearly half of the total who did not bother to enrol.”

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9356042/New-lending-criteria-labelled-unfair

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 1.2

      Twee “we’re all just like each other” socialist pap.

      Some people contribute. Some people don’t. Some people destroy. Whoever you think the destroyers happen to be, should they be treated just the same as the everyone else?

      If you think not, then you don’t believe in social equality regardless of input.

  2. Tat Loo (CV) 2

    Great that Armstrong came out with some fairer comments today, unlike the bizarrely one side piece yesterday which basically criticised Labour for doing things the Labour way.

  3. Sacha 3

    Brownlee muted? The clown was defending the insurance industry vigorously on the radio.

  4. Anne 4

    Just watched a petulant display of the sulks by Matthew Hooton and Claire Robinson on Q&A. Hooton was his normal self… using the language set out by Crosby/Textor. That is, lie, distort, misrepresent and don’t give your opponent a chance to respond.

    Claire Robinson berated Labour for no policy announcements and then contradicted herself later by praising Cunliffe for announcing KiwiAssure even though she had previously criticised it. When Williams (rightly) pointed out that her “years of statistical evidence” were nothing compared to his “years of political experience”, I thought she was going to dong him one!

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    speaking of ‘purists’, Shane Jones appeared to have diluted his his cocktail, toasting the gender remit; “the capacity of the women in the party should not be underestimated” – 3News

    Gower also drew out a couple of tensions from the conference;
    -retirement age
    -TPP- increasing skepticism within the party, outright opposition by the unions.

    KiwiAssure- Excellent

    Ditching the monarchy-Even more Bodacious

    • Paul 5.1

      Grower was looking for tensions.
      He is not a journalist, but a propagandist.

    • Sanctuary 5.2

      “…Gower also drew out a couple of tensions from the conference;
      -retirement age
      -TPP- increasing skepticism within the party, outright opposition by the unions…”

      Party membership of NZ political parties collapsed during the era of Douglas and Richardson. Now, I know Labour is a long, long way from the halcyon days of tens of thousands of members but by the sound of things a bit of sap is running into long dormant political roots.

      That mean if Gower was born around 1970 he will have no memory of what a mass membership party looks like and how it operates, so for him & the rest of the media amnesiacs – brought up on and used to a normality of husk parties going through a charade of annointing the decisions of a central cadre – seeing delegates debating issues and arguing vigorously over remits must look very strange indeed.

      • Macro 5.2.1

        Agreed… They have no knowledge of what the Labour movement – it never wanted to call itself a ‘party’ in those days looked or felt like. The Party of recent times has been a poor image of the robust debate that formed the policy of the early movement.

      • Rednex 5.2.2

        Nice one! I got that feeling watching him and that other fella interviewing Davo on TV One this morning. It looked like they really didn’t understand what was going on..

      • Rogue Trooper 5.2.3

        ;)

  6. tricledrown 6

    Brownlee defending the insurance companies ripping off New Zealanders,
    If not for Campbell live Gerihatric brownoselee would have not done one thing to push
    Insurance companies into paying out.
    The profits these insurance companies are extacting from NZ now is criminal.
    Brownlee is wrong on saying kiwisure requiring the govt to bail it out they can get reinsurance just like the other insurance co’s.
    Kiwibank isn’t covered by the govt taxpayer either but has forced down bank charges for every one.
    Kiwisure will break the cartel that is in the insurance market.

  7. Wayne 7

    KiwiAssure is a bit of an indifferent policy. It will have as much impact as KiwiBank. Now I know a lot of people like the idea of KiwiBank, but has it really led to a dramatic change in NZ banking?

    Interesting item on Q&A on poverty this morning. It seems to me the biggest impact on child poverty (apart from jobs) would be to have more state houses. Dr Wills own research confirms that. Which is why I asked the question in post a few days ago about the numbers of poor children in state houses as opposed to private rentals.

    It is surely easy (and popular) Labour party policy to build an extra 3,000 to 5,000 state house a year over the next 3 to 5 years.

    Interesting speech by David Cunliffe yesterday. A lot of clever rhetoric to appeal to the party faithful (including the left), but rather less actual policy that would be different to what Labour has already announced.

