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Wet Dick and the Perverts

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 27th, 2013 - 135 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, len brown, local government, Satire - Tags: , , , , ,

Should be the name of a group from a bizarro version of the 1960′s. But no, it is what passes for the governance of the Auckland City Council these days. There is our mayor with his wet dick. Then we have the five perverts who are busy emoting faux outrage for political purpose whilst quietly forgetting…

  • Perverts are people who get so obsessed by other peoples sexuality that it is usually symptomatic of a mental disease. They should leave that kind of crap for the experts at being nuts – like Fox News and Cameron Slater. We don’t elect councillors to be be perverts on our funds. We elect them to help run the city.
  • We also didn’t elect Len Brown for his skills as a dick. We elected him because there were no other viable candidates, and he has been doing a adequate job of pushing Aucklands interests. The exorbitantly over-priced Ernest & Young report revealed no significiant malfeasance apart from the questionable decision of accepting free rooms from SkyCity while the conference centre decision was going on. It makes his skills as a dick irrelevant ot running the city.
  • Moreover Rodney Hide and his Act put the mayor of Auckland in a completely unassailable position back in 2009. So it really doesn’t matter how much the Perverts cry about not being allowed to watch, he doesn’t have to let them. They should direct their whining toward Rodney Hide’s other supporting group – the Nationals.
  • It is pretty clear that not only are the counciller Perverts opportunistic mastubators, they are also getting in the way of what needs to be done this year. Currently they’re wasting the councils time and my damn rates on irrelevancies. While I’m sure that the council perverts:- Dick Quax, Cameron Brewer, Linda Cooper, Sharon Stewart, and Denise Krum (with Christine Fletcher as occasional backup) find this more entertaining than the humdrum of passing the unitary plan, we didn’t elect them for their faux outrage. At present they could exert more effort in accounting for themselves.
  • The downside of all of this is that if this stupidity continues we will eventually wind up with some dumbarse from Wellington being dumped in. Look at the masterful lack of progress happening under Brownlee’s ‘leadership’ in Christchurch to see how we can rapidly forge ahead under those circumstances. The number of refugees from that fair rubble currently residing in Auckland can attest to the efficiency of that approach. They left.

save_the_pervertsThe council should settle down to the work at hand and stop pissing about on things that cannot be changed. If they don’t like that they can’t be changed then they should put part of their efforts into changing the bloody stupid governance that the incompetent morons from Act/National foisted on to Auckland City.

Right now I think that the only other alternative to continuing the council as it is, would be to dump the whole council for dereliction of duty. Preventing the current incumbents from standing and reelecting from fresh is starting to look like a damn good idea. There are some pretty interesting people in the local boards who look like they could do with some more experience. They have to be better than the has-been perverts we currently have to put up with.

135 comments on “Wet Dick and the Perverts”

  1. you have just made the shortlist for ‘headline of the year award’..

    ..in the whoar-awards..(coming in jan..)

    (you can take this as an official invitation to the awards-ceremony..@ a date to be announced..)

    phillip ure..

    • and that is two awards you are up for..eh..?

      ..first you make the shortlist for ‘most improved censor’..

      ..and now ‘headline of the year’..

      ..whoar..!..eh..?

      ..there might be two awards fighting for space on yr mantlepiece in the new year..eh..?..

      ..phillip ure..

      • weka 1.1.1

        I was thinking “post of the year that most encapsulates borderline extreme bad taste, hilarity and astute political analysis” ;-)

        • Tim 1.1.1.1

          Surely such an award would have to go to John Key. He rivals Sir Les Patterson – to such an extent that he even seems to have managed to capture Madge and Phil’s attention (hopefully as one of those quaint little colonials someone with an eye for the main chance could schedule for next year’s Royal Variety performance.
          Madge is soooo desperate to get down with the kuds dontcha know!

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          …encapsulates borderline extreme bad taste, hilarity and astute political analysis.

          Thanks. That was the desired effect. I thought (and wrote) some serious political analysis. However it didn’t really suit the dumb stupidity of the situation.

          Satire and bad taste was far more appropriate….

  2. RedLogix 2

    And for a spot of balance, let me politely point out that Len was not the only party responsible here. After all – exactly where did the all this wetness of dick come from?

    Because while it’s easy and traditional to place all the responsibility for what happened onto the ‘nasty, exploitative older man’ but in reality both Len and Bevan are adults who are accountable to no-one else but their families. I still maintain it was none of our business; personally I’ve never even read the apparently explicit details over at Voldemort’s.

    As a society we are desperately hypocritical about sex. We construct monogamy as the ideal, yet over our lifetimes almost none of us practice it. I’m reminded of the cute old aphorism “Polygamy in the East is simultaneous, in the West – sequential.”

    Not of course that I’m particularly advocating for the patriarchal Eastern model of polygamy, but you have to acknowledge that it did have the advantage of maintaining the economic unit of the family intact in the presence of multiple partners, while our sequential model destroys it over and over.

    I not claiming any answer here, except to observe that we are still very much in the middle of a massive social transformation, triggered by the advent of reliable birth-control, the tremendous victory of feminism which has established the equal and inalienable rights of women to control their own bodies, and a remarkable body of new science around human sexuality of which many people remain unaware.

    At the same time we have yet to cut the Gordian Knot between sex and family. Whether we can, or even should, decouple the two remains an open question. All I can suggest is that our current ‘sequential polygamy’ model is only one of many possibilities and that maybe the future will see other variants becoming more common.

    Humans are a highly sexual species. Outstandingly so – we have hundreds of acts of intercourse for every live birth. Both genders invest an astounding amount of time and energy into attracting partners. In private people express an astonishing range of sexual preferences, practises, desires and taboos. Yet in the public domain we are still bizarrely stuck on denial – prurience and hypocrisy dominate.

    It’s the usual pattern I suppose, reality shifts silently underneath us and the reactionary idiots carry on denying it for generations.

    • karol 2.1

      to a certain extent, RL, I agree.

      However, it’s not just about sex, it’s about power. And in the Brown-Chuang relationship, Brown had the most power. It was a relationship that arose out of Brown’s and Chuang’s roles within the council. So it’s not just any relationship between an older man and a younger woman.

      Then WO et al got in on the action with their/his own access to channels of power. I also have not read the WO documents – the blow-by-blow account of what happened seemed of little relevance, other than to exert power via the infotainment of the corporate media.

      The personal is political when the exertion of power is used, especially when it results in abuse. RL, you seem to be oblivious of the diverse ways sexuality and power permeates politics.

      So, it was legitimate to review whether power was abused by Brown in relation to his council activities. They found nothing on that score. Brown does not seem to have abused his power in the relationship, other than that Chuang probably would not have responded to his advances if he wasn’t the mayor. Why Chuang did that is another issue. Female groupies of powerful men seem to me to be trying to acquire access to power, within a patriarchal system, via sex. Not something I would recommend. And ultimately it’s colluding with the system of power.

      But if you want to see how the political power can bleed into personal and family relationships, look at the revelations about Tim Shadbolt, when mayor of Waitakere City, as reported by his ex wife in 2006.

      The article reads like a familiar scenario of partner and child abuse: both psychological and physical, by Tim Shadbolt. Keeping quiet about such abuse, keeping it “private” enables the abuser, and ultimately works to reinforce patriarchal power. Shadbolt played on the aura of his public image to aid his serial adultery. Brown’s conduct, as publicly revealed, did not come even close to this.

      But if Shadbolt’s behaviour had been known at the time he was mayor of Waitemata, or if Brown had behaved in a similar way, a resignation from political office would have been in order, IMO. Actually, Shadbolt seems like someone not fit for public life.

      The Brown situation is not an issue of the private should remain private: it’s about whether Brown drew on his political power in his personal relationships, and/or whether he abused his power in his relationship with Chuang and/or his wife. The evidence so far re-Chuang is that, mostly he did not, other than capitalising on the aura of mayoral power in his relationships with Chuang, and thus also with his wife.

      Shadbolt’s past history is a disgrace in both his public and personal life. In the 70s I had great respect for his apparently radical politics. Since then he seems to have sold out to local council power, become pretty MOR politically, and abused his power in his personal relationships. His physical violence is criminal.

      I never had as much respect for Brown’s politics as I once did for Shadbolt. Brown has merely disappointed both politically and in his personal relationships. He does still have soemthing to offer public office.

      As Lynn says, there are more important and pressing issues for the council to be focusing on.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Intelligent and thoughtful as always karol.

        Brown does not seem to have abused his power in the relationship, other than that Chuang probably would not have responded to his advances if he wasn’t the mayor. Why Chuang did that is another issue. Female groupies of powerful men seem to me to be trying to acquire access to power, within a patriarchal system, via sex.

        Which is another way of saying that Chuang exploited her relative youth and sexual attractiveness to advance her own purposes.

        Because while we have this social convention that it is the male who should make the overt ‘advances’ in reality the other person usually makes it pretty plain that they are ‘available’ beforehand.

        I don’t see how this always makes the male the responsible party, liable for all the blame when things go pear-shaped. Feminists fought long and hard for women to be treated as equals with men, yet whether they intend it or not when they paint women as always being the innocent victims of the patriarchal system, they convey a different message.

        The personal is political when the exertion of power is used, especially when it results in abuse. RL, you seem to be oblivious of the diverse ways sexuality and power permeates politics.

        No I don’t think so. Setting aside the plainly abusive and exploitative scenarios where one partner is coerced emotionally, physically or socially into have sex they would not otherwise contemplate – that still leaves plenty of sex going on between consenting adults where the apparent power differentials are a background factor only. Unless we are going to police every possible sexual liaison to check that the two parties involved are ‘suitable equals’ then we have to accept that some degree of differential in relationships are inevitable and not normally anyone else’s business to comment on.

        Nor is this a one gender street – to put it plainly, while it is true that men are prone to treating women as sex objects; equally there are plenty of women who treat men as walking wallet objects.

        Grown ups get to negotiate these hazards for themselves. Preferably without the rest of us making a running critique.

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Yes. yes. Women can be guilty of using and abusing their sexuality too.

          But overall it is a patriarchal system that works to the benefit of more men than women. It’s not just about how individual men and women operate within it. It’s about how their behaviour either reinforces or challenges the patriarchal system.

          I didn’t claim that Chuang was totally innocent, only that she had less political and social power than Brown, and sought to use her sexuality to obtain more power (for herself alone, not other powerless women) – a double edged thing that ultimately reinforces the patriarchal system – and that is ultimately harmful to the majority of women, especially those with least wealth and power.

          I would say Judith Collins is a woman with quite a bit of power (from her class and political position) who uses her apparent dominatrix sex appeal to reinforce and enhance her political power. I don’t understand that “sex appeal”, but it does seem like it results in her getting a few fan bois working on her (self-serving) behalf. Ultimately, that kind of sex-power play also reinforces the patriarchal system, while ensuring Collins maintains a strong position within it.

          Also, there’s a noticeable gender difference in the way Collins’ dominatrix appeal plays out, from the way in which the Shadbolt and Brown adulterous relationships play out. And that also reinforces the patriarchal system.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            I hadn’t thought about Collins like that – very droll. :-)

            and that is ultimately harmful to the majority of women, especially those with least wealth and power

            Well I think we’ve had this discussion before. I agree totally, there is no doubt that the patriarchy inflicts gradations of harm with poorer women firmly towards the bottom of the heap. Throw in race, culture, sexual orientation, disability and you can discern even finer degrees of cruelty. No quibble with this at all.

            At the same time plenty of men find the system dis-empowering as well. The heap does not have any cleanly defined boundaries, women down in that sector, all men up over there. I would argue that most men are losers in the patriarchal power game as well. Real power is reserved for a tiny minority of hyper-wealthy who have nothing but contempt for all of us ordinary folk.

            Yet what you have written here karol is evidence that we all play out roles within the patriarchal system. That while it is a system which derives its values and behaviours from male dominated warrior cultures; both genders are complicit in sustaining it.

            As long as we keep framing the battle against this patriarchal model of behaviour as a battle between the genders – I’d suggest we are falling into the old divide and conquer trap.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Indeed. In this system 90+% of us on this planet are disposable proles. Regardless of sex.

              The system does certainly apply gender differences at times to determine how exactly you get fed into the capitalist meatgrinder and how thoroughly you get mangled – but I dont think that those differences are the most pertinent aspect of the our predicament.

              • RedLogix

                Exactamund.

                At the same time, if I attempt to channel karol for a moment, this is not a reason to ignore the experience and insight of feminism.

                What I’m feeling around for is a bridge between what she is saying (because emphatically I do not think she is wrong) and what you are saying as well CV.

                One useful element is perhaps thinking more clearly about the libertarian/authoritarian inversion I wrote about yesterday.

                Another is more clearly decoupling the mode of behaviour we call patriarchy – from something we that exclusively blame men for perpetrating and benefiting from. If we define being male as inherently being patriarchal we have no path forward – short of exterminating all men.

                Decouple the two and we free up men from having to defend who they are – and create the space for a new masculinity to arise.

                And if at the same time women acknowledge their complicity in sustaining the patriarchy, then patriarchy as a mode of behaviour might vanish quite rapidly. (Most men being remarkably quick at adapting when the women in their lives make it plain which way the bed is going to be laid so to speak.)

              • karol

                Actually, CV, I don’t think either capitalism, patriarchy or imperialism are primary, with the others being somehow incorporated within the primary system. They are interwoven systems. It depends on the issue, the context and the moment in time for a particular society.

                I witnessed several of those sorts of discussion in the 70s and 80s, about which system of oppression was primary: some anti-racists would say that the primary oppression was “race” or ethnically-based and capitalism developed on the back of slavery and other forms of colonisation; the radical feminist would say that gender is the primary division, that patriarchy pre-dated capitalism and that it would be possible to dismantle capitalism without dismantling patriarchy; some socialist feminists agreed that patrarchy pre-dated capitalism, while others argued that prior to capitalism women were far less oppressed.

                Ultimately these are fruitless discussions – it depends on the issues. issues like rape and sexual exploitation tend to focus more on gender differences; issues of women and poverty, focus more on the role of women within capitalism; some issues of gender exploitation involve looking at both the gender differences in society and the way capitalism and racial/ethnic divisions work.

                If you think gender differences aren’t a major focus within the structure of our society, consider why, the first question asked when most children are born is: “Is it a boy or a girl?”; why traditionally, one of the primary questions on official forms, passports etc is “male or female”? (at least until very recently); why some people are quite disturbed when they can’t tell if a person is male or female?

                The differentiation by gender is traditionally one of the most fundamental ways people are categorised, and labelled.

                Right now, at this point in history, turbo-charged “neoliberal” capitalism is a mjor problem that is endangering the very existence of humanity. But capitalism could be dismantled and there could still be continued oppression or enslavement of some people on the basis of ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality….. or other characteristics, such as able/disability, or age…..

                • karol

                  Murray Olsen, re Len Brown’s wife and honesty and trust:

                  NZ Herald October – Len Brown timeline.

                  A National MP was allegedly the source of a tip to Len Brown’s campaign team that the mayor’s affair with Bevan Chuang was going to be made public.

                  A source inside the Brown camp told the Herald yesterday that the campaign team was alerted to the sex scandal about lunchtime on Monday, October 7 – five days before postal voting closed in the local body elections.A National MP was allegedly the source of a tip to Len Brown’s campaign team that the mayor’s affair with Bevan Chuang was going to be made public.

                  A source inside the Brown camp told the Herald yesterday that the campaign team was alerted to the sex scandal about lunchtime on Monday, October 7 – five days before postal voting closed in the local body elections.
                  [...]
                  After the tip-off was given, Mr Brown was told and left the Auckland Town Hall to go home to Manukau where he told wife Shan about the affair.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Maybe, but I wouldn’t regard the Herald as an unimpeachable source. I would still class myself as a “don’t know”.

                    • karol

                      Oh. But that was the first one I found when I searched.

                      It was fairly widely reported at the time. Also that Brown was spending time with his wife and family after he’d let them down.

                      It seems NZ herald was the first to report that line, but it sounds like it came from a statement from Brown, and One News repeated it:

                      Meanwhile, Mr Brown has revealed that he told his wife, Shan Inglis, about his extra-marital relationship after he “became aware through connections” that someone was talking about it.

                      “We became aware through connections, who I’m not prepared to go into, that someone or another was talking about it. At that time I told my wife,” he told the NZ Herald.

                      When asked if he believed there was anything more to come out that people needed to know about he said “there had better not be”.

                      Brown has never contradicted this. Seems pretty likely to me.

                    • RedLogix

                      Still Murray may be hinting at another point. It’s not unusual for partners in long-term relationships negotiate some form of non-exclusivity.

                      Sometimes it’s open and mutual, other times it’s more in the nature of a trade-off and compromise. Most often it’s a case of what is usually termed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, in other words, “it’s ok to have some extra on the side, but don’t tell me, and don’t let it threaten the primary relationship”.

                      But of course we cannot, should not, know the exact circumstances here. It’s just another good reason why we shouldn’t be speculating and judging.

                    • karol

                      And yet, RL, you are speculating, when, as far as I can see the evidence points to Brown not telling his wife until it became public Looks pretty certain to me – not really speculation.

              • karol

                RL, I agree that patriarchy is not something that is based on sex-based birth characteristics: it’s about learned and socially prescribed behaviours: masculinity and femininity.

