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The year in review

Written By: - Date published: 4:58 pm, December 31st, 2012 - 67 comments
Categories: national/act government, political parties - Tags:

Most of the years in review I’ve seen in the couple of weeks have concentrated on gossip and rating individual MPs. Most of what matters not a jot outside the beltway. What matters is how the parties are doing in terms of progressing or thwarting the government’s policy agenda – how’s the government doing at governing? – and how polling is shaping up for 2014.

National did more nasty little shit this year than you can shake a stick at. The fourth year of a government is the year in which a lot of the ideological ideals that aren’t political priorities get through after taking a couple of years on the slower policy track and then winding through the House when there’s gaps between the more important stuff.

So, we had the Local Government reforms, for example, that now basically mean your council can be amalgamated out from under you and you don’t get a say. And the range of services that your council provides will also reduce. RMA reforms give people less say, welfare reforms make life harder for people at the bottom, ETS changes make a joke of our part in the effort to tackle climate change. A Public-Private Partnership to lock us into paying $3 billion for Transmission Gully over a generation. Just piles and piles of stupid shit. National will be feeling good about that, but most of it is reversible.

On its big ticket items. National has been a complete mess.

Education – dear oh dear. I mean what a disgrace. Class sizes, Christchurch Schools, special schools, Novopay. I hear that they plans to push through performance pay are being dropped because its just not worth the grief and the public is firmly behind the teachers now. Parata would be gone if Key were the kind of leader who actually expected results from his people.

Christchurch – the disaster now is not the earthquakes but Brownlee’s cack-handed management of the rebuild. He’s shown that he’s the last person you would have in charge if there were anyone else by managing to outrageously insult just about everyone while at the same time not managing to get a fucken thing done. The latest figures have the population still falling, weakening the case for rebuilding. Christchurch was the one place where National increased its number of votes last election, but Labour’s internal polls now have the Nats in free-fall there and the garden city turning red again.

The Economy – the days when Key and English used to say that unemployment was a lagging indicator now seem like fond memories. There were 50,000 fewer unemployed then. Now, unemployment has been rising for a year while it’s falling in other developed countries. The 5%pa GDP boom we were promised – initially as the recovery from the recession and then as the Chch rebuild has just disappeared. Now, we’re promised a ‘boom’ of 3% growth, which was what we used to call ‘normal’ under Labour. The 57,000 new jobs promised for this year in Budget 2011 have now been revised in the latest Treasury projections to zero. Growth is slowing and unemployment is rising. We now learn there was a second recession in late 2010 as well – that makes 3 in the 6 years that Bill English has held finance portfolios.

Asset sales – selling assets epitomises why National is in politics. And they can’t even get a poxy partial sale away. Now, it looks like they’re going to try for some ridiculous fire sale in 2013 so they can get the boards clear before the next election.

And the blame for all this can only come back to Key. He’s simply not up to the hard job of governing. That’s not to say he isn’t cunning as a rat and a good politician for it. But when rubber meets road, he’s got nothing. And that’s why he’ll have no legacy when he’s gone. The fact that he’s spent so much time overseas – 2 months on official trips that never seem to have any tangible results (hows that Russian FTA coming, or the Gulf one?) and another month on private holidays to Europe, Maine, and Hawaii – could be part of the problem. He’s just not paying any attention to what’s going on at home. His failure to discipline any of his wayward ministers this year speaks to both a lack of spine and an lack of commitment to the job. When he is here, his mind seems to be elsewhere – Planet Key, perhaps – because he remembers nothing that happens to him.

No wonder both the Collins and Joyce Camps are leaking dirt on each other all over the show. Key is losing himself, and National, the next election.

But if anything will save him its Labour and its weak leadership. A lucky run of polls at the end of the year may end up saving Shearer from having to put his leadership to a party vote that he would surely lose (and doesn’t that say something – when a wannabe PM is taking big steps to avoid seeking a mandate from his own members) but a Shearer-led Labour gives Key his best chance to hang on. Can anyone see Shearer matching Key in the debates – what will happen when Key pulls out the flaws in KiwiBuild and Shearer doesn’t even know the concepts, let alone the numbers? Can anyone imagine a Shearer Prime Ministership as anything but a one term debacle?

The clumsy intimidation attempts (eg Curran’s hit on CV and the ‘if you dare ask whether Shearer still holds the Blairite neoliberal views he did a decade ago, you’re a crypto-facsist’ line) make me think his backers have little faith in his abilities either.

The feeling that Shearer ain’t up to it is surely the only reason why National’s support has held up as well as it has and why Labour’s is flat at 31-32%.

What’s that you say? Labour’s up in the polls? Lets look again. Here’s every Roy Morgan since National was elected in 2008.

roy morgan trends graphroy morgan trendsLabour had a nightmare last election campaign but comparing where they are now to then and saying everything’s going sweet is like comparing a July day’s temperature to that of a week earlier when there was a snow storm and concluding its nearly summer. Labour’s still in winter. It averaged 31% last term (32% if you exclude the election campaign) and its averaged 31% this term, up a touch to 32% in the last few months. The trend for Labour is flat. And that’s not good enough when you’ve got to allow for Shearer losing the debates.

The good news is that Labour has made up the ground it lost in the campaign without taking the votes back from the Greens, who were the main beneficiaries of the Goff-implosion. The Greens have maintained their unprecedented poll ratings – they are the only party currently polling higher than they have ever polled in an election. They consolidated their 11% in the election and are now steady at 12-13%. To put that in context, the last time Labour was forming a government, 2005, the Greens were barely 10% of their size – there were 50 Labour MPs for 6 Greens. Now, the polls are saying the Greens are nearly 40% of Labour’s size. That offers a whole new power dynamic on the Left – and it kills the idea, which I freely admit I held to in 2008 and 2011 that its in the best interests of the Left to stand by the Labour leader. Now, there’s geniune competition for the soft National vote from the Left, we don’t have to present a united front so that the swingers can swing to the Labour leader. An extra 50,000 votes would be nice but it’ll require a flawless year from the co-leaders.

National is losing votes. A hell of a lot of them. Combined Labour+Green now equal National. But, there’s a big but. It’s equally clear that the votes aren’t all going from National to Labour+Green. A big chunk of them are going to New Zealand First. Now, we have to be thankful that NZF is in Parliament this term. If they had fallen short of 5%, the wasted vote would have been enough to give National a majority on its own. All the neat little tricks that Labour and the Greens are doing to split Banks or Dunne from National on certain issues would be irrelevant. It was the strategically smart choice for people on the Left to vote for NZF last election, as so many did. But circumstances change. Now, NZF, thanks to good solid work from Peters, has firmed up his vote from his traditional demographics and stands to be National’s saviour. That’s what would happen on the current polls.

That means that Labour and the Greens need to rustle up another 5%+ by the start of the election campaign. It’s a big ask to expect the Greens, who have just increased their support base by that amount to tack on a similar increase. In short, Shearer needs to convince 100,000 more Kiwis that he can be PM. And, it can’t come from attacking his allies on the Left and thinking that will send their supporters his way – that does nothing to grow the Left vote and get a Labour-led alliance over the line. It’s got to be from the soft Nats and, crucially, from the record non-vote. In 2012, all Labour managed was to get back to where they were in the previous term. And they were helped hugely by a National government that has made itself master of incompetence and lurched from fuck-up to fuck-up.

The other parties: ACT and Banks are history after this year. Dunne is gone after getting singed out over asset sales. Flavell might hold his seat but he’ll be alone with Turia going without a successor lined up and Sharples eyeing the exit too. Harawira has failed to build a wider working class party, instead Mana is effecively only Maori working class – too small a niche. The Conservatives are going nowhere fast

So, the year in review: the wheels have come off National and Key has no idea how to put them back on. Labour managed to regain their pre-2011 election support level off the back of that incompetence but it is Shearer’s lack of credibility that now does the most to protect Key and hold Labour back. The Greens have consolidated at an impressive level but will need to pull something major out of the box if its up to them to get the extra 5% that the Left needs to govern. And the darkhorse is Winston, who has consolidated himself on the scene and is odds on to give Key a third term if the numbers let him.

Ok. That’s quite long enough. Time to start the barbie. Have a good news years guys.

67 comments on “The year in review”

  1. Excellent round-up, Eddie. Happy new year, everyone!

  2. Napkins 2

    “Parata would be gone if Key were the kind of leader who actually expected results from his people.”

    It’s actually a positive that Key is not such a leader. A capable National Cabinet competent at executing their neolib plans is the last thing we need, and would be a very bad scenario indeed.

  3. Jenny 3

    Eddie it is interesting to see, you think that NZF is a force for the right. I agree.

    It would be good if you could detail your reasoning.

    I wonder EDDIE, if at some time in the new year you could expand on your analysis of NZF.

    I think you would be doing a great service to those voters who still consider NZF to be a progressive force.

    • Napkins 3.1

      New Zealand First are old fashioned conservatives. They have a strong belief in nation building, more so than either National or Labour. However they are certainly not a force for the neoliberal right wing.

    • Populuxe1 3.2

      Eddie, I really would like to know why you put NZF on the “right” given they also put an emphasis on the welfare of the elderly, workers’ rights and frequently challenge the authority of the government, the police, and corporate interests. That strikes me as being intellectually lazy.

  4. Saarbo 4

    That is an ACCURATE summary rather than an “optimistic” summary. Thanks Eddie. Happy new year all, I’m of to have a beer or two.

  5. karol 5

    Excellent summary, thanks, Eddie.

