web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

We are all beneficiaries

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

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


People who need a benefit should get it
DEBORAH RUSSELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

85 comments on “We are all beneficiaries”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

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

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

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

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

    Deborah

  3. gobsmacked 3

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

  4. Carol 4

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

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

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

    • aerobubble 4.1

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

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

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

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

  6. Polish Pride 6

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

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

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

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

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

  7. the sprout 7

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

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

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

    • Polish Pride 7.2

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

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

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

        • Polish Pride 7.2.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Polish Pride 7.2.1.2

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

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.3

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

      • prism 7.2.2

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

        • Polish Pride 7.2.2.1

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

          • prism 7.2.2.1.1

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

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

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

          • Mike 7.2.2.1.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Populuxe1 7.2.2.1.3

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

             

            • fatty 7.2.2.1.3.1

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

              • Populuxe1

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

                • fatty

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

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

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

                  • Populuxe1

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

                      BS

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

                    • fatty

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

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

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

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

                    • Mike

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

                • Draco T Bastard

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

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

                  • Populuxe1

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

                    • Populuxe1

                      @CV

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

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

                    • Populuxe1

                      @CV

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

                      EDIT

                      I’m not talking about “social democracies” lol

                    • Polish Pride

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

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

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

                    • lprent

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

                    • Gosman

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

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

                    • Polish Pride

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

          • jcuknz 7.2.2.1.4

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

      • dave brownz 7.2.3

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

        • Polish Pride 7.2.3.1

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

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

          • dave brownz 7.2.3.1.1

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

            • Polish Pride 7.2.3.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

                • Populuxe1

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

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

                    • Populuxe1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

                      Despite the fact that most tribal cultures are inherently highly communistic

                      You really are narrow sighted

                    • Draco T Bastard

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

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

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

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

                  • Populuxe1

                    @CV

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

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

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

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

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

                     

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

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

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

                      :shock:

    • Dr Terry 7.3

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

  8. Tom Gould 8

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

    • crashcart 8.1

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

      • Tom Gould 8.1.1

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

        • weka 8.1.1.1

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

        • crashcart 8.1.1.2

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

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

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.3

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

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

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

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

          You. Wish.

        • Polish Pride 8.1.1.4

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

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.4.1

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

    • weka 8.2

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

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

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

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

        • weka 8.2.1.1

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

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

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

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

  9. captain hook 9

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

  10. Kotahi Tāne Huna 10

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

  11. vto 11

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Mr Burns 12

    We are all beneficiares


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

  13. Michael 13

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

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

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

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

  14. Michael 14

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

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Date of Release: Friday, April 18, 2014Body:  The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions."Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    First Union Media | 17-04
  • Movies, feminism and postfeminism
    So, a confession: I've never really liked biographical movies about women I otherwise admire. I'm not entirely sure why - there's something about the cliches they indulge in, the Hollywood-isation. (She lapses into total vagueness revealing, yet again, that she...
    The Hand Mirror | 17-04
  • Barabbas – An Easter Story
    "All I know is that he died and I live. Maybe it’s what lies at the heart of that day."  “YOU’RE A HARD MAN TO FIND!”, exclaimed the sharp-featured young fellow, setting a jug of wine upon the table. “I’ve...
    Bowalley Road | 17-04
  • Low Traffic Forecast For Costly Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
          Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a lesser extent to population growth. To...
    Real Climate | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • “Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ...
    Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this...
    frogblog | 16-04
  • Needlessly shitty
    Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori. [...] Committee chairman, National MP...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Fiji: Hoist by his own petard?
    Last year Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama tried to ban political parties in an effort to limit opposition in the lead-up to promised elections. A key part of the crackdown was a ban on political campaigning by anyone who wasn't a...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere