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Trading Futures

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, December 2nd, 2011 - 74 comments
Categories: community democracy, democratic participation, Economy, employment, equality, housing, political alternatives, Social issues - Tags: , ,

This post is intended to do more than merely generate discussion. It’s a proposition seeking action. Its intent is to lay out or sign post (at least some of) the basic or necessary legal and social structures of a Community Collective comprised of both workers and housing collectives that would enable people to assume meaningful control over aspects of their futures.

What follows is based on the successful Community Collective (incorporating both housing and workers collectives) I lived in, in the UK through the late 80’s – early 90’s. Although I think it’s implicit to what follows, it’s probably worth mentioning the following.

Whereas many intentional communities were, or are built around some philosophical or religious focus (and therefore doomed to eventual irrelevance in my opinion), this proposition envisages an eclectic mix of people whose bonds are primarily social rather than ideological. In other words, it doesn’t matter if people are vegan or Christian or devotees of ‘standing on one leg and hopping naked around a big fire under the full moon’. Each to their own. But seeking to push or impose a personal belief, ideology or creed on others is another matter.

Okay. With that, hopefully understood and out of the way.

The Community Collective I lived in was set within the legal framework of the ‘Industrial and Provident Societies Act’. As far as I’m aware, no other collective, intentional community or whatever has used that particular piece of legislation. Which is a shame, because it offers immense advantages and benefits when compared to legislation covering Trusts or Incorporated Societies.

And so that’s the first thing. Use of the ‘Industrial and Provident Societies Act’ is absolutely central to this proposal.

Under that Act, it is possible to set up worke and housing collectives so that people are one step removed from market relations. That means that collective activities or undertakings can be developed in a ‘neutral’ environment – in an environment free from a countervailing current that would encourage or promote selfish traits as a means to gaining a competitive advantage over others in a scamble for market rewards .

Every member of the Collective is a shareholder of any business run, or property owned, by the Collective. This is done by allowing a person to purchase a single ‘nominal’ share upon acceptance as a member. (A ‘nominal’ share might cost $1, does not attract any dividend or bonus; is not saleable, tradable or transferrable and its ownership reverts back to the collective if and when membership ceases.)

Importantly, membership is predicated upon residing within the properties owned or managed by the Collective. Usually, if a person ceases to live in the Collective’s properties for whatever reason, they are no longer members of the Collective, have no say in the running of the Collective and ownership of their share reverts back to the Collective.

When a person applies for membership of the Collective, they are first of all granted ‘provisional membership’. A ‘provisional membership’ allows the prospective member time to decide whether membership is really what they want. It also gives existing members 2 or 3 months to get to know them. Membership is then by consensus of all pre-existing members. Usually acceptance would be based on a degree of social compatibility. That said, there are a number of other factors that will sometimes take precedence over social considerations. Besides the need for an awareness of the financial, emotional and other carrying capacities of the Collective, there might be a need to attract people with particular skills. And it’s also wise to avoid such things as large gender or age imbalances.

If a person becoming a member has savings, then those savings remain theirs. But they are ‘frozen’ and can only be accessed with agreement from other members. Interest from any savings accrues to the Collective. The Collective can request a loan of any member’s ‘frozen’ savings (or any proportion of) at an agreed interest rate and repayment schedule.

The Community Collective is a limited liability entity and every member contributes labour to the business or businesses set up by it. Income generated by the businesses is used to cover expenditures. Expenditures include (apart from the obvious mortgage repayments, business overheads/reinvestments etc) all those expenditures people deem necessary for their material well being. (eg, food, sanitary products, toiletries, nappies, light bulbs, fuel, electricity, doctors visits etc.) There is no payment of wages. Any personal expenditure not covered by collective purchases is taken from any monies ‘left over’ after all agreed upon Community expenditures have been met. Typically, that money might be accessed to buy clothes, for incidental purchases and travel, or a ‘night out’.

Because wages aren’t paid and everyone is expected to make a contribution to the income generating capabilities of the Community, a situation is created whereby it is to everyone’s advantage to share skills and knowledge rather then to jealously guard them as would be the case in a competitive market environment.

In short, skill sharing and income sharing go ‘hand in hand’.

As for the physical layout, some groups have built structures from scratch on purchased land, but old schools, hospitals, country manors/mansions, abandoned terraced houses and more have been used and can be configured to offer ample private or personal space. Communal spaces are also created. It makes no sense to wastefully and expensively replicate material functions or infrastructures that are better collectivised or communalised

Communal areas can include laundries, shower rooms, bath rooms, toilets, dining rooms, libraries, work shops, sitting rooms, kitchens, snooker rooms, saunas, [mostly vacant] TV rooms, music rooms, children’s playrooms etc. You name it, if a space would normally serve a social purpose, or serve a material function that would be redundant for a good proportion of the time in an ‘orthodox’ situation, it makes sense to communalise it. In doing so, people have the potential benefit of equipping their surroundings to a far higher standard than would be the norm.

Obviously given the communalisation of many material needs, the total income required by the Community is substantially lower than if the people comprising the Community’s Collectives worked and lived under ‘normal’ atomised conditions.

Leaning on the past to offer illustrative examples of possibilities… each person was only required to engage in the Community’s remunerative activities (the printing business) for an average of about 8 -10 hours per week, if even that much. So a wealth of spare time was available to spend on other activities such as building or maintenance work, childcare, growing food… the list goes on. Or time was utilised to develop creative talents or abilities, or to acquire new knowledge or skills, or share existing knowledge or skills with others.

