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This is rape culture: Steubenville verdict

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, March 19th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: feminism, sexism, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

[Trigger warning: rape, rape culture, victim-blaming]

I was honestly surprised to learn that two of the boys heroes football players men charged in the Steubenville rape case had been convicted (albeit sentenced to paltry terms with the possibility of serving longer).

I was honestly completely unsurprised to read posts about the response to this.  Including CNN acting like the real problem was that two promising football careers had been destroyed, people tweeting that the men involved “did what most people in their situation would have done“, that one of the rapists felt the need to apologise for taking pictures and distributing them because “that never should have happened” … but not for actually assaulting her in the first place.  Doesn’t that sound a little “sorry I got caught” to you?

I was pleasantly surprised to see Serious Mainstream Media Sources acknowledge that this is rape culture, and that it’s linked to jock/bloke culture, and that it’s not an inherent, natural phenomenon.  (It’s not perfect but it’s a start.)

So there’s some hope there.

Rape culture taught these young men that because they were on the football team, they were faultless – and their coach would “fix” anything that happened.  Rape culture taught these young men that an unconscious woman’s body was theirs to penetrate.  Rape culture taught these young men that they had the right to bargain and plead with their victim because their football careers were more important than acknowledging they violated her.  Rape culture means they were tried as juveniles.  Rape culture means that even with public video evidence of what happened, their lawyers let them plead not guilty.

Rape culture means that even when it is unequivocally rape – because even a court of law has said so – people will defend these men on Twitter because “they did what most people in their situation would have done.”

Want more? Manboobz is covering the victim-blaming on Twitter.  Black Girl Dangerous has a thought-provoking post on why you can feel sorry for Mays and Richmond … but for different reasons.  Two more Steubenville teens (young women) have now been arrested for menacing the victim.  Mmmm, delicious culture.

Rape Culture 101.  I suggest you read it before commenting.

60 comments on “This is rape culture: Steubenville verdict”

  1. ghostrider888 1

    the “circle jerk”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyWw8ry-yiQ
    pissing Queenie (that’s anthropology for ya)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology
    sorry, but Much more RAPE TO COME. (at least it is “documented”)

    “I am the spirit of vengeance. Nothing will stop me from inflicting pain on all those who have inflicted on innocent beings.”
    -Ghost Rider
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zl7S1LaPMU
    (caution: contains scenes of Outlaws caring)

    • QoT 1.1

      Make a clear point or fuck off, ghostrider, future comments like this are getting binned.

      • ghostrider888 1.1.1

        touchy.not minimizing. just reality.

        • QoT 1.1.1.1

          If there’s “reality” in that vomit-puddle of a comment you are entirely welcome to explain it.

          • ghostrider888 1.1.1.1.1

            we may rail against “rape culture” until “the cows come home”, however, cross-culturally, imo, it is well-entrenched and here to stay.
            -American male chauvinism
            -British male chauvanism
            -sub-continent attitudes to women
            -the rise of Islam and Sharia
            -sexualization of the (young) female body in the MSM
            -proliferation of sedating psycho-actives
            -“fashion”

            in fact, Patriarchy if you will. (shall I go on) surely you have read “Backlash”
            while obviously One laments…there are greater issues at stake, surely (Ban me if you wish, got better things to do than tussle with an idealogue; you think you humour me…well…)
            :)

            • karol 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So it’s widespread and well-entrenched, causing extensive injury, fatalities, and psychological damage, but there are greater issues at stake?

              • AsleepWhileWalking

                Other issues may well be important at different times.

                However, rape culture is so pervasive that we have learnt to live with it (possibly because the affects aren’t immediately apparent). Hell, we can’t even conceive what our reality could be like without rape culture – you know…victims with RIGHTS and shit like that! Crazy stuff!!

                In addition to this the attitude of others (ie the wider cultural attitude around rape) has a significant impact on how the victim recovers and the speed of that recovery. Seeing crap like the CNN report on the Steubenville verdict will distress the victim and trigger others who have gone through similar experiences.

                It is offensive to read and hear this crap, but for me it isn’t the most persuasive reason to end rape culture.

