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Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 5th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags: ,

Charles Waldegrave has slammed Brian Scott’s critique of the method used to calculate the Living Wage in New Zealand.

In a detailed and interesting analysis, he addresses the databases used to develop the Living Wage and compares the New Zealand approach with that of other countries. He shows Scott’s critique, and that of the Treasury, lack an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage and confuse market wage rates and welfare transfers.

He also demonstrates how Scott selectively applies international comparative data and consistently misapplies the use of Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey database. Further, he states Scott provides no evidence for his assertions about the negative impacts of the living wage on workplace morale and productivity.

Waldegrave cites the evidence of the balance of studies that have shown positive business and economic outcomes from living wage policies internationally.

*The living wage level was set at $18.40 per hour in February 2013. Scott’s paper has been given prominence on David Farrar’s Kiwiblog 3 January 2014

 

 

 

45 comments on “Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique”

  1. Disraeli Gladstone 1

    “It is not suggested that the minimum wage be lifted to the level of the living wage.
    They are quite separate entities.”

    I sometimes feel like that get lost in translation to both the left and right. The right goes “oh no! look at this massive increase” and the left goes “everybody gets it!”

    It shouldn’t be statutorily enforced. I like the London scheme which is similar to a fair trade badge. You get the logo if you pay the living wage. I’d certainly tailor that knowledge into where I shop.

    • framu 1.1

      thats pretty much my view as well (living wage, not minimum wage)

      yes the market can decide – and the purchaser is as much a part of the market as the employer (and the use of the badge is a good idea). But theres no reason why the govt (who is a player in the market too) cant lead the way

      it will only work by showing it works and by building the expectation and demand. It wont work and is too easily undone if its a top down imposed thing

    • McFlock 1.2

      personally, I’d want very good reasons why the minimum wage is not set at a living-wage level.

      As always ( :) ) I’d be looking for a phased increase rather than a blanket dictat, but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society. That includes a right to work 35-40 hrs per week, and to work only 35-40hrs per week.

      I was amused that Waldegrave’s response had to continually address the fact that tories have no idea what “dignity” means, and that it’s not the same as “minimum”.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society”

        What would you do with benefit rates in that case?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1.1

          +1 Weka.

          Set benefit rates at living wage rates. Or don’t you want to live in high waged economy? Politics of envy handicap?

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          probably along the lines of what oak said above, especially for longer term benefits. Ideally the unemployment benefit is a bridging benefit, but that requires full employent policies

      • Lanthanide 1.2.2

        The only argument I could think for why the living wage should not be the minimum is that the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.

        Of course the minimum wage should be $15, preferably $16, so the leap from there to $18.40 isn’t all that much.

        • just saying 1.2.2.1

          …there are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount,…

          Sure,
          If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

          Unless you mean short-term……but for many, many, people, it’s not. And even short term in the best of all possible circumstances, why shouldn’t workers be allowed to splurge a little – have a nice meal, a holiday once in a while…..

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.1.1

            Sure,
            If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

            Note that I’m suggesting a minimum wage of $16, and that therefore someone who was single could ‘live well’ for $16/hour.

            If you’re saying that the difference between $16 and $18.40 is so marked that all of the things you’ve mentioned here are true, for a single person, then I can only conclude that you would also consider $18.40 to be too little to raise a family on, which is what the living wage was calculated for.

            • just saying 1.2.2.1.1.1

              If you are working fulltime on $16 per hour an extra $2.40 per hour is not “chump change” it could mean you could afford to see the dentist, for example.

              Btw, I live quite well on less because I’m pretty well-set-up (though not a puritan). But when that bump comes I’m fucked, and you know what? – that’s an incessant life-sapping stress.

          • gem 1.2.2.1.2

            +1 But somehow the commensurate argument about the top of the scale never gains traction; i.e why on earth does the head of an SOE need 50 times or more the minimum wage? The double standard is a bit like John Galbraith’s ‘private opulence and public squalor’, except now we have a quasi corporate public sector where the head of the postal service gets 28 times the minimum wage.

        • karol 1.2.2.2

          It evens out in the long run as people’s circumstances change. Most single people will eventually have children. Most people with children will eventually be empty nesters. Several along the way will have others to care for – older people, injured, sick or disabled, etc.

          Good if one can have a few good times before having children. Maybe also save a little.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.2.1

            Yes, savings is a good point I hadn’t really considered.

            Anyway, I said that was the only argument I could think of, I’m not necessarily putting that forwards myself. Like I said in the post, I’m in favour of a minimum wage of $16, and I see $2.40 as being chump-change on top of that (extra 15%), so while I wouldn’t necessarily support a raise to $18.40, I also wouldn’t oppose it.

        • stargazer 1.2.2.3

          “the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.”

          the living wage is based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children, with one person working 40 hours per week & the other working 20 hours per week. a single person wouldn’t be getting the wage from the additional 20 hours. the living wage also takes into account working for families entitlements. a single person without kids would not get any working for families payments.

          so taking both those things into account, a single person would be getting a significantly lesser amount in terms of their overall income. bigger families would get a higher working for families entitlement, so a higher level of overall income.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.3.1

            Thanks stargazer, I wasn’t aware of those specific details.

            In that case yes, $18.40 for a single person seems like a reasonable rate.

    • KJT 1.3

      A minimum wage should be at the same level as a “living” wage.

      Why should your employees, subsidise, your business?

      Capitalism 101. Businesses which cannot pay the true costs of the resources they use, including people, should be allowed to fail, to make room for those who can use their inputs more effectively.

      • Macro 1.3.1

        +100

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.3.2

        The true costs of the resources they use (people) is not the living wage. The true cost isn’t even the minimum wage. It would be what the market decides (probably far below the minimum wage).

        That’s why we have statutory guarantees on a wage limit because capitalism would lead to an effective minimum wage that would be far too low.

        So, no. Not really Capitalism 101.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Waldegrave clearly doesn’t understand how right wing facts work. His work has been subjected to a process of denial therefore it is flawed. No fact-based analysis can compete with this.

    • Macro 2.1

      Sad but true.

    • QoT 2.2

      At some point we really do have to let go of the idea we can convince the right with facts. They don’t want the people at the bottom of the ladder to have fulfilled, satisfying lives. They cannot be reasoned with on this point.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        I think the best strategy is to make their arguments the subject of ridicule.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        Yes. When I contemplate the gulf between the two ways of thinking – I’m tempted by the idea that there must be some irreducible genetic difference. By alas therein lies the madness of eugenics.

        I have this clear memory of an old picture from a mountain equipment catalog from the 1980’s. It was a gorgeous photo of a climber casually cooking dinner, while ensconced in a suspended bivvy dangling on one of the massive vertical faces in the Yosemite. The contrast between the eerie exposure of his position, with the domestic familiarity of what he was doing was the striking element. The caption said, “humans are the most adaptable species”.

        I guess that is what I hang onto – that we are all inherently capable of adapting to new circumstances. Change the circumstance and most people will change with it.

        Humans have arrived at one of the extremes of our adaptability. We’re an highly agonist, hierarchical and competitive society, and we are so heavily adapted to it we have trouble imagining an alternative. Or perhaps more to the point, most people have so much personal energy invested into the adaptation they really cannot let go.

        It’s my observation that it’s takes something bigger than the individual to trigger that letting go, to allow the possibility of transformation. Traditionally it has been a belief in a strong leader, the tribe, village, state or race which energises us. Or a belief system, benign or otherwise, such as the almost universal religious experience.

        Yet none of these traditional modes of transformation seem adequate any longer.

        OAK – yes but ridicule goes bpth ways.

        • greywarbler 2.2.2.1

          Red Logix
          +100

          • karol 2.2.2.1.1

            Then it just becomes a nasty, aggressive, slanging match.

            Best just to keep repeating your values and position – sometimes with facts, at other times with humour, at other times just the position, etc – there is no one way that fits all responses/contexts.

            • greywarbler 2.2.2.1.1.1

              That’s a Good simple little adage to remember karol. Well put, I think I’ll keep it. It’s a bit like How to implement a mission statement.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.1.1.2

              Yeah plus one Karol. Suit the tactics to the terrain.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2

          RedLogix, are you sure we haven’t just adapted to having lots of cheap energy? The true range of our adaptability is determined by our environment. Easy to survive in the tropics. At the poles, in the deserts, not so much.

          As for a trans-formative experience, hang on to your hat, Dorothea.

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.2.1

            Yes and no. The Innuit have managed just fine in the Arctic and the Kalahari San thrive in an environment quite the opposite.

            What would not survive so well without cheap energy is all the technology. (Right now I’m working in an innovative mining area which is addressing urgent challenges around how to extract minerals from increasingly lower-grade ores without the energy costs going beserk – so your comment makes perfect sense from that perspective.)

            What does interest me a lot is that when you look beyond the relatively narrow confines of our own current society there are a myriad other possible ways of living. We keep making the mistake of thinking that because we have constructed a highly competitive, hierarchical, individualistic society and because people have adapted to this – that this is the ONLY way people can behave. That’s just flat-out not true.

            Almost all behaviour (as distinct from our motivations) is a social construct and is a result of the circumstances we construct and tolerate. Change these circumstances and people’s beahviour will adapt with an extraordinary flexibility.

            Jared Diamond (who I keep on referencing) used the example in his book Collapse. How Societies choose to Succeed or Fail used the example of an isolated group on a tiny, remote Eastern Pacific atolls who faced with environmental collapse chose to ban the raising and eating of pigs. This was a very big and difficult decision for them to make – but enabled them to survive an otherwise almost certain collapse.

            Part of Diamond’s argument is that when the decision-making elites of a society become too isolated, insulated, from the conditions of ordinary people – then it becomes impossible for them to make these challenging and critical reconfigurations essential to adaptation. Which always results in social collapse.

            It has been of course a religious belief in the god of progress that has sustained our society in it’s present configuration. When that god fails us – right about the time the oil fails – we will be desperately in need of a wholly new and transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2.1.1

              That’s my point: the “transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave”, will be our environment, as always.

              The price of oil and the costs of climate change loom large.

              • Colonial Viper

                Problem is, the environment is a highly lagging indicator.

                By the time it’s obvious to ordinary people in ‘advanced western nations’ how changed (for the worse) things have become in the global environment, it will be far too late.

  3. Tracey 3

    But joyce says that labour and greens are lying about the numbers. He wouldnt lie.

    • Macro 3.1

      Yeah! The lying bastards! I mean what do they know about wages and living?? Whereas Joyce knows how to live it up – and pay minimal wages.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Pretty sure any payroll administered by Steven Joyce would be a monumental fuckup. Not a dig at Novopay – his feeble ideology is the only connection he has with that.

        Nah, I’m saying he lacks the day-to-day diligence and care too.

  4. greywarbler 4

    I was interested in who this Brian Scott is. He is not Graham Scott from Treasury in case anyone thought that. And found some interesting links and quotes as well which I throw in to show attitudes from various people in society.

    http://www.tvhe.co.nz/2014/01/03/some-links-against-a-living-wage/
    The Visible Hand in Economics – Matt Nolan

    One site said he was a – Researcher Brian Scott
    From Home Paddock summary – But Brian Scott who has recently completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class honours, has done a very thorough critique of the living wage proposal.

    On HomePaddock – In the critique.
    P 33 10 About the Author
    Brian Scott, 50, is currently taking a middle-age gap year after successfully completing four years of tertiary study at the Victoria University of Wellington. On completion Brian was awarded a Batchelor of Commerce and Administration (1st Class Honours), majoring in Information Systems. In addition to the degree, Brian was also awarded a prestigious “Excellence Award” which recognises the achievements of the top five percent of Business School graduates. He is not, and has never been, a member of any political party or movement.
    The BCA (Hon) is a research degree, with a focus on research and critical thinking.
    brianscotthamilton@gmail.com
    http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/living-wage-already-raised/

    Then from stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/9606501/Living-wage-policy-is-poor-solution-to-complex-problem
    Wellington City Council’s adoption of a living wage policy represents a failure of governance, writes Nicola Young.
    “Mayor Celia Wade- Brown has defended this Alice in Wonderland approach”
    (Nicola Young is a Wellington city councillor. Last month she attempted to delay the implementation of the minimum wage to allow for consultation. Her motion was defeated eight votes to five.)

    And following on but eagerly pushing forward is dahdah – Lindsay Mitchell: Living wage critique
    lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2014/01/living-wage-critique.html‎
    Jan 3, 2014 – Brian Scott has published a critique of the so called Living Wage, and it … No all we need is a half-way competent economist to point out what every business- owner and every job-creator in NZ knows: … February 3 in history.

    (Unfortunately Brian Scott has never been in involved in any movement. Pity he didn’t move his brain more aside from the channel of Commerce towards Humanity when he was tudying.)

  5. adam 5

    Blah blah blah – f&^k the labour market. Wages have been going backwards for years. A minimum wage is a joke, it means victory for bad bosses and slack, nasty owners. Ffs come on people, if you going to work for someone else they need to pay you and pay your fair. It seems to me all this statistical analysis is a smoke screen so employers can carry on being ass-holes.

    If your not getting $27 a hour – why are you getting out of bed?

    Plus screw the moaning right wing d*&kwads if there so good with money, why does the economy keep collapsing? And why do they keep making the middle class and poorest classes pay for their bloody mistakes?

  6. freedom 6

    here is a simple table of income realted info doing the rounds today, might be useful to some.
    https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/l/t1/q71/s720x720/71612_10152260667576477_1557799566_n.jpg

    As broadstrokes go it is quite clear, so let’s not be too pedantic on it

    • weka 6.1

      Very useful table.

      How come the person running Housing NZ earns half the person running Superannuation? (and other discrepancies).

  7. tricledrown 7

    Who less than half of the lotteries commissioner!

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    This is a guest post by reader Frith Stalker Dear AT Hop I have used Auckland buses for 30 years I am very smart, very pedantic, very polite and very Rule Abiding I am your perfect customer. I always thank...
    Transport Blog
  • Staff deserve right to use te reo Māori
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 41 Student’s at most tertiary institutions have the right to use te reo Māori as provided for and protected in their institution’s policies and practices, but staff do not always have that same right. TEU’s...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Council washes hands of pensioner housing
    Hamilton City Council is washing its hands of its social responsibility to care for its elderly residents by selling off its homes for pensioners, Labour’s Hamilton-based MP Sue Moroney says. “The Council’s decision to sell its remaining 344 pensioner housing...
    Labour
  • Bold response required to Blueprint
    The Government must give urgent consideration to recommendations in The People’s Blueprint if it is serious about tackling New Zealand’s deplorable record of child abuse and domestic violence, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The ‘one family, one judge’...
    Labour
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep 2.
    TDB Video: The Daily Blog Breakfast Club, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week Activist and blogger Jessie Hume and political commentator Keith Locke. This Week: Topic...
    The Daily Blog
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • Q + A 30/11/14: Spying, Family Violence, Texts
    We'll debate why the State needs new powers to spy on Kiwis and the controversial laws that are being rushed through Parliament....
    Scoop politics
  • Arrival of Phillip Smith in New Zealand
    On arrival with his police escort at Auckland Airport tomorrow morning Phillip Smith will be met by other police staff and complete customs and immigration formalities....
    Scoop politics
  • UNICEF Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles
    UNICEF NZ Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles UNICEF NZ has once again launched its nationwide search for six new Youth Ambassadors and is calling on enthusiastic young people to apply before Friday, 12 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwifruit Claim Filed in High Court in Wellington
    The Kiwifruit Claim’s statement of claim has been filed in the High Court in Wellington this afternoon....
    Scoop politics
  • Judgment: John Banks Dotcom Donation Appeal
    A The application to adduce the evidence of Messrs Schaeffer and Karnes is granted. B The application to adduce evidence of Mr Dotcom’s driving conviction is declined. C The appeal is allowed. D The conviction is set aside and a...
    Scoop politics
  • Doctors support call for independent health assessment
    Senior doctors and dentists are formally throwing their weight behind growing calls for a formal independent health assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A recommendation about the TPPA was put to 134 public hospital specialists...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday Saturday 29 November 2014 | The new Minister for Maori Development is taking a fresh look at the Te Reo...
    Scoop politics
  • Anti-speeding campaign based on phony science
    Ticketing ordinary motorists will have no effect on the groups who cause most road deaths, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics
  • Human Rights lawyers’ concerns over Terrorist Fighters Bill
    The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill will dramatically erode human rights and civil liberties if passed in its current form, said the Human Rights Lawyer’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand (HRLA)....
    Scoop politics
  • Privacy Commissioner’s naming policy
    Following a period of public consultation, the Privacy Commissioner is implementing a new policy on naming agencies that are in breach of the Privacy Act. The change takes effect on 1 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
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  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
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  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
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  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
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  • Slower population growth in the long term
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  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
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  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
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  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
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  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
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  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
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  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
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  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
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  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
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  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
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  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
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  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
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  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
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  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
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  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
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  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
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  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
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  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
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  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
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  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
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  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
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  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
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  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
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  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
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  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
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  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
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  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
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  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
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  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
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  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
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  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
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  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
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  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
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  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
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  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
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