                It’s not so much about blaming men en masse, as asking, who benefits? and who is contributing to the maintenance of patriarchy? On balance, more men benefit form patriarchy than do most women: that’s why it’s called “patriarchy”.

                The issue of non-monogamy is one issue that, the ways non-monogamy are practiced, tend to benefit more men than women. Yes some women are not monogamous, especially when they don’t have children to care for.

                The experience of Tim Shadbolt and Miriam Cameron is shared by many who were into the anti-monogamy discourse of the 60s and 70s. Ultimately many women became disillusioned by it, because they found that, in practice it more often worked OK for men but not so well for many women. And especially, as with Miriam and Tim, the woman is left with most of the child care responsibilities, while the guy is able to continue to focus on his career, and, if he wishes, is still able to indulge in extra marital affairs as if he were single.

                • RedLogix

                  The experience of Tim Shadbolt and Miriam Cameron is shared by many who were into the anti-monogamy discourse of the 60s and 70s. …

                  I think anyone who writes these days about non-monogamy explicitly states that if the existing primary relationship has problems then adding more people will only make things worse. Tim Shadbolt’s personal story (an abusive father for a start) and rather chaotic life suggests that that particular couple were never likely to be poster children for their lifestyle. Moreover as long as the dominant culture remain hostile to non-monogamy anyone experimenting with it is going to be playing into a stiff head-wind.

                  And I’d also suggest that the 1970′s were 40 years ago; there has been a great deal learnt and written on the topic since then.

                  Non-monogamy is of course much broader than the question of who sleeps with who, it’s about children, collective property and the ability to communicate clearly and honestly. Not a lot of people (and I’d would not count myself in) are capable of pulling it off – there just aren’t the social mechanisms and networks to support it in our society. On the other hand if we look outside of the narrow Western model there are various examples eg the Mosuo who provide a glimpse of how it is quite possible to order things differently.

                  Furthermore I’ve learnt from various encounters both within my own rather tenuous and extended family, and from those my partner has related to me, that most people with who have stable, successful non-standard relationships tend to be very private about them. Most outsiders never suspect.

                  • karol

                    Ah, yes, I know there are various and more recent views on nonmonogamy, and various ways it’s practiced successfully. But we aren’t in a society where it is easy for women to successfully enter into one. As, I think, Tracey, said in this thread: a non-monogamous/open relationship requires honesty and trust, and I don’t see that as having happened in Brown or Shadbolt’s marital relationships.

                    We also live in a society where men tend to get more positive responses for having multiple sexual partners, and women still tend to be labelled a “sluts”. Also, we are in a society where children are considered to be the property of their birth or adoptive parents, and are not seen as a collective responsibility. And we still live in a society where women tend to be allocated the main role in caring for their children.

                    It is in relation to child birth, child care and child rearing, that many women still start to realise that we do not live in a gender equal world. And it hits low income women, especially single mothers on benefits, the hardest.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Somewhat inevitable given the abandonment of full employment policies and the mass destruction of well paid union protected working class manufacturing jobs.

                    • RedLogix

                      We also live in a society where men tend to get more positive responses for having multiple sexual partners, and women still tend to be labelled a “sluts”.

                      Something that annoys me intensely. And oddly enough it’s other women who are most likely to vociferously attack with the slut label. Never understood that.

                      Also, we are in a society where children are considered to be the property of their birth or adoptive parents, and are not seen as a collective responsibility.

                      And yet at every summer holiday camp, what do the all kids from all different families instinctively do? They naturally form a little tribe and run around looking after themselves. And if the families know and trust each other, the adults do look out collectively for them. (Ok so my example ain’t perfect, but the underlying observation is there.)

                      You’ve accidentally or otherwise touched on exactly one of the encounters I was thinking of. Five women (they were all quite elderly when I knew them) living together in one large old farmhouse, who had collectively raised a whole bunch of children between them. They were far removed from hippies or anything alternative – accident, WW2 and illness had variously struck their lives and they banded together to make a much better collective life for themselves. (My father did think that it was likely there were some sexual relationships within the household as well – but that was never publically apparent).

                      The point is that matriarchal non-monogamous arrangements have potentially big pay-offs for women as well.

                    • karol

                      RL, i knew 3 women in London who lived together as a trio – seemed to work OK for them, though they had no children. But I gather such relationships work better if the relationships are egalitarian.

                      I also think a committed trio or group relationship is a lot different from one partner in a couple screwing around (Shadbolt) or having a sly bit on the side (Brown), in an inegalitarian world.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Something that annoys me intensely. And oddly enough it’s other women who are most likely to vociferously attack with the slut label. Never understood that.”

                      Yep. Some of the most unkind things I’ve heard about Bevan Chuang and also her various interviews have come from women, younger and older. Funny that I don’t see feminists attacking these women about their attitudes.

                      Of course, those women didn’t have anything nice to say about Len Broken either…

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Karol, do we know whether there was honesty and trust inside the Brown family or not? My view is that we don’t know what the family dynamic was at all, and shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

                    • karol

                      CV, @ 7.39pm:

                      In general, women are strongly socialised to monitor themselves in terms of their public behaviour and appearance – they get into some very strong self policing, and women in groups can turn such monitoring on each other.

                      It depends on how aware women are of the impacts of such policing. No women I’m close to or even who I work with, have been unkind about Bevan Chuang. And I have not seen any women here (or commenters who I understand to be women) being nasty about Chuang. I’ve actually only seen it from commenters I perceive to be male.

                    • lprent []

                      And I have not seen any women here (or commenters who I understand to be women) being nasty about Chuang. I’ve actually only seen it from commenters I perceive to be male.

                      I seem to remember one critical woman back when the story broke. But on the whole, yeah you’re right. Almost all of the comments by people I know are female commenters haven’t uncharitable about Chaung.

                      However there have been quite a few women commenters who have been pretty critical of Len Brown.

              • RedLogix

                But capitalism could be dismantled and there could still be continued oppression or enslavement of some people on the basis of ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality….. or other characteristics, such as able/disability, or age…..

                Maybe. I’m not so utopian to imagine the human race is about to transform into complete saints overnight. But equally I’m convinced that we are capable of accessing different modes of behavior.

                I was rather taken by one author writing about the tight genetic equilateral triangle between chimpanzees, bonobos and humans, described chimpanzees as our bad angels and bonobos as our good angels and that humans had the choice of accessing either the hierarchal, agonic mode of the chimps, or the more communal, hedonic mode of the bonobo.

                There is a lot of evidence that shows the prime drivers in human behaviour are expectation and circumstance; and I would argue that the turbo-charged neo-liberal captialism creates the expectation of greed and circumstance of dog-eat-dog competition. In such an environment we naturally choose the agonic mode of behaviour – much of which we also call patriarchy.

                We’ve been stuck in this agonic mode since the advent of agriculture, so long now that we have trouble imagining the alternative.

              • Colonial Viper

                Who cares if marginally more men have one of the too few life rafts than women in the patriarchy? The Titanic is fucking sinking. Most of the passengers aren’t going to make it, male or female.

                And this is what more and more ordinary people are instinctively realising. So if the Left can’t pull together a coherent, concrete vision of a way ahead, its irrelevancy and disconnectedness will continue to grow.

                • karol

                  Ah, well then, we may as well leave it to the all powerful capitalists – the select ones who want to build their sustainable life-raft/gated communities – and let them be the ones that survive in the interests of the survival of humanity.

                  I may as well go to the dance hall on the Titanic and forget about politics.

                  Way to rationalise your lack of interest in feminism (or anti-racism), CV! By resorting to a teleological abstraction. Life goes on now, and is a struggle for way too many.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Identity politics is fine karol, as long as it is directly addressing issues of economic justice for all. Life is certainly a struggle for way too many, and boutique identity politics provides no answers for most of them.

                    • karol

                      There you go again, reducing gender politics to some narrow idea of “identity politics” – no matter how much I explain otherwise. With you I seem to be wasting my energy.

                      CV, the survival of society on the face of diminishing resources is important. You also have a very narrow definition of “economy” it seems. Economy is also about the way society operates and the impacts of the forms of culture therein.

                      In the worst of scenarios, societal collapse, I fear a world in which competition is fierce and only the physically strongest survive. You only have to look at what happens in war zones, and societies in extreme poverty – in refugee camps near war zones, physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape and exploitation of women and children are rife – and it’s no picnic for the elderly and physically disabled.

                      As well as ensuring adequate use and maintenance of resources, it’s important to attend to prepare the kind of society that will best survive. if the survival society turns out to include abuse of the weaker people, and endemic rape etc, then i’d rather go with the first wave of the apocalypse. it’s not the kind of society I’d wish to live in.