    And as I suspected, he was taking a careful line on TPP on Q &A this morning. In my view he would almost certainly support (or at least not seriously oppose) TPP if it comes to Parliament next year which is not so likely given that I imagine a deal won’t be done till sometime in 2014.

    Mind you I suspect the Nats would quite like Labour to oppose TPP in election year (if TPP is done soon), since they could paint Labour as not being ready to be responsible guardians of the economy. Which is never a good space for a major party trying to win an election. But I imagine David Cunliffe is alert to that risk.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “Now I know a lot of people like the idea of KiwiBank, but has it really led to a dramatic change in NZ banking?”

      Yes. Prior to KiwiBank, all ‘everyday’ bank accounts had fees. After KiwiBank started up, all of the big banks introduced various accounts with no monthly fee – there are strings attached, like no chequebook and some require online statements etc, but happily none of those strings are of any inconvenience to myself.

      • felix 7.1.1

        It’s worth noting that in Wayne’s world 20 or 30 bucks of bank fees is “indifferent”.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          A lot of the alternative ‘flat-rate’ options are $5/month, so $60 a year. Which actually is pretty sizeable if you think about it in terms of interest on savings: equivalent to $3,000 in a bank account earning 3% and paying tax at the 33% rate. Then again maybe $3,000 sitting in a savings account isn’t much to Wayne, either.

          Or you can go with one of the old-fashioned “pay as you go” accounts that charge you fees for using EFTPOS etc, as if it’s some fan-dangled new technology that “kids these days” are hip with.

  8. Populuxe1 8

    Except that New Zealand First passed KiwiSure as a policy remit at thier convention several weeks ago and it’s virtually identical though perhaps better thought out

    • I have to say … I may be biased, but “KiwiSure” just rolls off the tongue easier than “KiwiAssure”.

      Cunliffe certainly seems to think so – he keeps dropping the “A” when he says it in interviews!

    • insider 8.3

      Better thought out? Really? Exactly how will it work, how is it going to be funded? How will the risks be managed? What will it cost? I’ve seen nothing on that in Cunliffe’s speech or media release. For a so called major policy I’d expect a bit more than a clichéd name and it will be sold through post shops (no doubt furtHer lengthening the queues). Kiwi bank is struggling so is hardly a great model. I note Cunliffe’s hedged his bets with a discrete ‘subject to a business case’.

      • Macro 8.3.1

        Of course State insurance was always a dog…As is ACC… I mean you twist your ankle – go see the doc – all those forms and stuff .. pay thru the nose…. Govt insurance has never been tried before and is bound to fail…

        • insider 8.3.1.1

          So are you saying acc is the model? They are going for compulsory insurance?

          • Macro 8.3.1.1.1

            compulsory insurance! What a bloody good idea!
            Of course public health isn’t insurance and look how poorly that works.. compulsory health insurance.. maybe Obama should have thought of that… Bloody governments get their fingers in the insurance pie…

        • Rogue Trooper 8.3.1.2

          lol

        • Curwen Rolinson 8.3.1.3

          “Government insurance has never been tried before and is bound to fail”

          Well with an attitude like that …

          Also, no, I think you’ll find if you open a history book that New Zealand used to actually HAVE government insurance. Why did you think State Insurance was called State..?

      • You would appear to have misread my party comrade’s comments. We are not Labourites.

        We are from New Zealand First, and we are praising *our own* KiwiSure concept, not heaping opprobium or praise on Labour’s “KiwiAssure”.

        • Lanthanide 8.3.2.1

          I wonder if KiwiSure was the name Labour had initially cooked up and NZFirst snatched it up first.

        • greywarbler 8.3.2.2

          Good to know that Labour and NZFirst agree on this insurance scheme. What other matter are they in parallel on.

          • Curwen Rolinson 8.3.2.2.1

            Well we don’t like asset sales … but it remains to be seen whether Labour will join NZ First’s call for renationalization, or endorse our stance of retaining a 65 age of retirement.

      • felix 8.3.3

        “Kiwi bank is struggling so is hardly a great model.”

        Yeah, KB is totally failing to suck kiwis dry like the foreign banks do. :roll:

  9. tricledrown 9

    Wayne has found his brain .
    But the Tpp will not be in place anytime this side of 2020.
    As it requires govts to drop agricultural tariffs.
    Conservative govts rely on the rural vote for power they will cut off the hands that feed them!
    Korea Japan The US will not give one inch on farm subsidies!

  10. tricledrown 10

    Populuxe that will mean it will be a good fit for NZ1st as a coalition partner.

    • pledge to renationalize assets first.

      Then we may talk.

      Rest assured NZ First has many awesome ideas for you to pirate. We don’t even mind giving a few away for free for the good of the Nation :D

      • Tat Loo (CV) 10.1.1

        Bearing in mind that any sertious talk of the govt bulk buying back shares is likely to cause the share price to dramatically rise, giving the big institutional investors an instant win fall.

        It’d have to be done smart, were it to be done.

        • Curwen Rolinson 10.1.1.1

          lol, who said we’d be renationalizing at the market rate? That WOULD be a problem.

          NZF policy’s the state reacquires the shares at no more than the purchase price. Turns asset sales into an effective zero-percent-interest-loan.

          (although we really must introduce you Labourites to the PowerBond scheme we passed at our last Convention :) Ain’t gonna be no large institutional investors loving it)

          • Rogue Trooper 10.1.1.1.1

            Fawking funny Guy! :-D

            • Curwen Rolinson 10.1.1.1.1.1

              you wait till you see the actual policy. It’s hilarious.

              (Provided you’re not a foreign pension fund, investor or carpet-bagger)

              • Rogue Trooper

                I’ve always maintained, Winston earns that constituency which is there for the taking. All credit to him for a man who perpetually rends the english language asunder. Now, time for a cuppa-tea.

              • MrSmith

                What’s funny is by the sounds of things NZ First won’t be involved in any coalition with National after the next election.

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                Mr Rolinson. Random question for interests’ sake.

                Does your ordinary membership take a vote on who NZF would enter into coalition with, if anyone?

                Or is it a purely NZF caucus decision, divorced of input from your members?

                • Legit question, Tat.

                  I’m given to understand that the official way we do things is the Parliamentary Caucus gets a say, and the Board of Directors (which I’m on, by some bizzare piece of happenstance) gets a say. The Board is supposed to represent the wishes and will of the Membership in this equation.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for your reply. And, congratulations Curwen, I’d read about that.

                    • Ahaha. Thanks. Well if you’re referring to what I think you’re referring to, congratulations may be a little premature. I believe I find out the outcome tonight.

                      Depending on how it goes, solidarity and support may prove more appropriate.

            • bad12 10.1.1.1.1.2

              As seen on TV, Backbenchers i do believe…

  11. Paul 11

    KiwiBank
    Kiwi Assure
    Kiwi Build

    • Rednex 11.1

      I don’t like Kiwi Assure (the name that is not the policy) just doesn’t trip of the tongue well. Should run a competition on it…

      • Lol. NZ First came up with “KiwiSure” two weeks ago as a name. How does that sound to you?

        • Tat Loo (CV) 11.1.1.1

          Labour couldn’t possibly use that mate. It might make it look like we were copying policy off you, or something…

          • Curwen Rolinson 11.1.1.1.1

            Lol, we’re always more than happy to provide progressive … inspiration :D

            • bad12 11.1.1.1.1.1

              By the way, welcome to the Standard, a NZfirst perspective will be an ‘interesting’ addition to the debate…

              • Thanks. There’s been a few of us NZF people who’ve occasionally inhabited the comments-threads of The Standard for awhile now (Hello Populuxe et al), but it’s nice to have a more formalized welcome :)

                I’m sure you’ll find we’ve got creative contributions to the national conversation.

                • bad12

                  Lolz, i am finding NZFirst now has 3 policies that i agree with, taking back the power generators,(should wait for the Labour/Green single buyer to kick in first which will have them begging to unload the proceeds of such theft),

                  65 as the age of retirement Full Stop, (although i would entertain a look at an abatement rate for those who choose to work and collect the pension),

                  The insurance biz,(can’t find any objection in my bones,Government has a role in business especially where manufacture can lead to a more valuable export commodity for our primary goods, the super-fund should be the beneficiary of all such Government business)…

                  • :D

                    #Renationalization’s awesome, yeah. You’re also correct to note there’s a potential synergy between NZPower and Renatioanlization – although it may potentially be a little unfair to some of the actual mum & dad investors (yes, there are some out there) to renatioanlize for *too* terribly much less than the price we sold them for.