    The only thing I’d disagree on slightly, is that Mana has created a clear identity. I agree that haven’t really developed a wider support base, but I still think they are important to the left. They have attracted some non-Maori young people. And with the Maori Party decline, they stand to pick up at least one more seat at the election.

    However, as you say, Labour and Greens have much work to do, and they can’t count on any other party to get them over the line. I hope, though, for the left’s sake, that Mana can increase their support a little over next year. Their problem is that the MSM tends to ignore them unless they can slot them into some negative category.

    The Greens need to hold their ground, and if possible increase their vote share without sliding further towards the centre.

    Thanks for all your excellent posts over the year, Eddie. Have a great New Year.

    • tc 5.1

      ‘Their problem is that the MSM tends to ignore them unless they can slot them into some negative category. ‘

      Thats why a consistent, clear and simple set of slogans/key messages is vital. The game is stacked to the right with the MSM all singing the neoliberal songbook so it has be unable to be twisted by the likes of Holmes, Williams, Smith, Gluon, Duncster etc so the people can see the bias and get the message.

      I’ve not seen this from Labour in years.

  6. Macro 6

    Very good analysis Eddie – What Karol says re Mana and Greens.

    Best wishes too all for the New Year.

  7. George D 7

    A short comment.

    In health Maryan Street has hardly been heard. Ryall got stunning end of year reviews for his ability to reform the health sector without complaint. Turia still has a smile on her face – despite the appalling performance of her party she can easily convince herself she’s a great Associate Minister. Health hasn’t been the subject of a radical ideological transformation yet, merely a shift away from preventing disease and instead to treating that which has already occurred – something that reduces inputs in the present and increases the burden in the future.

    These shifts could hardly have happened in the face of concerted opposition. Hague has made some hits, but his success has mostly been ACC and mining. He hasn’t been able to make health an issue by himself, and didn’t assemble the coalition of complaint that any concerted resistance needs. I suspect (hope) in 2013 he’s able to make health more of an exclusive focus and slow developments in the sector. Ian Lees-Galloway and Kris Faafoi need to actually step up and fill in the gaps for Street.

  8. George D 8

    Another thing that’s clear is that Key doesn’t regard the Maori Party as viable post-election partners in any meaningful sense. If they did, they would have given Flavell at the very least a junior associate minister position, so that they could hand him something in 2014 negotiations.

    Either; they expect the Maori Party to be wiped out entirely, they expect they won’t need it and will have a majority, or they expect it to be without power and unable to exact concessions of any type (even Dunne has a senior position, and Anderton’s Labour Progressive Party got a few cookies). None of these possibilities is flattering.

  9. xtasy 9

    Eddie, thanks for this rather good summary for the political year 2012!

    It has to me been a constant battle, being drawn between desperate hope, whenever the opposition (incl. Labour) managed to deliver a good hit at National and Key, and also real despair, seeing how the Labour caucus has apparently fallen into line to support a leader, whom I feel is going to do more harm than good for the collective left in NZ.

    He has gone “surfing” now, will fire up a barbeque somewhere, enjoy the beach with his family, all stuff a good family man deserves. But I and many others have been waiting, waiting and waiting for that great game changer. It was supposed to be Kiwi Build, which appears to having been “demolished” before the structures ever could go up, due to some partially poor planning (where is the affordable land?).

    There have been some positives of course, and I saw this during many question times, but being affected very directly by health and welfare, I have seen ZILCH of substantial criticism from Labour there. Kevin Hague from the Greens started to impress me, and I still give him heaps of credit for digging into the government for the hatchet doctor issues, which the MSM of course never made the headline, as most of their profession rather have a “glossy” and “smiling” PM in the headlines, it was all suffocated with sideline privacy issues.

    I know of some who presented a few MPs, advocates and activists with some very interesting, sensitive info about what has been going on at MSD and WINZ over recent years, but again, this has “not fired” much, and it seems that it is stuff, nobody feels comfy dealing with. Beneficiaries are a fringe group, not considered worthy to have as voters, and often are ill informed, feel suppressed, neglected and powerless, so it seems, “the system” that has some influence and runs the country (incl. supposed 4th estate), have no interest in bothering with us.

    I am totally disappointed with Labour re this, as Ardern chose to also make the kiosk privacy issues the opportunity for her to get into the headlines. She held the odd good speech, but what else was there? Zilch again, I fear.

    Well, let us look ahead, new welfare reforms will be hammered through and affect many badly, so I look forward, that the queues at the next City Mission Christmas Dinner will be even longer, same for food parcels, for shopping done at op-shops, the Sallies will grow their “business”, and the desperate middle class, many not that literate about political and other factual details, will be pre-occupied again with managing their affairs, and thus look at a choice between the two major parties, likely to keep the same schemes running, with some small party support on the fringes.

    I am depressed about the politics and many other aspects in NZ, a shake-up I cannot see, and that though is, what is needed. Ideas, action and information sharing, that is needed, who bothers to take note though.

    Happy 2013 to all shortly, minutes away!