                I spoke to someone who works in Rape Crisis a couple of months ago and she quoted some NZ study that showed sexual violence costs this country millions a year AND if treatment isn’t received then it can cost even more over the lifetime of the victim. The costs include lost productivity, prosecution and investigation costs, mental health costs, family dysfunction leading to more costs….. Anyone know what study this is?

                To conclude, rape culture costs our economy and can render an otherwise functional human being economical useless for years and in the worst cases permanently. It goes well beyond hurt feelings and psychological harm. Our country deserves to be free of suffering that rape culture creates both financially and socially which makes this the most important issue of our time

            • QoT 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Greater issues at stake than violent sex crime affecting around 1 in 4 women, being supported by a socially-constructed set of behaviours? Gosh, you must move in extremely high-minded circles.

              • ghostrider888

                it may well be 1 in 3 in times to come;
                is / ought fallacy and all that

                • Pascal's bookie

                  What a load of shit. By the same reasoning nothing could have been, or could be done about slavery, torture, actual (non-symbolic) monarchy, feudalism, labour rights, poverty, or any other damn thing you care to name.

                  Why the fuck would you throw your hands in the air about this? Thinking about, and talking about how society talks about rape, and how it responds to rape can change the incidence of rape. That can only be not rue if you think that rapists are not a part of our society.

                  Will it eliminate rape? Probably not. But there is every reason to believe that it will make a difference at the margin. And do you know what that means? Fewer people getting raped. And that’s a good thing worth doing right? So why get in the way of it?

                  • QoT

                    I read in ghostrider’s comments a kind of snobby, sneering attitude: “god, your silly corporeal lives are so passe, I’m focusing on the real issues just like Ayn Rand”.

                    Kinda like the Vulcans in Star Trek: Enterprise, abomination that it was.

                    It probably helps that ghostrider is likely from a demographic which doesn’t get explicitly targeted by patriarchy.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    “What a load of shit”

                    I agree. Stating that nothing can be done about rape culture, so why bother, or that there are more important things to focus on, is part of rape culture.

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    what exactly, on a global basis has been done about “slavery, torture, feudalism labour rights and poverty”?

                    • McFlock

                      Well, comparing it now with 200 years ago seems to suggest quite an improvement, albeit with a long way to go. Courts of Human Rights, slavery made illegal in most nations, advent (and yes, subsequent erosion but still not complete elimination) of the welfare state, and growth of unions, I’d say quite a bit’s been done to address those issues.

                      And there’s even been some improvement on reducing the number of rapists in our community, again albeit with a massive way to go. Making it illegal for husbands to rape their wives, for example. Not sufficient, but progress all the same.

              • Populuxe1

                It’s a pity we don’t have statistics for how many men in New Zealand are affected by violent sex crime, but for some reason no one seems to be collecting that. You’d almost think it was being disregarded as a distraction or something.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  No, I wouldn’t.

                  Are you sure the statistics are unavailable?

                  I checked at statistics NZ. Look in their crime stats under sexual assault.

                  The statistics are available.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Perhaps I’m not looking in the right place, but I can’t see a discrete category for male-male or female-male rape

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      You said: “we don’t have statistics for how many men in New Zealand are affected by violent sex crime, ”

                      You’re wrong: we do.

                      In the period 1994 – 2012, out of the 2427 sexual assaults recorded, 24 of them involved adult male victims. Twenty-four! No wonder you’re so concerned :roll:

            • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1.1.1.3

              @ghostrider Just because YOU refuse to change your attitude, doesn’t mean you speak for the rest of society or future generations.

              Point of fact, gay marriage was once a pipe dream, but now hardly anyone under 30 opposes it.

              Everything we do and say impacts the collective conciousness and we will change this, the only options are either 1) now or 2) later.

              • Polish Pride

                Just because YOU refuse to change your attitude, doesn’t mean you speak for the rest of society or future generations.

                I did not see Ghost rider as having an attitude about it. More stating his observation regarding the state of the world and perhaps trends in this area.

                “Everything we do and say impacts the collective conciousness”…. great to see others that understand this.
                I am guessing that you might also understand that cases like Stubenville and India (and unfortunately probably others to come) are being brought forward on a grander scale into the collective consciousness so that we can feel and voice outrage and as result (as you have said) things can be changed.