Putting aside the ‘spare’ time and the requirement to engage in some income generating work, there was other work that needed to be done. For instance, people needed to eat. So every adult was required to ‘sign themselves up’ to one day on the cooking roister. Cooking days involved cooking lunch and dinner for everyone in the Community. Other more onerous or necessary tasks were listed on a separate roister that ran in tandem with the cooking roister. Everyone was expected to assign themselves at least one of those tasks too. Examples I remember were such things as caring for the chickens/ducks (feeding, cleaning out coops and collecting eggs), maintaining the sewerage system, doing the ‘communal wash’ (ie the tea towels and bedding that was supplied to visitors and such like), cleaning toilets/bathrooms, ensuring the communal supplies intended for our personal consumption were maintained…and so on.

A successful Community Collective is no ‘easy’ option. It’s a lot of hard work and requires a lot of energy. But the rewards can be immense.

And this post is far too long for my liking. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I’ll end it here. Hopefully I’ll be able to flesh out or expand on some of the details mentioned in response to comments and maybe give mention to other matters I’ve not covered in comments too.

Finally, I’ve contacted ex-members of the Community Collective I used to be a part of and some have indicated a willingness to share their experiences and memories of the internal processes…those that worked and those that didn’t…during their times as members of the Community (things such as different decision making processes, conflict resolution processes etc).  In short, there is no need to expend energy endlessly ‘re-inventing the wheel’ when there is the potential to tap into a wealth of accumulated institutional knowledge that covers some 40 years and a plethora of different circumstances.

Depending on the response this generates, I’d be keen to arrange ‘real world’ meetings among interested people early in the New Year. (Sooner, if people are keen. I’m in the Dunedin area.) And I want to add. Although it’s me who is putting this idea out there, it is the idea that matters. I’ll lend support and be actively involved where I can, but realistically, I’m aware I have certain preferences that may not accord with the preferences of others. So, if it eventuates that a group of people comes together and decides to act on this proposal and for whatever reason I’m not a part of it, then that’s okay. (And a-hem, who knows? Perhaps there will be enough interest to establish more than just one Collective ;-))

In the meantime, if you comment on this and are okay with me possibly contacting you via email, can you indicate as such with a simple ‘yes’ at the top of your comment? And if you are persuaded that this idea is worth promulgating, then definitely feel free to post it, reproduce it in whatever format, or link to it on whatever social networking site you may use.

And Lynn. If you have read this far and you are still of a mind to create a page for posts of this ilk…

74 comments on “Trading Futures”

  1. vto 1

    Interesting. One big thing missing though seems to be the purpose of such a venture. Why do it and what is to be achieved?

    • Bill 1.1

      The ‘purpose’ or motivation varies from person to person. Looking through the comments, reasons such as ‘enforced’ isolation, financial limitations of individuals etc are all signposted.

      The short answer as to ‘why’ might be recognition on some level that individualised interaction with the market system is a hard row to hoe that won’t produce much reward (or rewards of questionable worth) in the end and that it comes with a lot of social deficits.

      There is a big difference between working 40, 50 or 60 hours a week just to earn money and working those hours across a variety of things, most of which are not not focussed on accumulation of money, but that contribute directly to social or personal well being/development.

      By working cooperatively, a far more robust financial and social environment can be created by and for those people involved.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Sounds like a gated community to me.

    • Bill 2.1

      A gated community (as I undertstand them) is people with a certain level of income isolating themselves somewhat and living exactly as most people do right now…spending most of their time earning money and having little time for anything else.

      A Community Collective is not anything like that. People in a Community Collective don’t have to spend most of their time earning money and so have time to spend on other things. And Community Collectives are not isolated or cut off from their wider environments.

  3. Georgecom 3

    I had a look round a collective/co-operative urban garden in Havana, Cuba a few weeks ago. It was owned and managed by the workforce and looks to have some things going for it.

    http://octobersunincuba.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/the-organiponico-in-alamar/

  4. vto 4

    I hear that some people in Christchurch are looking at a form of cooperative to develop land more cheaply for red zoners in the east.

  5. Graeme 5

    “The Cult of Bill” LOL.

    What a load of drivel.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Please explain your position.

      • Graeme 5.1.1

        They just simply don’t work.

        People are inherently lazy and people inherently get annoyed when other people aren’t working as hard (and then don’t work as hard themselves).

        And you always end up with a hierarchy. We even saw this within a few weeks within Occupy Wall St: http://ow.ly/7M61D

        Nice in theory, but it simply doesn’t work in practice.

        • IrishBill 5.1.1.1

          Just because you’re inherently lazy doesn’t mean others are, graeme.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          Human beings have evolved over 3-6 million years in communal groups not dissimilar to the kind of thing Bill has described. Our existence as a species is proof that it works.

          The biggest threats to our ongoing survival as a species are mainly rooted in the fact that we moved away from this manner of living about 10,000 years ago.

          But otherwise what IB said.

          • aerobubble 5.1.1.2.1

            Yes, communal systems work and we need them but… …they require strong communties.
            Our western sprawl is designed to keep us at arms length from one another, more like an open prison once the jobs dry up. The reason, I believe, that we have such a poor ethical and moral culture is because of cheap oil removing the need to compromise and give-take on a daily basis.

        • Georgecom 5.1.1.3

          Graeme, I am not sure exactly what aspects of the post your comments relate to so I will limit myself to talking about the workers collective I observed. This was the organiponico in Alamar, Havana. The operation has been going for 20 years, a fairly substantial time. It has forms of direct democracy, collective decision making and election of management functionaries. The average monthly wage for the staff is 2-3 times the (albeit artifically low) average monthly wage for a Cuban.