    • kenny 9.1

      I too feel slightly depressed about the prospects for the coming year and the sad state of the Labour caucus….where is the talent I ask myself. How is the leadership issue going to be resolved without splitting the party and the caucus; how is National going to be defeated with Shearer in charge and how will Cunliffe deal with the ABCer’s if he becomes leader.How will it all end.

      There is also a shortage of ideas for real change I fear.The times call for bold ideas and ACTION.I feel sure if Labour stated categorically that if assets were sold then they would be bought back as one of the first actions of the new government (at cost); this action would virtually scuttle the plan before it got moving.Why is Labour so reluctant to do this?

      New bold, real ideas to make a difference are needed. Capitalism as we know it needs a kick up the arse and the banksters need to be surrounded with strong regulations to prevent any repeat of the last 30 years.

      May be time to look elsewhere than Labour for ‘salvation’……..Social Credit seem a good place to start.

  10. ak 10

    You’re right George; he’s buggered and he knows it, he’s dribbled the pill brilliantly into the corner but there’s no one around.

    But ah jeez, at this time o the year at least ya gotta be christian. He’s cemented Maori at the top table. Unwittingly, admittedly, but unless you can give me a quote where he supported Brash, for that alone give the wee prick a rap. His accidental legacy,

    Apart from that, yeah. Transitional, incidental, tool of power. Inserted by Money to deliver to Money, the sole, eternal, tory goal. Take from the poor and give to the rich, bash every victim and deliver the family silver to the born-to-rule, and kid yourself that it’s right.

    Poor wee bastard, pray for the sucker. Unco, desperately money-grubbing, loveless, alone. Reached the top on paper, the closet now locked forever on a shrivelled, permantly distorted heart; sold to the devil, now screaming for acceptance into oblivion.

  11. Matthew Hooton 11

    The point of labour attacking the greens is not to encourage green voters back to labour but to encourage swing voters who voted national in 2008 and 2011 to vote labour, by signalling to them that labour is not too left wing. Thus, the theory is that labour attacking the greens on certain issues does grow the overall left vote.

    • Hey Matthew, serious question, do you think that the language used by political commentators is unnecessarily violent? And that this alienates a significant part of the population?

      • Matthew Hooton 11.1.1

        Q1. No. To the extent it sometimes depicts a tough battle, that is simply accurate as Michael Cullen expressed so well at http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/367483/Key-Govt-should-stop-knocking-me. Or, to quote a greater New Zealander, “We’re not playing tiddlywinks here, mate.”
        Which leads to Q2 – I think the depiction of a contest is less alienating to most New Zealanders than technocratic discussions about the wording of the Reserve Bank Act.
        Morever, a contest framework aerves voters quite well. People elect representatives and leaders not policy platforms. If you think otherwise, consider that Vietnam was barwly mentioned in the 1960 US presidential election, if at all, nor Al Qaeda in 2000. And Clark and Brash did not debate the best response to a GFC in 2005. Somi think it is the personal governing philosophy and personality of the leader that is more important than policy because we cannot know what issues are ahead. Therefore, it can be argues that a political conversation about the conflicting personal attributes of leaders serves them public at least as well as arguing over, say, what tax rates should be in three years. It matters that Key may have an inclination to cut taxes and Shearer an inclination to raise them, but those are personality issues – and much more important than one promising a top rate of 30c and the other a top rate of 36c.

        • felixviper 11.1.1.1

          “It matters that Key may have an inclination to cut taxes and Shearer an inclination to raise them”

          Weird example to use, considering the massive tax rises under Key’s reign.

          • Napkins 11.1.1.1.1

            And why does Hooten say that taxes are “personality issues”? That’s very weird too. Anyways, raising personal income taxes matters not. Increasing taxation on capital gains, capital wealth and corporate profits is what is crucial now.

            • felixviper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              And why does Hooten say that taxes are “personality issues”?

              Because he knows there’s no substance to Key & National’s stance on the matter. It was all a big branding exercise and they’ve been raising taxes left right and centre since they were elected.

    • Napkins 11.2

      Jim Bolger is too left wing for these swing voters. So where do you suggest that Labour goes on the political spectrum?

      • Matthew Hooton 11.2.1

        Don’t be ridiculous. Jim Bolger ram the most right wing NZ government for more than 60 years. The people I refer to voted for Clark at least three times and probably in 1996 as well, and probably for Moore in 1993, but voted Key in 2008 and 2011. Labour could do much worse than try to get them back. Showing distance from Norman and Turei can hardly hurt – while also signalling to the far left that they should vote Green instead of Labour. FFS, this is so obvious if Labour/Green wants to get above 48%

        • felixviper 11.2.1.1

          Readers would be well advised to note the stress in Matthyawn’s tone as he struggles to keep the focus on the 5% or so that Labour might win back from National, and avoid discussing the 800,000 who didn’t vote at all.

