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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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    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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