          Now I am not purporting that this workers collective is perfect. I simply do not know those details. It does however have collective decision making, the workforce have a say in the operation of the organisation and the wages are high by local standards. All things being equal, and I am summizing here rather than stating an established fact, it must have some impact on the motivation and commitment amongst the workforce.

        • Carol 5.1.1.4

          Most people are not inherently lazy. Just look at how busy childern are. It’s repressive systems that stifle people’s natural tendencies to engage in activities that interest them – systems that require people do things they have no real interest in and for goals that mean little to them or that are rendered unachievable by the system. Captalism is like that for many people -boring jobs to earn a pittance that, for large numbers of people, will never lead to the carrots of higher aspirational goals the capitalist elite celebrate.

        • prism 5.1.1.5

          @Graeme

          People are inherently lazy

          Speak for yourself. It’s lazy to come out with such negative generalisations. Better stay away from any co-operative ventures – you would be a drag and a hindrance with your approach.

          They need people who are keen for better conditions, aware as you are of the problems arising when groups of people try to work together, and that agree on a set mission statement and practical policies as to method of working and monitoring results, and how to run decision-making and that for changing decisions. What is not needed is the septic sceptic white-anting away with negative comments in a grandiose manner and taking pleasure out of failure because it confirms what he wanted all along.

          I think all the above is important but I have got onto an earlier discussion. I hope though that any people who get into a collective keep the above in mind as my experience is that there needs to be a buy-in to something definite not each with an individual idea that may differ widely but the variety is only realised when a crunch comes.

    • prism 5.2

      Graeme – What experience have you had with community ventures that has so soured you that you reject the idea outright? Drivel as an adjective really demands more explanation to be understood by thinking people.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Bill.

    The principle is excellent and is entirely in keeping with humanity’s roots, i.e. small groups of people working together, as was the case before empires emerged 8,000 or so years ago.

    However, having put forward this kind of idea repeatedly since around 2000, and having generated next to no interest -we do live in a consumeristic, individualistic, apathetic society at the moment- I gave up.

    I believe there is now virtually no time left to establish such collectives: the ‘Titanic has been holed and is sinking fast’.

    However, once current arrangements have disintegrated (I’m still sticking with before 2015 for want of evidence to the contrary: there are plenty of naysayers who offer no evidence to support their opinions), either such collectives will emerge naturally or the remnants of western society will thrash themselves into oblvion via some kind of ‘Mad-Max-without-fuel’ scenario.

    Now would be a good time to keep a careful eye on finances in Europe, out-of control debt and fascism in the US, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Despite my assertion there will be no attack on Iran because it it too well defended, western nations seem determined to bring thngs to a head. Explosions, attacks, closing of embassies, Russian warships ships off the coast of Syria, China building a blue-water navy as fast as it can …..

    If those who are determined to bring about armed conflict between the great religions of the world (in order to secure oil and gas supplies) suceed, they will probably succeed in starting WWIII.

    Most people will return to the kind of collective living our ancestors knew, either by choice or by force of circumstances.

    • Michael 6.1

      What happens in 2015?

      • mik e 6.1.1

        Afew different dates Afew different doomsday scenarios so far nothing has happened by our resident soothsayer it reminds me of montepythons life of brian taking the piss out of doomsayers

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          In terms of being a doomsayer – and I can agree that AKFTT can sometimes be a tad on the dramatic side – we’re not talking about the literal ‘end of the world’ here. Just the ‘end of current arrangements’.

          BTW AKFTT used the word ‘disintegrated’. Disintegration takes time. It’s a process, sometimes quite fast, sometimes slow. In Europe you can see this process happening to sovereign countries and Eurozone arrangements, driven by the banksters.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        What happens in 2015?

        AFKTT said before 2015.

  7. nadis 7

    Not being silly, but what is the point of living in this way? You say the “rewards can be immense” – can you expand on that as I’d be interested. To me it sounds like a version of hell.

    I couldnt live that way domestically but I could potentially see small businesses run that way.

  8. Jimmie 9

    A few questions:

    1 How do you deal with criminal behaviour and prevent paedophiles from causing problems?

    2 How do you deal with people behaving selfishly eg attempting to be more equal than everyone else or attempting to do less work than others? Do you have a disciplinary code?

    3 How do you ensure that member’s finances are not dishonestly used?

    4 How do you gain a consensus on what business ventures etc. that the commune invests in?

    5 If all decisions require a consensus what if you have 1 or 2 obstinate fools who decide to hold a contrary opinion?

    To deal with the above issues and others don’t you end up having to elect officials to leadership roles and to work out systems for them to be accountable? Thus you create a beraucracy that generates a whole lot more people issues.

    I think for a commune to work it has to be made up of people with shared religious or philosophical beliefs which tends to provide a measure of informal control over the members.

    I guess also you could look at the history of the kibbutz system in Israel to see how they operate.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      To deal with the above issues and others don’t you end up having to elect officials to leadership roles and to work out systems for them to be accountable?

      Leaders aren’t necessary. Everything is discussed openly amongst everyone until a decision is made. Takes a little more time but you don’t get the corruption that’s endemic to a hierarchical society.

    • joe90 9.2

      Same old, Kibbutz debt levels were fine during high inflation periods but when the squeeze went on during the eighties many Kibbutzim folded. All the good bits were flogged off, the banks had their arses covered by the Israeli taxpayer and a way of life disappeared.

      http://www.forward.com/articles/127122/

      The celebrations are tinged with melancholy, though. The institution of the kibbutz has survived its first century, but the hope of pioneering a new and better model of human society has not. Over the past quarter-century, most of Israel’s 270 kibbutzim have abandoned the founders’ socialist credo, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” and replaced it with the new “privatized” kibbutz. Today’s kibbutz boasts differential salaries, shuttered dining halls, individual home ownership, private bank accounts and investment portfolios and, of course, richer and poorer kibbutzniks. Only about 80 kibbutzim, fewer than one-third, still preserve the old egalitarianism

      [….]

      But the truth is just the opposite. The kibbutzim that maintained classic kibbutz socialism are the ones that thrived economically over the past generation. Their members have kept innovating regardless of kibbutz structure, developing and marketing high-tech irrigation systems, operating state-of-the-art printing, plastics manufacturing and even financial services. It turns out that when money comes in, nobody minds sharing. It’s when the kibbutz treasury runs dry and living standards are slashed that bickering erupts. That’s when members start leaving to pursue those dreams they didn’t know they had until the kibbutz cut their consumer allowance

    • Bill 9.3

      1. A Community Collective isn’t beyond the law Jimmie.

      2. The market economy encourages selfishness. It rewards it. By using legislation to create a certain distance or buffer between people and the market, it becomes possible to encourage other, more desirable behavioural traits. Expressions of social disapproval towards undesirable bahaviours can have a powerful moderating influence.

      3. How do you envisage a person using their finances in a way that would be ‘invisible’ to the people they are living and working in close proximity to? And why do you think anyone would want to be dishonest in an environment that encourages and rewards co-operation/mutual trust?

      4. I can’t say for sure that consensus would be necessary for every given business venture. Then again, it might be.

      5. Why would consensus be required for all decisions? You are right that there is a danger of minority rule developing in such a situation. So why go down that track?

      There is absolutely no need to elect any governing body. That would be counter productive as well as unnecessary. Income sharing invalidates the vertical division of labour we are used to and promotes a horizontal environment where people govern themselves collectively without any appeal to any authority beyond their own.

      I think the social criteria are enough in and of themselves to generate norms and expectations over time. I don’t believe over-riding philosophical or religious belief systems are necessary or even desirable.

  9. Nick K 10

    Why would you look at this when all we have to do is increase the size of government and let government take care of our responsibilities?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Only the RWNJs think that letting government take care of our responsibilities is viable. Example: National Standards and the RWNJs response (It’s the law, WAAAAGH) to schools not implementing then.

    • joe90 10.2

      Nah, vouchers, if only we had vouchers.

  10. Jimmy 11

    Rhetoric aside, if such a social structure was viable long term then the initial efforts at said societies would still exist and be functional and thriving. The reality is that this social structure is not compatible with human nature. People who have a desire to achieve more and be “better” than their fellows need the opportunity to at least appear to be doing just that. If not resentment/corruption/sabotage etc. become the outlet.

    We are all equal but some more than others.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      The reality is that this social structure is not compatible with human nature.

      Wrong. If community was against human nature we wouldn’t have it. What’s against human nature is the capitalist system which is promulgated by the few, usually by force, for their own aggrandisement.

    • Puddleglum 11.2

      The reality is that this social structure is not compatible with human nature

      Surely you don’t mean that?

      For several hundreds of thousands of years (when most people think that our psychological ‘nature’ was evolving) that is pretty much the kind of social structure all humans experienced. 

      Something that really needs to be emphasised is that highly eollectivist hunter-gatherer cultures tend to have greater individuality (I know, sounds paradoxical but it’s true).

      It was because individuals were free within a non-hierarchical society that they tended to embrace the advantages of staying together and, hence, collectivism was possible and became not just the norm but the only viable means of survival.

      • Jimmy 11.2.1

        I really do mean that. I am happy to live in a society that tries to offer all it’s members all the necessaries of life; but without the opportunity to better yourself individually there is little incentive to succeeded.

        Chairman Mao tried to improve efficiency by removing private cooking and centralising to canteens. With a guaranteed food supply the field workers became lazy and crops failed resulting in famine.

        It is evolutionary to reward individuals who do better. In hunter gather societies the strongest individuals had higher status than others. Not all were equal.

        We all have worth, but we will never be equal.

        • RedLogix 11.2.1.1

          but without the opportunity to better yourself individually there is little incentive to succeeded.

          Nothing in Bill’s proposal closes down that opportunity. I’d suggest you are seeing demons of your own making.

          Chairman Mao tried to improve efficiency by removing private cooking and centralising to canteens. With a guaranteed food supply the field workers became lazy and crops failed resulting in famine.

          You completely confuse totalitarianism with socialism. The field workers were not stupid, they knew perfectly well that if they didn’t raise a successful crop that there would be a famine. It was the extreme, ideological interventions of the CCP that disrupted the agricultural cycle .

          It is evolutionary to reward individuals who do better. In hunter gather societies the strongest individuals had higher status than others. Not all were equal.

          Essentially the exact opposite is true for humans. While almost all other species compete for resources; humans, along with several other of the greater apes, evolved another completely different survival strategy based on strict egalitarianism, sharing and intense group co-operation.

          It was our ability to exploit the varied talents and abilities of the whole group, to benefit everyone which has been the basis of our extraordinary success as a species.

          And of course we are not all the same; it would an utter repudiation of everything it is to be human if we were. That too is a demon of your own making.

        • wtl 11.2.1.2

          It is evolutionary to reward individuals who do better. In hunter gather societies the strongest individuals had higher status than others. Not all were equal.

          I suggest you read some of David Sloan Wilson’s work, such as ‘Unto others’ and ‘Darwin’s Cathedral’. He makes a very compelling case that human evolution (both genetic and cultural) includes a very strong group-level component. That is, a large driving force in recent human evolution is fitness at the level of the group rather than at the individual level. Societies that do well appear to be ones that suppress individualistic tendencies when they are at odds with what is needed for the group. And hunter gatherer societies did NOT function as you are implying, they were very altruistic (within the group).

          • NickS 11.2.1.2.1

            Group selection is still bunk, however selection for co-operation is pretty easy to pull off with plan old “selfish” evolution, especially as it often increases reproductive fitness. The key problem with it is that normal suite of selective processes can explain pretty much everything group selection is often applied to.

            In terms of cultural evolution it might work, but I’m too zonked from work to think it out fully.

    • jimmy 11.3

      I stand by my initial statement; if such a social structure was viable long term then the initial efforts at said societies would still exist and be functional and thriving.

      Humanity forms into societies because the individuals realise that together they are better off than alone. Packs, herds etc. all function on the same principal. Vampire bats will share blood on the understanding that what comes around goes around. The reality is that the individual is only ever trying to achieve their own goals.

      RedLogix you are confusing communism with socialism.

      • RedLogix 11.3.1

        I stand by my initial statement; if such a social structure was viable long term then the initial efforts at said societies would still exist and be functional and thriving.

        Well it was viable for many millions of years. It was the advent of agriculture, and the inherent notion of property that comes with it, which is the Johnny Come Lately to the scene. Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel explores some of this theme.. as do many others.

        Diamond concludes that civilisation is a thoroughly mixed blessing, and agriculture as possibly the worst mistake we have made; it not yet being clear that we will survive it. And you have to be in a coma not to have noticed the host of very real threats right now hanging over the vast biota of 7billion humans currently living on the planet.

        For while I imagine that the human race will survive in some form or another, there is little doubt that the present mode of ‘business as usual’ is completely unsustainable. In other words, the current social structure you are so convinced as superior, is likely to be dismantled within decades… and prove to be a mere abberant blip in the long, long scrolls of life this planet has seen.

        As for confusing communism with socialism… really you have lost me there.

        • jimmy 11.3.1.1

          the present mode of ‘business as usual’ is completely unsustainable. In other words, the current social structure you are so convinced as superior, is likely to be dismantled within decades… and prove to be a mere abberant blip in the long, long scrolls of life this planet has seen.

          The industrial revolution was a mere blip, the technology revolution will be a mere blip, as will the green revolution. Humanity is dynamic, and as such will be constantly evolving.

          If we really felt the current social structure was so bad we would be doing more than sitting at our computers flinging idle banter.

          I do not make the mistake of thinking the status quo is ideal, but I do not see a viable alternative. Communism is certainly not the answer.

    • Bill 11.4

      It’s not that such social structures aren’t compatable with human nature. It’s that they aren’t compatable with a market economy if individual people are the interface with the market. In short, society thrives on co-operation between people while the market demands competition between people.

      One way around, or to ameliorate the deliterious impact of the market on individual social relations is to remove it from that sphere and interact with it collectively rather than individually.

      I’ve no problem with the reality that we aren’t equal (we have different attributes). But that doesn’t mean we need to have inequitable outcomes flowing from our various forms of work. And it doesn’t mean that we need to have some people empowered at the direct expense of others.

      Is there a compelling reason why a chef who enjoys their work should be rewarded and empowered more than the dish washer doing rote but absolutely necessary work?

      And then, in within that context, is there a compelling reason why a chef or a sous chef shouldn’t or wouldn’t seek to excell in their work or improve on their knowledge and skill?

      And within that context, is there a compelling reason why the sous chef or chef wouldn’t share their skill and knowledge with the dish washer?

      • Colonial Viper 11.4.1

        And washing dishes is in itself a skill…one can get faster and more efficient…and you play a key role in maintaining hygiene and preventing food poisoning. In addition to creating an employed position, it reduces the use of throwaway plastic cups and plates.

        Basically like many underrated roles in a (capitalist) economy it is one which is very useful for the good functioning of society.

        • Bill 11.4.1.1

          Goes beyond that CV. You could say the chef can’t do anything without the dish pig. And that neither can do anything unless their children are being cared for. And then there’s the produce someone grew to be used in the kitchen and so on.

          Either, the market is allowed to allocate wages to people for these various undertakings, meaning people will abandon the lower paid stuff altogether or set off in pursuit of money to pay someone else to do them for as little pay as possible and a whole competitive, selfish mess will ensue…jealously guarding skill sets and knowledges that pay well, and so on…in short, the individual usurping and impoverishing the very social context they rely on.

          I’m not suggesting that everything has an equal worth. But the way worth is measured and rewarded can have undesirable or just plain stupid consequences. What if (internally) financial measures of reward are kept out of the picture? As long as there is a general perception that people are making a worthwhile contribution (and that’s not always easily defined, it’s a perception), then the drive to compete loses out to the more sensible option of cooperation. And where social contexts assume primacy, individual needs are far better catered to and so individuals (in spite of contrary claims by market ideologues) are better off.

  11. The Gormless fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel 12

    My God. This sounds absolutely dreadful.

    • Vicky32 12.1

      This sounds absolutely dreadful.

