web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

We are all beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, August 23rd, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: benefits, Deep stuff, human rights, welfare - Tags: ,

Deborah Russell is a lecturer in taxation at Massey University (and she recently joined the Labour Party). Deborah wrote an opinion piece for the Dominion Post on Tuesday setting out some constructive thoughts on welfare. With her permission we’re reprinting extracts here. I suggest you go to the original and read the whole thing. (Certain Labour MPs need to read it twice.) r0b


People who need a benefit should get it
DEBORAH RUSSELL

It’s easy to criticise the welfare system. Beneficiaries get too much money, too many of them cheat, and it all costs too much. But the unrecognised reality is that our comprehensive health and welfare systems create freedom and security for us all. …

The outrages of ill luck can happen to any of us. We are all vulnerable to losing our jobs. Jobs that seem secure, such as working for the Government, can disappear. In a struggling economy, small businesses and large go under, taking livelihoods with them. Even if the economy is thriving, we may become ill, perhaps with a chronic illness that prevents us from working. Arthritis, depression, cancer, multiple sclerosis – there are many diseases that may not kill, but debilitate, so a person cannot hold down a job or run a business. …

The welfare system is by no means luxurious. It is much easier to live well if you have a job. Nevertheless, our welfare system and our health system give us real security. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to pay taxes have a straightforward reason to support the welfare state: it’s simple prudence. One day, it may be our turn to depend on the state.

But when we criticise people who receive welfare, we are not just imprudent. We also undermine the security of our friends and family members and fellow citizens who depend on the welfare system.

If we complain about teenage mothers, and insist that someone ought to control their income and make them stop having babies, we make every sole mother worry about interference. If we mutter about a person on the dole who spends time working on his house instead of looking for a job, we tell unemployed people that their every action is subject to scrutiny. We become a surveillance society, rather than a civil society. We are ever ready to pop our heads over the back fence, and complain about the neighbours. We turn everyone who receives a welfare benefit into an object of suspicion. …

Our health and welfare systems are based on need, not some notion of worthiness. If we are in need, we are entitled to assistance, and that means that we may live as free citizens. It means that we are secure from economic fear, secure from absolute want, and secure from the interference of our neighbours. That freedom and security makes all of us beneficiaries of the welfare system.

85 comments on “We are all beneficiaries”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Trevor Mallard should read this then resign in shame.
    “Our health and welfare system are based on need, not some notion of worthiness”

    Sadly for Labour Trevor the scalper knows no shame so he will continue milking the political system for all its worth.

  2. I think the Dom Post probably owns the copyright now… But fair use and all. Many thanks for linking to the piece on The Standard, r0b.

    The comments thread on Stuff is interesting. There are plenty of people there who wholeheartedly endorse the ideas in the article. I think there’s plenty of people who would like to start hearing a new narrative about the welfare state and why we need one, contra the bennie bashers.

    Deborah

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Thanks Deborah (and Rob). Sorry I hadn’t read the original piece – it kind of got sabotaged yesterday.

  4. Carol 4

    This is an excellent piece, based in reality, that aims to shift the narrative away from the beneficiary-bashing dog whistle.

    This should be part of a wider narrative that includes availability of jobs that provide a living wage, and the unsustainable growth in the income-wealth gap.

    It needs to highlight where the most substantial and damaging bludging goes on, amongst the wealthier classes.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      We all pay tax, GST went up under National, many whose income is too low never access
      many of the services provided by that taxation, and so are provided a cash payment. The
      parasites that live a top of the pile believe three things, they have no duty to others, do
      not benefit from either such payments (alleviates poverty, disease and slavery-oppression, etc)
      or from the system itself (a CGT would actually regulate and measure, thus cleaning up
      the disparity from the lack of this tax, and that’s a benefit to society and the economy, as yet
      more rush to have their Capital gains taxed in Australia) and actually does not fairly recompense
      those at the bottom (for obvious reasons in we’d all give up our day jobs). So trust a
      politician to choose to take a bunch of moronic positions that essentially beat up on the poorest,
      its wrong, its would be an outrage but for the general right wing propaganda framing of language
      we all too often see in the media. Take Joyce, he was allowed to suggest that not having
      a CGT was good for the economy, despite most people with economic degrees noting
      quite clearly not taxing capital gains distorts our economy, disincentives long term investment,
      as shorting is tax free.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    This debate needs to be continually revisited until some progress is made by the left, rather than allowing vandals like Rebstock and Bennett to make the running.

    • a 21st century definition of work–paid, unpaid, underpaid, precarious, internships, etc.
    • a universal basic income for all citizens to largely replace the benefit system (even our ‘friend’ Gareth Morgan supports some form of UBI)
    • Labour MPs (Greens and Mana don’t) to stop bennie bashing. Sue Bradford for almost a decade was the only consistent voice in parliament for beneficiaries and their children
    • Recognition of middle class welfare for what it is, to reduce stigma on other beneficiaries. WFF in work tax credit saves a lot of family asses in this country, asses that should be joining unions and organising to obtain their own wage increases from employers rather than other taxpayers. The figures show that union members are the only group of workers (CEOs excepted) to have consistently got wage rises since 2008.