                    Will have to tell you about the PowerBonds policy remit we just put through our own Convention on a related note :) (oh, while on power, I do note a cabinet paper prepared by David Parker in iirc 2006 which declared the case for nationalization and amalgamation to produce arguable efficiency gains over single-buyer)

                    65′s legit, and I’m glad we’re exerting electoral gravity (so to speak) by having made that a bottom line. How do you feel about Compulsory National Savings?

                    And yeah, you’re right – KiwiFund and KiwiBank (along with, surprise surprise, Kiwis) ought to be the main beneficiaries of government business and transactions.

                    Here’s another NZF policy you’ll agree with : doing everything in our power to ensure government banks with Kiwibank rather than foreign owned ones :D

                    • bad12

                      Definitely agree on the banking, it will tho take a serious cash injection and some robust IT work to bring KiwiBank up to such a capability but there is plenty of time to accomplish both while the clock ticks away the time left on the Westpac contract,(doing so as far as IT goes might need the setting up of an IT campus where one company is not of such robustness as to be able to carry out all the necessary work but a number of IT companies working together probably could),

                      The other leg of this policy has already been signaled by Labour/Green in that all Government spending should be examined line by line and Favor given to those firms based in New Zealand employing Kiwi’s and paying their fair share of tax,

                      The areas of policy agreement across the Labour/Green/NZFirst spectrum seem to be piling up in such a fashion as to out-weigh the disagreements and as far as i can see such disagreements are more to do with the means of achievement and the extent of the policy reach than the actual policy outcomes…

                    • Tat Loo

                      How do you feel about Compulsory National Savings?

                      It’s got to be kept well away from the private investment banking and hedgefund sector, for starters.

                      Idea:

                      The government puts your money into your own KiwiBank national savings account, which sits there as a massive cash asset on the government’s balance sheet, to which it electronically credits 1.0% interest per month for the first $10,000 invested. This is new money, electronically generated, designed to push the circulation of money into the economy from the ground up, and benefiting small savers the most.

                      No need for it to be invested in speculative markets.

                • karol

                  Hi Curwen.

                  Are you claiming Populuxe as one of yours? Or as a strong critic of NZFers?

  12. Foreign Waka 12

    Q&A this morning: Paula Bennett is so below par that it is astounding that even a National Party welcoming all the rhetoric and denying poverty, is keeping this person in her job. On the question of whether her department should actually do the research instead of private funding via the Children’s commissioner – her answer is no! My god, why is she paid in the first place. Even the business lobby knows that what you cannot measure, you cannot manage. Perhaps this is what quintessential the issue is: National does not WANT to measure as it would become quite clear that NZ has now outpaced the British from last century by far. I admire Dr Russel Wills for his professional approach and his commitment to change the situation. Perhaps he should be in charge of that issue and his recommendations binding. 265 000 children in poverty – NZ shame on you!

  13. Fisiani 13

    So correct me if wrong but nationalised electricity, nationalised insurance and nationalised building. More tax, more borrowing , more government spending. The North Korea of the South Pacific. And there will be still more bribes to come. 1,000,000 votes to come apparently from raising minimum wage and paying even teenagers working for the government a wage dreamed up for a family of four despite these policies costing at least 50,000 job losses.
    There come a point when no amount of emotive language and crocodile tears will be able to con the public. They are not that gullible.
    If I am wrong and they are that gullible and believe in the money fairies then the Labour/Green polling should be over 50% next poll.

    • Paul 13.1

      Fisiani, are you:
      a) a disciple of neo-liberalism and so indoctrinated you believe in the cult of selfishness as proposed by Ayn Rand ..despite all the evidence now apparent.
      b) a paid puppet of the corporates who write their spin.
      c) a member of the 1% yourself who actually benefits from the present paradigm.

      Just wondering what motivates you to write the rubbish you do.

      • Fisiani 13.1.1

        no to a b and c. Simply stating the truth Paul. I believe that the public are actually quite intelligent. They want prosperity, higher wages and more jobs, all of which are guaranteed by the proven success of National rather than the monstrosity of a Green/Labour/Mana/NZF ungovernable job destruction coalition.

    • Puddleglum 13.2

      So correct me if wrong but nationalised electricity, nationalised insurance and nationalised building.