                • karol

                  gr was hiding behind obscurity, pontificating from intellectual heights, and displaying a superior, dismissive attitude – conveying the message that it’s not worth doing anything about rape culture, and, anyway, there’s more important issues to deal with.

                  • ghostrider888

                    lots of assumptions there.
                    a post on the prevalence of female genital mutilation and forced under-aged marriage within current NZ society might be timely.
                    gr does NOT approve of rape, just sees it as increasingly inevitable, like “slavery, torture, feudalism, the erosion of labour rights, poverty,” hunger and human trafficking. What the rider sees is a decidely euro-centric focus upon issues in the leading sites within the NZ blogosphere; mirrors the National parochialism at times.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      War and peace.

                      Well over a million European women raped during WWII.

                      It offends our sensibilities to think what humanity and inhumanity we are still very clearly capable of.

                      The other thing: time to get alcohol abuse sorted out.

                  • ghostrider888

                    furthermore, both of the riders mothers were raped; his biological mother degraded scatalogically in front of her children, his biological brothers raped by their father. Sorry Lynn, sometimes people just gotta get out of their own way and get over themselves; Ever watched documentaries on child sex-slave workers in India?

                    • karol

                      Now you are communicating clearly, gr, even though using 3rd person distancing, and stating where you stand. Hiding behind obscurity opens the way to varying/mis-interpretation.

                      I’m sorry to read about your awful family history.

                      Yes, I’ve watched docos and read about sex slavery and it’s workers elsewhere. But even dealing with such non-European issues can be done from a Euro-centric perspective.

                      I have known black women (when I was in the UK) who were unhappy with the way white women focused on female genital mutilation and arranged marriages in other cultures, while not dealing so intensively with the misogynist and racist practices in their own cultures.

                      It’s not necessary to be opposed to one or the other: i.e. to things there or here. All need to be visible, discussed, and where necessary, opposed.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      gr, is your story about your family real or just the backstory of the fictional character who’s name you use?

                    • ghostrider888

                      as some of you may know
                      SH=JC=fnjckg=Jokerman=RT=gr
                      everything autobigraphical / anecdotal comment made by these pseuds has been factual; since his revelation the rider endeavours very hard not to deceive, and furthermore receives periodic affirmations of his abilities.
                      let me repeat that : EVERYTHING THE RIDER SHARES OF HIS EXPERIENCE IS BASED IN FACT.
                      (sorry to take up space in the thread Queen, yet there you have it; I descend from a couple or three of your typical run-of-the-mill dysfunctional “modern” NZ families.
                      next?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Thanks for clarifying, gr. Speaking in the 3rd person makes it sound as if you are referring to someone else, which can have the effect of blurring the truths you are sharing.

                      That’s a truly awful upbringing, I’m glad you feel able to share it with us, however you choose to write or whatever name you use. All the best.

    • Huginn 1.2

      While we’re talking about ‘rape culture’ – I’ve noticed that responses to QoT’s posts and comments are often very personal.
      It’s like where Mike Smith, R0b, lprent and even Trevor Mallard have got impassioned opponents, QoT’s got stalkers.
      It’s creepy and it belongs in the same bucket of online violence that R0b, rightly, refuses to tolerate.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        I have noticed it myself, and Karol has the same issue at a lower level. I think I will have to find something specially humiliating to do to the males with issues with women in my usual subtle sysop role…. What is a good image for a very pathetic dick?

        • Polish Pride 1.2.1.1

          perhaps just directly call them out on it when it occurs. This way others will see it also and the person will very quickly see that their attitude towards woman is deemed unacceptable.

  2. SouthDeezViper 2

    Yeah, I’d be keen to know what you’re getting at also.

  3. karol 3

    It seems like the most high profile gang rape cases involve professional male sports people. Maybe that’s part of celebrity culture as well as rape culture. And part of the way the MSM likes to incorporate both in a sensationalised story.

    The two cultures intertwine when physical masculine aggression is glamorised, and sportsmen are treated as as role models in all spheres of life, merely for their ability to play a competitive game well.

