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Tory charity

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, March 19th, 2009 - 137 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

America's culture of giving

America's culture of giving

According to the Herald John Key has declared people should spend their tax-cuts on charities and wants an American “culture of giving” to the needy.

I’m just stunned. His plan is to take money out of the pockets of low income New Zealanders to create tax cuts for the rich and then encourage those low-income Kiwis to beg for Tory charity?

Here’s a hint John. In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. Stop dismantling ours.

137 comments on “Tory charity”

  1. Mike 1

    Mr Key said about 60 per cent of the population donated in some way each year without knowing they could claim some of the amount back as a rebate.

    “Imagine someone who used to give $10,000 to an organisation.

    “Now with the tax deductions, they get a third of that back. So they can give $15,000 and with the rebate, their net giving is the same. So there’s tremendous capacity for New Zealanders to increase their giving.”

    John Key, yesterday.

    “Even major tax policy changes would not impact their giving. Wealthy donors report that tax considerations are far less important to them than is commonly assumed. For example, more than half the respondents (56.1%) said their giving would stay the same even if the estate tax were repealed. Similarly, 51.7% said their giving would stay the same even if there were zero income tax deductions for gifts to charity. In another demonstration of resiliency unrelated to taxes, households with “dramatic decreases” in wealth still gave an average of $121,216 in 2005 to charity, while those with “dramatic increases” were only slightly higher in donations at $141,298.

    Bank Of America Landmark Philanthropy Study 2006

    • lprent 1.1

      Yeah right. What he didn’t say was that few people give away 10k per year. When you can show me that the amount in charity giving even remotely comes close to anything substantial (ie the welfare budgets) during a recession then I maybe could get interested.

      In the US giving to charities goes down in recessions – not up. You notice that John Key conveniently forgot to mention that.

      People then start dying. The guy is a fuckwit.

  2. lprent 2

    John Key is a dipshit. That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve. This is the rights message about welfare. If more is given to charity, then less taxes need to be paid for a welfare system.

    Anyone who has been to the states and looked at their welfare systems knows how appalling it is. Anyone who has looked at how the economy in the US has no bottom knows what happens in a deep recession – people starve or die of preventable causes. The inability of kids with ability to achieve the potential because their parents don’t have enough college money and the limited availabity of scholarships if you are a sports nut, that is simply an appalling waste of human resources.

    To put it simply. I’d far rather dispose of John Key than I would want to move to the “culture of giving”. In practice it doesn’t work. Just look at the US in recession or depression. They have a very limited welfare system and therefore a limited countercyclical economic balance.

    • MacDoctor 2.1

      That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve

      No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t… :-)

      • Redbaiter 2.1.1

        Yes. Put opt out tick boxes on taxation forms relating to welfare payments and see how many tick them.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        It’d be easy enough to figure out how to reduce the amount of tax I pay. I haven’t because generally the taxes in NZ are pretty well spent.

        However I plan not to use the tax cuts to give to any charity apart from causes that look for real change – like getting rid of NACT. I think that would be my most productive use of them.

        Maybe I should make the standard a charity… But it is rather pointless for the amount of money I spend on it.

      • Ag 2.1.3

        No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t

        The correct answer is both. We are compelled to pay for some things that we want, otherwise they wouldn’t get funded. Market Failure is in Economics 101. Charity is inefficient.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Almost all of the tax cuts will land in the pockets of the highest income brackets, who because asset values and cash flows are threatened, will use them to reduce debt.

    Reducing debt is anti-stimulatory. The Taxcuttasaurous Party is going to find that at this point in time, it’s single, and only, real policy… will have exactly the opposite effect than what they vainly imagined.

  4. keith 4

    phil goff quote from the article:

    “It smacks of the old aristocracy to say ‘we will make things worse for the low-income people and then, out of the generosity of my heart, I will call on other well-heeled people to donate theirs to charity’.”

    fuckin’eh

  5. r0b 5

    Tory charity has never worked, and never will work. There is no society (current or historical) where the benevolent actions of individuals adequately take care of those in need.

    Furthermore, proportionately, the poor are more generous than the rich. Those that have the least give the most:

    The poor are more generous than the rich when it comes to giving to good causes, according to research which challenges the “Robin Hood” myth of charity as an agent of redistribution.

    A study published today finds that the least well-off give a higher proportion of their income to charity than the wealthy, no matter what their age, class or beliefs.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly you’re far more intelligent than that.

      Also in response to IBs faux outrage at Key’s comments do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference or is the outrage merely more ill considered spin out of the EPMU/Labour party.

      IrishBill: My outrage is based on seeing this type of policy leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s. Stick your mealy-mouthed ” Labour/EPMU” bullshit up your arse and don’t come back here for a month you smarmy fucker.

      • keith 5.1.1

        “do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference”

        that’s exactly it, he’ll blow smoke up anyone’s arse (see what he said at the CTU meeting) but his actions are all rehashed, failed right wing policies.

      • Mike Collins 5.1.2

        IB – I can understand if you are upset about a policy. But to fly off the handle by banning someone is grossly over the top here. It’s not like he called you a fuckwit or a dipshit.

        • Matthew Pilott 5.1.2.1

          Mike, someone making some fairly crude and obnoxious observations would strike me as far worse that using childish vulgar insults. I’m amused you find that worse, to be honest, it strikes me as an immature attitude to have.

        • IrishBill 5.1.2.2

          I’ve dedicate most of my life to left causes and left principles and I get really angry when people try to claim I’m engaging in tribalist “spin”. Rather than attack my politics HS attacked my integrity and so he got banned.

          • Mike Collins 5.1.2.2.1

            Thanks IB (and Matt) for pointing out your rationale. I do find it strange though that you appear to think, and correct me if I am wrong, that attacks on integrity don’t go both ways. I have never seen someone banned here who is left leaning for attacking the character or integrity of someone from the right. Mind you I don’t expect to see them banned – I think people should be able to confront assertions about their integrity. Without looking at the merits of HS’s statement, it is valid in politics to question the motives and integrity of opponents. Getting upset about that in my view is childish. If you’ve been around a while, and I am sure you have, then you would have encountered this before and will do again in the future. Laugh it off – or better still point out exactly why someone is a dunce for questioning your integrity

          • Felix 5.1.2.2.2

            One aspect you may not be aware of, Mike, is that HS has also been around a while and it’s not the first time he’s been warned about making these exact (or very similar) character attacks.

          • Inventory2 5.1.2.2.3

            In hindsight IB, if you’re trying to enforce standards, might a less emotive send-off to higherstandard have been appropriate? To ban someone using a string of expletives does seem a touch – ummm – hypocritical ;-)

            IrishBill: You’re not getting all prissy are you IV2?

          • Ag 5.1.2.2.4

            Good for you IB. These trolls have nothing to contribute.

      • Sorry HS, wasn’t it you who was the other day extrapolating a survey of the last 6 weeks of the election campaign out too the entire election year?

      • r0b 5.1.4

        Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly

        Fair call, I only quoted one little survey, because I wasn’t writing an epic. But I was aware of several more with the same message. Proportionately the poor give more:

        http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/02/19/Poor-Give-More-to-Charity

        http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=4&page=161#50

        http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-welfarecharity.htm

        http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2

        and so on and so on, lots of little studies with the same message.

        Sorry about your ban, but you should have sussed by now that IB doesn’t do “faux” anything – his outrage is real, and justifiably so. The burden of hard times always falls hardest on those that have the least. That combined with a government whose priorities, shall we say, lie elsewhere, mean that the less well off in our country are in for a bumpy ride. And it sucks.

      • Inventory2 5.1.5

        Not getting prissy at all Bill – just making an observation that you were responding in a way that many others have been banned for – while banning someone!

        As for your comments re “dire poverty”. My wife and I visited Ethiopia last year – we saw and experienced dire poverty there, and it bore no relationship to anything we’ve ever seen in New Zealand or any other first-world country. I guess it depends on whether your definition of poverty is whether you can afford to pay your SkyTV bill, or whether your children will eat this week, or even survive the week.

        And while we’re talking about “tory charity”, meeting one of the children we sponsor while we were in Ethipia is something that we will never, ever forget.

      • jtuckey 5.1.6

        Eh …… charity leads to tens of thousands of people in dire poverty ?

  6. This post would make a lot more sense to me if Key had cut welfare benefits to fund his tax cuts. He doesn’t appear to have, so I have to admit I’m not exactly sure how you sustain your argument about him dismantling the fabric of society.

    Americans do give over 2% of GDP to charity. It’s hard to see that in itself as bad.

    • Tane 6.1

      Tom, Key has repealed Labour’s tax cuts for low-middle income families. Anyone on $44,000 a year or less with a family receives a tax increase. At the same time he’s using that money to cut the top tax rate. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

      • cocamc 6.1.1

        Tane – Was Labour going to keep their tax cut program if returned to power? All I hear is that they would have cancelled them – which wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      does that 2% include the tithings to mega churches, and the televangalists? Genuine question, as I don’t know.

      • Macro 6.2.1

        Of course it does they are all set up as charities.

        • Tom Mathews 6.2.1.1

          Pascal: About a third of it goes to religious organisations. Many of these are quite worthy charities, running soup kitchens etc, although they obviously aren’t just in it for the sake of it – they want conversions to their church.

          I couldn’t actually say if a televangelist counts as a charity or not. I suspect it might. So it is probably fair to say that less than 2% of GDP actually goes to worthy charities. I doubt there is such thing as a perfect charity however, although I guess there are some clear cases of bad ones.

          The figures are from here
          http://www.nptimes.com/08July/7-1%20Special%20Report.pdf

          Tane: You may be right, I am not familiar enough with the intricacies of both the plans. Our tax system is already pretty highly progressive though. My impression is that National’s alterations don’t change the underlying structure of that.

  7. Tigger 7

    Hey, I’ve heard the Sensible Sentencing Trust is a charity – maybe I should give my tax cut to them? :-)

    I don’t want an American culture of anything in New Zealand, I don’t want their gun culture or their fast food culture or their reality TV culture or their race relations culture or their treatment of their indigenous people culture or the political advertising culture…Mr Key, you may be desperate to appease your US big brothers (father issues much?) but leave the rest of us out of it.

    I’m really glad to see this government finally being questioned on what they’re doing – maybe they’ll pull back on their shock and awe tactics for a while…

    • keith 7.1

      “..(father issues much?) ….”

      hehe dead on, nice one tig

      • That’s a bit of a low blow guys…

        • Tigger 7.1.1.1

          Actually from a psychological perspective Key has a classic case of trying to please powerful men/companies/nations. That’s bleeding into how he runs the country (into the ground).

          Key himself has put his upbringing on the table – I’m just making a meal of it.

  8. justthefacts 8

    What on earth is wrong with letting me keep a bit more of my money Irish?

    You claim that the lowest paid are about to have money taken from their own pockets, that is of course false, the money they have in their pockets comes from those who you falsely label as the “rich”.

    The reality is that most of those who are going to receive a tax cut are the very ones who have been pillaged by Labour for the last nine years.

    Let the so called “rich pricks” donate to who they wish, those of us in the middle class are sick of seeing our money wasted on dole bludgers and DPB beneficences.

  9. Kevin Welsh 9

    The words of this fuckwit get more bizarre by the week. The more I think about it, the more Michael Cullen was correct in referring to them as a bunch or rich pricks.

  10. Monty 10

    Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take. Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to. John key himself is reputed to donate nearly all of his Prime Ministerial salary – I note you would never mention that – he is at least putting his money where his mouth is.

    And of course the good thing is that organisations such as Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Social Services, Presbertarian Support, Red Cross, Fred Hollows Foundation to name but a few do so much more with so much less money than any Government organisation ever could. An example is the 400 eye operations directly as a consequence of the money donated for John Key’s plaster cast.

    But all we see from this blog is criticism. Maybe you need to realise that you obsession with our very popular Prime Minister is simply a wasted and furtile effort.

    • r0b 10.1

      Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money

      The work may be different, but it isn’t necessarily “harder” than the work done by lower income earners. And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

      and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take.

      Not by international standards.

      Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to.

      More in absolute terms, less as a percentage of income than those in lower brackets.

      • Monty 10.1.1

        Of course those who earn more money have a skill set for which other businesses or groups are prepared to pay – probably because the economic contribution or skill set is worth it. I have skills that two different organistions are prepared to pay top dollar for. As a result I will also pay a hell of a lot of tax – around $120k this year – proportionally that is much much more that most if not all the socialists who write here would even earn in a year – so don’t talk to me about absolute or %. I also give to charities and help out family members because they simply don’t have money. I know you hate tory Charity – but my labour voting (and ignorant) in-laws are very happy to receive such charity.

        I also work much harder than any damn socialist I know – but one thing socialists I do know all seem to have in common – they are very happpy to receive the benfits of Tory Charity.

        Goof made a fool of himself this morning – please send a note to him to continue his good work.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          Why Monty you are practically a saint. I bet you would never say something like: “Personaly i do not give too much of a shit about the lower clasess – I am not one of them but i never planned to be. Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves.” I can never imagine you ranting: “Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves. When I see the parasite brother-in-law living off my hard earned taxes … I no longer give a shit about the parasites”. And so on. And so on. Tory charity indeed.

          so don’t talk to me about absolute or %

          Why not? Your personal image of yourself as a superhuman and god’s gift to the deserving poor is irrelevant to the fact that the low income earners, whom you despise so much, are more generous than the rich.

      • Phil 10.1.2

        And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

        I’m guessing that it hasn’t occured to you that a lot of those ‘lazy sods’ were the guys buring the candle from both ends, working 16 hour days, during their 20’s and 30’s?

    • Ag 10.2

      Yeah right. When I was a student I was employed in a particularly hot summer as a drain digger for a local plumber.

      People doing things like that do hard work, as do people in things like the SAS. Desk jockeys do not.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    ” In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. ”

    Well of course all depends upon your definition of decency doesn’t it?

    There’s actually a lot that is immoral about the society the so called social democrats have built. You cannot have decency when you have immorality.

    Here’s whats immoral.

    – Working families that need money to survive and to plan for their children’s education and their retirement having that money compulsory confiscated by the state and used to buy the votes of bludgers and no hopers.

    – Power obsessed politicians who seek election by promising to legislatively rob the productive and share the proceeds of that robbery with those who will vote for them.

    – it is immoral because of its socially destructive long term outcomes. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialism works OK until you run out of other people’s money”. She was right of course, for having the fruits of your labour stolen from you by unprincipled politicians provides a serious disincentive to produce. Eventually there’s nothing to steal and only widespread poverty remains.

    The political system that you refer today as “social democracy” is a ruinous and amoral system that can only eventually end in disaster. Its major flaws are compulsion, waste and inefficiency and the dis-incentivisation of production, and it will never work in the long term because of these flaws.

    A prosperous society is what we should aim for. Social Democracy takes us away from this goal.

    “Decency” is much more akin to charity than it is to compulsion.

    • grumpy 11.1

      Very intelligent and insightful reply.

      Careful though, you’ll get banned.

      • Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

        • Lew 11.1.1.1

          KITNO,

          Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

          Any socialist except Lenin, Stalin, Mao, CeauÅŸescu, Pol Pot, Kim, and plenty of others.

          Say what you like about Maggie, and I’m no defender of hers, but she never lined innocent citizens up before a firing squad or sentenced them to starvation by their thousands in the name of ideology.

          L

          • Redbaiter 11.1.1.1.1

            True, but why bother with this pissant and his infantile one line crap? Utterly worthless.

          • Killinginthenameof 11.1.1.1.2

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

          • Lew 11.1.1.1.3

            KITNO,

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            You would be wrong, then. As I frequently get told when I bag the commies, Communism was never achieved, only various forms of proto-socialism. It’s largely irrelevant in any case – it’s a difference of degree, not of kind.

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

            Contrary to what Redbaiter might say, that’s not socialism – it’s social democracy. Not socialist democracy either.

            L

          • ak 11.1.1.1.4

            C’mon Lew – you’re far too good for a cheap Godwin. Killy’s quite right: Maggie et al’s ideology gave us the nasty nineties and is currently brewing another ocean of tears and misery. Saying “Pol Pot was worse” doesn’t help a lot down at our foodbank……

          • Snail 11.1.1.1.5

            Care to put me wise, Lew, to the meaning of “ideology”.

      • Redbaiter 11.1.2

        “Careful though, you’ll get banned.”

        Maybe, maybe not. The guys who run this site give me a pretty fair go.

        I have the feeling they’re more down to earth working class than some of the insufferable ivory tower elitists out there who run blogs. Those cut off from the real world academics who only ever think of working people in patronizing terms.

        Like me, the Standard guys have probably poured placed vibrated and screeded their fare share of ready mixed.

        I’ve been banned from the so called Libertarians though.

        Just goes to show you don’t it?

  12. vto 12

    Red rags to bulls IB.

    The left and the right often completely fail to understand each others position. This thread is a classic. Hardcore lefties consider the right to have an underlying greed and as such never be charitable. Your headline “Tory charity” is a brazen red rag clearly designed to infuriate those on the left who in their eyes never see those two words used together legitimately.

    Your words censoring HS straight back at you.

  13. justthefacts 13

    “leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s.”

    What utter rubbish, even if it were true you remained strangely silent during the last nine years Irish or has “dire poverty” just occurred overnight?

    The 90’s were a great time for most Kiwi’s, those who worked hard bettered themselves, those who put the effort in did well, those who were happy to sit on their bums and do nothing got bugger all….which is just how it should always be.

    • Yeah irish! where are your blog posts from the 1990’s!! and what about rogernomics, didn’t see you posting anything negative here back in the 80’s when is was labour that stood for it, you party line running lickspittle!

      • Redbaiter 13.1.1

        Wow, your name is linked to a blog that hasn’t had a post made since August 2008. Because nobody is interested in your wittering half witted rubbish. If I was Bill I’d ban you on the grounds that almost every one of your posts is just cluttering infantile nonsense. Like dog shit on the pavement.

        • Felix 13.1.1.1

          If those were grounds for a banning there wouldn’t be anyone here but you though, baiter.

          • Redbaiter 13.1.1.1.1

            Just read the last dozen posts from this loon. Almost every one is one or two lines of doctrinal nonsense. Nothing to challenge. Nothing interesting. Nothing new. Nothing fresh. Just mealy mouthed same old same old robotic spite and intolerance.

        • Blogging seemed like a good idea when I wasn’t so busy, but as things picked up, It was very early to go by the way side, sorry about that.

          I wonder thought if some of your dislike from me stems from my occasional persistence for getting a straight answer out of you?

        • roger nome 13.1.1.3

          As opposed to your last comment RB – which was only illuminating to people to people to haven’t come across you before – i.e. it shows how much of a hypocritical fuckwit you are.

  14. IrishBill 14

    vto, it’s got nothing to do with what I think of those on the right but with what happened the last time these sentiments were expressed (mostly by then Minister for Social Development Jenny Shipley). And what happened was we had widespread poverty, third world diseases spread through poor areas and foodbanks couldn’t keep up.

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will. Private charity also frequently has an element of moral compulsion added to it that amounts to social engineering by those that can afford it (such as fundamentalist churches). I’d much rather a system where people were provided with a safety net and thus allowed the freedom to live as self-determining individuals.

  15. Stephen 15

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will.

    That’s because with a welfare state taking a large proportion of taxes, these taxes cannot be put to use in the hands of private charity. Your statement could only be proved accurate (in future – re: your “never will”) if someone experimented with getting rid of the welfare state for a decade or so.

    • Tane 15.1

      Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

      Did the Britain of Charles Dickens have a comparable level of social welfare and public services made up by private charity?

      The answer to both of those questions is no, and you know it. Feel free to demonstrate otherwise with some facts and figures.

    • Snail 15.2

      hi Stephen,

      would you be so kind as to explain to me how getting rid of the welfare would be an experiment..

  16. Julie 16

    Isn’t relying on charity a huge inefficient way of looking after those in need? Wouldn’t it be much more efficient, and take advantage of economies of scale, to do it through a progressive taxation system and state-provision of services?

    • Redbaiter 16.1

      For God’s sake? More efficient?? Are you completely nuts?? Read my post at 9:13

      • Julie 16.1.1

        The problem with your approach RedBaiter is that you seem to think that tax is only paid by one group, and that those who benefit from state provisions are another group entirely. Ie those who pay tax don’t benefit, and those who benefit don’t pay tax.

        I pay tax, a reasonable amount actually, and I also benefit. Everytime I drive somewhere I’m doing so on roads paid for by your tax, my tax, everyone’s tax. Even those on benefits pay tax. And there’s GST that everyone pays everytime they buy milk at the dairy.

        Beneficiaries (in the broad sense, not just those on benefits) are taxpayers. They are not mutually exclusive groups.

  17. justthefacts 18

    Why can’t I have the choice where the money stolen from me via tax goes?

    Work out how much of that tax goes to pay those on the dole and DPB and let me decide myself what charities get the money, as long as the amount is no less than what the government would take I see no problem with this.

    It would sure make me feel a lot better about where that money goes, I could even hold the charities to account for what they do with that money, wastage would be eliminated overnight.

    • Felix 18.1

      Think it through. Is there a valid reason for applying your idea to the dole and DPB but not to any other areas of public spending?

      • Redbaiter 18.1.1

        Apply it to all. Whats the prob?

        • Felix 18.1.1.1

          The problem is that it’s a completely different argument.

          If he wants to make that argument he should just make it and not piss around with these silly distractions and pretend it’s about the dole and the DPB.

    • Ag 18.2

      Because of market failure.

      Why is it that the political right is completely ignorant of the central economic feature of our societies?

      I mean you guys appear to have no clue of why we actually pay tax.

      Even if everyone had the same income, we would still be better off paying tax.

      Jesus, you folks are ig’nant.

  18. Maybe key has a modest proposal for us to be presented at a slightly later date?

  19. Bill 20

    I understand that in the US there is a culture among the socialites to attend charity fund raising dinners where they compete somewhat on the amount they donate to designated worthy causes.

    Which (apart from the observations already made about private charity being a poor second cousin to state provisioning) is problematic on two fronts. Many are posturing. Their motivation is to score points in the socialite scheme of things rather than exercise any genuine philanthropy. The second is that the worthy causes are selected and therefore probably have to get over a bar of sexy fashionibility to be considered.

    In the eyes of the rich, the poor are neither sexy nor fashionable. They are lesser scum who made bad life choices. They are the threat countering the promised pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They elicit fear, loathing and disgust…not empathy.

    Ever been homeless and hungry? Ever been an integral part of that community for a sustained period of time? If you have been you will know that it is the poor who give to the poor while the wealthy (with very, very few exceptions) hurry by, look the other way. They seem to focus their disgust on the person rather than on the situation and so tend towards favouring the removal of the people rather than removal of the circumstances.

  20. TightyRighty 21

    it was pretty reasonable for the Prime Minister to ask that those who could afford it to donate the extra money in their pocket to charity. I really, really, really fail to see the reason for villification on this issue, party lines or otherwise. If the National party are trusting people to spend their money as they see fit to do so, whats wrong with the Leader of the National party to ask those benefting to show a little generosity of spirit?

    • Tane 21.1

      Because it’s part of an ongoing theme of Key’s – gradually dismantle the remaining elements of social democracy that we have, and hope that private charity will fill the gap. It’s been tried and it’s been failed, and it leads to misery for a whole lot of people. That’s why we brought in the welfare state to start with.

      • jtuckey 21.1.1

        What drivel – private charity has always and will always fill the gap.

        Key is not advocating removal of social welfare nor is anyone apart from the far right lunatics he’s merely saying that if people can afford to give the time or money to charitable causes they should do so – I’d have been appalled if he hadn’t said something like this at a conference on philanthropy.

  21. randal 22

    this “IS” the civil society
    I have more money than you so shut the f*ck up
    or I’ll call the hired goons to fix it so I dont have to listen to your whining about being hungry

  22. justthefacts 23

    Felix

    Fair question; the answer is that the dole and the DPB are the two area’s that I detest funding, they are also areas where we waste so much money.

    • Felix 23.1

      I detest funding lots of things too.

      That in itself doesn’t make a very sound argument for anything in particular though.

  23. Tim Ellis 24

    I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here IB. John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state and I don’t think you can reasonably come up with that analysis.

    Private charity has always existed in New Zealand. It does a lot of good in New Zealand particularly in areas where the state just hasn’t delivered. The Wellington and Auckland City Missions, and the Sallys do amazing work for example. Pretty much all of the voluntary sector wouldn’t exist without private charity.

    All John Key is doing is encouraging people who can afford to donate to charity to do so. I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

    • Matthew Pilott 24.1

      I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

      Not when the money for the tax cuts came at the expense of people who ewarn far less in the first place.

      You’re right about the voluntary sector, of course, but it does pay to remember it only picks up where state welfare left off. I’d put it somewhere around the last 5%, maximum.

      It is also horrendously biased. All the sexy causes do really well, whereas the state allocates according to a level of reasoning, for the most part (although Key and Herceptin clearly shows where politics can get in the way of reason).

  24. r0b 25

    John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state

    No, but he has begun the process of undermining it. And he has replaced Labour’s tax cuts, favouring low income earners, with National’s favouring the rich.

    Leaving Labour’s tax cut structure in place would have done far more for the needy in this country than largely symbolic calls for more charity.

    • Tim Ellis 25.1

      You can hardly say, r0b, that John Key “replaced” Labour’s tax cuts, which weren’t even implemented, and which Phil Goff has basically subsequently said would have been cancelled anyway. So assuming that Labour’s tax cuts would have remained in place is nonsense.

      • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1

        r0b can say that Tim, because that is what Key’s government has done . Replaced labour’s legislated tax cuts with some of their own. It is perfectly fair to say so.

        If Labour had won, Goff wouldn’t be leader. Assuming any counterfactual to be true leads to nonsense. In any case we know that Labour wouldn’t have replaced the tax cuts they had legislated for with some that fovoured the more wealthy. Which was the point.

        • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1

          I think it’s fair to assume, r0b, that Labour’s tax policy wouldn’t have changed just by virtue of a change of leadership. Labour has advocated cancelling future rounds of tax cuts. It is a reasonable guess therefore that Labour would have cancelled the future tax cuts that it legislated for. National retained Labour’s first round of tax cuts. So it is a nonsense to say that National’s tax cuts were at the expense of low-income New Zealanders when those taxpayers would not have got the future rounds of Labour’s tax cuts anyway.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.1

            Well, it’s me not r0b, but nevermind.

            The problem is you are assuming things that are pointless. What National does should be judged on what National does, not by some comparison with what you assume Labour would have done.

            What is true though, and needs no assumptions, fair, mean, or sophistic, is that National’s tax changes favour the rich compared to what would be the case had National not done anything.

            That is all r0b said really. You need to get over the fact that National is in government Tim.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.2

            Apologies for the confusion PB.

            It can only be said that National is taking money off the poor to give to the rich, through their tax cut programme, if the poor already had their tax cuts. They didn’t. The likelihood is that if Labour were still in Government, they wouldn’t have got them. You say the comparison is pointless. Yet the whole argument from IB that tax cuts are paid for by “taking money out of the pockets of low income workers” relies on a comparison that is nonsense. The money was never in low income workers’ pockets.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.3

            No apology needed Tim

            You seem to think that the National party are automatons that lack the power of agency. But perhaps I’m wrong.

            They can do whatever they want, or refrain from doing so, limited only by their imaginations, will and physical and intellectual boundaries. When they do things, those things have effects.

            What you imagine a hypothetical Labour government might have done, is simply irrelevant to the question of the effects of the things an actual National led government does.

            National, when it does things as a government, changes things from what we call the ‘status quo ante’.

            That is the thing you compare National’s actions with, both to determine what they have done, and to compare it with what things might have been like if they had not done it (which was in their power to do).

            What you are doing is comparing it with a ‘status quo some other universe where labour won the election and did what I imagine they would do in such a universe.’

            Which is pointless in this universe, where we are discussing the effects of the things National has done here, in this non hypothetical universe where National won the election and Labour lost it.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.4

            Pointless argument. The “parallel universe” you refer to is whether Labour would or would not have cancelled the tax cuts. We know the answer to that because Phil Goff has announced it.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            I’m afraid I don’t have the time to split pointless hairs with you PB.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.5

            You seem to have found the time so far Tim, but I’m glad that you agree that it is pointless to argue about what some hypothetical Labour government might have done.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            This again, is either dishonest or stupid. Sorry to be so blunt, but you seem to want to cut to the chase.

            The labour tax cuts were very much the status quo. That is why you keep asserting that Labour would have cancelled them.

            If they were not the status quo, then doing nothing would be enough to stop them. But that is not the case at all is it Tim? If it were, Labour wouldn’t need to cancel them in your made up universe where they won the election.

            If National had not cancelled them and replaced them with their own package then they would have happened. You can’t deny that (because it is true), and you know what the effects of those changes are in terms of who gets what. You don’t like the optics of it, so you are pretending that the only options are National’s new package, and Labour’s make believe hypothetical canceling of them in that other universe.

            You do this because what National did looks better in comparison with your made up world, than it does in comparison with what the world would be like if National had not changed the tax law’s status quo ante.

            With regard to your ‘knowledge’ about what Labour would have done based on what Phil Goff said, are you saying that the Key led National Party is the same as the Brash led one? Clearly not.

            So on this one too again, I’ll accuse you of sophistry.

            But I’m happy to drop it.

  25. Gustavo Trellis 26

    Oh yes, the rich. Tell me, do you know how much tax the rich pay? I’ll give you a hint. 12% of the population pay 51% of income tax. But by all means, continue your insistence that them getting tax relief is morally outrageous.

    • Tane 26.1

      All that shows is how incredibly unequal the distribution of wealth in our society is. And your answer is to make it even more unequal?

  26. Felix 27

    So how do you hard-working mainstream first-time National voters feel about this?

    You booted Labour cos you wanted a change and that nice Mr Key said he’d give you a bit more of a tax cut so you could keep a bit more of your own money.

    Now it turns out it only amounts to 10 or 15 bucks a week and that nice Mr Key reckons you should think about giving it away!

    Dunno about you, but if it were me I’d be starting to feel like I’d been had.

    • TightyRighty 27.1

      I don’t feel “had”. i like it. i like being given back the right to be discretionary with more of my income. it also allows to distribute my “wealth” to charities that i think are more deserving of it. like the salvation army, like cancer foundation, like books in schools.

  27. justthefacts 28

    Felix

    I imagine they feel good about it, I also imagine they are counting their lucky stars that Dr Cullen did not get the chance to implement his “mini budget” where he would have rolled back the recent tax cuts.

    • Kaplan 28.1

      Seriously… offering you opinion what what may or may not have happened given different circumstances are hardly ‘just the facts’.
      I think you should consider a new pseudonym.

  28. The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state.
    John Minto responded to Key’s Burnside speech in 2007 in his Herald column thus:
    [Key] sees the solution as donations from businesses and more government funding for community groups working with families. It’s a charity model based on the philanthropy of Victorian England, whereby the undertaxed rich patronise the deserving poor.

    Minto was spot on. Indeed the National Party should be straight up about its real intentions regarding charity. I’ve seen no evidence to persuade me that the thinking on National’s front bench is much different from the Libertarianz policy on social welfare, which says:
    “Libertarianz will leave you free to practise voluntary charity. All state benefits including unemployment, sickness, and DPB – would be phased out to permit the growth of voluntary charities and private insurance.

    This is not far off what was happening in the late 1990s, when administration of the the dole and the unemployed was going to be divested from WINZ and handed to charities. Don’t believe me? That’s exactly what the Howard government did in Australia. their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities such as The Salvation Army and St Vinnie’s as well as private and not-for-profit agencies.

    This all rings a bell.

    In his Philanthropy NZ speech, Key is saying to his rich mates, “we’re cutting your taxes, so you’re duty bound to stump up some of that to charities. Then we’ll be able to hand over social welfare to charities, slash the public service more, and then chop more off your taxes.”

    Few rightwing bloggers will put their hands on their shrivelled hearts and declare on their great grannie’s grave that they don’t want that.

    • Rex Widerstrom 29.1

      “…their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities…”

      In the mid-80s I worked for two charitable organisations who ran various government-funded training and job placement programmes. “Workskills Training” was one I recall… VOTP (which I think stood for “voluntary organisation training programme) was another. And I met regularly with other, larger providers in the sector, including the Salvation Army.

      Most of the training providers managed to achieve good results with their trainees and even used some of the meagre money they were given to support other programmes such as food banks or emergency housing.

      I’d put our success in training people and finding jobs up against any period when the same thing was run by DSW, WINZ or whatever acronym they called themselves at the time.

      Again – just like the private prisons argument – there’s nothing wrong with letting outside providers run a service. It’s all about how you choose them, how you fund them, how you contract them and how you monitor them.

      Having said that, National’s record in this respect ain’t grand.

      The change of government saw all our programmes cancelled. As a result one of the charitable organisations I’d worked for shrivelled to insignificance and the other went bankrupt. Supposedly the DoL were going to run their own training, They never really got round to it though. Thanks, Jenny.

  29. justthefacts 30

    “The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state”

    God I hope so.

  30. Ianmac 31

    As a sometimes collector for charities I am sure of a distinction in giving. When covering a wealthy looking suburb, the door would not be opened or if it did you get a very abrupt “No!” Close door.
    In a poor neighbourhood with kids barefoot, no garden, derelect car, they almost always scratched around for something to give. Just my perception? Ask other collectors.

    • ak 31.1

      Not just your perception macca – seen it over and over again for many decades (and statistically proven upthread from memory). Crux of the matter is that righties need perceived inferiors. So will hold down what they’ve got and conjour others out of anything. Bureaucrats this year.

    • The geek speaks 31.2

      Ianmac
      I’d agree with that.
      I spent several months, a couple years ago canvassing the streets to sign up members for amnesty international.
      I would have signed up over a hundred people to making monthly contributions in the time i was there… lots of students, lots of benificiaries, lots of tradies and low level office scum like myself… not once was i able to sign up a suit. it was sad to see that those most capable of giving were those least willing to….

  31. SteveR 32

    Don’t those who support fewer taxes and more choice in who they give their newly-won income to see that it puts the social dimension of our society on a very uncertain, uneven foundation.

    It all depends on how much how many people give. If they give less, then more people will face poverty, illness, death etc. At least with funding such things via taxation we are all certain that we are all contributing, and the organisations so funded have far more certainty as to their income, which allows things like planning for the future, innovation etc.

    Surely all these things are the marks of a civilised society? Don’t we look back at, for example, Victorian England, workhouses, death and squalor all around, and think: “How could people live like that?”; “How could people treat each other like that?”

    In short, don’t we feel superior to that society? Do we want to return to it, really?

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Do we want to return to it, really?

      As is plainly evident from some of our rightwing commenters here… the answer is yes. They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.

      It really is that simple.

      • Redbaiter 32.1.1

        “They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.”

        Utterly insane.

        • It certainly fits in with the pies in school carry on. No point in them being sucessful if there is not others around them to fail. Far too much of their policy so far has been fiddling around with things to make sure that there are more chances for people to fail.

          • Rex Widerstrom 32.1.1.1.1

            Oh bloody hell. The righties seem to want to give people the “choice” to starve to death while the lefties want to give them the “choice” of a school menu featuring nothing but tofu and mung beans :-D

            How about we resist the bloody urge to keep tinkering with everything just because we’re a government and thus we’re quite certain we must far smarter than the last lot who were in power?

            All things in moderation, as they say – meat pies and welfare policy included.

  32. lampie 33

    This John guy is a bit COCK-KEY

  33. Stephen 34

    Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

    Fair point. I have no idea how you, or I for that matter, would prove that definitively. I had a look around at some old stuff from the 80s and before, and it seems that giving/expenditures were increasing very quickly in the 80s (doubling over about 8 years from 1980, but it continued a trend.

  34. Ianmac 35

    And think of the charity delivered by this Govt to Plunket, and in a sense an emotional rather than logical handout to Hercepton.

    When my brother-in-law was a plumber decades ago, he found that the hardest part was going to the door to get the rich folk to pay their bill. Months would sometimes go by and plenty of excuses why the couldn’t pay just yet.

  35. Stephen 36

    As Steve R alludes, the thing about the idea that ‘charity’ will come through takes a bit of a hit if people say, choose to save the whales instead of feeding the homeless with their super-low taxes, a lot of people will suffer…

  36. Get the chip off your shoulder about the states. I have spent time in the states and have found they are the most generous people I have meant.

    This site gets worse and worse and is really turning into gutter journalism, lose the hate Irishbill and mainstream kiwis may take this site more seriously.

  37. Snail 38

    Allow me add my own immediate response to the news: taxcuts for charity. That is to say these post-April taxcuts. Wonderment is a kinder expression than bewilderment—surely Tories have a penchant for efficiency and where is the administrative efficiency in this. In practise: mishmash!

    I dunno, end of the day for me.. and I roll up to find a long thread getting longer.. it’s only a problem insofar as finding a place to respond or comment for oneself.. a point made to explain why I wanted to add something to Monty’s earlier mucho — yeah professing himself rich by hard work is mucho

    So also — at least putting his money where his mouth is

    More to the point, Monty, as first peoples’ wisdom relates, putting his money into his mouth is the lesson to behold.

    Aid to understanding (from tee shirt culture) : You Can’t Eat Money.

  38. roger nome 39

    Brett – charity only takes you so far – without adequate social safety nets you get crime, swollen prisons, rampant prostitution, increased demand for drugs … and the list goes on and on. It’s the sadistic puritanical mentality – that people deserve to suffer, which exacerbates all these social ills. It creates a society divided – at war with itself – but that’s the brand of Christianity in the States – the focus is on punishment rather than harmony. That’s why it’s a society with such appalling social statistics (i.e. 12 times the proportion of its population in prison when compared to Scandinavian countries).

  39. gingercrush 40

    This is one of the most disappointing posts I’ve read here. But what is most disappointing, is the numerous replies in this thread with many merely using it to attack others.

    Here’s an actual excerpts from the Herald article:

    Mr Key said though many people needed the tax cuts to pay debt or bills, “I am just as sure there are many who are in a position to donate some.

    There Key clearly states that if one isn’t using the tax cut for expenditure purposes or to pay off debt then they may consider donating some of their tax cuts to charities. Key never states that they have to. He states that they consider giving to charity.

    Underlying the obvious ideological flaws evident here. John Key is not dismantling New Zealand’s social democracy. Indeed, no where does he speak of raiding benefits or turning the health care sector into private hands. There is really no dismantling whatsoever. So why insist on saying he is dismantling it when he isn’t.

    John Key is not encouraging low income earners to go out and beg. Why you assert that is belatedly beyond me. Indeed Key isn’t even taking money away from low income earners and giving it to upper income earners. And lastly Key doesn’t even state anything about the needy.

    What John Key is actually saying, is that he would like New Zealanders overall to give more generously to charities. And that the tax cuts coming into effect could go a long way to helping charity. And indeed if we as collective individuals did give more money to charity it would undoubtedly help many charities out. You know some of those charities. Some of them with long links to left organisations. The charities that go a long way to helping out those intellectually handicapped, those with cancer. Those tacking drug and alcohol problems and indeed those with Green measures. He points to how United States are generous with giving money to charity and how he would like to see some of that here. I think that is an admirable goal. Particularly, because if we gave as much money to charities as the US on top of our support in public housing, social welfare, healthcare, education and many other things. Our nation itself would be greater for it.

    I’m not even sure most of you read the damn article. Because if you had, you would realise that the points Irishbill make aren’t actually true. But no instead of reading the Herald article. You all act like little kids in some supreme shouting match and use generalisations that all people that are rich are somehow pricks and are indeed selfish with their money. Of course there are many that identity with left politics that are themselves rich. Likewise, the Green voter base tends to be inner-city with very high incomes. Are these people pricks? I am disappointing with Irishbill’s interpretation of the article. And I’m flabbergasted at some of the replies I’ve seen in this thread.

  40. Rachelr 41

    This is a classic argument which is entirely futile.

    While we sit here and debate the role of government or the non-profit sector, services are lost and people suffer. Now more than ever is the time to give generously as a private citizen, regardless of your political view.

    Tax is forced philanthropy. Wouldnt it be better if we were all sufficiently plugged into our communities enough to recognise and assist when needed?

    • Strathen 41.1

      Could the tax breaks to the upper class be an effort to ensure they don’t take their money overseas to countries that provide better tax benefits?

      Someone mentioned that 12% of the population pays 51% of the tax. If this is true, don’t we want that 12% keeping their money in NZ? Or is there a law I don’t know about that prevents the upper incomes from taking their money to Monaco? How hard would it get for our welfare system if the 12% left and the remaining 88% had to make up the loss of 51% of the tax generation?

      To put my devil’s advocated spin on it, this tax break will help the poor by keeping the big tax payers money in NZ?

      EDIT— Sorry Rachelr, I was meant to reply to the whole thread and not just your post.

      • Snail 41.1.1

        one import of what you appear to be saying is that lower-incomed folk not give to charity and rely on upper-incomed folk to do so..

        are you serious?

  41. Simon-5 42

    Ordinary New Zealanders have been expected to pay for the lifestyle choices of the criminals and the beneficiaries for far too long.

    Taking from the overburdened in order to give to the undeserving is inequitable. No amount of Labour spin is going to convince the electorate otherwise.

  42. jimbo 43

    Amazing that Key has received any criticism at all over this.

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort. No one waited around for legislative changes before feeling the time was right to make a contribution.

    Key is just reminding people that you can do the same thing right now and help those people caught out by the current economic crisis.

    Society’s response to trouble DOES NOT have to be state-imposed, centrally planned or uniformly collective.

  43. Simon-5 44

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort.

    Friend, you’re in the wrong place. This is a Labour Party blog, the absolute last thing* that any of the contributors here would do is make a contribution to charity.

    They’re the takers, not the givers.

    (*) with the exception of getting a job.

  44. mike 45

    “John Key is a dipshit”
    Gee the tone of this site his lowered since Pierson left.

    Also banning HS and calling him a”smarmy fucker” for dearing to link the EPMU to labour was a joke right?

    Anyone would think you lefties are stressed out or something….

  45. Snail 46

    Simon-5 and whomsoever et als talk of takers..

    Well, just in from Huffingpost is a remarkable story of a once-was-taker giving back. Yes, this cites some very significant (devil-in-the-detail) data and insofar as the rule of law (read sanctity of contract law) those IN-laws are definitely IN.

    Dah-dah — Douglas Poling, who received the richest payment of more than $6.4 million, is the 48-year-old son of a former chief executive of Ford Motor Co. At AIG he is an executive vice president with responsibility for energy and infrastructure investments. He is one of the roughly 418 current and former employees from AIG’s financial-products unit who received bonus payments.

    note please do, employees of the financial-products unit. WE can leave off this ledger the fate of FMC, suffice to recognise its imperilled position along with other tranport sector folks. But get that where the money is.. and maybe wonder a little at how much you were paying for gasoline/diesel last year. Connected—you bet!

    And worth looking out for huh..

  46. TightyRighty 47

    Tax cuts for donating to charities now being pushed. gee that kind of throws a spanner in the works of “who will donate $10k a year to charities”.

  47. Taken from the web:

    There is altogether too much talk about the United States being ungenerous with foreign aid. We show up as 21st in the rankings, in per capita terms, according to one estimate. These figures neglect remittances, where the U.S. is a very clear first with $28.4 billion a year sent to other countries. The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

    Are you interested in the rest of the top ten, for remittances? Saudi Arabia, with $15.1 billion a year, is a clear number two. Then you have Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Israel, Italy, and Japan. The Scandinavian nations receive so much kudos for their high foreign aid per capita, but when it comes to remittances, even tiny Luxembourg, population 437,389, beats them out.

    • ak 48.1

      Ever heard of the widow’s mite Bretty? Or “tied aid”? Or buying influence?

    • Snail 48.2

      BD,

      you continue to amaze me.. For someone who has spent “time in the states” (you recently said this, I believe) the following strikes out — The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

      There being no concept whatsoever in this statement or in the mindset that wrote of what it means to be a recipient of USAid.. or indeed a US aider.

      as the saying goes: aint no free lunches!

  48. Dr Steevens 49

    Once again, James at Editing The Herald offers an interesting perspective – do we really want to be like the US with charity plugging gaps in social services?

    http://editingtheherald.blogspot.com/2009/03/thursday-march-2009-charity.html

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    Tertiary Education Union
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    Welcome to our EBS Christmas newsletter, we hope that the end of the term is starting to wind down now and that you are looking forward to a long summer break! Our union bargaining power enables us to offer you...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • The problems of measuring water quality
    Professor Gary Jones from Canberra how is the keynote speaker at the 2014 NZ River Awards tonight. The following podcast is Gary speaking to Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan about the vexing questions of water quality and quantity.  ...
    Gareth’s World
  • Collins cleared; Slater lied
    On the same day as the Cheryl Gwynn report was released, we also got the release Justice Chisholm’s report into Judith Collins and the allegations that she undermined former-SFO head Adam Feeley. The report was ordered after the release of...
    Occasionally erudite
  • Gordon Campbell on government arrogance, Ferguson, and Police pursuits
    As anyone who’s ever encountered him around Parliament will verify, Chris Finlayson’s arrogance is matched only by his sense of self-esteem. On RNZ this morning though, he exceeded himself on both counts. Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Hard News: The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act
    Even as it was making its way to the statutes,
 New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk
 of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that...
    Public Address
  • John Key implodes over the Gwyn report
    The Cheryl Gwyn report into the release of SIS information relating to whether Phil Goff was or wasn’t briefed about the Israeli spy saga  was released on Tuesday. It makes for compelling reading as it investigates whether Goff lied, whether then-head...
    Occasionally erudite
  • NZSIS: Mandated abuse of power?
    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • On the uncanny resemblance between John Key and Sergeant Schultz
    In the 30-odd years that Judy and I have been providing media advice and training to prime ministers, prostitutes and pretty well every profession in-between, our teaching mantra has remained the same: “Be straightforward, tell the truth, admit your mistakes”....
    Brian Edwards
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • Ports of Auckland Moving More Freight By Rail
    Ports of Auckland did a press release back in September that didn’t really get picked up on: Working with KiwiRail, Ports of Auckland has doubled the rail services between its Waitematā seaport and Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub. The increased service...
    Transport Blog
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
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