      Hi Fisiani, yes you are wrong. NZPower, KiwiAssure and Kiwibuild do not involve the nationalisation of those industries.

  14. Tracey 14

    You may stand corrected. You are wrong. Yes 47% of new zealanders are gullible. In the same way you continue to swallow the lies of the nats dangling the possibility of future prosperity so you will vote for policies that actual keep you stagnant and the 1% rolling on. Like you many cling to the idea that they are doing good because you would rather be foolish than admit they have duped you on so many fronts.

    • KJT 14.1

      I wouldn’t say that New Zealanders are gullible on the whole. Misinformed is nearer the mark.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        sure, but I was referring to those who voted for national in the last election. Make a fool of me once shame on you, make a fool of me twice, shame on me type thing…

  15. Tracey 15

    Fisiani

    creating a new state insurance entity is not nationalisation. The dictionary can be your friend.

  16. lolita bother 16

    Hey Fisiani at 4:53 pm


    So correct me if wrong but nationalised electricity, nationalised insurance and nationalised building. More tax, more borrowing , more government spending. The North Korea of the South Pacific. And there will be still more bribes to come. 1,000,000 votes to come apparently from raising minimum wage and paying even teenagers working for the government a wage dreamed up for a family of four despite these policies costing at least 50,000 job losses.
    There come a point when no amount of emotive language and crocodile tears will be able to con the public. They are not that gullible.
    If I am wrong and they are that gullible and believe in the money fairies then the Labour/Green polling should be over 50% next poll.

    You print that on an Lprint or Karol entry you get banned for two weeks pal. You lucky Eddie not so extreme

  17. Would it kill them to either call a thing what it is (eg, State Insurance) or use a bit of fucking imagination? It feels like the current Labour incumbents think naming something involves sticking “Kiwi” on the front of it. Two terms into the next government we’ll have Kiwiair, Kiwicops, Kiwihealth, Kiwischools and Christ alone knows what the fuck else. Kiwinationallibrary, anyone?

  18. Dumrse 18

    “The purists can weep”. The only weeping will be the policy holders when the kiwiasure goes tits up because it can’t cover the first tsunami let alone a half decent shake.

    • Tracey 18.1

      you mean like AMI needed boosting from the government????

    • KJT 18.2

      Like AMI and all the Christchurch private insurers that people are still waiting for payments from.

      The ones that took our money for decades and suddenly cannot afford to pay out without doubling premiums.

      Yeah right.

  19. tricledrown 19

    Dumrse all insurers use reinsures to cover their arse.
    But there is no cover for being dumb unless u vote for National or Act you can become a right wing policy consultant all you have to do is tell lies and act dumb.
    Perfect fit 4u dumrse.

  20. One Anonymous Knucklehead 20

    Throwing words around equals critique, apparently, in right wing land.

    Is there any criticism of this policy that isn’t frothing at the mouth?

    I guess that’s why Cunliffe wants to see the business case; the local Tea Party doesn’t have the chops. Better wingnuts please.

  21. Crunchtime 21

    Please fix your rogue apostrophes…

    “David Cunliffe’s policy is about giving Kiwi’s the ability to ensure…”

    should be

    “David Cunliffe’s policy is about giving Kiwis the ability to ensure…”

    An apostrophe is used for abbreviation or ownership. No other reason. You do not put an apostrophe before an s for a plural. Ever.

    I’m sure we want things to a professional standard.

    Love,
    The Grammar Nazi. ;)

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  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the last of the Parliamentary term. But thanks to government filibustering over the past few months, instead of seeing the third reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • Socially helpful photoshopping
    This one is close to my heart. It involves a man who lost his infant daughter Sophia to severe disease. She was only 6 weeks old. Sophia’s father Nathan had never seen her face free of wires and tubes. So...
    Polity | 23-07
  • Why are the electric trains so slow?
    In the first week or two of the Onehunga Line’s switch to electric trains there were major issues with the trains keeping to timetable, apparently due to overly conservative speed restrictions being put in the trains as part of their...
    Transport Blog | 23-07
  • Dairy Farming in Brazil :Nitrogen Management
    With the challenge New Zealand is facing with increased nitrogen leaching that has come with intensifying of dairy, there is understandably a tendency to ‘look over the fence’ and see how we compare with others. New Zealanders have applied our...
    Gareth’s World | 23-07
  • Gamechangers
    Updated the tracking poll. For variety’s sake this one goes all the way back to the start of 2005. It doesn’t correct for bias and the large circles intersecting the vertical lines are election results : Josie Pagani wrote a ‘what...
    DimPost | 23-07
  • Understanding the 2014 election campaign
    If David Cunliffe decided one day to redecorate his kitchen, they would call it a décor flip-flop....
    Imperator Fish | 22-07
  • Shuttling diplomacy between the bombs
    The mounting death toll in Gaza has spurred an intensified flurry of diplomacy (again), and finally a stated acknowledgement that this time the terms of any ceasefire (which will eventually come) need to differ from those of the past three...
    Pundit | 22-07
  • National Government Running Regional Health Services into Oblivion
    I am amazed anyone outside of Auckland will be voting for National this election.  They have shown only one intent in regards to regions outside of Auckland, and to a slightly lesser extent Christchurch, everywhere else  is considered a last...
    An average kiwi | 22-07
  • The MH17 blame game
    No matter who's side you're on, it's a terrible day when innocent lives are lost in another countries conflict. As questions still need to be answered as to why exactly flight MH17 was flying in controlled airspace in the first place, many headlines...
    The Jackal | 22-07
  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools: let’s just start
    I was born 52 years ago today, on a date that seems unnervingly close to the 1950s. I caught the end of the free school milk years (they really did just leave it out in the sun) and I like...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 23
    Top of the AgendaIsrael-Hamas Conflict Continues Despite International Pressure...
    Pundit | 22-07
  • The Regions and Stuff
    Yesterday Labour announced a boost for the regions, with at least $200 million available for large-scale projects that promise to give some of our struggling regions new economic opportunities. Dredging harbours, re-opening rail-lines, strategic procurement decisions, that kind of thing....
    Polity | 22-07
  • Disgraceful
    John Key’s refusal this week to apologise to Tania Billingsley is nothing short of disgraceful. Even worse is the reason he gave for ignoring Ms Billingsley: I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that....
    Polity | 22-07
  • Basin Bridge Bowled
    In stunning news yesterday the Board of Inquiry hearing the case for the Basin Bridge bowled out the NZTA by declined consent for the project.  This is what it would have looked like had it been approved: All up the...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #27: Nats back in ascendency
    Press Release – iPredict Inflation and interest rate expectations fall ahead of OCR announcement tomorrow Forecast fiscal surplus again falls sharply, and growth marginally down Greens fall and Internet-Mana strengthens, as Sykes gets closer in Waiariki No feasible …IPREDICT LTD...
    Its our future | 22-07
  • Government Planning on Ditching Group Special Education?
    As Parents who have a child with a learning disability and/or behavioural problems at school will know, Group Special Education (GSE) have the Specialists to assist staff with the best way to support those children. I have been told by...
    An average kiwi | 22-07
  • DOWNING OF MH17: A FALSE FLAG OPERATION?
    Or: Why Didn’t the Flight-booking Computers say ‘No’ to a Flight over War-zone? MH17 vs Ukrainian SU-25? Russian Defense Ministry claims a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was within 5-10 km of the Malaysian aircraft.  Snoopman, 22 July 2014   Genuflection...
    Snoopman News | 22-07
  • Green party statement on Gaza
    Today, the Green party's Kennedy Graham made a heartfelt speech concerning the immediate cease fire in Gaza and called on Israel to withdraw it's military forces. The Green party MP also read out the names of children already killed in...
    The Jackal | 22-07
  • Seal of approval – How marine mammals provide important climate data
    Understanding what is happening in the oceans is crucial since 90% of global warming is going there and attempts to measure temperatures at various depths go back to the 1960s. But, what does this Weddell seal have to do with this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-07
  • Taskforce to Tackle Loopy Rules
    The National Party have announced that if they’re re-elected they’ll form a taskforce to tackle loopy rules and regulations. Local Government Minister Paula Bennett today announced the establishment of a new Taskforce to rid New Zealand of loopy rules and...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • Manufacturing dissent
    So, it turns out that almost all US "domestic terrorists" are created and directly incited by the US government:Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Minimum wage rises don’t lift unemployment, analysts agree
    More than 600 US Economists, including 7 nobel laureates, assert that increases in the minimum wage have little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers ...
    Closing the Gap | 22-07
  • The NZ First conference: policy highlights
    What were some of the policy announcements that came from the New Zealand First conference?...
    Imperator Fish | 22-07
  • Saved
    The Basin Reserve has been saved: Controversial plans to build a flyover next to the Basin Reserve in Wellington have been killed off by a board of inquiry. In a stunning move today, four commissioners declined resource consent for the...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Not serious
    That's John Key's assessment of his government's failure in the Tania Billingsley case:"I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that." Except apparently it is serious enough to justify an independent inquiry (though one which...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Vote Choice: John Key – the Fence Sitter
    Welcome to ALRANZ’s Vote Choice series, where we offer you our views on candidate’s opinions on abortion and reproductive justice, so that you can make an informed decision on 20 September. We encourage members to go along to candidate forums...
    ALRANZ | 22-07
  • Barry Brill and Anonymous: U R A Fraud
    People send me things. Brightening my email inbox last week was a pithy little email, headed U r a fraud. It didn’t have much to say. Here it is, in its entirety, exactly as it appeared: Please take down your...
    Hot Topic | 22-07
  • Access: Power to (all) the people!
    The society we live in today has been shaped by many struggles, social movements, and revolutionary forces, most aiming to create a more egalitarian existence.  Women, indigenous peoples, LGBT communities, and even animals have secured hard won recognition of their...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • Up Front: Tomorrow Lives Forever
    A while back, I promised you that next time I wrote, we'd have more fun. In that time, the world in general and my life in particular have become much grimmer. Therefore, in my opinion, the Fun is even more...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • More Australian torture
    Successive Australian governments have systematically dehumanised and demonised asylum seekers as part of their war on refugees, and the results have been predictable: torture, murder, and ill-treatment. And now they're torturing refugees to cover up their crimes:Two asylum seekers in...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Petrol price elasticity, and supermarket vouchers
    As we all know, when the price of something goes up, we buy less of it. For some products, we’ll change our behaviour significantly (holidays or books, perhaps). For other products, we just grit our teeth, hand over the credit...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • Claudette Hauiti doesn’t wait for a third strike
    National Party list MP Claudette Hauiti has this morning announced her retirement from politics. It’s safe to say that since she came in to Parliament as Aaron Gilmore’s replacement, back in May last year, her career as a backbench MP...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-07
  • Who Shot Down MH17?
    Killing Fields: The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 is amplified by the Western news medias' refusal to either contextualise the airliner's destruction, or provide its global audience with any explanation other than Russian guilt and perfidy. As if historical events have...
    Bowalley Road | 22-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Minister must come clean on amalgamation
    The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.   National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Labour sends condolences to families of MH17
    ...
    Labour | 17-07
  • IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies
    A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant...
    Labour | 16-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never get their justice, said the Green Party today.The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its findings on whether the Police were negligent...
    Greens | 16-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui's dolphin sanctuary, the Green Party has revealed today.This follows revelations that permits have also been issued for oil exploration in the sanctuary.There have been 254 Maui's...
    Greens | 16-07
  • No cosmetics tested on animals under Labour
    A Labour Government will help protect animals from harm by prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Trevor Mallard today launched the initiative at an event organised by Labour’s Ōhariu candidate Ginny...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up
    Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Parata ploughs ahead with anti-democracy plan
      Hekia Parata is ignoring overwhelming opposition by ploughing ahead with plans to gut the political independence of the teaching profession and stifle democracy on tertiary institution councils, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is no surprise a massive...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Greens announce $1 billion additional investment in R&D, including busi...
    The Green Party has announced today that its economic priority for the election is building a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.In the Party's headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Families under more pressure as power, food prices rise
    Higher power prices, housing costs and food prices are behind today's inflation rise, putting already stressed families under renewed pressure, the Green Party said today."Families are facing rising costs from food, power, and mortgages, or rents; and most are getting...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Goverment drops recreational river reporting
    The Government pulled the plug on cleaning up our dirty rivers so they are safe for swimming, and now it has given up on annual reports about the problem, the Green Party said today. Two weeks ago the Government released...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Ae Marika! 15 July 2014
    It ain’t over by a long shot, but I can’t help feel good about Northlanders response to the week from hell. This last week has seen the worst weather over a larger region of the north, for a longer period...
    Mana | 15-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog