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Towards an inclusive, democratic left

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, November 16th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, feminism, gay rights, greens, labour, Left, mana, national, Social issues, vision - Tags:

The political Left needs a new direction with a break to the future, to prevent the on-going rightwards drift. If progressive political parties merely react to the ruling neoliberal discourses and policies, they will continue to inadvertently absorbed right wing values. A re-vitalised Left would be strengthened by working towards a more inclusive, diverse participatory democracy.

The neoliberal policies and anti-democratic approach of our current government has led the country backwards.  It has re-masculinised the political landscape and undermined gender equality, with high status given to male leaders and  the traditionally masculine finance and economic portfolios.  It can be seen in the WEF gender gap survey. This shows that, with respect to Political empowermentNZ’s ranking has slipped from 8th in 2011 to 9th in  2012: for Economic participation and opportunity NZ has slipped from 11th to 15th.

Unfortunately opposition parties have absorbed these changes by trying to oppose the government on its own terms.  There is no one person or organisation at fault in this.  It is the result of the interplay of the NAct values spun through their PR machinery and viral foot-soldiers; the MSM editors and journalists who often unquestioningly repeat neoliberal and masculinist discourses; and opposition politicians and strategists, who try to beat the right wing strategists at their own game.

One of the consequences is the under-reporting of the solid and committed work by opposition women MPs on various crucial issues to do with community well-being, poverty, and social justice; on the way the NAct government sacrifices women at the forefront of enacting controversial social policies.  There needs to be more acknowledgment and prominence given to some of the great work being done by and/or for women. For instance Julie Anne Genter taking it to Bully Boy Brownlee in the House; the low income women, struggling along side Mana for affordable rentals and against the cuts to state housing; Sue Moroney with her private members bills on PPL and redundancy;  Annette King on housing (even though her approach maybe falls short of Mana’s policies); Metira Turei on the streets for anti-poverty campaigns and working in the house for children in poverty; Darien Fenton for workers rights and free public library services …. and more….

A new way forward would value such struggles, while not supporting the “reheated Blairism”, that Chris Trotter rightly associates with the current NZ Labour Party and Josie Pagani.  It is necessary for Labour to reconnect with low income people, working to improve their increasingly difficult circumstances.  But this should not be done by demonising the “undeserving poor” and  supporting John Tamihere as expressed by Josie Pagani in an NZ Herald article this week. This is a patronising and conservative middle-class approach, that reinforces stereotypes and divisions.

We can learn from some of the positive developments during the 20th century. The Left was progressing towards a more inclusive politics and society when it was brutally halted by neoliberalism. When I was living in London in the late 70s and early 80, it was a productive time of intense debates, tensions and collaboration.  Diverse left wing groups interacted through feminist, gay, lesbian, anti-racist and working class networks. The beginnings of a diverse and united Left could be seen during the miners’ strike 80s.

Lesbian, gays support miners

Feminist and gay groups joined together to protest the pit closures.  This collaboration began uneasily, but was gaining ground.

 

Something similar happened in NZ during the 1981 protests against the Springbok rugby tour. The accompanying images, are very much of their time, indicating that such strategies need to be revised, revised with hindsight, and re-worked to fit current circumstance.

Masked protesters 1981

(Side note to those who smear anonymous pseudonymous left-wing bloggers: powerless people often feel a need to mask their identity when challenging the dominant discourses and ruling groups – some in the 1981 demonstrations wore masks, and surely not a sign of being similar to hooded racists violently persecuting oppressed people.)

An inclusive and democratic left is a goal to work towards, with on-going analysis of the dangers and pitfalls of being dragged back into divisive in-fighting, or the assimilation of the destructive discourses of the right wing elite that we are struggling against. I don’t expect such an integration to be completed over night, or in a weekend.

What can we do to move in a new direction?

46 comments on “Towards an inclusive, democratic left”

  1. Well said Karol, the likening of Anonymous bloggers the KKK is nothing short of an attempt to re-intoduce the race card yet again.

    That woman has no idea what the KKK means, and she should apologise for the inference, she’s never been close to that kind of HELL obviously.

    Bloggers that use pseudonyms are not anonymous, there is a person behind every comment regardless of that persons identity, it’s our thought that counts not our bloody names.

    Something else those morons should realise is some/a lot of bloggers are teenagers and likely to be quite emotional at times ……

    • just saying 1.1

      Something else those morons should realise is some/a lot of bloggers are teenagers and likely to be quite emotional at times ……

      You’ve got me really intrigued. The only teenaged blogger I’ve ever even heard of is the precociously brilliant, Morgan Godfrey from “Maui Street” blog.

      • PlanetOrphan 1.1.1

        Yeah, well like I’ve said to others, it’s about the level of understanding,
        Most people make up their minds when they are teenagers and stick with the conclusions religously, never opening their eyes to the truth that things change and policies must change with them.

        I know many “teenaged” 60 year olds for instance.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Morgan Godfery, not Godfrey

    • karol 1.2

      Thanks, PO.

      PO: Bloggers that use pseudonyms are not anonymous,

      Agreed, PO.  I had intended to strikethrough “anonyomous” to make just that point.  I had a dodgy fixed line broadband connection all morning.  Managed to connect to update the last edit and publish the post – then the connection went down completely and won’t be fixed for a day or two.

      After much hassle, I added the strikethrough and am now operating on a glitchy dial-up connection on an alternative phone line.

      This is my 3rd attempt to make this comment – each time the connection gives out and the comment doesn’t take. grrr… 

  2. Dr Terry 2

    I cannot answer your question Karol, other than try a change in government (particularly Greens/Mana). Nevertheless this article is excellent in its entirety. Allow me to repeat a couple a salient passages:

    “opposition parties have abandoned these changes by trying to oppose the government on its own terms” (virtually endorsed by Shearer this morning).

    “It is necessary for Labour to reconnect with low income people . . .” (Social policies, Mr Shearer?)

    I did not wear a mask in the 1981 demonstrations. But today I need the pseudonym.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    An inclusive democratic left has to take the country towards an inclusive democratic participatory economy. Self sustaining and viable worker owned co-operatives, mutual organisations, and not for profits.

    Time to put the power of the markets, economic infrastructure and productive capital into the hands of ordinary people.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    I believe that you are an excellent political writer karol, demonstrably able to cover a variety of salient issues in a comparitively small space; inspirational.
    (i relaxed my anonymity and no rabid, right-winger has burnt a cross in front of my caravan, yet, although, the rentier class might be in a position to help me put a more permanent, not leaky, roof over my head) ;)

  5. Loved your article and quelled this labour heart.
    Labour should look to the past, in so far as how the depression was handled and how Savage
    worked his government and align it to today’s woes.
    If people are expected to pay $400-$800 pw for a rental to line the pockets of property
    investors,then those people would be better off paying off their own mortgage,
    Auckland is the ‘it’ city,but does it need to be ? NZ has plenty of land in provincial centres
    and small towns that would be more affordable for those wishing to build or buy,if labour can
    bring in a viable home ownership scheme,that war could be won, housing nz has one but it is still a mountain to climb for many,the need to earn a high income applies to the housing nz scheme.
    Capitalisation of the family benefit was bought in by Goff and that helped so many people into
    their own homes, including myself,so thanks Phil.
    There would be no housing bubble if housing was for families and individuals to buy or build,
    a housing bubble is caused by speculators and those who have millions and billions to spend,so property is their best bet,a capital gains tax on speculators would take the heat out of that, from memory labours capital gains tax policy is that the family home is exempt from capital gains tax.
    Inclusiveness is what so many labour supporters,voters are wanting,also a path back to the basics.

  6. Mary 6

    Well said Karol. Currently Labour is certainly no more than “Blairism reheated”. Perfect description. This is one reason why the right love Shearer because they know Labour can never make an impact going down this road. I was sickened yesterday listening to Kathryn Ryan interviewing Gavin Ellis who applauded Fran O’Sullivan and Richard Long for showing so much “respect” and “support” for David Shearer’s ability as leader. It was at the same time the most biased, naive, sanctimonious and disingenuous views heard on RNZ for a long time. Managing to be all four must surely be difficult but Ellis did it. Of course, the only way was to ignore the fact that both O’Sullivan and Long are themselves biased, naive, sanctimonious and disingenuous gits. It was overpoweringly cringeworthy to listen to. Gavin Ellis is no commentator. He is, though, a complete and utter fool:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2538666/media-commentator-gavin-ellis.asx

    • rosy 6.1

      ” It was overpoweringly cringeworthy to listen to. Gavin Ellis is no commentator. He is, though, a complete and utter fool:”

      Yep… the thoughts of Richard Long should carry more weight than the opinions of two ‘anonymous’ bloggers (ignoring the hundreds of comments that he’d mentioned earlier supporting these blogs)? Who has more chance of voting Labour – commenters on the Standard or Richard Long, Fran O’Sullivan et al?

      On second thought, the way things stand it appears that the commentariat on the right is sick of Key and can’t see a replacement in National …

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Ummm thanks for reminding me of that. I’d meant to write the defence post earlier. But things got in the way. Took longer to write it grumpier.

  7. Bill 7

    What can we do to move in a new direction?

    Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? What I do know is a little on how not to move in a new direction. If we cast a glance back to the socio/political movements of the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, one glaringly obvious feature of those times (broadly speaking) was the inabilty to wrench away from the organisational habits of heirarchy.

    That resulted in (as an example) women being subordinated in class orientated organisations. And most people (predominantly men) saw no problem with that.

    And there was the friction, that remains today, between people who would elevate either of gender, race or class issues to be a principle focus.

    I mean, from my perspective none of the issues of class or gender or race politics stand in isolation. None is more or less important than the other. Just because I might be better versed in class issues and another person better versed in gender issues doesn’t, or shouldn’t mean we vie to have our respective perspective elevated. Each in some way informs the other. But unless that’s acknowledged (and I mean beyond paying mere lipservice to the idea), and unless heirarchical orgainisational structures are dumped – then the negative dynamics inherent to whichever focus is ‘ignored’ will reassert and ‘infect’ the organisations and mindsets of those who’se focus is exclusive.

    And so we will endlessly cycle back to a situation of dominance and subservience…or should that be, we will be endlessly backpeddling, stuck in a situation of dominance and subservience?

    I’d say, on a positive note, democratise. At any and every opportunity insist on democracy and simply walk away from any political activism that refuses to budge.. or that tries to convince itself or others that it really is democratic because it has constructed some shambolic approximation of truly democratic procedures or organisational structures.

    • Mary 7.1

      “What can we do to move in a new direction?”

      The 1980s and especially the 1990s saw the destruction of what some call a caring society. We just don’t have that anymore. For example, today’s debate isn’t so much about income levels of the poor so much as whether the poorest in society should receive an income at all. The challenge for the Left, therefore, isn’t just about policies but about basic values around how we see and how we treat others. There was a time in New Zealand when social policy for the Right still meant the poor were entitled to participate in the community on the same basis as others. The Right no longer believe this to be the case. Fixing things means fixing basic values.

      http://www.academia.edu/821547/Social_empathy_A_tool_to_address_the_contradiction_of_working_but_still_poor

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        For example, today’s debate isn’t so much about income levels of the poor so much as whether the poorest in society should receive an income at all.

        And all based around the BD idea that we can’t afford anything despite the fact that a few people have million dollar incomes from doing SFA.

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          I fail to understand how the RW can accept that people have tens or even hundred of million dollars in wealth and or income, which is, mostly, totally unearned *, and complain about the bottom 5% having enough to live on of their inheritance from all the working people before them.

          * http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/myth-of-wealth-creation.html
          The proportion of rich people who actually invest their money in real wealth creation, jobs or entrepreneurship is vanishingly small.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/livable-income.html
          “We can produce enough for everyone to live in comfort in NZ with fraction of our present activity/employment.

          I do not have the figures for New Zealand, but, rather than a more equal distribution of income making everyone poorer, if the USA’s current production was shared equally, every family in the States would have an income of around 180k annually.

          The right wing idea that a more equal distribution of income means equality in misery, is an obvious fallacy.

          Whereas higher incomes at the lower end is good for NZ business, and ultimately everyone’s incomes”..

          • fatty 7.1.1.1.1

            I do not have the figures for New Zealand, but, rather than a more equal distribution of income making everyone poorer, if the USA’s current production was shared equally, every family in the States would have an income of around 180k annually…higher incomes at the lower end is good for NZ business, and ultimately everyone’s incomes

            The NZ figures would be interesting…as for 180K per family in the USA – most of that would be spent, and as you say, their economy would not be flat-lining the way it has been. Instead they vote, as we do, to have our money sitting in a few people’s bank accounts.

      • seeker 7.1.2

        +1

  8. handle 8

    Julie Anne Genter is using her professional background to do brilliant work in the Transport portfolio. Labelling some domains as women’s and others as men’s does not help an intelligent conversation about the many forms of diversity that need to be better reflected in our politics as you say. I thought feminism moved past that decades ago.

    • karol 8.1

      Identifying the inequalities and power differences is not labeling things as if that’s the way things should be.  It’s identifying that women tend to be given certain kinds of portfolios.  The main issue I have is that such ministries and opposition roles (related to some crucial social policies) are given too little power and status.

      It’s identifying something that needs changing – especially more power and status to crucial policies. 

      • handle 8.1.1

        By all means identify and discuss the issues but getting more people involved means letting go of old assumptions. Arguing that some portfolios need more focus and power is not helped by adding gender stereotypes. It is no more inclusive than stereotyping by ethnicity or class is. Play the ball, not the woman.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Sorry.  I don’t understand you.  Are we not meant to note when we see gender stereotyping operating. I didn’t create it.  And it’s evident in the gender gap survey I referred to. Where am I playing the woman. I acknowledged great work being done by several women MPs, which I think has been under-acknowledged – especially by the MSM.  

          What assumptions am I not letting go of?  I don’t understand your reasoning. 

          I really do want to see more status given to social policy portfolios.  Currently there’s too much focus on economic policy driving everything else.  I would like to see social policy being more front and central, and and economic policy being developed to serve those policies.

          I didn’t create the gender differences that are attached to the above – they have been there for a long, long time.  In more recent years they have been breaking down.  But under NAct they have been re-instated.  That is what I am arguing against. 

      • Populuxe1 8.1.2

        It’s identifying that women tend to be given certain kinds of portfolios.

        Hang on, how is Minister of Police a “certain kind of portfolio”?

        Also, I would note in the spirit of fairness that National does seem to have more women on their front bench than Labour does, though I may have miscounted.

        • Populuxe1 8.1.2.1

          Wait, my mistake – Labour has one whole female frontbencher more

          • karol 8.1.2.1.1

            Pop, it wouldn’t surprise me if Labour had shifted to having fewer front benchers than National now, the way they have shifted towards male dominance.  But Labour being light on MPs generally, it needs to be done as a proportion not by total numbers.

            According to Claire Trevett, Labour has 3 women in it’s (top 10) front benchers.  I would have also included a couple on page 2 here e.g. Annette King.   

            But I’m pleased to see that the Labour Conference had  a speaker on gender and Political Representation last night.  I would love to get access to a transcript or video of that speech, and this.

            @suemoroney: we’re building on what generations of Labour women have done.@Megan_Woods speaking about changing the culture of Parliament @ #Labour2012

             

  9. just saying 9

    I’m glad you’ve reraised the issue of pseudononymity Carol.

    With the state holding (like a loaded gun) voluminous, often sensitive and extremely personal information on its citizens, a disproprtionate amount about dispossessed, marginalised, and politically active persons, and with large numbers of people substantially or entirely dependant on that same state, and with the state and its agents given virtual carte blanche to surveil citizens in the privacy of their own homes, and with the with the progressive stripping bare of many other democratic freedoms, and with the increasing impunity accorded to big business in their actions protecting their bottom lines……

    A lot of people are vulnerable. At risk. Some considerably more than others. If not right now, potentially in the future.

    The last time I participated in a public meeting attended by representatives of the political parties, I was not required to give any personal details in order to contribute to the discussion, and neither was anyone else other than the MC and those standing for political office. I was there as a citizen. I’m here as a citizen. I’m consistently “just saying’ and I answer for my actions online as this entity.

  10. Uturn 10

    My interpretation of what you’re saying, in rebuilding links between groups without the motivation of resistance is that you’ll need some sort of common ground, for no reason.

    Long time ago village markets and fairs were free. People brought their food and products to spend time with each other and generally touch base, since they spent all their time growing food and herding animals.

    If people these days spend all their time isolated by work and electronic media, separated by suburbs and soci-economic status, maybe we just need a get together for no particular reason. People can supply free food if they choose (to include those with no disposable income), or sell it at cost if that is prohibitive. Others can provide entertainment, music, activities or whatever and generally people can mix with people they don’t ever see, other than through negetive representations in the media. You’ll need people to bring in those who can’t geet there under their own steam. Trim out political messages (other than, say, a banner that identifies the group) and exchange for introductions to the language and style of the subculture. Let people know what it’s like to be someone else, without over emphasising a poor me attitude or a you’re to blame stance and present what people are doing that’s important to us all – despite the labels. Do whatever has to be done to make things the least scary for everyone, without blanding everyone down to a formless blob.

    Quite a logistical undertaking for some group and I’m not sure where you will find these purely public minded people, but at least driven by something common to us all. This sort of thing happend during OWS, but there was an us and them element, divisions based around who was worthy and who was not. It also sounds a bit “summer of love”, but maybe just try a “day of introduction”, instead. From there, people may be more inclined to communicate between groups on a political level once the fear of attack and suspicion has been lessened by the familiarity of real-life experience.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Glimpse of the future

      Preparations had been going on for months.

      Early signs to uninvolved visitors were donated clothes, toys, tools, cds, kitchen implements, books, dubious junk and all the other stuff of modern living piled in foyers in plastic bags.

      As the mounds of offerings grew, bright hand drawn posters heralded their coming across town:

      MIRAMAR NORTH SCHOOL FAIR , SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER.

      The administration that is described is why I tend to be enthusiastic about digital networks.

    • karol 10.2

      Some very good ideas, UTurn.

      In London in the early 80s, there were such festivals.   Thatcher did her best to demolish them because she saw the power they had for the  left,

      There were the Rock Against Racism gigs with high profile bands and other entertainers. And there were “People’s Festivals” on the South Bank organised by the Greater London Council (under Red Ken Livingston). Thatcher dismantled the GLC to put an end to its progressive initiatives.

      I recall a young Morissey standing on a ledge quite high up on the outside of the ILEA/GLC building, singing with flowers hanging out his back pocket.  Such a great spirit among the crowd.

      Yes, social gatherings have an important role.  Of course, today, people expect a lot of expensive slick and flashing lights. How do we get back to people enjoying more inexpensive social gatherings?

      “Drinking Liberally” is one such initiative. 
       

      • Uturn 10.2.1

        “How do we get back to people enjoying more inexpensive social gatherings?”

        I’m pretty sure they never stopped enjoying them, or maybe enjoy isn’t an accurate enough description of what I mean. When people laugh, when they eat together, when they dance (as puddlegum says below), when they share ideas, participate in group activities, there’s always the chance of the group becoming more than the sum of its parts. It seems to me that humans are prone to searching exclusive pursuits for the kind of magic that has the potential to exist anywhere. For some reason, the more exclusivity we experience, our ideas on where to look for “it” narrow and we get to thinking it’s running out or scarce. But expose people to the “it” in any source and they’ll respond in their own way.

        Coke was once called “it” – but it was just a sugar rush giving a fragmented, lifeless, imitation.
        Free Love was once “it”, but it was just sensation offering half the experience.
        Then there was E as “it”, but as Jarvis said, in the morning no one wants to know you.
        Money, aquisition, control – all tried, some come close, but all fail.

        Push the imitations aside, start smallish, know why we’re bothering but not too ernest about it and let it run.

    • Puddleglum 10.3

      Good point about collective festivity.

      The clamping down on ‘Dancing in the Streets’ has been going on for centuries and seems correlated with an increase in public discussion of ‘melancholia’, and the rise of the concepts of the ‘self’ and ‘society’ (as in, the public/private split).

      Here’s Barbara Ehrenreich’s interesting take on those linkages. 

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    what a wonderful word glimpse is; hence the interest in “utopian” thought.
    we had a fair recently; community
    school galas, punnets of fudge, rolls of comics, shiney stones, White Elephant, but there goes nostalgia again; abandon romanticism

    • Rhinocrates 11.1

      I’m thinking of Don McGlashan’s “Marvellous Year”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeqUf82TgJ4

      “We did a lot of things, and some of them were good. We did a lot of things; we did the best that we could. We had democracy, dentistry Waistband elastic, rhythmic gymnastics The rule of law, the rule of thumb Fire, the wheel, Rugby Union The petrol engine, the old-age pension The fires of Hades, the Briscoes Lady Dental floss, Motorcross the Koran, the Torah, Interflora”

  12. geoff 12

    You won’t get any change from the current political system.

  13. Reagan Cline 13

    What can we do to move in a new direction ? Slow down, perhaps stop for a while, find the new direction and press “GO”.

  14. RedBaron 14

    Yes I’ve noticed those who have been working hard on social policy. However, I still think there has to be greater interlinking between the economic portfolios and social portfolios and for this be made much more explict. i.e noting the effects of any economic policy on the various social groups.

    Looked around work, and at educated guess, around 60% of the males are living in a household with another potential income earner (children all at school say) while the reverse was true for the women. Some 60% of the women lived in a “single adult” household. This can’t be true over the whole economy but economic policy needs to be far more aware of winners and losers.

    I believe female headed households make up a large portion of low income households. A whole range of factors must be operating for this outcome not just social policy ones. Obviously these people are “losing” over a whole range of policy initiatives.

  15. QoT 15

    Kickass post, karol! (I should stop complimenting you though, eventually someone’s going to accuse us of being each other’s sockpuppets.)

    • karol 15.1

      Thanks QOT.  But of course felix, you and I  (and maybe more) are all probably the same person…. what with us all being “anonymous”!

      Even though I couldn’t write in your very witty style if I tried. 

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  • July 14 Patronage results
    The patronage results for July are now available and they show another strong month of growth. Auckland public transport patronage totalled 72,740,387 passengers for the 12 months to Jul-2014, an increase of +0.5% on the 12 months to Jun-2014 and +5.9%...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Would the real National Party please stand up
    This election campaign is turning into a joke. National, through John Key and to a lesser extent Steven Joyce, appear to be telling us either not to believe emails people from their sidewrote or that somehow a smear campaign involves...
    My Thinks | 22-08
  • A right wing conspiracy
    In just one week we've gone from the Prime Minister claiming that nothing in Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty Politics, was true to irrefutable proof that Ministers and their staff were directly involved in smear campaigns using the poisonous blog...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • The Prime Minister responds again
    Hello there. I just wanted to spend some time to respond to some of the baseless accusations that have been flying around this week. First of all, Labour need to be ashamed about the way they have behaved. They have...
    My Thinks | 22-08
  • The most bullshit OIA response ever
    On July 30, we learned via Question Time that Murray McCully had allowed an email informing him that the Malaysian government was not waiving Muhammad Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity to sit unread in his mailbox for an indeterminate amount of time....
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Lucy
    ...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Sick again
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 42I've got nothing interesting to share about the world - my temperature is up and I feel crummy - again.  It's probably nothing much, but after a week of lethargy and...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Voice-over!
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 38Political scandles notwithstanding, I've spent the last two days learning how to be a voice artist, in as much as this is possible in a two day period.  It was a...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • My mechanic is a right-winger
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 37My mechanic is one of my favourite service providers.  On days when I have to leave my car for repair he drives me to work while telling hilarious, off-colour stories about...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Craft Kitchen
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 36Craft Kitchen is an organic, gourmet sort of cafe which opened near the corner of Ponsonby and Great North Roads a bit over a month ago.  The first week it was...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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