  6. Polish Pride 6

    “Our health and welfare systems are based on need, not some notion of worthiness. If we are in need, we are entitled to assistance, and that means that we may live as free citizens. It means that we are secure from economic fear”

    No one is a truley free citizen under the current system. 99% are enslaved to the system. The simple fact of the matter is that thwe overwhelming majority work for the system rather than the system working for us which it could be redesigned to do.

    Under the current system no one can truly be free from economic fear. Economic fear does not disappear for me because if I lose my job I can go on a benefit. If this happens I will not be able tro afford my mortgage, I will likely lose my house and struggle to make ends meet. In such a position under the current system I will live with economic fear every single day.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Under the current system no one can truly be free from economic fear. Economic fear does not disappear for me because if I lose my job I can go on a benefit. If this happens I will not be able tro afford my mortgage

      People with mortgages are supposed to be afraid. That’s why they are named as they are.

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

        There was story on Campbell Live, a father signed for his kid to get a car. His
        kid needed for a job, that he lost, and his wife also lost their job. Now the
        question for me is, sure your right, that economic fear is oppressive, but
        that it hasn’t been sufficiently oppressive to convince this family to have brought
        a moped instead of a big SUV. Its true that the b*st*ards who then used this
        family for shameful rent seeking… but hey, we’re all propagandized into believing
        the economy is fine, that the downturn will turn, just stick with National.
        It wont because our society, like any machine, relies on energy, as petrol
        cost rise so the amount of unnecessary activity, churning people into indebted
        debt junkies, will abate and the economy will necessarily continue to shrink.
        Labour will get into power, will introduce a CGT, cutting the profits of
        landlords and thus reduce their influence that is stopping more homes from
        being built. Mortgages wont always be so onerous, its just a lot of
        weak minded people believe that to be rich they have to accept this madness
        about profits having to be hard won at the expense of others (typically their
        own family, friends, community), when do otherwise would make it all
        easier.

  7. the sprout 7

    An excellent piece, thank you deborah. Now if only the neoliberal leaders of the Labour caucus cared about social justice more than their own self-interest .

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Well, in front of meetings of Party Members they say that they do. Is that good enough?

    • Polish Pride 7.2

      No politician cares about social justice enough – if they did we would shift to a system that can remove poverty and work towards freeing people from having to work to survive. That system is a Resource Based Economy.

      Instead we continue with a system that makes people redundant because of advances in technologty…. Thinks about that for a second – Our society has advanced technologically to the point where a human is no longer needed to perform a role. But because of the system they must find another job in order to survive…..because that is the way the current system works. This is lunacy.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        a system that can remove poverty and work towards freeing people from having to work to survive.

        Nah disagree here. Couch potatoes with things delivered to them on a silver platter is not what we ‘need’.

        • Polish Pride 7.2.1.1

          That is not in my view what would be delivered nor would their be no work to be done in such a system. When you have a day off do you just sit at home and watch TV. If you only had to work say 2days per week for arguments sake is that all you would do.
          Remember I am talking about a system where resources are readily available for your use – something I doubt many start up communes were able to provide. They would have had their own dynamics and problems. What I am talking about is not a commune model either. (Answering the response below also
          Surely you have things that you are passionate about or at the very least interested. Things that you say you would like to learn about (history, astonomy, knitting, musical instrument, X, Y, Z) Things you would like to try, (Diving, painting, X, Y, Z)….if only you had more time.
          Remove the addiction to money from the equation and you remove a significant barrier to solving many of the problems our civilisation faces today.

          The greatest advances in human history came from people who were passionate about something. I am talking about a system that gives people access to the time and resources to do that. to be passionate about something.

          Because someone may decide to waste their life and freedom such a system would give as a couch potato is not a reason to not do it.

          We have a system right now that does not give everyone this opportunity and we have many many couch potatoes and many people working in a job they hate or at best tolorate because it enables them to survive in the current system. We can do far better than that. But not under the system we have.

          I would much prefer to live in a world where I am free to find things to be passionate about and do them, rather than a system that keeps people as a slave to it because they might be a couch potato in a new one.

          Forget about everyone else for a second….imagine if you lived in a world where you only had to work two days per week. imagine you had access to the resources you wanted/needed. What would you do with your time>?…..sit on the couch and watch TV!?!

        • Polish Pride 7.2.1.2

          Nor would things be delivered on silver platters many of the functions would work much as they do now. Want food go to the supermarket and get what you need. Want petrol go to the gas station and get it.
          I envisage that the additional free time would have someone develop a viable solution to move us away from oil dependancy very quickly, because they would have the time and the passion to do so as one example.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.3

          People won’t become couch potatoes. People want to work and be challenged. If the job that they were doing is removed while maintaining their living standard they will look for something else to do. Society then has a responsibility to ensure that they have the resources and networking available to let them find it. Our present system actually removes those resources from them and thus keeps them from being productive.

      • prism 7.2.2

        Polish Pride
        We used to have many start-up communes in NZ in the 60-70s. The sort of things you are saying is what closed down most of them. People didn’t want to work till they felt like it. Playing guitars and singing about not working and the beauty of life where you didn’t have to work, and the wrongness of people trying to make you work was more appealing. But they still wanted meals, if they weren’t too high to eat.

        • Polish Pride 7.2.2.1

          I am not taklking about starting communes on masse. A certain type of person would have gravitated towards communes as you have described. I am talking about changing the system so that all have much more free time. Having the system work for mankind instead of the other way around. Are you telling me that if we did this you as a normal person would suddenly abdicate your personal responsibilities to yourself and your family and the system? That you wouldn’t be able to feed yourself or your family because you would not be able to resist the temptation to get high and play the guitar and sit around doing nothing all day long….? I doubt that would be the case for the vast majority of the population.

          • prism 7.2.2.1.1

            Polish Pride
            More time – yes. When the space comic strip The Jetsons started the future was shown as pushing buttons to make machines go, and lots of spare time.

            We used to have weekends, now our weeks don’t end really. We used to have minimum pay for so many hours so you couldn’t be at the beck and call of employers for whatever work they chose to parcel out, and even that uncertain. So some respect for human needs would mean that government ensured that workers had proper breaks and a 3 day weekend would be nice. More hours could be worked on the four days, and glidetime within parameters would be good.

            But don’t be too sanguine about people not being able to provide for their family. Alcohol and gambling addiction can be a trap that eats up people’s will and priorities. There are different ways of getting high than what we think of as ‘bad drugs’.

          • Mike 7.2.2.1.2

            A world without money is far too greater leap of the imagination for most people it seems. I have discussions about this with friends and they inevitably base things they say around still having a monetary system. They seem to think that without money as a reward people won’t work because there is no incentive to do so. This is wrong in my opinion as they argue that people won’t be able to afford things without money, forgetting that we’re talking about a system with no money.

            Money is a hindrance to progress. Many argue the opposite, saying that money facilitates progress for example investment in science and research, paying for large scale tech implementations, etc. But think about it, for example, we have the technology, capability and resources right now to build a network of high speed mag lev trains or other forms of clean public transport. Why don’t we? Because it costs too much. Scientists could be far more advanced in their research, if they only had enough funding. Millions are dying of starvation yet just one american corporation disposes of over a billion tonnes of food product every year because it’s cheaper to throw it away than to feed starving people? Money always inhibits progress. We live in a system where scarcity creates value rather than abundance , including money, which is more valuable when scarce.

            Activities which are detrimental to society and human kind such as war, illness and disease, financial speculation, greed, etc; are the activities which within our monetary and economic system are rewarded with massive profits. Activities which benefit society such as good education, curing illness, providing adequate food and housing for everyone and so on are not profitable.

            Some commentators estimate that without money, we could be up to 1000 years more advanced technologically than we are now. The trouble is that we are so brainwashed into depending upon our monetary system that we simply can’t comprehend a system without it.

            Without money, there will still be people who will work as nurses and doctors, teachers, scientists, food producers, etc, because those people love doing those things.

            If we continue down the path we are currently on, then there would seem to be only two outcomes; A world police state with one world government and one world digital currency (no cash) and likely a microchipped at birth population, or some kind of massive revolution or uprising once the lack of money reaches a critical mass of the population.

            Our monetary system of exponentially increasing debt and the inequality it creates is the greatest current threat to our future and has to change

          • Populuxe1 7.2.2.1.3

            Work expands to fill available time.
            Automation doesn’t make more free time so much as it reduces employment.
            The assumption that all human beings would put free time to constructive use is plainly contrary to the experience of the human condition. We are not all universally noble or stoic.
            It would be far better to acknowledge and reward those part time and voluntary workers for whom a benefit is their primary source of income.

             

            • fatty 7.2.2.1.3.1

              All good points, and all true. But they are only true under capitalism…you’ve described exactly why capitalism is failing us

              • Populuxe1

                Capitalism is a deeply flawed method for distributing resources, but in a capitalist society one may choose to live communally – the reverse not so. Capitalist society protects the rights of minorities in a way that Communist one’s ideologically cannot.

                • fatty

                  I’m not suggesting communism, but if I was….communal living within a capitalist society means that you are excluded from resources and still subject to the downsides of a greed based system – high crime, pollution, and limited access to assets, etc
                  To say you can live communally in a capitalist society is like saying you can live an individualised life within a communist society – by not interacting with anyone. It is possible, but it’ll be a sad life, and you’ll be excluded from almost everything.

                  “Capitalist society protects the rights of minorities in a way that Communist one’s ideologically cannot.”

                  I doubt it, both communist and capitalist societies have a long history of subjugating minorities. It depends what rights you are talking about, if its basic human rights then I would say communism is far better at protecting those rights

                  • Populuxe1

                    Look at it this way. If New Zealand was a Communist state, Maori would have no chance of actual ownership of their tribal lands which are a significant aspect to their identity.
                    In the modern Capitalist society a woman may own property and therefore be independent of men. In a Communist state she would be dependent on the State, and let’s face it, how many Communist states have women in significant positions of power within the Party. To the contrary, they have been treated as glorified baby machines and that’s about it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In the modern Capitalist society a woman may own property and therefore be independent of men.

                      BS

                      I highlight the word you use “modern” because it points to the SOCIAL JUSTICE reforms inacted which have NOTHING to do with the inherent economics of capitalism.

                    • fatty

                      “If New Zealand was a Communist state, Maori would have no chance of actual ownership of their tribal lands which are a significant aspect to their identity.”

                      Land ownership is a capitalist construct, Maori had no concept of land ownership until capitalism was introduced. Maori identity is tied to the land, not their land. You really need to stop looking at everything through the lens of capitalism

                      “In a Communist state she would be dependent on the State, and let’s face it, how many Communist states have women in significant positions of power within the Party.”

                      You are confusing capitalism with women’s liberation. Women were, and still are, controlled quite effectively under capitalism. Women’s rights have been increasing in spite of capitalism, not because of it. Women own far less property than men do.
                      Can you name two similar cultures from the same era that prove your point?

                    • Mike

                      Capitalism, Communism, all of the ism’s are simply different kinds of livestock management approaches, and we’re the livestock. We need a whole new radical way of operating.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  All communities are inherently commun1st. Can’t get away from that. Capitalism is a system placed upon that commun1st base and, when it becomes to great within that society, the base collapses. As we’ve just seen – again.

                  BTW, I think you’ll find that it’s far easier to be an individual within a communist society than within a capitalist one. Capitalist accumulation by the minority prevents the majority from having access to the resources they need to be an individual.

                  • Populuxe1

                    That’s only your opinion – cite a reference or give an example. I know quite a few people who lived in formerly Communist countries and they would seem to disagree with you – proof being defection. Hell, almost every dissident author disagrees with you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There were no Cmmunist Eastern Bloc countries. Just centralised, authoritarian, police state controlled ones. Get up to speed man.

                    • Populuxe1

                      @CV

                      I highlight the word you use “modern” because it points to the SOCIAL JUSTICE reforms inacted which have NOTHING to do with the inherent economics of capitalism.

                      Yes. Exactly. Capitalism doesn’t give a shit about race, gender or sexual orientation, and it doesn’t preclude social welfare or civil rights, nor the fight for them – once you’re in, however, you stay in. In other words, you have no point.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Capitalism doesn’t give a shit about race, gender or sexual orientation, and it doesn’t preclude social welfare or civil rights

                      Meh, it did for a couple of centuries. Because its the values of the society which are important, not the fact of capitalism or not.

                      Democratic socialism will trump capitalism any day. Because the one value capitalism does care about is whether or not you are capital rich, or whether you are a nobody not even worth considering.

                      The banksters don’t care about your social justice values. They just want to control your economic life.

                    • Populuxe1

                      @CV

                      Democratic socialism will trump capitalism any day. Because the one value capitalism does care about is whether or not you are capital rich, or whether you are a nobody not even worth considering.

                      Social democracies still have a capitalist framework – that’s the point of socialism – to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism. Someone’s still got to pay the piper at the end of the day.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Someone’s still got to pay the piper at the end of the day.

                      And who is this “piper” exactly? The banks? Wall Street?

                      EDIT

                      I’m not talking about “social democracies” lol

                    • Polish Pride

                      “Someone’s still got to pay the piper at the end of the day.”

                      Can you even conceptualize a system without money Populuxe?
                      Can you conceptualize a system that serves Mankind rather than the other way around like we have today?

                      If you design the system from a blank sheet of paper to come up with a system that satisfies the needs and wants of people, you don’t end up with capitalism. If you came up with the need for money as we have it today I would seriously be questioning why you had to add it in and what additional value it adds to your system.

                    • lprent

                      Ummm – so how many kiwis live in Aussie? Why do they live there? Perhaps you would look at the obvious expanations first rather than the religous

                    • Gosman

                      Funny then how this mysterical concept of ‘Democratic Socialism’ remains out of reach even in places which attempt to follow similar principles.

                      It would be like if I postulated a perfect Libertarian world where everyone gets along with the minimum of laws and there is no poverty as everyone is acting in a rational self interested way which benefits society as a whole. It is essentially meaningless twaddle with no basis in reality. Much like these dreams of ‘true’ socialism here.

                    • Polish Pride

                      Gos – at one time the world was thought to be flat. Anyone saying it was round was at best thought to be speaking meaningless twaddle with no basis in reality.
                      At one time manned flight was thought to be impossible, anyone saying it was possible was speaking meaningless twaddle.
                      The same is true for every significant advancement in human history…
                      Everything great including Capitalism, at one time had not basis and reality. But histrorically every system has had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This will include Capitalism.

          • jcuknz 7.2.2.1.4

            It would be good to work less, like three days a week the snag is paying for one needs on the wages that three days produces, and having some left over to pursue those interests. One thing there could be no unemployment and that money could fund ‘interests’.

      • dave brownz 7.2.3

        It’s not “lunacy”, its the logic of the system which traps workers in a downward spiral of destruction because one class owns the means of production.
        The precondition for any utopian striving is the expropriation back of the property and wealth expropriated from generations of workers.
        The only ‘narrative’ that will achieve this end is the ‘truth’.
        That capitalism has made huge advances by developing the productivity of labour but has reached the point of exhaustion where to survive it must destroy the fruits of that productivity and with it the planet.
        Ergo. Revolution is on the agenda to expropriate back the means of production and with it control over our future.
        For that to happen people need to stop worrying whether any parliamentary party will ever be a vehicle for workers and join the “return to Marxism”.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/04/the-return-of-marxism
         

        • Polish Pride 7.2.3.1

          I agree with your sentiments (well sort of) but Marxism too is a failed system historically speaking. Any system that retains money will enevitably lead us back to the same position we find ourselves in today.
          A fundamental problem with Marxism is that the goal is still around high levels of employment. A very flawed and shortsighted way of thinking with technology able to replace the need for people in a vast number of roles. Although it would see a fairer distribution of resources than what we have today. It still robs people of their full potential and ability to do things they are passionate about. You will still find people spending time in jobs they hate or at best tolerate. Their are now better options.

          The system I am referring to is not Utopian. People will still need to work. The system is a Resource Based Economy with Direct Democracy

          • dave brownz 7.2.3.1.1

            “Marxism is a failed system too”
             
            But if you read even basic Marxism you would realise that what you call “Marxism” in practice was far from it. The application of Marxism failed because the working class was denied control over the means of production by the survival of global capitalism.
             
            “Money” as we know it today is the measure of value as produced under capitalism. It would end with capitalism – and a smart card which keeps a running tally on ‘credits’ would be all that is needed.
             
            “There are now better options than work”. 
             
            Again Marx more than anyone explained how that would happen. ‘Work’ is specific to the mode of production. In a post-capitalist society ‘work’ would be redefined. Necessary work (to maintain and reproduce society) would still have to be done but only take up a small part of the day. Society (through democratic planning) would decide democratically how work would be shared and its product distributed.
             
            Marx spoke of socialism as a transitional phase during which the formula would likely be that each got back what they put into society: “From each according to their work to each according to their “credits””. As society developed the capacity to overcome scarcity (technology would allow necessary labour to reduce to almost nothing) this would give way to communism: “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”. 
             
            The definition of utopia I use is of a future ‘ideal’ society that exists as a blueprint but has no map as to how to get there. ‘Resourced based economy’ is an abstraction and is universally true. ‘Direct democracy’ demands that the producers have control of the ‘resources’ i.e. means of production and control over what is produced and distributed and can direct it democratically to meet everyone’s needs.
             
            Marxism has the advantage of providing a map and a strategy for realising such a future society. It has demonstrated its ability to begin to do this even in the worst possible conditions before being driven backwards by global capitalism; imagine what it could do under much better conditions when the world’s workers unite to expropriate the expropriators.
             
             

            • Polish Pride 7.2.3.1.1.1

              Hmmm very interesting Dave…
              I have done much thinking about what would be required for the implementation of a RBE interestingly one of the concepts I applied was time banking that could use a smart card to keep a running tally on hours.

              I wouldn’t have said that direct democracy demands that producers have control of resources. Resources under RBE are for the benefit of everyone and the structure including control of resources is up to the people in the direct democracy. It would be wise in my view to have the resources controlled by the people. This is an area where I would differ from Jacque Fresco who says everything as far as allocation of resources should be left to computers to determine the best use of. There is merit in that as it takes out the darker side of human nature from the equation. I am not sure if I have explained that very well but I did on reading your post see a significant similarity with how I would implement control of resources in RBE.

              Either way I am all for a system that would see peoples needs and wants met and is geared to removing the need for people to have to work more than is necessary…. or exactly as you have described…

              The other thing I would want to ensure which is where I saw the role for direct democracy is that (to use DTBs phrase) non hierarchical and is instead flat as far as governance goes. I see Hierarchical structures in governance of society always leading to a situation where there are the haves at the top and the have nots at the bottom and the eventual decline of the system as a result. Am I correct in that what you have said caters for that too. If so how do you ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself if you do not implement direct democracy with it?

              • On producer control, I am assuming that everyone produces within a division of labour subject to one’s ability. 
                 
                This means that the subjects in society are everyone of whatever  abilities and needs. There is no class division so no hierarchy. 
                 
                However getting to this point needs some material preconditions.
                 
                Marx said that capitalism will not be replaced until it has exhausted its historic potential. That includes an advanced technological level capable of producing ‘plenty’ in relatively little labour time. That would mean for the first time society could leave classes behind because there would be no competition to own and control production when there is sufficient to meet all needs.
                 
                That is why the revolution in the Soviet Union ultimately failed. It took place in a relatively backward country where capitalism was not long established. It was isolated when revolutions failed in more technologically advanced countries so it didn’t meet the material requirement to create ‘plenty’. The workers ceased to control the economy and were replaced by a bureaucratic caste who mismanaged planning, creating massive shortages, recreating ‘scarcity’ and policing it with a repressive state apparatus. 
                 
                In other words, true democracy requires plenty, which capitalism today is more than capable of producing in harmony with nature, once it is transcended by a classless society. 

                • Populuxe1

                  It also failed catastrophically in already industrialised nations like Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany.
                  Imposition of a system on people who don’t want it is criminal and wrong – and most people do not want to live in a collectivised system.
                  Karl Popper offers excellent criticism of the many flaws and failings of Marxism, and Ferdinand Lasalle had already pointed out to Marx that the development of capitalism and the failure of any sign of a natural evolution to Communism was fairly good evidence that Marx was wrong.
                  Funny thing about Revolution – it’s just using violence and terror to impose your will on others. Anything that requires a Revolution is, by definition, something not wanted by the majority.

                  • Socialism had already failed in the SU when the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe. What resulted was a hybrid form of society as an extension of the SU. Since they led to a SU type of scarcity and authoritarianism they were unpopular and like the SU were replaced by a movement to restore capitalism. 
                     
                    So you cannot then say that such societies being unpopular are an argument against collectivisation where that is democratic and provides plenty. No society has been able to realise that state. And I have explained why above.
                     
                    Popper and Lasalle did not offer an proof that humanity will not make the transition from capitalism to socialism since that is not determined by mechanical laws of history or refuted by isolated instances of failure. Unlike Marx these gentlemen did not understand Hegel.
                     
                    There is nothing funny about revolution it happens when it is needed and it is much less violent and destructive than the society it replaces. I presume you count yourself part of the popular majority that benefited from the bourgeois revolution.
                     
                    We own much to the bourgeois revolution which enabled capitalism to escape the barriers of feudal society and make the huge advances that today are the pre-conditions for another revolution to create a truly democratic, collective society.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Socialism had already failed in the SU when the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe. What resulted was a hybrid form of society as an extension of the SU. Since they led to a SU type of scarcity and authoritarianism they were unpopular and like the SU were replaced by a movement to restore capitalism. 

                      Interesting that in a society where the man on the street could quote Das Kapital chapter and verse, they wanted to bring back Capitalism rather than try and established a pure form of Marxism. And please don’t refer to the USSR as socialist – it was no such thing, ever, going all the way back to Lenin.

                      So you cannot then say that such societies being unpopular are an argument against collectivisation where that is democratic and provides plenty. No society has been able to realise that state. And I have explained why above.

                      Yes I can because there are no Communist states that are not dictatorships and unpopularity is one of the best arguments against anything (murder, for example, is unpopular). The most socialistic of the Scandinavian/Nordic countries have never pursued it. The idea of a “democratic” one party state is a nonsense. Generally speaking individuals do not like limits to their personal ownership of property imposed upon them.

                       
                      Popper and Lasalle did not offer an proof that humanity will not make the transition from capitalism to socialism since that is not determined by mechanical laws of history or refuted by isolated instances of failure. Unlike Marx these gentlemen did not understand Hegel.

                      I can’t disprove the existence of Santa Claus either, but that doesn’t give his existence validity. Socialism, poppet, is not the same as Communism, it’s where sensible left wing people stop before it all goes insane. Popper certainly did understand Hegel – that’s why he understood it to be a pathetic attempt to justify the absolute rule of Friedrich Wilhelm III, and in bk II of The Open Society and It’s Enemies rightly declared Hegel the inspiration for all of the totalitarian ideologues of the 20th century. Isaiah Berlin listed Hegel as one of the 6 architects of modern authoritarianism.

                       
                      There is nothing funny about revolution it happens when it is needed and it is much less violent and destructive than the society it replaces. I presume you count yourself part of the popular majority that benefited from the bourgeois revolution.

                      Bullshit. Both Pre-Revolutionary France and Tsarist Russia showed signs of liberalisation, and you cannot seriously tell me that the French Terror and Stalin’s endless purges were better than what they replaced. You are singing the old saw about needing to break a few (l)eggs to make an omelette. Where is the omelette? I doubt it would taste very nice.

                       
                      We own much to the bourgeois revolution which enabled capitalism to escape the barriers of feudal society and make the huge advances that today are the pre-conditions for another revolution to create a truly democratic, collective society.

                       
                      Hahahahaha – you said “bourgeois”…. Twice…. You really have drunk the Kool-Aid. Don’t even get me started on why Communism is completely incompatible with the rights of indigenous peoples for example… ROFLMFAO!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You really have drunk the Kool-Aid. Don’t even get me started on why Communism is completely incompatible with the rights of indigenous peoples for example… ROFLMFAO!

                      Despite the fact that most tribal cultures are inherently highly communistic

                      You really are narrow sighted

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The idea of a “democratic” one party state is a nonsense.

                      Good job that nobody, except you, mentioned it then. We’re not talking about a state that has parties at all – just democracy.

                      Generally speaking individuals do not like limits to their personal ownership of property imposed upon them.

                      No they don’t and yet we still have rules and regulations mostly those which have been forced upon the populace from the top of a hierarchy.

                  • Populuxe1

                    @CV

                    Despite the fact that most tribal cultures are inherently highly communistic
                    You really are narrow sighted

                     
                    Narrow sited maybe, but familiar enough with anthropology to call bullshit. All tribal cultures include elements of reciprocity and exchange, whether physical or in terms of mana. And whence last I looked, we are not living in a tribal society. I love the smell of Ad Hominem in the morning, it smells like VICTORY.
                     
                    @DTB
                     

                    Good job that nobody, except you, mentioned it then. We’re not talking about a state that has parties at all – just democracy.

                    So you don’t regard the freedom of association as democratic, or indeed the choice of how one is to be governed? Interesting.
                     

                    “Generally speaking individuals do not like limits to their personal ownership of property imposed upon them.”

                     

                    No they don’t and yet we still have rules and regulations mostly those which have been forced upon the populace from the top of a hierarchy.

                     
                    Which is relevant how? That doesn’t mean one should exchange a glass ceiling for a brick wall. Some of those rules and regulations, by the way, do place controls on the rich and those should be strengthened and protected.
                    The lack of reply buttons after a certain length of thread is a bit unfortunate – it gives the unwanted illusion of surrender.

                    [lprent: Be extremly careful of any comment that reads to me as a owned/pwned/claiming victory tactic. I tend to prevent the boring exchanges that will result by removing one or more participants as early as possible. If you are lucky and I am in a good mood I will warn first. Consider yourself warned. ]

                    • Populuxe you don’t actually engage with ideas that threaten you and I can’t be bothered repeating them all.
                       
                      Revolutions are necessary and violent because they overthrow an existing social order that has reached it limits. That existing order exhausts its ability to increase the productivity of labour without destroying its base the producing class itself.
                       
                      The bourgeois revolution is a fact. The bourgeoisie had to overthrow the feudal ruling class that was taxing its profits and preventing capital accumulation and thus the development of the modern industrial economy.
                       
                      The socialist revolution will be a fact as the proletariat will have to overthrow the capitalist ruling class that is driving down the share of value workers get to the point where they cannot reproduce themselves and survive. 
                       
                      To explain the necessity of revolutions Marx borrowed not Hegel’s reactionary politics but his dialectical method of analysing society as a contradictory totality that drove its laws of development. Marx rejected Hegel’s idealism for  historical materialism. Man is the subject of history not God.
                       
                      Unless you grasp that method you will be forever stuck with third rate apologists for capitalism like Popper and Berlin that stick labels on things and then spout the same old bourgeois nonsense.
                       
                      You are right to say the Soviet Union was never socialist. So how does the SU under Stalin and the E.European states become ‘communist’ when this bears no relation to what Marx means by communism?
                       
                      To understand what you label ‘communist’ you have to understand the method Marx took from Hegel and use it to explain that the SU under Stalin was a contradictory totality with its own laws of motion.
                       
                      The contradiction was between post-capitalist state property and a bureaucratic caste that usurped the product of labour. This produced a contradiction that led to a decline in labour productivity to the point of stagnation.
                       
                      One of the ‘facts’ that is otherwise inexplicable, that workers knew their Marxism, yet chose capitalism was a result of this contradiction.  To begin workers wanted socialism. In Hungary in 1956 workers tried to overthrow the Stalinist regime and take democratic control over production. They hoped that would increase the productivity of labour and equality of distribution.
                       
                      But this ‘political’ revolution was suppressed and the law of economic stagnation set in. By the 1980s most of those who wanted to defend state property in the name of Marx had been defeated by the Soviet dictatorship and so chose capitalism.
                       
                      None of this is very difficult. It just requires a open mind and an ability to comprehend Marx’s dialectical method of critique.
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      :shock:

    • Dr Terry 7.3

      Labour politicians ought to be compelled to read a history of their forgotten saint, Michael Joseph Savage (though this would play hell with their consciences, which I hope they have.

  8. Tom Gould 8

    Deborah writes that ‘we are entitled to assistance.” Be that as it may. But the conflict is, and has always been, around how much assistance we can afford and how we will pay for it. If we are to develop a new public consensus around 21st century welfare, and we certainly need one, we will need to have an honest conversation about both sides of the coin. Actually, the issue of access to work and how jobs are created and sustained is part of that conversation too, IMO. Underpinning this would have to be an acceptance of the market place. If we could pull that off, then we would have genuine “freedom and security”.

    • crashcart 8.1

      The market place got us where we are. The conversation would be more constructive if instead it was focused around those who used the market place to make themselves incredibly rich then when the whole house of cards fell down expected every one else to clean it up while they walk off to retire in comfort. Rather than blaming those at teh bottom some redress needs to be made by those who created the problem.

      • Tom Gould 8.1.1

        Nonsense. Your comment simply provides the futility of even opening the conversation. There is no difference between your ‘eat the rich’ world view and the ‘all beneficiaries are bludgers’ world view you reject. I guess you will just have to get used to losing and moaning about it.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          You don’t happen to work for the Syrius Cybernetics Corporation do you?

        • crashcart 8.1.1.2

          Hold the phone, I’m a reject who is crazy to raise the subject of adressing systems that allowed a few elite rich to nearly collpse the financial sector and then almost completely walk away with rewards in many cases. Yet your the sensible one who thinks we should be cuting money from the poor who didn’t cause it because we just can’t afford it.

          I also think I am far from an eat the rich point of view. I am more for acountability and learning from mistakes. People love to go on about how bennies should be accountable for their actions and it should effect the benefits yet happily accept it when those who made millions whilst rorting the system walk away free. Now I do agree chasing them for money back is a futile exercise so instead we shold be discussing what went wrong and how to prevet that happening again. Instead the only answer anyone came up with was to throw billions of dollars at the banking sector and let them carry on doing what ever the hell they want.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.3

          Nonsense. Your comment simply provides the futility of even opening the conversation. There is no difference between your ‘eat the rich’ world view and the ‘all beneficiaries are bludgers’ world view you reject.

          Yeah there is mate. Don’t be ignorant. The most powerful, influential and wealthiest people in the world CAUSED the GFC.

          Not the downtrodden voiceless, powerless poor who bear the BRUNT of the GFC.

          I guess you will just have to get used to losing and moaning about it.

          You. Wish.

        • Polish Pride 8.1.1.4

          Tom there is simple solution to your way of thinking. Simply a work slowdown type strike to significantly decrease production levels. Many costs are fixed including wages paid on an hourly rate. This can quikly bring any business to its knees and thus the system if done on a large enough scale.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.4.1

            Useless unions gave up the right for nationwide strikes. They are now illegal and you will go to prison.

    • weka 8.2

      The market place is where you buy and sell goods you can’t produce yourself. It’s not where you look after your neighbour who has fallen on hard times.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Best not to confuse a neoliberal idea of a “market” with a ‘town square market place’. The former is a game system used to arbitrage money and advantage away from the many, into their own pockets.

        The second is a nice set up which helps people in a community to get together, gossip, share meals, see old friends, and generally have a nice time under the guise of doing commerce and getting the groceries.

        • weka 8.2.1.1

          Precisely. Which is why he should have said ‘the neoliberal mythology of the market’ instead of ‘market place’ ;-)

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Underpinning this would have to be an acceptance of the market place.

      Nope, what we need is more democracy and the marketplace is anti-democracy – just like it’s anti-free-market.

  9. captain hook 9

    hey what about a final [thanks but no thanks. r0b]

  10. Kotahi Tāne Huna 10

    See? Demolishing the bullshit right-wing narrative wasn’t so hard after all. Labour caucus take note, or remedial left-wing policy 101, whichever.

  11. vto 11

    New Zealand as a community produces a GDP of some $200 billion each year.

    That $200 billion is produced by all 4 million New Zealanders (with exceptions at the extremities which can be ignored for these purposes).

    We all benefit from each others activities and the gains should be spread more equally to represent the equal contribution everyone makes. e.g. Mothers raising workers.

    Can some right wing person please explain how this should not be the case?

    (and just one more thing – of those billiions, 1 of those 200 goes to ANZ Bank. How many of the remaining 199 go to BNZ, ASB and Westpac. Maybe 1 each? So now we have reduced from 200 down to 196. It is simply obscene)

  12. Mr Burns 12

    We are all beneficiares


    Speak for yourself. I made it through my innate talent, my obsessive hunt for the deal, my ability to evade environmental standards and the gross underpaying of my workers. Not to mention being able to afford the best accountants that money can buy.
     
    And apart from various tax breaks and receiving generous subsidies that the nuclear industry has the benefit of I have never received a benefit in my life.

  13. Michael 13

    “Richard Long is on leave.” Of course he is, or the article would have been spiked. MSD’s annual report on inequality finds much the same. The burning question is: what will Labour do about inequality? Precious little, if David Parker’s latest speeches are anything to go by (and they seem to be all we have to go by). Yes, growing the pie matters. But fairly distributing the pie matters even more. A good test of Labour’s sincerity on inequality is it attitude towards the Greens’ WFF extension bill. If Labour can’t support that, I can’t support it.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      There is no more pie growing to be had. Anyone who says otherwise wants to sell you debt or get voted in.

      Latest PMI numbers out of China point to massive contraction in every industrial indicator.

  14. Michael 14

    I don’t agree, Colonial Viper, that the pie cannot be grown. Only this week, one of NZ’s largest exporters landed a multimillion $$$ deal with Brazil. 10 years ago, we didn’t want to know where Brazil was, let alone trade with it. One reason for the change of attitude by our capitalists might be the fact that the middle classes in Brazil have increased in number, and purchasing power, at a greater rate than any time in its history (according to that lefty rag, “The Economist), largely as a result of progressive economic policies pursued by former Pres Lula da Silva and continued by his successor, Dilma Roussef (both famous lefties, excoriated by rightwingers for decades. I think ms Roussef may have even been tortured by them, like Michelle Bachelet, another stunning economic manager from the left). Until we abandon Anglo-Saxon capitalism’s fixation with short-term profit indicators (notoriously unreliable and susceptible to manipulation by those who benefit), in favour of more genuine indicators (such as environmental sustainability), our society will grow increasingly unjust and unfair.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • We can be heroes
    (Trigger warnings apply on this post for assault, misogyny, domestic violence, and bitter sarcasm/flippancy about male perpetrators of violence against women.) This is written for cis-gendered straight guys. I have nothing to say to women on the subject of male...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: Water in Public Spaces
    47: Water in Public Spaces What if we made more of water in our public spaces? Sometimes it is the simple things. People flock to water in public spaces. We need more of it in this city. And in more...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Freedom of information: A good idea from India
    One of the better ideas for freedom of information implemented overseas is disclosure logs - agencies posting requests and responses publicly, allowing performance to be monitored and reducing repeat requests. This is widespread in Australia and the UK, but poorly...
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • The Age of Cupidity
    I've been trying to publish a post for the past couple of weeks.  Although I have several in draft form, when I try to finish them I find myself overwhelmed by a deep lassitude - an uncharacteristic gloom which is only relieved...
    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 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...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • More police misconduct
    Another day, another IPCA report - this one into a police officer who unjustifiably set a police dog to savage a surrendering suspect:A police dog was set on a man who had his hands in the air in what is...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Media Link: The revolution will not be televised.
    I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Key spoke to Cameron Slater ‘not as Prime Minister’, but as a sponge
    Cameron Slater (left), and John Key (right), presumably in his capacity as a kitchen sponge. Facing fresh criticism about the details of his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Prime Minister John Key today claimed that, on the occasions...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 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...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    ...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • 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
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 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
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    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
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 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
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • 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
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere