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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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    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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