      I disagree, I think it sounds heavenly! But I think that such communities really need to have a shared religious/philosophical/political base… My fictional one did – based on the ideals of the Christian Pacifist group I was in at the time…

      • NickS 12.1.1

        And if you look at the history of communal systems in the 19th and 20 century, the key failure points are money and ideological fuck-wittery.

        In short people invariably, even under a seemingly uniting ideology (religious or political), form fractions and come to different ideas about what’s “right” in terms of the central ideology and how it’s followed, leading to all sorts of fun and formation and entrenchment of toxic authoritarian power structures and charismatic splits. Thus secularism can be a real life saver and avoid ideological fuck-wittery.

        The really short version: fundamentalism poisons everything.

        As for money, robust community financial tools, structures and auditing are the key to stopping that.

    • NickS 12.2

      And yet, collectivism can work very well :P

  12. Nick C 13

    This sounds great! You can all go and choose to live in your socialist paradise without imposing it on me by forcing me to fund it and live under it. Off you go, best of luck I say!

    • Thomas 13.1

      My thoughts exactly. I hope you socialists try this and leave the rest of us to enjoy capitalism. I might even be convinced to donate something to help your experiment get started.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        lol

        Socialism is going to be hard work, but everyone will do OK in the end.

        The comparison is today’s trans-national state of crony cartel capitalism. Which is going to be apocalyptic for 95% of people.

        • Thomas 13.1.1.1

          I am totally happy for you to build a socialist community, as long as I am not compelled to participate.

          I don’t think it will work, but I’m happy for you to try to prove me wrong, as long as I’m allowed to stick with my preferred option.

          Good luck!

  13. just saying 14

    I have many many questions Bill.

    First up – it seems like this kind of undertaking requires some kind of “business” – or as you call it “remunerative activities” as well as land and/or living facilities. Assuming you aren’t talking about a gradual progression of like minded people, but rather a single, massive leap, where would these essentials come from? It seems like the upfront capital could only be borrowed from those with means. The interest is pretty irrelevant because, as you say, all interest goes to the collective.

    This is a huge leap of faith, and all the more so, because the members of the collective, as yet, don’t even know each other. This leap would be easier to make for those who don’t bring capital to the table, those who do, risk losing everything, and starting again in the most uncertain of times, and possibly the most grim we have ever faced, with no safety net. And yet having at least some members with capital seems essential. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your proposal. For me, what you have outlined raises a lot more questions than it answers.

    A few friends and I have been talking about setting up a collective, and we’ve been taking a few small steps at a time towards making it happen. We have the advantage of knowing and trusting each other. I assume the collective of which you were a part in Britain started with a group of like-minded friends. I also assume they came together when they were young, and they worked it all out over a long time, in response to emerging circumstances. I find the idea of a new collective stepping so completely into the shoes of a now defunct one, on the other side of the world, in very different times, a little unusual. These people are another unknown. I’d certainly be very interested in hearing their stories, and particularly, what they learned. And I’d like to know why they are no longer living this way.

    These are just my very preliminary thoughts. I’m not intending to be negative, but I’m cautious and sceptical by nature. I’m certainly very interested to learn more.

    • Bill 14.1

      If there are outstanding loans on land or structures etc, then a business is crucial. And I don’t believe that self sufficiency is a goal worth pursuing or even realistic. So, some way of making money within the context of an overarchng market economy is necessary.

      I don’t see a problem with a gradual process. How fast or slow that progress is will depend on such factors as finances and skill/knowledge sets etc. And there are multiple possible starting points or ‘spring-boards’, again informed by realities on the ground.

      As for people bringing financial capital ‘to the table’, they don’t need to lose anything. They don’t have to bring their assets to the table if they don’t want to. Of course, it would be nice to think that a hardheaded plan or unfolding scenario would be robust, reliable and pragmatic enough to generate confidence in people who might be in a situation to agree to loans.

      And there are lending institutions, such as Prometheus, that might be utilised…again depending on realities on the ground.

      The Community Collective in the UK isn’t defunct. But it runs under different auspices these days. A New Zealand example of income sharing and common ownership of property and land is ‘Riverside Community’. It was formed around 1940. It’s legislative framework is a bit different (a religious trust). It still exists.

      The legislative framework aside, I only intended to use my previous experience and observations as illustrative examples or to signpost some possibilities in a general sense. As they say, there are a 1001 ways to skin a cat.

      • just saying 14.1.1

        Glad I caught this. I no longer have hundreds of blog comments making my email unmanageable, since I learned how to switch it off.

        We’re getting to the point (and who knows how soon it will be upon us) where being part of ‘hapu’ type groups will be the difference between surviving or not, for a lot of us. Collectives will no longer be a lifestyle choice, and we’ll have to learn the hard way how to live closely and interdependently again, not to mention how to provide for ourselves with less and different resources. The interweb will, no-doubt, become ever more vital in bringing like-minded people together, for sharing resources, and cooperating with skills and knowledge, and developing appropriate technologies for our new lives. But even so, we must fall back primarily on our local communities, and work with what and who we have, our imperfect selves together. Mucking in.

        • Bill 14.1.1.1

          …and work with what and who we have, our imperfect selves together. Mucking in.

          Yes and no. It’s fairly common for people to trade, gift and barter informally. But then, that’s always been fairly common. Meanwhile, if our habits remain shaped or guided by market principles, or if most of our time is consumed in market related activity, or if market principles continue to inform our production and distribution systems, then we simply aren’t going to progress beyond this point we’re at.

          I think we can, and must, do better than ‘mucking in’. We know market relations screw things up in all manner of ways beyond mere economics, eg, reinforcing, underpinning or excusing various expressions of sexism and racism etc And we know that command economies screw things up too (albeit in different ways).

          We have the capability to do things differently. There are perfectly legal avenues that can be utilised to develop robust environments that insulate our broader personal environment from the effects of the market economy, and that usurp it while remaining connected to it and to wider society.

          Put simply, a local community can be intentionally created rather than being the product of historical and geographical accidents or circumstances people had (have) little or no control over.

  14. ak 15

    Yes.

    Too decrepit to be much more than a moral “yes”, but heartily appreciative of any optimism, particularly since last saturday.

    Good things take time, and repeated attempts; and though this petered out last time, you might just be onto it Bill. Last time was a larkish dream in a time of plenty, but these times are ominously unprecedented. Only a few might know the truth right now, but more and more are learning. And the dont-cares will be made to care.

    Having been through the last lark but, reckon an anchor of some sort is needed. Besides marijuana, the Mother Earth testament or the bible. Preferably the mother of invention. But something: anarchic communality within an individualistic wider society is as doomed and bizarre as benevolent toryism.

    Whanaungatanga combined with mana motuhake’s the obvious and could lead the way, but it might take AFKTT’s apocalypse ’15 to really bring us all together. Random thought – the churches are dying, but grounded, and loaded: community gardens/chooks/rabbits/beneficiary socials and concerts easily gain intial funding and could lead on to something given impetus and drive. Land donations even.

    Anyhoo, good work Bill and all power to your elbow.

  15. weka 16

    Great to see this written up Bill. There have been lots of good questions asked too. I look forward to the discussion.

    I agree with Just Saying that one of the biggest challenges will be to get people to take the leap, but I don’t see that as having to be sudden.

    Whatever happens, the process needs to be documented as a template for others to use. Might be good to set up something online where people can discuss what you are proposing.

    • ropata 16.1

      The premier examples are the Mondragon Co-operatives in Spain.

      I think Bill goes too far with the commune idea, but the emergent social / industrial network is a very real and hopeful alternative.

      (as opposed to the virulent fscking feudal oligarchy / corporate vampire squid model that is wrecking the planet today)

      • seeker 16.1.1

        Thanks ropata – had never really looked into Mondragon, but, thanks to Bill’s post, a great thread has transpired and I am now learning about a successful skill sharing cooperative, definitely ‘outside the matrix’ .

        It’s success as an alternative is truly “aspirational ” (in the hopeful sense) as well as inspirational, as so many people are now unemployed in Spain. and elsewhere. Furthermore, while Spain is in trouble because of our present global financial architecture, Mondragon, as an alternative model, still seems to be ongoing.

        Oct.24,2011
        “‘In the face of the global financial crisis that has Spain’s unemployment level standing currently at some 22 per cent, the Mondragon co-operatives offer an astonishingly successful alternative to the way we organise business and economies…….

        Revisiting recently for the fifth time, since the early nineteen-eighties, the great complex of worker-owned manufacturing, retail, agricultural, civil engineering and service cooperatives centred on Mondragon in the Basque region of Spain, it was impossible not to be impressed by the resilience that has enabled them to take their share of economic hits and emerge largely unscathed.

        As Mondragon’s Human Resources Director, Mikel Zabala, points out, “We are private companies that work in the same market as everybody else. We are exposed to the same conditions as our competitors.”

  16. Vicky32 17

    In the 1980s, I created just such a community for a novel I was writing about life in a post-collapse society in New Zealand, following an unspecified war (I kept changing my mind about the nature/duration of said war as time passed.) At the time I was newly divorced with a small son, and I especially liked the idea of not duplicating effort and resources – one woman, one child, one flat, but everyone living communally, sharing housework, kitchens, bathrooms etc…

    • LynW 17.1

      I had similar thoughts as a young Mum in the early eighties too, driven by the loneliness and the absurdity of being at home isolated with a baby. A group of us ended up getting together for fruit and vegetable bottling, washing windows, meal sharing at times etc. It served many purposes; from skill sharing and task doing to improving emotional wellbeing with the social contact. Isolated and struggling is not a healthy place to be. I guess this is how it is for many today, at both ends of the spectrum. How lonely many of our elderly must also be and what an amazing wealth of life experience and skills they have to share. The struggling isolated Mums and families remain also.
      Good to hear these views.

      The Mondragon example sounds great. Very inspirational.

  17. anarcho 18

    Cool. Be great to get such a discussion going. I have a lot of involvement as well in both worker and housing collectives – such ideas are the norm within anarchist circles. Not much success, but a lot of learning and growing :)

    For the doubters, it’s often useful to depoliticise these ideas: think of the rugby club, the kindy committee, the flat, the community market etc. All everyday instances where people work collectively for the common good.

    • mik e 18.1

      The business round table
      Arnold Nordmyer started a community doctors practice in the Waitaki valley
      where every body contributed 1 shilling a week it was enough to hire a doctor on wages so every body had access when needed to see a doctor schemes like this could be resurrected ie for a Dentist.
      The beer Barron add on TV gives Node a bad name as his tariff on imported beer wasn’t repealed by the incoming National govt .It lead to more New Zealanders being employed like in Barley and Hop growing malting and beer manurfacture. Some thing the company who profited and expanded would never have done otherwise.

      • LynW 18.1.1

        Isn’t Fonterra a farmers co-op?

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          Yes. But its not a workers co-op it is a suppliers co-op.

          Ideally dairy factory workers and the corporate staff would also have an ownership share in Fonterra.

  18. Afewknowthetruth 19

    milk e

    ‘Afew different doomsday scenarios so far nothing has happened’

    1.The collapse of the Icelandic Ponzi scheme and collapse of the government.

    2. US federal budget ‘out of control’, unprecedented levles of home foreclosure, 39% of mortgagees underwater, nearly 50 million Americans dependent on food stamps, states and municipalities broke, cutting services, turning off street lighting, laying off staff and closing parks etc.

    3. Governments in Belgium, Greece and Italy gone under and replaced by technocrats.

    4. Panic in high places concerning the Eurozone and a general admission from people like Merkel, Cameron and Sarkozy etc. the system isn’t working and will never work.

    All of that has occured since the ‘boom times’ of 2006, when the property bubble peaked (in inflation adjusted terms) and the share market bubble peaked.

    That’s right; ‘nothing has happened’.

    Just in case you are interested in reality, the following are to come between now and 2014.

    1. A significant drop in global conventional oil extraction and failure of unconventional oil to maintain overall supply. Depending on how parlous the world economy is. that will result in significantly higher oil prices or oil at moderately high prices that fewer and fewer people will be able to afford.

    2. Negative economic growth thoughout much of the world.

    3. Breakup of the Eurozone.

    4. Mandatory cuts to federal spending in the US.

    5. Bursting of the Chinese and Indian bubble economies.

    6. Revelation of the horrendous health implications of the meltdown of Fukishima and implosion of the Japanese economy

    7. Increasing desperation amongst the poor and disposessed, which will lead to an ever greater portion of the diminishing resources being channeled towards repression of ‘the proles’ throughout most of the world.

    8. A showdown between the major military powers for the control of the last large reserves oil and gas.

    Add to that lethal mix increased disruption to practically everything from environmental factors such as tornadoes, drought and inundation, and partial failure of the industrialised food system

    I don’t believe there will be a ‘doomsday’ as such, just a multitude of factors makiing it increasingly difficult for ‘the powers that be’ to maintian present arrangements.

    As I said before, people will have to learn to work togetther or perish.

    Please present some evidence I am wrong on any of the points I have made or shut up.

  19. mike 20

    AFKTT What have you got on Fukishima? All I can find is a bunch of contradictory stuff.

    Also, I’m wondering if you think that (some of) those at the top with real power see what’s coming and believe they will emerge holding all the cards? Or is it pure deluded incompetence?

    • Afewknowthetruth 20.1

      mike.

      Hard to be sure of the details but there has been a meltdown which has released huge amounts of radiation and radioactive isotopes are still being released, much of northen Japan is contnimated, it will take years for the mess at the explosion site to be sorted out, Japan is increasingly dependent on imported diesel for electtricity generation and few people trust the government.

      Regarding your second point, megalomania, delusion and incompetence are a commonly seen amongst leaders but some of those at the top are well aware of most of what is coming and have their bolt holes prepared.

      What the elites do not seem have come to terms with is the very high chance of abrupt climate change, i.e. a rise in average temperature of several degrees Celsius in a few decades rendering most of the Earth uninhabitable for ‘higher’ life forms. .

  20. Jum 21

    Can the same central idea apply to a newspaper/radio/television collective which replies to and presents alternative thinking to the government’s one-sided media hype?

    Essentially, it would be left-leaning because all other media channels are swallowed up and manipulated by the right.

    • seeker 21.1

      ‘Jum

      “a newspaper/radio/television collective” which “replies to and presents alternative thinking to the government’s one-sided media hype”

      What good idea!

      Not just a ‘newspaper but an all ‘types of of media’ collective which would put the the fair back into ‘fairfax’.

      This would certainly help to redress the balance of our skewed MSM, and with the combining of the many different skill and ideas from just a few interested, and perhaps inspired, creative participants on this site, maybe it could become a real possibility.

  21. vto 22

    Hey Bill, any response to the questions posed in various aboveness?

  22. Tiger Mountain 23

    I like the idea of living arrangements as per a motel around a swimming pool, everyone with private space but shared stuff like laundry and even transport by arrangement, but damn you make it sound boring Bill.

    There have been all sorts of independent communities in Aotearoa over the years, and people can still do that. And they usually do that for combined religious or personal beliefs. Urban settings are highly likely to be connected to the grid-water, power, sewerage, telco etc. which kind of negates the point.

    • Bill 23.1

      I’m not sure how being connected to sewerage and power systems etc ‘negates the point’. Im not saying that centralised ‘grids’ are that desirable. But it’s a big ask to throw services and their convenience away ‘in a heartbeat’. It might be possible to do in some contexts, but I’m guessing it would involve ‘doing it hard’. And that’s not necessary.

      Even in an urban environment, it’s possible to use such utilities with an eye to weaning off of them.

      What I find frustrating is those Communities that give a good surface impression of doing something new or different, but who have brought the market – lock, stock and barrel – into their scenario and so recreate all the same dynamics – the inequities, power differentials and competitive drives – that exist in our ‘consumer’ society. Quite a number are no more than ‘satellite dormitories’…little suburbs in a ‘nice’ setting where people exude ‘niceness’ while engaging in all the same old ugly crap.

      Anyway, I don’t really care too much if the toilet hooks up to the municipal sewerage. My preference would be that it didn’t. But there be bigger fish to fry.

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    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • 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 | 21-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 20-11
  • 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 | 19-11
  • 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 | 19-11
  • 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 | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • 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 | 23-11
  • 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 | 23-11
  • How biased is 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 | 23-11
  • 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 | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. 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 | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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