    CNN… so much for it’s claims to being a world leader in news delivery – like it’s extensive professional team would not be anything objective.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      yes; I have many personal anecdotes from my time as a confidante of sex-workers of the “games” nationally recognized sportsmen play in the rented hotel rooms

  4. joe90 4

    http://www.thenation.com/article/172643/ten-things-end-rape-culture

    Tell your story.

    Several years ago my younger sister told me how more than thirty years previously she was rendered incapable with alcohol and raped by her sports coach, a man 25 years her senior. My sister was 14 years old and the crime was dismissed as a false complaint by a naive infatuated teen who after being rejected by him concocted a fanciful story about a family man of impeccable character and an upstanding member of the small isolated expat community.

    I’m shaking now so I’ll submit before I back out.

    • karol 4.1

      Thank-you, joe. One of those many stories most people don’t know about. A very cruel experience for a 14 year old, and one that must always be with her.

    • rosy 4.2

      I know a couple of stories like that, Joe90, but from people who never confronted the abuser. And I’d be shaking if I wrote them down too.

      It’s a big thing to write about something so appalling, so damaging and so… supressed… within the small group that has had to suffer because of it. Rape culture exists because we don’t believe it does Excellent link.

    • QoT 4.3

      Thanks for sharing your story, joe. It is a really important part of fighting rape culture.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.4

      Hiya Joe,

      Thanks for posting your experience as part of combating rape culture and most of all listening to your sister. You did good, bless ya!

      I’d love to post what happened to me but can’t mainly because OP’s here may use it as a personal attack at any time in the future. What I will say from my experience is that rape culture also exists inside our treatment system, with the very people who are funded by the government to help rape victims recover.

  5. rosy 5

    I’m liking Black Girl Dangerous’ take on this. Especially her last paragraph.., it’s an absolute tragedy that we have a culture that doesn’t just believe it’s ok to rape drunk girls rather than look out for them, but asserts the right to do so (or vulnerable boys – check out the Taradale violation a few years back – although a bit more sympathy for the victem there). Then, instead of addressing the problem young men get chucked in prison, and probably have those beliefs reinforced, while not a lot is done to change the culture that doesn’t just support, but also encourages, their actions.

    And the girl? re-labelled from the ‘victim’ to the ‘accuser’ as the story goes on in the last of those links about the text messages. What’s up with that? The rape was done (guilty verdicts) and the txt messaging campaign was done, there’s no dispute about it.

    • QoT 5.1

      It’s one of the quirks of rape culture: before the court decides anything (if the case even goes to court) just keep asserting that you can’t call it “rape” unless the accused is found guilty of rape; after the court decides something, just keep asserting that it still isn’t rape and never explain why.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1.1

        Meanwhile it is somehow acceptable to imply the victim, sorry alleged victim(!) of a rape is to blame in some way (drunk, hemline too high, or just being there at the time..).

        Our media are a contributor to the culture. Pity we can’t do more to hold them accountable for the way they write about sexual violence.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Meanwhile it is somehow acceptable to imply the victim, sorry alleged victim(!) of a rape is to blame in some way (drunk, hemline too high, or just being there at the time..).

          Alcohol abuse is a common factor in a lot of violent crime. There’s no getting around it.

  6. Descendant Of Sssmith 6

    These older men predating and taking advantage of young women just piss me off as well.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/01/the-miss-delaware-teen-usa-scandal/

    It’s an oddity that both my young adult sons have had serious attempts by older men to take advantage of them – one via drink spiking – but my daughter at this point has not.

    I would hope that they all remain free from such approaches in the future as should all people young and not so young.

    There’s some pretty horrible damage done by these people.

  7. beatie 7

    I’ve been raped, and more than once. The worst was at knifepoint aged 17. It’s utterly humiliating and as a young woman in the early ’70’s my response was ‘you bastards aren’t going to “get” me’. So I carried on as normal and pretended nothing had happened. Talking about it just invited embarrassment and denial. Reporting it was unthinkable, it would only add to the ridicule and trauma.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1

      It should never have happened once let alone more than once.

      My heart goes out to you. I have a friend who was raped a knifepoint by multiple gang members and she and her husband have suffered terribly over the years.

      Sadly there’s plenty of examples where women self-harm, suicide, turn to drug abuse, blame themselves, and so on.

      All that needs to happen to prevent this damage is for men to take responsibility for their own actions.

      There’s no imperative that requires any male to have sex at any given point in time and clearly if the man is so drunk he doesn’t ‘know what he’s doing” it can’t even remotely be called sex. There’s no enjoyment present – it’s doing it cause I can and it’s about power and control.

      It’s rape in those situations pure and simple.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        All that needs to happen to prevent this damage is for men to take responsibility for their own actions.

        And for the community to hold the rapists accountable, stop making excuses for them and stop blaming the victims.

        • Ennui 7.1.1.1

          DTB see mine below: I am more interested in how rapists hold themselves accountable for their actions than how the community holds them accountable. I want violent offenders to know circumspect, to have the ability to show empathy and project the consequence of their actions upon their own psyche. I am struggling to explain BUT I think rapists would not commit the act if they had sufficient self awareness and empathy. I suspect bugger all of them are psychopaths (I will leave that to the psychologists to work out) but as this column points out they are “culturally damaged”. As are we all.

        • Colonial Weka 7.1.1.2

          And for everyone to take actions to change rape culture (including looking at their own attitudes and behaviours).

    • AsleepWhileWalking 7.2

      I’m sorry that happened to you. Thanks for revealing part of your story and doing your part in combating rape culture.

      I know what you mean by inviting embarrassment and denial, the culture has changed slightly but still difficult. No statute of limitations on rape…

  8. Ennui 9

    Joe90 / Beattie, thanks for the courage to share the harrowing memories. Reading the whole column including watching the trailer to the Lawless movie just confirms that we have a culture of endemic violence. We violate people with state sanctioned violence, we violate people with the economic unfairness, we push the violence to all sectors of society. And we glorify it in the media, and the movies. We wonder it gets pushed down, bashing the partner, assaulting strangers, hitting children, raping. No one is spared. Like most males I have been beaten with cops batons, taken a few hidings in “fights”, lashed out and inflicted pain.

    I too wont set rape aside in isolation, but that in no way diminishes the harm: it is another violent scar on us all, and truly desolating for the victims. What concerns me is how we can break the cycle. I am not convinced that judicial punishment of the offenders of violent crimes works in the slightest, prison merely brutalises and reinforces that might is right. In the case of the Steubenville rapists we are now left with individuals who have not been made to recognise or accept the personal damage they have done to another person, and a society that has failed in it duty to protect all from harm. Just appalling. With nobody s facing up to it, we are all guilty.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 10

    Locals who perpetuate rape culture off the top of my head include John Tamaheri, Sir Robert Jones, and Lindsay Mitchell. Google any one of these folks + rape and rape culture will come up and smack you in the face.

    Perhaps the way to tackle rape culture is to approach the leaders of the group (it’s a group mentality at work) and gently influence them to change their opinion.

  10. Treetop 11

    About two months ago I gave the cutting of funding to Rape Crisis a bit of thought because of how vital it is for a person who has been sexually assaulted to be able to disclose or discuss with someone who understands how sexual assault impacts in many areas, (trust, relationships, the health system, employment, the justice system, being disconnected from society or your family, and the attitude mainly from those who think it is something that you can switch off, when it is something which you learn to manage on many levels the best way you can and this can be lonely.

    I made an inquiry to Rape Crisis about:
    1. Do they have a ribbon?
    Yes they do it is coloured red and stands for the wounded heart.

    2. Have they ever held a ribbon day?
    No they have not, but they have supported a white ribbon day.

    3. Would I like to see a red ribbon day?
    Yes I would.

    I would wear two ribbons, one for the wounded embryo and one for the wounded child. A person could pin the ribbon on the inside of clothing, as I would not want anyone to feel threatened due to how ignorant people are over the distress which sexual assault can cause.

  11. tracey 12

    Reported rape versus conviction ratios should make all hang our heads in shame.

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    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    19 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    20 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    21 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    23 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    23 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    12 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    12 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    15 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    16 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    18 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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