          Those are the votes Labour has really lost and he knows it, but it best serves his interests if those 800,000 don’t have a voice.

    • George D 11.3

      Nice theory Matthew, and no doubt there is an example or two in which this is true. However, more often than not, rather than cementing Labour’s place as the main opposition party, such attacks serve to furnish a narrative of a weak party lashing out at those who have taken its place. Whether its caucus and membership like it or not, there are no shortcuts to projecting an image of strength and competence.

      Here’s a helpful suggestion; in 2013 the Labour caucus give all positions from the leadership down to those who are capable, hungry, shine in front of the camera, are frontfooted and create the narratives rather than accommodate them. These are not easy tasks which come naturally to most. And what’s more, these talents can fade over time with the comfort of office and the tedium of routine. However, there are people within and outside parliament with these skills, and we need to make the most of their talents – otherwise we’re going to spend the next 5 years regretting the wasted opportunities of 2013.

      And to the rest? Labour should take a lesson from the Greens and decide that there is no such thing as a backbencher. Every MP should be given at least an issue on which it is their job to attack and undermine the government. Find a few key issues suited to each MP, and give them reign. We might just overwhelm them – the Government is not that powerful and their incompetence is showing up.

    • Johnm 11.4

      Hi M. Hooton

      ” labour is not too left wing. ” The NeoLiberal Right Wing in New Zealand and Europe and the US have made a gigantic mess of things. Here we have child poverty and inequality on par with the US and UK, we are one of the most unequal countries in the World. Key is selling off our Public Wealth.
      The Finance sector has become a parasitic predator on the rest of society refer: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/31-8

      What we need is a genuinely Left Wing Government that represents all NZers and not just the employers and the Well Orf sector of this society. It is not Labour is too left wing rather Labour is too right wing and following a failed ideology clear to see by anyone with access to the Internet as opposed to the pap offered by NZ MSM including especially Radio Live that you “comment” with.

      Right Wing Shallowness and spin will not get us out of the current mess we are now all in : The ongoing depression since the NeoLiberal crash of 2008.

    • David H 11.5

      An even more Important question. Do you really believe all that rubbish you write about Dunnokeyo?

  12. marsman 12

    Great post Eddie, it gives a clear and intelligent overview. Happy New Year to all.

  13. weka 13

    Great write up Eddie.

    Which of those National acts will the opposition parties reverse given the chance?

    How can the grassroots engage the 800,000 non-voters in politics?

    Mana seem important to me. Would love to see an analysis of what might happen to the Maori seats with the collapse of the MP, and how that would affect a tight election result. Plus an analysis of voting tactics for people supportive of Mana.

    The left needs a strategy for dealing with the NZF problem.

  14. Oscar 14

    Labours lost it’s radicalism. It used to be a radical party “the party of change and prgression” under Savage, Kirk and it went extremely radically right under Lange. Labour doesn’t want to listen so it is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    Really, they should have kept Goff as a leader.

  15. Mike Smith 15

    Eddie, You’re flat wrong about Labour’s flat-lining. The significant trend for 2014 is December 2011 to December 2012, from last year’s election to where things sit now. In the Roy Morgan, Labour has gone from 27.5 in January to 33.5 in December, a 22% increase. That’s not a flat line, it’s a significant lift – why do you assume it stops at Christmas?
    National has gone from 47 to 45.5, not a huge down but not flat either.
    And panicking about the 2014 debates two years out is unnecessary. Key’s style is by now well known, so the surprises are all likely to come from the other side.
    I think it’s better to drive using he windscreen rather than the rear-vision mirror – you get to see the sun. Happy New Year!

    • QoTViper 15.1

      Mike, your comment comes across as seriously condescending.

      Eddie’s used a basic measurement of mean poll results across two different terms. Saying “no, you have to look at this time period, which just coincidentally shows a “lift”” seems really self-serving. Not to mention the fact that looking at the “lift” in terms of percentage change is also self-serving when Labour is polling this low. Damn, if only Labour had been polling 10% in January, then it’d be a 200% increase!!!!.

      Except the fact is, 33.5% is still pathetic for a centre-left party in a usually centre-left country faced with a neoliberal government which is shitting on people from orbit.

      Key’s style is by now well known, so the surprises are all likely to come from the other side.

      I do not want to be “surprised” by David Shearer. I want David Shearer to be a competent political leader. I want David Shearer to express himself in even the most basic terms without flubbing. Believe me, no one on the right is sitting there chewing their nails thinking “oh god, David Shearer’s an unknown quantity! He could really surprise us in the 2014 debates!!!!” and Matthew Hooton’s continued supportive comments should be more than enough proof of that.

      I think it’s better to drive using he windscreen rather than the rear-vision mirror – you get to see the sun.

      Only if you’re driving towards it.

      • Napkins 15.1.1

        From the Roy Morgan, it certainly looks like Labour under Shearer one year in is doing no better than Labour under Goff one year in. Surely that is obvious too everyone?
        The main difference being that Goff had the difficulty of dealing with Key on honeymoon, while Shearer has had the advantage of Key’s terrible year added to a nasty but typical case of National second-term-itis.

        • McFliper 15.1.1.1

          meh.
          2012 seems to be more consistently upward in its trend. The real issue for me is whether 2013 Labour stagnates in the low-mid 30s like it did in 2010, or whether it can start regularly breaching the 35% threshold.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the trend for 2012 is moderately promising for 2014 (or late 2013 at a pinch). The rub is whether the trend is maintained or whether they just sit in the doldrums.

          • RedLogix 15.1.1.1.1

            meh yourself.

            What I’d look for is a sustained dropping trend in National’s support to 40% or below. Once they drop below that number they start loosing legitimacy “because they’re the biggest party effect”.

            • McFliper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              good point. meh :)

            • Ennui in Requiem 15.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, when Nact is under 40% they are fekked. QOT gots it right (without attacking her side) halle(fekkin)lujajh! She wont get her wish for competence with Shearer.

              PS What is this centre left s**t?

          • the sprout 15.1.1.1.2

            Without significant change, from a caucus that is hell bent on resisting change, Labour under Shearer will continue to languish.
            The polls are not at all reassuring to any but the misinformed and the delusional.

      • Populuxe1 15.1.2

        + a friggity googleplex

    • Ad 15.2

      The November speech (etc) seemed to give Labour a 1% lift to the % point it lost power in 2008.

      So all Robertson and Shearer need to do is deliver a spectacular speech every month for 10 months and they will be ready to win.

      Speeches with policies that inspire the membership, inspire their Members of Parliament, inspire the supporters, and in turn begin to bring back some of those 800,000 unimpressed souls who did not vote.

      Clearly the Housing speech showed Shearer and Robertson’s staff have it in them. But we will seriously need more than abstract nouns about Hope, Country, Identity, People, and The World to do better.

      Shearer already did education last year, and that was Robertson’s only policy strength. Will we see the inspirational policy programme roll out, and soon? This sites’ commentary shows the grace period rapidly draining, and Labour staff struggling to keep any of it alive.

    • Um Mike

      You’re flat wrong about Labour’s flat-lining. The significant trend for 2014 is December 2011 to December 2012, from last year’s election to where things sit now.

      No it isn’t.

      A number of Labour supporters voted NZ First to get them over the line and make sure that Labour had an option. The major parties tend to leak support as some voters get all strategic on it. I remember a few years ago contemplating party vote green at a time they looked like they would not get over the 5% threshold and many have talked to me in similar terms.

      I regret to say it but my perception is that any increase is a correction as people declare their true allegiance rather than a rush of support towards the party.

      And besides this is rather academic. What members and activists want to see is style and competence in the current leadership.

      Shearer would do well by a review of positions. Dalziel, Wall, Moroney and Chauvell are all performing well and Shearer could really shore up his leadership by promoting them.

      And don’t get me started on Cunliffe. Arguably the biggest talent in the caucus and his talents are being wasted.

      Yours sincerely Keystone Coup

      • Anne 15.3.1

        Shearer would do well by a review of positions. Dalziel, Wall, Moroney and Chauvell are all performing well and Shearer could really shore up his leadership by promoting them.

        And don’t get me started on Cunliffe. Arguably the biggest talent in the caucus and his talents are being wasted.

        +1000 :neutral:

      • Bruce 15.3.2

        In my opinion many Labour supporters voted Winston so there will be a decent opposition voice.

    • David H 15.4

      Mike, Do you really believe that which you are saying ? I am sorry for you, in that you are so blinkered that you cannot see the train wreck that is hurtling towards you to end in 2014, with a resounding Defeat, for the once proud but now just abused Labour Party.

      And until you get rid of the power hungry dinosaurs, and the inept wanna be leaders, then 3rd is where Labour will Languish, and IMHO deservedly.

      • Te Reo Putake 15.4.1

        David, you have made the claim that Labour will come third many times in the last few months. It’s not going to happen. Even the last election result, which was a shocker for the LP, had them more than than twice as popular as the Greens, who had the best result a green party has ever achieved anywhere in the world. So, at their worst, Labour are way more popular than the GP at their best.

        The numbers don’t lie and your fantasy is not going to happen.

        • David H 15.4.1.1

          And do you want to know why I have said that??? TRUST.

          If they are not trusted, then who the hell in their right mind, would vote for such a train wreck that the Labour Caucus has become??

          And I trust Shearer to not screw us over, about as much, as I trust spit not to come back into my face, when I spit against the wind.

          It’s not a Fantasy and it could well happen.

          That Labour will win the treasury benches in 2014, with Shearer and his merry bunch of Dinosaurs. Now that’s a Fantasy.

          Yes Numbers don’t lie Labour have been Stagnant for too long, near 3 years with out any movement in the polls, where as the GP have doubled their support in the same time. And if you let water go stagnant then it becomes tainted and makes people sick. yep definitely sounds like the current crop of Top Labour politicians, stagnant and just make people sick!

          • Saarbo 15.4.1.1.1

            “Trust”…exactly right!

            Mike, if David Shearer cannot convince thousands of “left” voters that he is not the right person to lead Labour then he has very little chance that he will convince the centre swing voters to come across.

            He may become Prime Minister in 2014 because of an atrocious National Party and the way the numbers fall, but it will be a weak government meaning perhaps one term. Which quite frankly is a bit of a waste of time. Labour/Left have to be in for at least 2 maybe 3 terms to make real progress.

  16. Agree QoT but Mike’s comments come across as not just condescending, but also as part of the brief he is now being paid by Shearer’s office to complete……’helping with the Party’. It’s just that Mike’s rosy PR spin for David Shearer just doesn’t ring true for me.

    After more than a year as Leader we should know what Shearer stands for, his values, policy aims and aspirations. It really worries me that I can’t perceive those Mike. I want to know what Shearer believes, but I fear he isn’t grounded enough to have formulated that, or at least not in a way he can lead with.

    Maybe Mike your labours in the Leaders office would be better directed at helping Shearer write his OWN (not some speech writer’s version) January State of the Nation speech. Shearer should outline HIS ideas, give us HIS blueprint. For the record, Shearer’s conference speech didn’t do it for me, delivered better than usual, but overall content was poor and Kiwibuild has flopped as it was not well planned policy.

    Finally, I’d welcome early in the New Year an unequivocal statement from David Shearer if he has changed his views on buying in mercenaries for international conflict resolution. Otherwise we must continue to assume he hasn’t. The implications of that are serious and significant for someone who has spent so much of his career employed by the UN – a body specifically set up to provide nation state resolution of international conflict.

    • McFliper 16.1

      so what’s your alternative to preventing genocide when member states don’t give enough of a shit to risk their own citizens’ lives?

      • Napkins 16.1.1

        Creating an official and growing market for mercernaries, both freelance subcontractors and the major mercernary corporations who use them is extremely dangerous, and rife with potential for blow back. These mercernaries will be looking for work inbetween UN engagements. For instance, there are many instances of mercernaries being used to carry out anti-citizen activities when a government’s own troops cannot be relied upon to carry such activities out.
        Further, how do you stop UN member states abdicating even more responsibility once you start going down the private sector route? Eg. for funding the UN, for providing medical supplies, staff, etc.

        • McFliper 16.1.1.1

          Mercenaries are a bad idea, I get it.
          But what is a better option: let the genocide happen, aid workers be so endangered they have to pull out, etc?

          What is option C, for UN workers on the ground faced with governments who are happy to wring their hands until the situation (for want of a better term) resolves itself?

          • Napkins 16.1.1.1.1

            Your suggestions fit on to the same list as supplying the ethnic group being attacked with AK47′s and RPGs, and sending in a few dozen special operations “advisors” to assist them to resist the genocide
            Stable, well resourced, well led governments with strong international relations are the only way to prevent genocide McFliper. Fuelling the mercernary and small arms markets works directly against those goals, in the long term.

            • McFliper 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Still no suggestions of what to do on the ground when a genocide is happening because the international community doesn’t give a shit, then?

              We are not talking about prevention. We’re talking about what to do when the international community failed to prevent it, just as happens in the real world. What ambulance at the bottom of the cliff do you envisage, when national armies aren’t an option, “prevention” failed dismally, and aid workers need protection?

              • Napkins

                “Still no suggestions of what to do on the ground when a genocide is happening because the international community doesn’t give a shit, then?”
                Of course I gave you a suggestion, it was right above but you just chose to ignore it. Arm the side being attacked so that they can take the responsibility for defending themselves. You can even give them aircover using armed UAVs.
                And if the nations of the UN truly don’t give a shit about a specific genocide, then there is zero mandate for UN workers or peacekeepers to be in that country, and they should be all pulled out immediately. That’s the reality.

                • McFliper

                  And if the nations of the UN truly don’t give a shit about a specific genocide, then there is zero mandate for UN workers or peacekeepers to be in that country, and they should be all pulled out immediately. That’s the reality.

                  Okay, so let the genocide happen and provide no humanitarian aid to the victims. Even if there is a mandate for humanitarian aid, but no will to send their own troops to protect aid workers.

                  A nice, politically acceptable way to let hundreds of thousands die. Nice one.

      • Bill 16.1.2

        So you don’t think the massive debt that the US has built up with the UN has anything to do with the UN being less than flash in some peacekeeping roles? Y’know, lack of equipment, inability to pay those nations who make troop contributions? Given the parlous state of UN finances, wouldn’t it be better for the US or others on the security council to veto less urgent deployments rather than maintain an overstretch that inevitably feeds into arguments for privatisation? Or even better. Isn’t the solution for the US to simply pay its dues and stop fucking around?

        • McFliper 16.1.2.1

          Yes indeed. But that is not a solution that was facing UN workers on the ground trying to stop machete massacres in the 1990s.

          Money is/was only one problem, remember that they needed experienced, trained and equipped soldiers to change the situation on the ground. At a foreign policy conference in mid2001 I attended officers who had served with the UN talked about A team and C team donor forces: C team soldiers really would put corrugated roofs over their mortar pits (mortars fire up: consequence of round 1 would be they blow themselves up). And forget about equipment maintenance or indirect fire support. C-team governments had no problem putting forward conscripts like that for UN work, because the UN remuneration was more than their soldiers were paid so the governments pocketed the change.

          As for prioritising UN tasks, all the tasks need to be done. Reconstruction ignored today is tomorrow’s dictatorship. Or genocide.

          So I’m still short of options as say a regional coordinator faced with a genocide that nobody particularly gives a shit about.

      • Populuxe1 16.1.3

        Well for one thing certain elements of the far left could stop screeching about neo-imperialist war mongering on those occasions the member states do stir themselves into activity…

  17. nice post…..thanx for share….
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  18. RedBaronCV 18

    It still bothers me that the Greens have no electorate seats which is where the hard yards of facing what your policies do to the people who vote for you comes back to haunt you or not as the case may be. Do they wind up operating in an idealogical vacuum?

    I tried to see a Green MP on a matter that I have an interest in and that they are spokesperson for and I know they are busy people but this got into the too hard basket so quickly it wasn’t funny. Not only that but a few weeks later I saw on their website just after it had passed that this MP was spending sometime talking to people at a particular venue that I could have attended but even this wasn’t brought to my notice.
    Only list MP’s have the capacity to be arrogant towards voters. As far as I am concerned we should aim for the minimum numbers of list MP’s that MMP can accomodate.

    • tc 18.1

      Agree, I’ve seen this from them over seabed and other mining issues. Around for the PR shots but gone and not responding aside from fobbing it off to other bodies on the last day of the parliament year….nice work.

      They’ve got to be careful as this behaviour hasn’t gone without notice, people are annoyed they aren’t using the taxpayer funded resources at their disposal to assist with their stated objectives, I.e. No mining?

      It’s easy when you don’t have to snare a seat in an impacted area and rely on the feel good factor city folk get by party voting green.

    • QoTViper 18.2

      Only list MP’s have the capacity to be arrogant towards voters.

      Try living in Ohariu or Epsom, mate.

      • RedBaronCV 18.2.1

        Quite correct apologies- I guess I like to think that electorate MP’s provide a brake on list MP’s.

  19. peterlepaysan 19

    One of the elephants in the room for Labour is the non voters.

    Without people and policies that can rally the “99 percenters” Labour is in terminal decline.

    Another elephant is funds, a declining (and poorer) membership, largely ignored by caucus, does not help.

    How much of the business community will want to hedge their bets by supporting Labour is very moot.

    National’s economic and fiscal behaviour has been dismal (to be kind) and business support could be forthcoming.

    Some convincing policy and leadership would be helpful.
    This seems to be woefully lacking.

    Who and what does Labour represent?

  20. Scintilla 20

    NZ First: Why is it that the MSM (and a few bloggers too) under-estimate, slag off and downright dismiss NZ First as merely appealing to oldies and old school thinkers? I am often surprised by who does vote NZF and why. Most of us have parents & grandparents and want to ensure they are NOT fleeced by the usual suspects, that they WILL get a decent standard of healthcare and are actually ABLE to enjoy retirement. Amazingly, there are people under 50 who vote for NZF for precisely that reason – very simple, a decent society looks after its old folks. And they see no discernible differences between the Duopoly whoever’s in power and no point in voting Green until they gain more traction.

    It is also lazy to dismiss what is perceived as NZF’s anti-immigration stance as racist and old-fashioned. The diaspora, running at 25% of the world’s population wandering the world in search of work and a home, has been glamourised as waves of plucky go-getters seeking valuable OE (and coming home RICH!) and meanwhile having a fabulous time travelling. You’d think thousands of refugees crammed into stinking boats/containers/trucks, not to mention child/slave trafficking, enforced prostitution, all those pushed out of their own countries by various corrupt regimes, or even our own exodus of desperate seekers to Oz might make us consider the causes and consequences rather more deeply. It suits the powers that be to have a desperate, mobile work-force that belongs nowhere, has no clout and effectively have lost their identities.

    Looking after our own as the number one priority is about ensuring NZ will be a beautiful country for our grandchildren to live in, not a giant sink-hole worked by the cheapest labourers and “service providers” in the world, for the benefit of the 1% .

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    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
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • 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
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 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
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    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
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
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  • Research announcement welcomed
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  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
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  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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