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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.

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    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • 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
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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