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THM: Questions that were never asked

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, February 14th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: blogs, feminism, human rights, nz first - Tags: , , ,

Thanks to stargazer at The Hand Mirror for permission to reprint this piece


questions that were never asked

since there’s no avoiding it, i thought i may as well do a post about a certain mr prosser. contrary to what it might, my post of yesterday at my own blog wasn’t actually about him. but having listened to various media interviews over the last couple of days, i’m surprised that there are a whole range of questions nobody is asking mr prosser.

given that he wrote this:

“I will not stand by while their [his daughters'] rights and freedoms of other New Zealanders and Westerners are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”

i thought some of the following questions might be appropriate:

– if you are concerned about your daughters’ rights & freedoms, do you support pay equity legislation, and do you commit to bringing back the pay equity unit that was housed in the former department of labour? and what other policies will you actively pursue to reduce the gender pay gap?

– what actions have you taken to promote women’s leadership, and in particular, the very small numbers of women appointed to the boards of directors in nz private sector companies? what would you do to improve women’s participation in governance and leadership in all sectors of nz society?

– do you support greater gender balance in parliament and in cabinet? and if so, can you point to any past statements you’ve made to indicate such support?

– women’s refuge have struggled with funding in the past few years, to the extent that were relying on a donation from a pizza chain in order to function. since you’ve become an MP, what steps have you taken to increase the level of funding to providers of support services for women who are abused in their own homes?

– rape crisis centres and other services for victims of sexual violence and abuse have struggled even more in the past couple of decades. what effort are you making to ensure that sufficient funding is provided so the those who suffer from sexual violence and abuse are able to get the support they need in a timely fashion/

– did you make any public statements when ACC introduced new procedures that severely restricted the provision of services to victims of sexual violence and abuse? surely you were outraged at the huge drop in the numbers of women able to access the counselling they needed, and you would have had plenty to say about it?

– what are you views about women having the right to make decisions about their reproductive health? are you prepared to advocate for women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies?

– what changes to the justice system have you advocated to ensure greater access to justice for victims of sexual violence and abuse? more than that, how have you worked to change to our current culture which blames victims of violence for the crimes against them and where actively seeking consent is seen as being a boner-killer or akin to asking for a signed contract prior to any sexual activity? in fact, have you ever, even once, talked about rape culture and it’s destructive effects?

– how do intend to improve women’s participation in non-traditional subjects like computer programming, engineering and the like? at many high schools today, it is still common to only have 2 girls out of a class of 20 for subjects like IT programming. and one of the reasons i’ve commonly heard from young women who chose not to take them is that they don’t want to be in a class of mostly boys. a related question: how will you make the trades more accessible as a profession for women, and a safer environment for them to work in?

– have you ever used the words “feminazi”, “sisterhood” or other derogatory terms, or ever complained about the feminisation of society, particularly when writing for investigate magazine? how is it, if you care about the rights and freedoms of women, that you can bear to be published in a publication where such statements are common?

so, ok, these are just some things off the top of my head. i’m sure some of you can come up with other and better questions. but you get my point. the basic question is this: if you are concerned about the rights and freedoms of women, where is the evidence that you have in any way advocated for women’s rights and freedoms in this country? because if that is one of your basic values, then you should be widely known for it (your public advocacy that is), without anyone having to go looking.

ETA: i forgot that i also wanted to link to this piece, which says a lot of things very well. thanks to soraiya for pointing me towrards it.

89 comments on “THM: Questions that were never asked”

  1. BLiP 1

    .

    But, but but . . . Mr Prosser has already answered all those questions, and more. Have you not read his tome “Uncommon Dissent”? In there you will find this piece of wisdowm:

    . . . New Zealand society, Western society in general, has been hijacked by a conspiracy of Silly Little Girls . . .

    . . . that is Mr Prosser’s contribution to the rights and freedom of women. Wattaguy.

    • stargazer 1.1

      yup, absolutely. julie wrote about that last year: http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com/2012/01/mcp-watch-richard-prosser-mp.html

      i really wish kathryn ryan had that quote when she interviewed him yesterday, though the interview was awkward enough as it was.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 1.2

      Thanks Blip for that choice quote!

      • BLiP 1.2.1

        .

        No worries – there are many more such quotes and all provide a startling glimpse into Mr Prosser’s ability to reason. I think he might be an idiot savant satarist. One-on-one socially I imagine he’s remarkably entertaining, the first few times. Not sure if he’s read any Janet Frame or takes pride in Kate Sheppard but I don’t think he hates women as much as he likes to say outlandish things. Reminds me a lot of John Key . . . I mean, c’mon, ladies, you could at least make the effort to look a little like Liz Hurley. Just try it.

  2. karol 2

    Excellent post. Read it earlier on THM and was meaning to comment on it on open mike.

    There’s a long history of anti-feminist types suddenly pulling the gender equality card out of the hat when being critical of Muslims. I think Bush Jr and his team did it quite a bit, too.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Fundamentalists of any religion are always misogynist bastards. Islam has gone through a rather bad period of it over the last several hundred years and because of this most Westerners have a very narrow view of the religion itself. This is hardly just Prosser’s fault.

    You have to recall that in the period roughly from 700 to at least 1300 AD the Islamic Empire was the model of a liberal, enlightened and tolerant society … within the context of the era. While the Christian world was riven with ignorance and violence. Anyone want to forget the burning of witches?

    The problem is not Islam, but a power-hungry clergy who has distorted the religion for their own purposes. Combined with a wide-spread, pre-existing Middle-Eastern ‘honour culture’, fundamentalist Islam has proven a perverse and toxic cocktail. Most especially for women.

    I think it’s quite fair to state this. The values of the Taliban are not those we can in any shape or form endorse or even tolerate.

    The problem is of course when ill-informed characters like Prosser wade into this debate as he did … all he does is stir up more confusion and enmity. He was wrong and I’ll give him a little credit for making a full retraction and apology. (I’ll leave it to others to judge whether you think it was a sincere one or not.)

    There is a complex story here; and I’m uncomfortable seeing it told in simplistic shades of black and white.

    • stargazer 3.1

      you’re missing the point of the post RL. if a person holds himself out to be someone that cares about the rights of women (as mr prosser did yet again on radio yesterday), then surely he should care about the rights of all women? and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask about his actions and published words. especially when, given the quote in comments above, it appears he’s not so concerned about rights of women in the west, and even seems to think they have too many rights.

      that’s the point of this post.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        +1

        Prosser’s crocodile tears for Muslim women further expose his bad faith.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.2

        It doesn’t hurt for fervent womens righters to think around the subject of women and Islam. Understanding of the background to it all can only be of advantage. Knowledge is power, certainly women need to have wide knowledge and understanding. Being narrowly focussed only on one point of view isn’t the point of feminism.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      RedLogix. Please update yourself on rather recent Taliban positions and statements. Leader, Mullah Omar, has very clearly endorsed the intention of making good provision for women and providing quality education for members of both sexes. But I will leave it for you to do the research (which I have done),

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Now that’s interesting. Funny how the US is quite OK with the Saudi treatment of women…

      • Psycho Milt 3.2.2

        Leader, Mullah Omar, has very clearly endorsed the intention of making good provision for women and providing quality education for members of both sexes.

        You bet the vile, murderous, anti-civilisation piece of shit has said that and a bunch of other platitudes intended as negotiation fodder. If he gets a chance to have his brave lads return Afghanistan to the 8th Century again, you’ll get to see just how much those endorsements are worth.

      • RedLogix 3.2.3

        Dr Terry,

        If Mulla Omar’s words translate into a liberal transformation of Islamic world then I will the first to welcome them.

        In the meantime they do have a rather appalling track record to overcome ….

    • Rogue Trooper 3.3

      well, i like RL’s “point” better

  4. Vinscreen Viper 4

    “Merchants, teachers and workers say that two men tried to kill a young schoolgirl on a bus in the middle of the day. Their target was Malala Yousufzai. During the Taliban’s rule, the 14-year-old girl had written a blog about the horrors of everyday life under the extremists for the BBC’s website. Since then, she has publicly championed girls’ right to education. Yousufzai was shot in the head and shoulder. Two other passengers on the bus were wounded, one severely.

    A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban “told reporters that Yousufzai is a “symbol of Western culture” and was propagating it in a Pashtun area. “She is against Islam and spreads secular thoughts,” he said. He also added that, if she survives, she will remain a target for assassination — as well as her family and, in particular, her father, who runs a private school in the Swat Valley. “According to Islamic law,” he said, “whoever acts against Islam must be killed.” The girl’s shooting, he said, is a “warning to all young people involved in similar activities that they will likewise become targets if they don’t stop.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/attack-on-schoolgirl-in-pakistan-sparks-fears-of-resurgent-taliban-a-861055.html

    Prosser – ““I will not stand by while their [his daughters'] rights and freedoms of other New Zealanders and Westerners are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”

    No, you would have done better to have stood by and kept your head down like the rest of us.

    • Vinscreen Viper 4.1

      ““According to Islamic law,” he said, “whoever acts against Islam must be killed.”

      Don’t believe this? From the Qur’an,

      Surah 5.33

      The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,

      Surah 5.34

      Except those who repent before you have them in your power; so know that Allah is Forgiving, “

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Exodus 35:2

        Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day it shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever does work on it shall be put to death.

        Hope you’ve never worked through a Saturday night or Sunday before, any Christians you know are going to put you in for the chop.

      • just saying 4.1.2

        Interesting handle VW.
        I remember when you were discussing it on open-mike.
        I mention it, because I’ve found you to be worthy of respect in the past, but I’m wondering about the ethics of how you are conducting yourself in this conversation.

    • stargazer 4.2

      you quote the taliban and yet you conveniently forget to mention the vigils held by muslims across the globe for her; the expressions of sadness and anger; the importance of education for girls and women emphasised by many muslim leaders and scholars. you can’t even be bothered to mention the huge level of support she has received in pakistan, both from the general population and her government.

      thanx for doing exactly what mr prosser did. it doesn’t reflect well on you, and yes, you would have been better to keep your head down rather than displaying your ignorance like this.

      • Vinscreen Viper 4.2.1

        I am very aware of the vigils held and the very genuine support for her in the Islamic world. I chose not to mention them as I assumed everyone was aware of it, and because it is not relevant to my central argument.

        Islam is a legal system, its laws set out in the Qur’an and its commentaries. I have had as little to do with it as possible yet I have been unable to escape some exposure to it. As such it is my understanding that even NoseViper’s average town muslim cannot decide for himself what those laws are, any more than you and I can decide for ourselves what the laws set out in New Zealand Statutes mean. ‘Interpretation’ of the Qur’an and its meaning is a matter for Mullahs and Imams, and if the particular Mullah or Imam leading your community decides that advocating education for girls amounts to ‘making mischief in the land’ you are not only free to murder any young girl doing so, you are required to by your faith. If you don’t like it you have to live with it, or try to find another community with a Mullah or Imam who takes a different interpretation. Be aware, though, that expressing a different interpretation of the Qur’an from your local Mullah could very easily be regarded as apostasy, for which the penalty is death – Surah II. 214. (It’s this ‘law’ that underlies the appallingly vicious and merciless warfare between Shi’a and Sunni, with each regarding the other as apostate.)

        And another of those laws is Surah 5.33.

        To misquote Malvolio: “Some people are born stupid, some achieve stupidity and some have stupidity thrust upon them.” To my mind Creationists and Christian fundamentalists – unless born stupid – have achieved stupidity and I have little time or respect for them. Similarly I take the view that anyone who believes a rambling set of laws appropriate to a c.7th Middle Eastern nomadic society is the verbatim and untouchable word of God dictated to a camel-driver applicable to all times and all places and all peoples has achieved stupidity, and I will not have that stupidity thrust upon me. Yet even such stupidities as the wanton destruction of the Buddhas of Banyan or the attempted destruction of the library in Timbuktu (and the very real destruction of Alexandria’s libraries by the Christians) does thrust their stupidity on me – as does the fact that I now have to submit at airports to full-body scans which display me naked, interrogation, pat-downs, early arrival and the inconvenience of not being able to take most of what I want and need for the flight onto an aircraft with me.

        Neither will I sit back and say that my modern liberal tolerance of other people’s faiths require me to smile condescendingly at the horrors these Muslims – and they are Muslims just as the Crusaders who slaughtered tens of thousands in the cities they took or the Questioners of the Spanish Inquisition were devout Christians – are inflicting on their societies.

        • stargazer 4.2.1.1

          please stop with the “you and i”. i’m a muslim. a muslim woman no less. you might have had as little to do as possible with islam, which makes the idea that you think you can educate me about my own religion – which i have had plenty to do with over a lifetime – is just a little bit of a joke, don’t you think?

          the number of things you are wrong about in this one comment is quite an amazing achievement on your part. but i expect you’re not actually interested in anything i have to say, being so firmly convinced that you you have so much to tell us all.

          • Vinscreen Viper 4.2.1.1.1

            I use ‘I’ because these are my views and mine alone.

            The ‘You’ I used in my initial reply was intended to be a rhetorical reply to Mr. Prosser’s written statement.

            Where I am wrong please educate me.

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1.1.1

              You cannot pour more water into a cup which is already full.

            • stargazer 4.2.1.1.1.2

              well said CV :)

              VV, given that i have a limited number of hours to my day, i have to choose carefully how i spend them. i could have spent it trying to educate you, but i would rather spend it writing a post on the disestablishment of the position of race relations commissioner. so i did that instead.

              but really, i’m bemused that someone who fully admits to not knowing much about a subject has so very many words to say on it in such an authoritative and demanding tone, and as if you are some kind of expert. no, you continue with your disdain sir, and continue to ignore the substance of my post. while you have been very vocal about muslims around the world, you have had very little to say (actually, nothing at all) about the very real issues faced by women living in this country. as i said to you above, very much like mr prosser.

              • Colonial Viper

                stargazer :)

                Interesting how the Zen way has correlations with the Islamic approach of looking at things.

                And certainly quite different from the way modern intellectual materialism approaches the world.

              • Hey Stargazer

                Funny how you had plenty of time to respond to all these positive comments agreeing with you, but the moment somebody posts something critical, hey, suddenly there’s this big letter to the Race Relations Commissioner you’ve got to write.

                Sorry in advance if I don’t comment further in this thread today, I’m off being a human shield in Gaza. CAN YOU SAY THE SAME?!?!?!?!

                • stargazer

                  really? i’ve responded to every single positive comment, and i’ve not responded at all to a single negative comment in this thread? excuse me while i pick myself off the floor from laughing.

                  also, lucky for me that i don’t need your approval regarding how i choose to spend my time.

          • Rogue Trooper 4.2.1.1.2

            ;)

  5. Dr Terry 5

    I much fear that we (Westerners) continue to take isolated incidents by which to condemn the entirety of Islamic belief and culture. Suggestion: refer speech by President Hamid Karzai made quite recently at a conference in Cairo, Egypt. Karzai is far from an “ideal” for Islam or for Afghanistan, but he is no fool. This speech deserves to be read thoughtfully by everybody outside of the Islamic way of life.

    • Vinscreen Viper 5.1

      Just as those who took ‘isolated incidents’ such as Kristallnacht in 1938 Germany as a warning of what was brewing, and were shouted down as condemning the entirety of German belief and culture because of the actions of a few extremists. Well maybe they were, but a whole nation of good Germans were sufficiently intimidated by it to remain silent and keep their heads down, with consequences we all know.

      Until I learn that “Islamic belief and culture” has unequivocably and universally declared Surah 5.33 to be anathema and replaced it with something more tolerant I will hold there to be something rotten at the core of it. Something most Moslems might not like, might be able to ignore and manoeuvre around the way Christians turn a blind eye to some of the more repulsive exhortations of their own Holy Book, but a spot of rot at the heart of it with the potential to spread corruption none the less.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Be careful not to become the agent of hate you claim to abhor

      • McFlock 5.1.2

        Funnily enough, I doubt the vast majority of christians believe they should avoid shrimp and stone witches, or that they have the right to kill disobedient kids. But show me where christianity has unequivocally and universally declared exodus and leviticus to be bunk?

        • Psycho Milt 5.1.2.1

          True – but then, the vast majority of Christians don’t believe those instructions were personally dictated to Jesus by God as literal commands for everybody on the planet to follow.

      • Instauration 5.1.3

        What was brewing was a demand for a “Sorting Hat” endeavour that would qualify those claimants of the Balfour decreed Right of Return against an equation of “racial purity” and demonstrable worth of Patriation to the “Promised Land” – else “Work will set you free”
        The Zionist whim!

    • I don’t buy into Prosser’s blanket stereotyping of Muslims as hateful autocrats, but I have to say that Dr Karzai actually is a hateful autocrat, who just happens to be a Muslim.

  6. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6

    vinscreen viper 4

    No, you would have done better to have stood by and kept your head down like the rest of us.

    Don’t include me in your inclusive package of NZs thinking that all Muslims deserve derision and Prosser’s comments. Like Paul Holmes with his ‘cheeky darkie’ comment, the Prosser tosser wants to say what he likes, and it suits him to appear to be defending western woman’s rights..

    The Muslims in the villages in Pakistan and in other countries, tend to be harsh on controlling women, very strict and often arbitrary in applying their own versions of the Law. They do not behave the same as the average town Muslim. It is very hard for women to progress since the west has been involved in their society though because of the hostility to the west’s invasion of the country and the culture.

    Dr Terry I think that anything the head of the Taliban says about what he and the heads of their religion are going to allow girls and women to do, is likely to be seen only in the towns.

  7. Vinscreen Viper 7

    ” tend to be harsh on controlling women” – NoseViper

    ?

    Read:

    http://home.mtholyoke.edu/~mvcarmac/women2.html

    if you haven’t had your tea yet.

    These things are done in the name of Islam – and if you choose to read the Qur’an in a certain way are all proper and authorised down to shooting 14-year-old girls in the head on buses because they think girls should have an education.

    But hey – it’s only ignorant country Muslims doing this so that’s OK.

    I wouldn’t say what Prosser said, but that’s only because I have a better vocabularly and perhaps a higher IQ, but I agree wholeheartedly with the gist of what he said.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You may have a higher IQ, but not so high that you have a problem with tarring 1.5B muslims with the same terrorist brush. It seems ignorance comes in many forms.

      • Vinscreen Viper 7.1.1

        I do not believe 1.5 Billion Muslims are terrorists.

        I do believe that if 1.4999 Billion Muslims said, “Hey, maybe Surah 5.33, and Surah II. 214 should be reconsidered and recast into something more in line with modern thinking about people’s personal beliefs,” quite a lot of the horror currently going on the the world would become history.

        Unfortunately Islam also teaches that the Qur’an is an infallible text, one that is certainly true and is something that can be safely relied on. Hence to change Surah 5.33 and Surah II. 214 would be to destroy the entire edifice overnight and is therefore not going to happen.

        Was the average German shopkeeper in Berlin responsible for what went on in Bergen-Belsen? Is the average Muslim responsible for what is going on in Talibanland?

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2

      VV
      I repeat what CV said at 6 1 1
      Be careful not to become the agent of hate you claim to abhor

      Self-righteous anger is an indulgence. What must restrain us is to remember that we are part of the human race and we know from history (recorded) that terrible things are done by humans, we have the potential to go along with cruelty even if we don’t commit it. So self-righteousness can lead to an excess of punitive behaviour to the offender. Then the balance of righteousness tips away from you. Be aware of your own faults and temper your judgment and anger.

  8. Murray Olsen 8

    I’ve supervised two female Muslim students for their MSc degrees, one from Iran and one from Saudi Arabia. The Iranian one was far more “western” in her outlook, taking pretty much the same view of the Koran as many Christians take of the Bible. The Saudi one, while she was required to cover her face at home, uncovered it here because she said covering it made more people look at her. She also didn’t want to learn to drive because she said her husband would just send her out shopping more if she drove. Both of them said their families and friends supported their becoming more educated, and both had scholarships from their governments.

    If I were to believe half of what I read about Muslim women in the western press, these two would have been figments of my imagination. I also have male Muslim friends who treat women as equals, or at least as much as most Kiwi males do. I think a lot of the misogyny and ill treatment of women comes from tribal cultures that predate Islam. As with all religions, those who do what we consider wrong can always find excuses for it in their scriptures. I don’t know where our members of parliament get their excuses from, maybe Prosser and Tamihere could enlighten us.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      Ditto, Murray.

      I’ve taught hundreds of Muslim students over the years. The vast majority were a delight to teach. A handful were tossers, like the handful of Maori/Pakeha/Chinese etc tossers (mind you, the tossers of all races and religions were nearly always male, so maybe that’s the real problem – oops, I’ve gone all feminist – Prosser will be pleased!).

      Let’s face it, the best way to be prejudiced against Muslims is not to connect with them, except as telly tropes. Some obviously like that ignorance, it’s comforting and undemanding.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Prosser/Vinscreen (and a fair few others on Kiwiblog etc) are classic cases of conveniently defining “other” to suit their prejudices.

    Crimes committed against Muslims are never committed by Us. But crimes committed by Muslims are always committed by Them.

    So the mass murder of Muslims at Srebrenica wasn’t by Our Lot, nor was every other atrocity from the Crusades to drones, from centuries of Christian history to Iraq and Afghanistan today. It was done by Some Other Lot, who we don’t want to get lumped in with. We’ll call them extremists, not like Us. Convenient, eh?

    But any and every crime committed “in the name of Islam” is by Muslims – and all of them can share the stigma.

    This is the logic of the bigot.

    • Instauartion 9.1

      Like the Western “wrong side of History” sanctions imposed on Iraq in Aug 1990. They persisted for + twelve years, and resulted in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

  10. Vinscreen Viper 10

    Gobsmacked

    “But any and every crime committed “in the name of Islam” is by Muslims – and all of them can share the stigma. This is the logic of the bigot.”

    No. It’s the question I posed above regarding the Berlin shopkeeper’s responsibility for Bergen-Belsen – a question with far wider ramifications and fundamental to ethics.

    No single German shopkeeper could have stopped Bergen-Belsen. Every single German shopkeeper could have. So part of the blame for Bergen-Belsen rests with every single German shopkeeper?

    “The abuse of Māori by past governments is well documented involving not only land theft and illegal confiscations but numerous human rights abuses including racial discrimination, murder, armed aggression, and illegal incarceration. If reconciliation between Māori and Pākehā is an important part of nation building then an apology would seem to be in order.”

    “But any and every crime committed [against Maori] is by [Pakeha] – and all of them can share the stigma. This is the logic of the bigot.”

    I stated above that I believe the Muslim Community – not individual Moslems but all of them – could put a stop to the Taliban and “Islamic Fundamentalism” horrors like Mali &tc. by repudiating the parts of the Qur’an that enable them. I also stated above why I believe the Muslim Community won’t do that. If you have the power to do something to stop evil but do not exercise that power are you not also evil?

    • Instauartion 10.1

      And the Western Community can “put a stop” to the Western horrors imposed upon Muslims. Those Westerners who can contribute to the prevention of these horrors – but don’t, are Evil.

      • Vinscreen Viper 10.1.1

        That is the logical sequitur. And I do what little I can to prevent those horrors, by voting for political parties that don’t support ‘foreign adventures’, by supporting in a small way those charities who do what they can do clean up the mess – when they are allowed to by, ah well, we won’t go into that – and adding my little voice to organisations that take such a stand.

        On the other hand, of course, the West’s intervention in Afghanistan – and France’s intervention into Mali – was at least ostensibly to free the citizens of those benighted countries from the horrors of the Taliban and Islamic Fundamentalism which raises yet more fascinating moral questions.

        And let it not be overlooked that a substantial conribution to the horror that was Iraq was the ensuing conflict between Shi’a and Sunni which the West’s intervention enabled.

  11. Instauration 11

    Iraq sanctions do really put the concerns of 11/09/2001 into perspective, “911” was big – but the impact of the sanctions were horrendously bigger!

    • the pigman 11.1

      Whilst I sympathise with where you’re coming from, please don’t be so casual about causally linking the impact of sanctions on Iraq to the acts of 11/09/2001. It’s a little flippant.

      • Instauration 11.1.1

        Respectfully – Mr Pigman
        Me be Flippant or Cognitively Dissonant ? – rather the former/

  12. Lloyd 12

    Stone age religion?

    Where did Damascus steel come from?

    • Vinscreen Viper 12.1

      And is what is currently happening in Damascus the West’s fault?

      You could ask where the concept of zero came from, but I’m not quite sure what the point is you’re trying to make. If it’s that Islam at one time allowed free scientific enquiry I won’t argue, but so did Ancient Greece with its Pantheon of Nature Gods. China under its peculiar eclectic collection of religions contrived to invent gunpowder, the compass, paper and printing. An oppressively Christianised Britain managed to invent the steam engine and kick off the Industrial Revolution. Galileo might have some interesting views on religion and science as might John Thomas Scopes but by and large religion and science have managed to ignore each other reasonably well.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Sounds like you accept that Islam has been a leading light of social enlightenment and scientific inquiry in the recent past (last 1000 years).

        • Vinscreen Viper 12.1.1.1

          I would prefer to say that, unlike Roman Catholicism, Islam hasn’t been too much of a hindrance to scientific enquiry, nor indeed social enlightenment unless you happen to be a woman.

          • tracey 12.1.1.1.1

            which is about half the population ;)

            This is about people’s (some) inability to judge a person by their action alone. The need to label people and put them in a box is diversive and ignorant.

            Mr Prosser (rhymes with…) thought he was above the law regarding banned objects on planes. He was called on it. The fact they let him get away with it numerous times before simply means he was being treated exceptionally and unlike the average person. To be so (sadly) attached to a knife is scary. To react this way because he was subject to the law of the land is scary. It makes me wonder how much of every day he is walking around tight as a screw restraining himself from letting his usual thoughts out?

            Given he is an MP with the attendant perks, I am surprised he ever needs to use his knife when away from home.

            Almost worse than the carefully written article (carefully, as in considered and not spur of the moment) is the excuses he is now peddling.

            That the political journalists and fellow MPs dont think this is a sackable offensive speaks volumes about their collective ethics also. Sacking him does not remove his right to speak freely. Let him speak freely but not from the tax payer funded platform he is now using.

            • Vinscreen Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              “This is about people’s (some) inability to judge a person by their action alone.” – Tracey.

              I prefer to say ‘this’ (in the sense of the subject of the thread) is about rights of free speech.

              “The need to label people and put them in a box is diversive and ignorant.”

              In my opinion people who subscribe to organised religions put themselves in a box with a lable.

              “Mr Prosser (…) thought he was above the law regarding banned objects on planes.”

              I’m not sure he saw himself as being above the law. What I’ve heard and read of his complaint is that he resents the fact that the actions of a very few resulted in the imposition of inconvenient and largely unnecessary laws restricting the rights and freedoms of the many.

              “It makes me wonder how much of every day he is walking around tight as a screw restraining himself from letting his usual thoughts out?”

              And do we not wonder if there might be a disconnect between what John Key says and what he thinks? Except when he is having a cup of tea. And not only John Key, of course.

              “That the political journalists and fellow MPs dont think this is a sackable offensive speaks volumes about their collective ethics also.”

              You are right. This is a matter of ethics. Perhaps political journalists and fellow MPs still hold to the idea that “I might not agree with what you say but (unless it’s actually illegal) I will defend your right to say it.” Or is that one of these Western, secular concepts 14-year-old girls deserve to be shot in the head for having.

              “Let him speak freely but not from the tax payer funded platform he is now using.”

              He did not make his comments from a taxpayer funded platform. He was yesterday denied to right to speak to explain himself and his views in that very taxpayer funded platform which declared: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” (s.14 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990)

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry mate hate speech against religious groups doesn’t count.

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  Closing down the right of free speech is something you need to be very, very careful about.

                  Yes, in his column in the “Enquirer”, which I haven’t read, Prosser appears to have been deliberately offensive in his terminolgy. Do you believe what he wrote sufficient to found a prosecution under s.25 Race Relations Act 1971? If you do bring a private prosecution. Personally I don’t believe you would be successful on a number of grounds, amongst which is the fact that religious belief is quite deliberately excluded from s25 as a subject for “inciting hostility..” etc. – probably because there are religions which will respond quite violently to what most rational people would regard as no more than mild criticism, but also because while New Zealand respects a person’s right to believe what he wants, it also requires that person to repect the rights of others to challenge it.

                  For myself I would accept that what Prosser wrote was just a poor journalist’s attempt at gaining attention by ‘shocking’ his readership, and letting off a little spleen along the way. He clearly misjudged the response he would get, but it falls a long way short of a deliberate attempt to incite hatred. In short I would attribute it to idiocy rather than malice.

                  In any case do you really think the feelings of a bunch of characters who think nothing a flogging a woman with 100 lashes simply for walking beside a man she was not related to, burying homosexuals alive and lopping the hands of thieves would be hurt by the inane comments of hack journalist in a New Zealand Magazine?

                  I might not agree with what Prosser said but as I believe it was not actually illegal I will defend his right to say it – a right I believe in anyway but enshrined in the Bill of Rights. You, though, refuse him that right because you don’t agree with him – as did Parliament yesterday. I believe Parliament was wrong and mob-led where it is the duty of Parliament to protect minorities, even minorities of one, and respect the rights it has granted.

                  Moreover I am disappointed to come across this ‘shut him him up because I don’t agree with him’ attitude on a Left Wing blog.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I appreciate you being such a stalwart constitutional defender of racists with bad judgement, as I’m sure they do too.

                    Now, why don’t you put some effort into protecting the wellbeing and freedom from oppression of the thousands of NZ muslims living in this country.

                    • Vinscreen Viper

                      “I appreciate you being such a stalwart constitutional defender of racists…” – CV

                      “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
                      Because I was not a Socialist.

                      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
                      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

                      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
                      Because I was not a Jew.

                      Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

                      -Martin Niemoller.

                      “Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.” – Hamlet

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Quoting Pastor Niemöller is the last refuge of a scoundrel. No, wait…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi VV

                      Do you even know who was being persecuted here?

                      Lemme clue you in: Prosser is not the fucking victim in this scenario, he’s the perp

                    • Vinscreen viper

                      Let me get this straight CV.

                      Prosser gratuitously and clumsily insults a gang of thugs who use religion as an excuse for the most sickening barbarities and we label him a racist, send him to Coventry, deny him his legally enshrined right to speak to the matter, refuse to let him apologise, demand his resignation, insult him with obscenities and generally act like gang of bullies. Right?

                      Remind me. Who was it who told me to: “Be careful not to become the agent of hate you claim to abhor”?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah I guess?

                      Because if you were serious about the problem of militant islamic radicalisation you’d denounce Prosser too, for setting any serious discussion on the topic well backwards.

                    • McFlock

                      Prosser gratuitously and clumsily insults a gang of thugs who use religion as an excuse for the most sickening barbarities and we label him a racist,

                      Nope.
                      He insulted everyone who shared a religion or came from the Middle East based on a very small percentage of either population.. That’s what makes him a racist.

                      As opposed to people who want HIM to answer for HIS statements, statements that bring his employer (the entire nation of New Zealand) ) into disrepute.

                    • Daveosaurus

                      … The irony of quoting Niemoller to justify your support of Prosser’s bigoted ravings is overwhelming. Maybe if, eighty to a hundred years ago, more people had been willing to administer a rhetorical kicking to the Prossers of this world, Niemoller wouldn’t have had to try to articulate his wrestling with his conscience on account of six million dead “Other”.

                      I personally do not intend to be put in the spot of having to start off such a statement with “First they came for the Muslims…”; and if Prosser’s career and reputation is collateral damage for doing so, then so be it.

          • stargazer 12.1.1.1.2

            “Islam hasn’t been too much of a hindrance to scientific enquiry, nor indeed social enlightenment unless you happen to be a woman.”

            and you thereby erase the work of millions of muslim women around the world in the past and the present. you erase the achievements of nobel prize winners shirin ebadi and tawakkul karman. you erase the existence of women leaders such as benazir bhutto (prime minister of pakistan) and khaleda zia (prime minister of bangladesh. you ignore the efforts of fawzia koofi, presidential candidate in afghanistan for the second time running. you’re denying the existence and influence of muslim women leaders in history, such as razia sultan and the empress nur jahan. you erase the exitence of the multitude of muslim scientists working across the globe both in the east and the west. and the muslim women activists who are putting their well-being on the line every to day to, for example, fight against female genital cutting in northern africa or fight for the right to drive in saudi arabia.

            you have erased the existence and achievements of all of these millions of wonderful muslim just as effectively as any backward mullah would have. congratualations for sounding pretty much like the people who you claim to despise.

            and i have to wonder yet again why you have so many words to say on a topic about which you are so clearly ignorant.

            • Vinscreen Viper 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Like ColonialViper you seem unable to grasp the possibility that I can hate cancer while loving a friend who is dying of it. I loath Roman Catholicism while being perfectly well able to be friends and have relationships with Roman Catholics. I would find it abhorrent to vote for the National Party, but am quite happy to share a drink and a joke and work of various local projects – and even discuss politics – with those I know do.

              I loath Islam, but have nothing against Moslems* unless they prove themselves loathsome by, for example, creating societies which require ” muslim women activists who are putting their well-being on the line every to day to, for example, fight against female genital cutting in northern africa or fight for the right to drive in saudi arabia.” Or who are preapred to kill of 14-year-old girls – and all their family – just because they want to have an education.

              Women like Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousufzai are astonishing. That says nothing to me about Islam. To claim as you seem to be doing that many Muslem woman are astonishing because they risk their lives standing up against the oppression of women, ‘female circumcision’, for the right to drive and all the rest – and let me add the them the women of the Kabul Knitting Circle – says a huge amount to me about the courage and fortitude of Moslem women. But it also says a lot to me about the religion that requires that courage and fortitude of them.

              *Qualification. I could wish they would think themselves free of it, but unless they wanted to talk with me about it would never seek to ‘unevanglise’ them as it’s none of my business.

              • RedLogix

                You’re making a common mistake. The literal interpretation of scripture is almost always the least significant meaning of the text. The prime domain of religion is the abstract, figurative and philosophic. At the very core of religion lies an unknowable essence our minds cannot grasp, paradoxes we can never definitely answer.

                Yet a religious community exists in this world, and in order to function it needs laws, institutions, leaders and customs. These are solely a matter of contingency.

                For this reason all religions have two aspects; the external and non-essential and the inner eternal core of truth.

                Fundamentalists centre their understanding of the religion on the outward, literal and non-essential aspects of religion. Which is why for instance they get stuck on laws, rituals and customs which have long, long outlived their original meaning or purpose.

                • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                  RedLogix
                  +1

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  I came across the following comment:

                  “Religion universally breaks into three levels: an elite level that is concerned with the nature of reality and similar questions of truth, a popular level usually following a figurehead teaching a moral and social code, and a folk level concerned with ritual, prayer, spells, etc.”

                  I would agree with this in regard to many Eastern traditions and, in the West, as to the popular and folk levels. The elite-level observation is appropriate to Christianity, except that the Christian elite seems intent on pursuing the nature of reality and truth independently of any input from science, despite its doing exactly the same. I do not know if such an elite level still exists in Islam, although it clearly once did.

                  RedLogix, I’m not sure of your point, and what you regard as ‘my common mistake’. If you are saying that I shouldn’t blame ‘Islam” for what a small minority do in its name because they’ve misunderstood or misread it or are taking it too literally, I can’t agree. Fortunately Christianity no-longer burns witches and heretics but Islam has defined itself as the infallable, unchallengeable words of God and if those words can legalistically be twisted to permit the murder of anyone for offending some ordinance any murder done under the cover of that interpretation can to my mind be attributed to the word of God.

                  Yes, you can argue that “wage war against Allah and his Messenger” in Surah 5.33 only refers to formal military aggression as per a Crusade, but if the Mullah down the road declares that it includes putting up a web-site challenging the authenticity of the Qur’an, who is right? I have no idea what “making mischief in the land” is in the original Arabic let alone what a 7th Century Arab would have understood by it, but it would appear to me to be able to made to cover whatever sin you like.

                  NoseViper, I don’t know what stargazer wants me to say. The only thing I would disagree with her over is any suggestion that Moslem women are better than the women of any other religion just because they’re Moslem, but I don’t think she’s saying that.

                  • RedLogix

                    Fortunately Christianity no-longer burns witches and heretics but Islam has defined itself as the infallable, unchallengeable words of God and if those words can legalistically be twisted to permit the murder of anyone for offending some ordinance any murder done under the cover of that interpretation can to my mind be attributed to the word of God.

                    True … but for much of it’s history Christianity did. As did Judaism.

                    My point is simple. All religion go through phases, some of them markedly more fundamentalist and literal than others. Only extremist fundamentalist, orthodox adherents take every word of the Bible literally these days. Unfortunately, and on this I agree with you, a large portion of the Islamic population does take the Koran literally.

                    That’s not because of Islam, but because of the politics of the religion. I think it very worthwhile and useful to make the distinction.

                    • Vinscreen Viper

                      “That’s not because of Islam, but because of the politics of the religion.”

                      To my mind that’s a distinction without a difference

                      But I take your broader point and concur.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  Yep!

  13. oh really VV. and yet you are prepared to make throwaway comments that erase the work of muslim women, who are not “astonishing” but just every day women around the world who continue doing their thing with very little acknowledgement and very much casual contempt in the narratives spread around by people like you. it is only after my comment above yours that you could even be bothered to admit that we exist, we have agency and we contribute in a vast number of ways. in fact you haven’t even managed to do the latter two points at all – you haven’t yet been able to bring yourself to acknowledge the women scientists, engineers, philosophers, artists, and so on. you haven’t yet been able to acknowledge our existance as whole human beings, as just people. nor have you been able to acknowledge that for a large number of muslim women, our contributions are made because of our religious faith, not inspite of it. it is because of my faith that i am involved in the various NGOs i work with in this country, working to improve the lives of muslims and non-muslims, women and men, and society as a whole.

    and i’m done wasting my time with you. i know there’s nothing i’m going to say that will change your thinking, and i’m sure i’ve done enough to show clearly just arrogant, patronising and condescending your views are. and just remember, we muslim women don’t need people like you white-knighting for us. we are capable and much stronger than you’re willing to admit, and no, that’s not just the few i’ve named, and no, it’s not in any way astonishing.

  14. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 14

    More heat than light you arguers. Probably if you stopped and looked you would find you agree generally, differing on the emphasis on certain points.

  15. well, this should certainly make mr prosser and any supporters of his happy: http://newsok.com/cair-officials-man-sentenced-to-life-without-air-travel/article/3754641

    i believe this is exactly what he was wanting, so be at peace sir. your wish has been granted, in this one case at least. no doubt there are other such cases.

  16. Huginn 16

    Meanwhile, from a Muslim man:

    “Everyone plays a role in society. Seventy per cent of graduates are women, 65 per cent of women are part of the government, and 30 per cent are leaders already.

    “Women work hard and achieve more, they have a brighter future. We have plans for women, and the men should watch out, for the women will take their positions.”

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cheering on the role of Emirati women earlier this week

  17. Instauration 17

    Crikey!
    No wonder those who worshipped the Crusaders felt the ground shake beneath them.

  18. Instauration 18

    Does Pakistan have a representative Sporting team (maybe cricket) called the “Jihadists” ?

  19. Instauration 19

    Crikey;
    No wonder – those who worshipped the “Crusaders” felt the ground shake beneath them!

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    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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