                      In fact, I don’t think there’ll be sudden collapse of society, but “the long descent”: so even more important to attend to the kind of society we are preparing for the future. One that is truly democratic in a participatory way.

                      it’s the grass roots organisation that will sustain us in the long term – not some superficial narrowly “economic” solution from above, without the full participation of the community.

                      So much of most societies is dependent on the informal economy, and that is largely the unpaid activities of women – the ones who care for others in the family, maintain the household, etc.

                      That’s why any solution, in Marilyn Waring’s terms, needs to be include a “feminist economics”, or at least a feminist slant on it.

                • RedLogix

                  The frustrating thing is I agree with both of you …..

                  I agree with CV that by far the dominant inequality gradient in our society is economic. That fewer than 50,000 people in the world control all the important assets and decisions in the world, that just last year it was estimated that these people have some $30 trillion dollars (enough to pay off the deficits of most governments around the world) piled up in cash in Caribbean tax havens – and a thousand other facts we know about the world, makes this apparent.

                  At the same time the left cannot ignore or dismiss the experience of feminism, and the fact that globally the position of women as a whole has only improved marginally in many places.

                  It’s as if the uber-wealthy have lifted up one end of the carpet and amuse themselves watching the rest of us tumble and scrabble among ourselves as we fall. Yet if there is one group on the left who know how to take on steep odds and win – it is people like karol.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “At the same time the left cannot ignore or dismiss the experience of feminism, and the fact that globally the position of women as a whole has only improved marginally in many places.”

                    ? With the general loss of solidarity with the downtrodden working class and underclass of our own nation, the ability to express solidarity with oppressed groups in other nations has dropped off to not much at all.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK.. but at the risk of dragging my grumpy old dad into this conversation again … he often made the point to me that all important social reforms are invariably driven by the women.

                      Even if it is the men who are the public face of the movement, the core tenacity and momentum of the movement is kept alive by the endurance and indomitable spirit of the women involved.

                      Two examples:

                      The Victorian anti-slavery movement.

                      Christianity itself. It was Mary Magdalena who understood that the meaning of Jesus’ life did not end with his physical crucifixion rather it began with it. All the male disciples were about to wander off in despair.

                      If you want solidarity CV that’s where it comes from – families and homes. Places where women rule.

                    • karol

                      CV, you clearly do not know much about feminism. There’s a lot of it about. You just need to know where to look – or just to explore.

                      Try bell hooks.

                      Sheila Rowbotham

                      Rosemary Hennessey

                      Naomi Klein (began in politics as a feminist activist)

                      World Pulse

                      Fightback: socialist feminist day school.

                      “Questioning economic success through the lens of hunger”.

                      Of course, the MSM doesn’t represent feminism or its scope very well. neither does the parliamentary left – just as Labour Parties internationally have been infiltrated by the neoliberal disease.

                      Many of us feminists have never lost sight of class issues, or issues for women in diverse countries.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL, of course women are leaders in social change, and are consistently so throughout history. Which suggests that women know how to wield power within a patriarchy when required.

                      Let’s have a look at your examples. The abolitionist movement struck at the heart of the old world economy and addressed a massive, widespread and concrete issue of economic and social justice. These women weren’t addressing a boutique identity politics issue.

                      Mary Magdalena. Her insight was a spiritual one transcending the boundaries of the human condition, impacting millions of followers world wide in very many concrete ways. Not what I would call boutique identity politics either.

                      In both cases, women created concrete change with broad social and economic impacts.

                      As for your comment around women creating solidarity and change using the home and the family as a basis…not sure what the feminist retort to that is, but it seems like a patriarchal attitude belonging in the past.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi karol, thanks for those links.

                    • RedLogix

                      not sure what the feminist retort to that is, but it seems like a patriarchal attitude belonging in the past

                      Now you are taking the piss just little :-)

                      But fair enough – my weak excuse is that I got caught up in my own historic context. Otherwise the god ate my homework ….

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah I sorta am taking the piss.

                      Just wait until you consider the male corollary of how women should not allow themselves to be defined by the thinking frameworks, expectations and examples set by men, especially men who have no idea of the day to day challenges and pressures that women face in modern society.

                      After all, what is good for the goose…

          • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.1.2

            The WhaleSpew army certainly understand Collins’ dominatrix appeal. On the few occasions when I used to read stuff there, they made it very obvious. I suspect it tells us yet another thing we don’t want to know about the Tory psyche.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.2

          Being treated equally doesnt not necessarily mean becoming the same. It does take two to tango sexually but there are always exceptions. For example, child and adult. And The guy from palino’s crew who appears to have deliberately manipulated someone who he must have known was in love with him. That doesnt make her innocent but not does it make her a calculating bitch (not that you said she was, just making a point).

          As for monogamy. I dont understand why people who dont want to be monogomous get married, go into partnership with one person UNLESS they have told them they want an open relationship etc… I have been in a monogomous relationship for almost 23 years. To me trust and honesty is more important than monogomy. If you dont want exclusiveness tell your partner. They can choose to stay or go. Too many want their cake and eat it to though.

      • RedBaronCV 2.1.2

        Not sure If I’m on the right track here but I also feel that Quax and Brewer are behaving badly in taking it upon themselves to moralise in public on behalf of the Brown family. Why are they entitled to allocate to themselves the “so called moral high ground” and use their public office to do so? I doubt very much that the family allocated this job to them -they can speak for themselves presumeably if they want to. Somehow, I can’t imagine this with all the roles reversed. i.e women speaking on behalf of a “wronged man” and thinking they are entitled to do so.

        • Tracey 2.1.2.1

          and that their morality is selective. No condemnation of the right and their behaviour…in council or anywhere else. Its no secret Brewer is aiming for central government but already has one-eyed morality down pat.

          • karol 2.1.2.1.1

            Yes, Brewer, Quax, WO et al are hypocrites. they clearly don’t care much about how their smears of Brown hurt the women (or families) involved – only want to use the revelations to smear and attack Brown in any way they can to bring him down.

            I’d still vote for Brown before I’d vote for Brewer…. or Quax…. or their mate dodgy John Banks.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.3

        What I heard about Shadbolt’s exploits as Mayor out west made him seem like a one man Roastbusters. I first came across him in the mid 70s and was never impressed by his politics or his personal behaviour. I always thought his radical lifestyle was purely to get up close and personal with the braless earth mother hippy chicks and celebrate a bit of free love with them. I suppose we don’t need the details, but he made Len Brown look like a choir boy.

        • karol 2.1.3.1

          Well, I was young in the late 60s and early 70s, didn’t know Shadbolt, and only knew him by his speeches and public activism. He seems to have been a pretty disorganised mayor of Waitemata, as far as I can tell – all attention getting show., poor on substance.

    • weka 2.2

      RL, I took one of the points of the post to be that the sex was irrelevant except to the degree which politcal opponents are fixated on it as a weapon. In that sense, the person the mayor slept with is also irrelevant. What is relevant is whether Brown’s sex life has any negative bearing on his ability to do his job. I think you are largely in agreement with this, so am a bit surprised to see the issues being raise in your comment. I like the idea of examining societal hypocrices re sex and looking at new models, am just not sure if that’s possible in this particular thread though. I suspect it will just becomes about Brown and Chuang and gender.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        I think you are largely in agreement with this, so am a bit surprised to see the issues being raise in your comment.

        Fair point weka. In my defense I was making some very general comments around our social attitudes towards sexuality – because after all these are the underlying reasons why Len Brown’s opponents have shamelessly used this story to attack him. And why so far the tactic has been effective.

        It remains to be seen if Slater gets to topple Brown and if he does it would represent an egregiously dirty and low point in NZ politics. At the very least we can safely predict that Len is unlikely to win a third term and that alone makes me very uncomfortable.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          I agree that it was the sexual aspect that slater and cook et al used to try to bring him down. A tactic they have all reserved for the left exclusively. Lets not forget Palino.

          Let’s also not forget Mr key said he read about it on WhaleOil.

          I’ve lost respect for Brown and wouldn’t vote for him again. From the credit card stuff at MCC to not feeling he owed it to us to declare his freebies etc… I’ve also felt that the sky city convention centre vote was the last straw for the man who claimed the south of this city were his family. he seems more and more about himself.

          IF Penny Hulse were to stand she would get my vote.

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            The point is that there is absolutely nothing that can force Len Brown to stand down, and he shows no sign of wanting to do so.

            In the meantime the perverts on council are wasting time and resources being even more pointless (than they usually are). Anything they do apart from getting their National allies in parliament to change the legislation is essentially meaningless.

            You will get an opportunity to vote in 2016. Suck it up until then.

    • Humans are a highly sexual species. Outstandingly so – we have hundreds of acts of intercourse for every live birth. Both genders invest an astounding amount of time and energy into attracting partners. In private people express an astonishing range of sexual preferences, practises, desires and taboos. Yet in the public domain we are still bizarrely stuck on denial – prurience and hypocrisy dominate.

      Spot on, Redlogix.

      Little wonder that our ancestors displaced Neanderthals and other competitors for the Top Dog on this planet.

      Never mind cranial capacity and brain-computing power – we were better at rooting!

      And if that’s a common factor for any/all intelligent species throughout the Universe, I can imagine the first words to come from aliens, as they emerge from their spaceship parked beside the U.N. Headquarters;

      “People of Earth, we come in Peace!

      … so, cutey, what are you doing Friday night?”

  3. captain hook 3

    so did they get their campaign funds form the blubberguts slush fund too?
    quax looked like he swallowed a rotten prune and brewer uses too much soap and its just a complete mystery how these things ever got elected in the first place.
    they all look like psychopaths/serial killers from some b-grade american crime procedural movies.
    Auckland you must do better in the future.

  4. irascible 4

    Great post and totally endorsed. The Auckland Five have conspired to discredit the Auckland Council in their effort to secure their places in the National-Act hall of infamy. Quax has been a thorn in the governance of Manuukau as well as Auckland ever since he was elected.

    http://theirasciblecurmudgeon.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/more-on-being-apoplectic-over-len-brown.html

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Actually if I was an Auckland ratepayer I would be more upset than you Lprent.

    I can be pretty sure that no member of the Brown family has invited the likes of Quax and Brewer to handle the personal, emotional side of this issue on their behalf and spend ratepayer funds on it.

    So, should the money have been spent? More importantly, was it spent legally or should the AG intervene?

    It seemed odd when the chief executive announced that he’d be doing a review so have had a look around.

    Of course the CEO does have delegated spending authority from the Council. If an item is in the approved annual plan then up to $7.5m on capital or contracts can be authorised without referring this back to the Council.
    No way is this matter in the Annual plan.

    The CEO will have some general delegated authority too – haven’t yet found what this is. This is to enable him to approve lessor internal matters put forward that are not in the annual plan. This is an approval level for him, not a spending level as such.

    Might sound like hairsplitting, but the CEO could approve a proposal put to him by staff for say a Go kart track around the office for $100,000. This is unlikely to fall within general council objectives so he would surely say no. If he is the only person that wants the track he would have to get the Council to approve the spend. Essentially, he should not be wearing more than one hat, which he is, if he proposes, spends and approves any amount.

    There is also the little matter of letting tenders. I checkd and couldn’t find anything on the tender sites. Mainly used by public bodies to avoid issues of favouritism and perdetermined outcomes. No mention of anyone other than EY being asked? Jobs for the boys? And of couse there a legal fees etc so the spend rises.
    .
    So, was the CEO spending legitimately and within his delegations and the protocols? If not, then the AG needs to be called in. Has a personal liability been created for the CEO?

    Boring background and the sensible course of action:
    Boring though it is, a normal protocol, if management suspected a councillor was out of line financially, would be to report it, usually to the finance and audit sub committee of the main council. There should also be a reporting line from the Council’s audit team through to this committee and also to the Auditor General who audit the council.

    The committee would then, depending on the size of the issue, either refer or advise the Council’s auditors and in discussion with them and the council audit team determine who would investigate. The AG might do it themselves or the councillors on the subcommittee might recommend the next steps. Either way if the subcommittee is sensible, they would distance themselves and allow the AG to either do a review or handle any subcontracting of it. At the same time they would authorise the money that it would cost if it was done externally.

    If management thought all councillors were doing something wrong then he would bypass the council committee and go straight to the AG.

    Feel free to edit and cut back.

  6. Tracey 6

    And please let’s not forget the sham that is the horribly overpriced reports that PWC and Deloittes and anyone who is the latest friend on the lobbying/cocktail circuit gets courtesy of the rate/taxpayer. It’s another form of subsidy.

    Why do we continue to believe that if they have a fucking huge building, with artwork and lost of people in suits they must be the best for the job?

    The right hate the beneficiaries but shower the consultants in gold.

  7. Grumpy 7

    Sure, sex sells and Len has provided mega page hits for Whale and this blog. Ignoring the sex, sleaze, corruption etc. the thing that has struck me is how nobody actually likes Len. The best that can be said, even by rabid lefties, is that he was the best option. Of particular note is his apparent sense of entitlement and self importance. Gilmore on steroids.
    What a sad indictment.

    • Grumpy 7.1

      P.S. Love the cartoon…..

      • lprent 7.1.1

        I’m expecting a petition to be in the perverts armoury soon. I thought I’d get a good cartoon ready to show what the objective is…

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Sure, sex sells and Len has provided mega page hits for Whale and this blog.

      Not from me it did not grumpy. With any amount of fantasy porn just a few clicks away on the net, I really didn’t need to invade Len, his family and Bevan Chuang’s private lives to get my kicks.

      Gilmore on steroids

      Gilmore made a public drunken arse of himself.

      Two important distinctions you should have a long hard think about.

      • Grumpy 7.2.1

        Wowser……when he became mayor, he has no “private life”, just like John Key….

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          May as well set a camera up in his bedroom right now then.

        • RedLogix 7.2.1.2

          As weka has concisely pointed out, the notion that ‘politicians have no private lives’ is both selective and bogus.

          The rule is: unless the matter involves criminality, clearly compromises their ability to do the job, or invokes a gross hypocrisy – then it’s off limits. Period. No exceptions.

          Just to be clear, if any author at the The Standard were to treat John Key’s private life in the same way LB’s has been I would be furious.

          • lprent 7.2.1.2.1

            Never happened. Unlikely to happen. We’re not pathetic sleazy self-destructive arseholes like Cameron Slater.

            Hell I haven’t even published the well-known (and much sent to me) private life of Cameron Slater. I restrict myself to referencing it after he does.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.2.1.2.2

            The rule is: unless the matter involves criminality, clearly compromises their ability to do the job, or invokes a gross hypocrisy – then it’s off limits. Period. No exceptions.

            If that were true, neither the Right nor the Left would target individuals in Chuang or Brown’s position. There would be no story.

            But as Grumpy points out in his own special way, the problem is the blackmail, not the philandering.

            • Frank Macskasy 7.2.1.2.2.1

              The worst that can be said of Brown’s affair is his use of SkyCity’s upgraded hotel rooms. They may have been free upgrades and not cost rate payers a cent – but that’s not the point.

              That was truly stupid and he left himself wide open on that.

              As I wrote elsewhere, his political acumen is badly lacking not to have considered the consequences of such poor decision-making.

              Is it a “hanging offence”? Should he resign?

              My first thought is “no”. Why should rsatepayers have to fork out simply because Brown made an arse of himself, and left himself open to being “influenced”?

              But he really needs to lift his game or, at the next local body elections, go look for another job.

              • karol

                Frank: As I wrote elsewhere, his political acumen is badly lacking not to have considered the consequences of such poor decision-making.

                Is it a “hanging offence”? Should he resign?

                My first thought is “no”. Why should rsatepayers have to fork out simply because Brown made an arse of himself, and left himself open to being “influenced”?

                But he really needs to lift his game or, at the next local body elections, go look for another job.

                My thoughts exactly.

                But also, WO, DPF, and all their followers still can’t believe that Brown’s tepid failings are not a reason to resign. They thought they had enough smear to end him, but they ended up with a weak little tale, and their own nasty game playing there for all to see.

                And still, when the review shows little, they keep trying to stretch the point, and make a few weaknesses into an offence that requires Brown do penance in the worst ring of ell for the rest of his natural.

                • Indeed, Karol.

                  And ironically, with all the mud and excrement they’ve been throwing around, it seems that Slater, Wewege, and Brewer have been splattered as well.

                  Slater for exploiting Bevan Chuang in the most gratuitous way. (And why was he texting her so often that she finally had to go to the media to tell him to cease and desist?)

                  Wewege for lying about his relationship with Chuang. What ewlse has he lied about?

                  Why did Polino reportedly meet Chuang in a carpark late at night?

                  And Brewer being outed for not disclosing his own freebie trips to Aussie, until prompted by Council officials.

                  If I were Quax, Brewer, et al, I’d be quietly dropping this one.

                  I think Brown will have his day in 2016, one way or another.

              • RedLogix

                I’m not so sure Frank. Initially I would have agreed with you. But consider this scenario:

                You are a Councillor on say, Porirua City Council. You’re wife regularly shops at several different local supermarkets and every time she spends more than $90 on groceries she gets a voucher for $4c/litre discount off the petrol. Over time the discount adds up to a fair sum because of the amount of travel you do.

                As it happens one of those supermarkets is making a consent application for a big expansion and you’re sitting on the committee.

                Would you consider it necessary to declare the ‘free gift’ of the petrol vouchers? Would it be reasonable to declare a conflict of interest and recuse yourself from the committee?

                And would it be ‘corruption’ if you decided not to?

                I’ve made this point over and over – there is a very real difference between a standard commercial discount and a gift. If the EY report had showed that these discounts had only been ever given to Len Brown, by Sky City only, then we might have a problem. Otherwise no.

  8. Bill Drees 8

    Great post Lyn.

    Brewer and Quax are the least able and least connected Councillors. Brewer has no portfolio and Quax has the smallest. New Councilors like Clow and Watson and the Mayoress-in-waiting will be the shapers of this Council.

  9. Rodel 9

    Don’t forget the other perverts..The Remuera harpies (female and male) slathering and foaming at the mouth as they replay Len’s ( or anyone’s) dealings in their limited minds.

  10. Pete 10

    I expect the wrath of the gods will fall on my head for saying this, but I found this whole post quite vile, and most of the comments even worse. In this matter, I don’t believe the left /right paradigm is relevant or helpful.
    I can’t help but agree with Tracey above when she gives the reasons she wouldn’t vote for Brown again.
    Around 75% of Aucklanders (according to some polls) want Brown gone. What do you expect the councillors to do? Just settle back into the routine and pretend nothings changed? I expect councillors to show leadership. In this case that means being vocal about Brown’s abuse of office, and also doing what they can to remedy they situation. If the best they can do under the regs is a censure then that is what I expect. Auckland is now saddled with a lame duck mayor who will accomplish nothing in the rest of his tenure. I am sure he has been crossed of the ‘invite list’ for many functions/visits etc. Seriously who would want to associate with him?
    Yes, the $100k expense (expect that to double) is enough to make you grind your teeth, but it was necessary, and it did reveal a disturbing pattern of behaviour and excess. If Brown had come clean and shown some genuine remorse he might have survived. But the sense of entitlement is staggering.
    I don’t care who is the prime minister as far as this issue is concerned. If David Cunliffe was PM I would support his decision to intervene (depending how he did it of course). Same goes for Key.
    It is absurd to claim that the EY report revealed no significant malfeasance, when Brown helped to construct its terms of reference. It has become quite an ‘open secret’ that there are other significant issues out there.
    Anyway that’s my two bob on the subject.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Nah … you’ll have to explain exactly why you think Len should resign. Innuendo or ‘open secret’ will not cut mustard.

      You’ve ranted on a fair bit, but all you’ve done is fling about some pretty unspecific allegations of ‘entitlement’.

      • Pete 10.1.1

        Actually, I didn’t rant at all. My language was quite moderate, and I did explain why he should resign. I said I concur with Tracey’s reasons. But, to spell it out – MCC expense card issues, conflict of interest in accepting Sky city gifts whilst officially deliberating on the slot machines for convention centre deal, conflict of interest in writing a reference for some one he has a romantic interest in, misuse of council facilities, failure to declare (substantial) gifts, passing off personal phone calls and texts as council work related expenses etc.
        The man is a lawyer so his flim flammery about ‘we need to be clearer around gifting and declarations’ (or words to that effect) just don’t cut it. And because he is a lawyer we have a right to expect that he will have a clear understanding of conflict of interest, and councils procedural requirements.
        His sense of entitlement is projected in his public utterances. That is there for all to see. he has apologised to his wife and family, sort of given one to council, but he has failed to acknowledge how he has let Auckland(ers) down.
        For me this is an issue about ethics and leadership and Brown fails. Sure it hurts that a labour politician doesn’t cut the mustard, but better to get him out and have a clean start than continue on with this nonsense. And no, John Banks wouldn’t cut the mustard either, and I don’t know much about Palino or anyone else.
        Lastly, sorry, but I choose not to elaborate on the gossip and innuendo that is doing the rounds. I thought that stuff about Tim Shadbolt was unsavoury and I don’t want to go down the same path.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Let’s unpack that a bit then.

    MCC expense card issues

    Well for a start that’s a bit of a gratuitous add-on and dates from well before he was elected twice to Mayor of Auckland.

    conflict of interest in accepting Sky city gifts whilst officially deliberating on the slot machines for convention centre deal

    It’s easy to say ‘conflict of interest’ but realistically there has to be some threshold of significance for these things. Sky City was only one of a number of hotels who routinely offer their high value customers some form of competitive discounting.

    If these upgrades and freebies had been one-offs, something only Sky City had only ever offered to just Len Brown alone, then you may well have a point. But all the evidence shows that these were perfectly normal commercial practice.

    conflict of interest in writing a reference for some one he has a romantic interest in

    It seems to have been a pretty routine and innocuous reference for a fairly minor committee role made very early in the timeline. Not a hanging offence.

    passing off personal phone calls and texts as council work related expenses etc

    These days almost all organisational cell phones are on fixed contracts with largely unrestricted minutes. I had one myself for years and we were fully allowed to make personal calls that did not incur any extra costs. And in this case Len seems to have routinely reimbursed some extra costs that were incurred. Again all legitimate.

    A very expensive EY report found no matters of concern and exonerated the man. If you have evidence as opposed to smears and innuendo, that can demonstrate how Len manipulated the report outcome – you are welcome to make it now.

    For me this is an issue about ethics and leadership and Brown fails. Nah – I assume you are trying to say something about Bevan and Len’s private life but you can’t quite bring yourself to spit it out.

    • Pete 11.1

      You can’t just gloss over things that easily.
      First, I didn’t vote for him because of this. This is not some trifling matter. It was compounded by the very large payouts to selected cronies, followed by their reengagement to ACC. That was a major concern. This is public record.
      Second, it is not normal commercial practice for a manager or director of an enterprise to accept favours or gifts from another entity which is being considered by his/her organisation for some commercial project/deal/transaction. Such a person is required to declare the gift and stand aside from the consideration. This is what is normal commercial practice. It may be normal practice for a gambling organisation to offer freebies to target individuals, but it is definitely not acceptable for any manager to accept these without declaration. Brown has to know this.
      Third, any reference from the mayor will carry undue weight in the selection process for a council controlled commercial enterprise. So it is totally inappropriate. The stage of the relationship is irrelevant. He has helped corrupt the selection process for a public entity.
      Fourth, we don’t know anything about the cell phone contract so it is not possible to say. On the contrary there is commentary that Len Brown does not reimburse his expenses. That is what the EY report implies with the commentary about the 1300+ texts and phone calls.
      Fifth. I am not talking about his morals. I am talking about his ethics (or lack of). He let this affair totally cloud his judgement. I don’t care if he had an affair, but I do if it impacts his ability to perform his his role as mayor. That it has is undeniable.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        It was compounded by the very large payouts to selected cronies, followed by their reengagement to ACC.

        Now you are shifting the goal-posts again. Given your track record so far in distortion I’m dismissing this one until you explain exactly what you mean.

        Second, it is not normal commercial practice for a manager or director of an enterprise to accept favours or gifts from another entity which is being considered by his/her organisation for some commercial project/deal/transaction.

        It is very, very common commercial practice to offer loyalty, volume or value based discounts to customers. It happens everywhere, all the time. All the hotels LB routinely stayed at (for perfectly legitimate reasons) offered these discounts. They were probably authorised as a matter of routine procedure by the check-in staff.

        Quite a different thing to a one-off arrangement, offered to Len and Len only. That could be rightly construed as a ‘gift’. And that would have been a problem.

        But like so many who’ve leapt onto this witch-hunt you refuse to see the difference – because you know perfectly well that your faux-outrage would deflate like a popped balloon if you did.

        Third, any reference from the mayor will carry undue weight in the selection process for a council controlled commercial enterprise. So it is totally inappropriate. The stage of the relationship is irrelevant.

        All references are based on some degree of ‘relationship’. All my personal references are from people I know and respect. You don’t get a reference from complete strangers or people who hardly know you or don’t get on with. Everyone understands that this is how references work – they are based on mutual trust.

        There has to be some threshold before a reference becomes ‘inappropriate’ because of a relationship because according to your logic all references are invalidated by the existence of any degree of relationship, romantic or otherwise.

        we don’t know anything about the cell phone contract so it is not possible to say.

        Yes but I’d give 99% odds that it was a fixed contract. The three big operators all compete intensely for the big corporate business volume. In what parallel universe do you imagine that somehow Auckland City got overlooked?

        On the contrary there is commentary that Len Brown does not reimburse his expenses. That is what the EY report implies with the commentary about the 1300+ texts and phone calls.

        Yeah – and what value did they come up with? About $300. And for this they spent $100k on a report that concluded that nothing was wrong. Do you have any sense of proportion here. Do you understand that spending $100,000 to chase $300 is absolute stupidity?

        It’s you who should be pissed off at Quax and Brewer for wasting ratepayer monies. If there was any natural justice it should be these pair of second-raters who should be stumping up out of their pockets to reimburse the Council for their breathless, panty-sniffing folly.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Pete seems to miss the point entirely.

    Putting aside all the power imbalances and identity politics,

    Lprent’s post invites them to get on with running the city instead of chasing the matter further.

    I’d go further.
    I personally wonder how come the Right has managed to get their hands on a very significant sum of Auckland ratepayer money to pursue a matter which has at absolute worst, cost the ratepayers around $300.

    Have they obtained the funds spent, legally, within council delegations and protocols? If they have breached council protocols will the Right be required to reimburse the money spent? How did they manage to get money spent on something that hasn’t cost the ratepayers anything? How do the ratepayers stop the Right spending more on this or repeating the exercise?
    The Right needs to pay for this sort of stuff themselves not shove it on the ratepayers.

    • Sacha 12.1

      If you believe it is only ‘the right’ in Council who have been concerned about this then you haven’t been paying attention.

      [lprent: Actually Pervert - yes, they do appear to have been the only ones trying to take it beyond a motion of censure. That motion of course was always going to happen. After all you'd want to know which bits of the furniture to avoid. I guess you haven't been paying *any* attention. All of the rather stupid (ie failed) other publicity stunts have been from your fellow Perverts in council.

      I'd suggest that you link to something rather than simply looking like a complete dickhead mastubating with your own sputum with silly little implications and zero facts.. ]

      • Sacha 12.1.1

        Lynn, that tone is completely uncalled for.

        [RL: You may have been unlucky. Your comment that got dumped on looked like another one of the hundreds of sly, cowardly insinuations we've seen here since this story broke. I can't speak for lprent but I can safely say that there is a fair bit of justified anger under the bonnet here, that this story has been relentlessly made to be about Len Brown's ethics - when the real story, the clear factual evidence points to Cameron Slater and The Herald's complete abandonment of any ethical standards by their choice to invade Len Brown's family life to suit their political agenda. You may have just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.]

        [lprent: Probably. There are thousands of comments per week and I really don't have time to do more than scan them. I read the comments as they're written and see if they fit any of the standard patterns. If I find a match then I'll look at their handle to see if I "know" them. I seldom check other comments unless I'm deciding to ban them.

        If I'm merely warning people I do it so it is memorable to them because I really don't have time to waste repeating it again later. I've found over the years of moderating that being "memorable" saves me time later. Besides I really don't care much about peoples hurt feelings. I care about their behaviour.

        Best idea is to not write comments in a style that triggers my anti-troll reflexes. ]

        • Sacha 12.1.1.1

          Thanks, Red. The outrage is reasonable, just not the target. I can imagine a contextless moderating approach might make every “you” seem like it refers the post’s author rather than another commenter as this was intended to be.

        • Granted 12.1.1.2

          WOW!!!!

          And this is why I never can really understand why any person with a bit of dignity would bother with commenting here. I used to start to comment and then delete delete delete.

          Whoever Lprent is, it is welcome to its blog site and hope fully it will just die a un/natural death. This place is just full of haters.

          I guess I am just feeding the fire but at least I will keep my dignity and self respect intact.

          Lprent must have been a very angry and misunderstood youth with geeky friends and this has gone on into adulthood. I almost feel sorry for Lprent.

          May the year 2014 bring you an ounce of humility and sense – my god you need it

          • lprent 12.1.1.2.1

            Avoiding the point of the post, and using diversion technique number one… There are four very similar comments already here. Same instructions?

      • RedBaronCV 12.1.2

        The right are front and centre in this great big media beat up. Why haven’t we see this circus about some of the right wing affaires that are doubless out there. This really is unprecedented negative newspaper coverage, mostly it’s good for a paragraph at best.

        • Sacha 12.1.2.1

          The Herald has been ridiculously biased for ages. Keeping a dolt like Orsman on the local government round doesn’t help them. Radio NZ’s Todd Niall is worth listening to for a well-informed understanding of Council goings-on.

    • Pete 12.2

      Actually, I didn’t miss the point. This matter has to be resolved before the ratepayers can have confidence that the council can run the city.
      Your other point about the right getting their hands on money to pursue the matter, with respect, is nonsense. Right leaning councillors are in the minority, so it has to have been with the support of the majority of council. This is the problem of viewing this matter as a left/right issue. It causes focus to shift from the pertinent details to the extraneous. Clearly, no councillor needs to reimburse council for a council decision!
      You think the casino extension isn’t going to cost ratepayers anything?
      The fact that Len Brown is left of centre shouldn’t matter. What matters is his transgression(s). Over 70% of Aucklandlers get this.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        “Transgressions” lol perhaps a visit to a priest is in order?

      • RedBaronCV 12.2.2

        Well actually Pete as far as the ratepayers are concerned the report shows that whatever Len was doing was in his own time on his own dime. None of it altering ratepayer outcomes. Matter closed as far as they are concerned.

        The real problem with respect to ratepayer funds is this.
        The Herald story had the CEO announcing the inquiry. No mention of council committees etc allocating funds and authorising.inquiry.
        So how come the CEO can spend that ratepayer money on his own say so and allocate it to a business of his choosing EY?
        How come the terms of reference didn’t cover all Councillors use of resources- just to be neutral here?Why wasn’t the CEO neutral? I have a post further up on this.Where are the protocols?

        What is to stop some other councillor being targeted in a like manner if they offend the CEO?
        Frankly I suspect that, apart from Quax and Brewer, most of the other councillors are very wary of this ill disciplined inquiry and of being sucked into a witch hunt that might one day target them.

        Looking ahead it might be wise for all councils to have an audit of councillors expenses just before an election and then release the results. Sort of open book exercise.

      • Sacha 12.2.3

        “Right leaning councillors are in the minority, so it has to have been with the support of the majority of council. This is the problem of viewing this matter as a left/right issue.”

        Exactly – and while the prominent righties outside Council seem to be in a panty-sniffing fervour over this, that doesn’t apply to all of them inside it. It doesn’t help us encourage them to get on with their jobs if we don’t understand their motivation.

        I don’t agree with all of it, but the discussion at Public Address has some useful links to follow:
        http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/we-need-to-talk-about-len/

  13. Chris 13

    In my opinion, Len Brown hasn’t been working as Mayor, Penny Hulse has.

  14. adam 14

    Thanks LPRENT, I laughed so hard it hurt.

    The only reason to keep the current council is Penny Hulse, she at least is doing a great job as mayor. Maybe this is how we should create the Mayor in the future – we elect a fluffy bunny candidate – and they appoint the real mayor from the members elected. That way we could have sleaze one vs sleaze two from here to eternity.

  15. Grumpy 15

    Maybe someone can help me here? This left/right thing about y’man Lennie seems strange to me. As a non Aucklander, can you tell me if Len is actually left wing. All I see is a sense of entitlement, riding the gravy train, treating women and his family like crap. As I said before, Gilmore on steroids.
    Just what, if any, are his left wing credentials ( which must be impressive seeing that a lot here want to die in a ditch over him).

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The fact you are comparing Len Brown with Aaron Gilmore already says that you’re not being serious.

      • Grumpy 15.1.1

        I am serious, well, sort of……to me Len has a lot in common with Gilmore. Arrogant, high sense of entitlement, born to rule attitude, incapable of apology unless pushed.
        But please, just humour me…..what are Len’s left wing credentials because I can’t see any except opportunism.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Anyone who is mayor of a million person town is going to have a certain sense of self confidence and stubborness. You’d also hope that siuch a Mayor was comfortable governing over others. That’s just life.

          • Grumpy 15.1.1.1.1

            I can go with stubbornness and self confidence but I can’t see where entitlement, lying and sleazebaggery come into it.
            Anyway, we were talking about Len’s left credentials……?

    • RedLogix 15.2

      It’s not so much that I’m defending Len Brown. He’s a big boy and doesn’t need me. What I do want you to get is that Slater is a vile piece of shit by several orders of magnitude.

      And that anyone who repeats the private information he released – is ethically bankrupting themselves as well.

      • Grumpy 15.2.1

        Well, yes you are defending Len…..by attacking those trying to hold him to account. Perhaps you can expand on Len’s left wing credentials because nobody else seems able to.
        …..and yes, Mr Slater does seem to be a bit “different” but so do a lot of people.

        • RedLogix 15.2.1.1

          and yes, Mr Slater does seem to be a bit “different” but so do a lot of people.

          And now you are defending Slater by minimizing what he has done as “a bit different”. Clearly you think his releasing of private information is just fine.

          Yet if the same had been done to John Key, you would be outraged.

          Or even if someone just taped a conversation he had in public place with another public figure, where there were dozens of invited media just a few meters away — you’d be outraged.

          Makes you not only as ethically bankrupt as Slater, but a selective hypocrite to boot.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.1.1

            Wow, that’s a bit over the top. Where did I defend Slater?
            He actually did Auckland a service. If the only people who knew about Len’s shady behavior were people like, oh I don’t know ……. SKYCITY…… Just think what might have happened, he might even have supported them in their expansion plans despite his public opposition……oh, wait…..
            Anyway, still waiting for Len’s left credentials……..assuming he has any……

            • RedLogix 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Where did I defend Slater?

              Next sentence.

              • Grumpy

                What’s wrong with the next sentence, it encapsulates the real issue here and why the left find it impossible to defend Len, so are reduced to attacking those holding him to account.
                I will make it real simple for you…..it’s not the sleaze, it’s the potential for corruption.
                There – get it?

                • RedLogix

                  And a very expensive investigation revealed absolutely zero real corruption.

                  I’ll make this very clear. Not since Muldoon grossly abused Parliamentary Privilege to out Derek Quigley has this country seen such an egregious invasion of a politician’s private life.

                  That is the important principle I am defending. By comparison your ‘potential for corruption’ which turned out to be no such thing – is an utter trifle.

                  All you are left with is Slater’s vile invasion of Brown’s personal life, and still you defend him.

                  • Grumpy

                    You would think an “expensive” investigation would have proper terms of reference and not those decided by the person being investigated. You would also think that the subject would not be in a position to sanitize and delay it either.
                    There has been no proper investigation just a very expensive whitewash. As you know, if you are going to get a whitewash the biggest name is essential but comes with the biggest price tag.

                    • RedLogix

                      So having no actual evidence you resort to more smears and innuendo.

                      You really have no idea when to stop digging do you?

                    • rhinocrates

                      OK Grumpy, this is obviously going to require a whiteboard and some erasable markers, since many complicated diagrams are going to be necessary, but I only have text, so here goes:

                      Well, yes you are defending Len…..by attacking those trying to hold him to account.

                      Redlogix then tries a bit of reduction ad absurdum/turnabout that goes way over your head:

                      And now you are defending Slater by minimizing what he has done as “a bit different”. Clearly you think his releasing of private information is just fine.

                      Redlogix’s point is that you must be subject to the same rules that you want to impose on others.

                      Wow, that’s a bit over the top. Where did I defend Slater?

                      Whoosh, it goes right over your head.

                      You really have no idea when to stop digging do you?

                      Oh YEAH!

                  • Pete

                    When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter. Simple as that. If he had done it at home (hers preferably) and not on council premises and not in rooms provided as ‘courtesy’ because he is the mayor then it would have remained private. Len Brown’s behaviour put this in the public arena. It is because your hatred of Slater blinds you that you can not see what others see. That is why I maintain this should not be a left/right issue. By making it such, you are helping disenfranchise all the left of centre people (me included) who have a problem with it.

                    • karol

                      Not very usual to have sex at work, but not than unusual for people who work long hours – at least in the US.

                      For Petraeus, it was UNDER the desk – option for the sexual conservatives.

                      And more likely to be discovered if mentioned in writing [paper trail].

                      Peter you really are stretching it re- the clincher being the table work out.

                    • RedLogix

                      When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter. Simple as that.

                      Well finally someone manages to spit it out – it is about the sex.

                      I could pick this apart and ask as karol has done, would have it been ok if they had done it under the table? I mean if you are going down this track you need to think through exactly what kind of table qualifies as ‘public’ sex and which kind of table doesn’t. Would an ordinary office desk been ok, or in the disabled toilets?

                      We could tie ourselves in knots all night nailing this one.

                      Or maybe you could just conclude that this was information we never should have known, and was never any of our business to comment on.

                      As the security guard had the very good sense to understand.

                    • Anne

                      When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter.

                      Well now, that is one hell of a slippery slope there Pete.

                      Are you aware that for the past 100 years one of the well known ‘social’ goals of numerous politicians (and you can add a few Press Gallery journalists over the same period) was to bonk nubile young women in the Speakers Chair in the wee dark hours of the night. I guess much improved security prevents it from happening nowadays, but I find all this righteous tut-tutting over the Brown affair to be extremely hypocritical and even irrational.

                      It’s none of your business Pete and it isn’t mine or any other persons’ apart from his immediate family. Savvy?

                      this should not be a left/right issue.

                      You’re damm well right. It shouldn’t be. But it was Cameron Slater and his right wing mates (including Jason Ede who is Key’s communication adviser in the PM’s Office) who put it all out there in the first place. And you’re trying to infer they didn’t do it for political purposes? All the left of centre commentors are doing is trying to bring a bit of sanity and common sense to the issue.

                    • When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter.

                      Why?

                      I can’t see for the life of me what difference that makes (as long as they cleaned up and disinfected afterwards).

                      It’s almost as if everyone will find something to be aggrieved about.

                      Facts are,

                      * he didn’t use ratepayers money,

                      * he didn’t influence Chuang getting her Council job

                      It’s all here in the ER Report: http://www.nbr.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/Independent_Review_Report_FINAL_131213_1.pdf (Check out the Summary of Factual Findings)

                      As far as I can tell, Brown has more to fear from his wife than any findings that he mis-used Council funds, assets, etc. (And I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, fronting to his wife, that’s for sure!)

        • Tiger Mountain 15.2.1.2

          WhaleSpew, the torys and their proxy the Pallino Mayoral campaign started all this remember.

          Len is most difficult to defend for lefties after his stance on the wharfies and the Glen Innes working class cleansing (housing removed). But, I support his staying in office until someone coughs up the correct answer to this question–will Len’s resignation if there was one, and there does not have to be one as Lprent accurately states mean a full and new election?

          Or are the “Perverts” really pushing for a dodgy unelected Wellington appointed commissioner type? ECan and Lord Gerry have shown Christchurch residents how that kind of thing works out.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.2.1

            Personally, I find a lot of Slater’s stuff objectionable but also find quite a bit really spot on. He is equally tough on the right as the left, he does not seem to worry who he offends.
            If Len is not really a leftie ( and that seems the case), then why all the defend to the death rubbish. I would have thought the left would just put up a better candidate in the by election.
            Oh, and the commissioners at Ecan have done a bloody good job.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.2.1.1

              Oh, and the commissioners at Ecan have done a bloody good job.

              Only if you’re a farmer wanting to continue to use excess water and pollute because you’re too lazy to do the job properly.

              • Grumpy

                No, Ecan now have a water policy. There are new testing for extraction and nitrate testing. The scientists are now allowed to be scientists and not hijacked by political agitators.
                Your claim of excessive use of water and pollution could not be more wrong, that was a function of the previous regime who LOST every Environment Court case on water rights, entirely through the subversion of science to political agenda.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Strange because I recall that ECan was actually trying to put in place policies that reflected scientific testing and the farmers shouted it down. And now that they’ve done so:

                  Dr Wright said modelling in the report showed that by 2020 around 400,000 hectares of sheep and beef farms would be converted to dairy, which produced more run-off of nutrients into water.

                  “The impact of this on-going and increasing stress will generally be worsening water quality – more blooms of algae and cyanobacteria, more streams trailing metres of brown slime, fewer stream insects and fish, and more wells and waterways exceeding nitrate toxicity limits.”

                  The deterioration of water quality would be most pronounced in Canterbury and Southland.

                  Yeah, not what the rest of us want but the farmers are happy with as they get to have more money at our expense.

                  This is OT so I’ll leave it there.

            • Frank Macskasy 15.2.1.2.1.2

              He is equally tough on the right as the left, he does not seem to worry who he offends.

              Are you sure about that, Grumpy?

              David Farrar seemed to think otherwise; http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/tag/luigi_wewege

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.3

          He has been held to account and he was found to have made some minor bookkeeping errors – that was what the investigation was all about. Those now attacking him aren’t about holding him to account but just trying to get rid of him for political purposes.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.3.1

            True as far as it goes. …but the left, in trying to find an explanation for Len’s enthusiastic defense of SKYCITY (after previous opposition), now see a possibility………
            Not illegal but enough to show he should not be mayor.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.3.1.1

              but the left, in trying to find an explanation for Len’s enthusiastic defense of SKYCITY

              Don’t know anybody who’s actually done that except possibly WhaleOil and his ilk and they’re not on the left.

          • tinfoilhat 15.2.1.3.2

            I’m sure that’s exactly what some of John Bank’s supporters say to defend him – and it’s just as pathetic.

            From one person on the left I have to day that I find Len Brown distinctly lacking in all of the more redeeming characteristics I would like to see in a mayor

            • Grumpy 15.2.1.3.2.1

              Banks is an idiot and I agree not fit to be an MP or anything involved with public trust or money…..there!

              • Funny thing, Grumpy…

                Your comment about Banks probably mirrors what many on the Left feel about Brown; a kind of resigned annoyance mixed with regret that he weas ever elected in the first place.

                There are times when both Left and Right can commisserate with each other over their respective elected representatives…

        • BevanJS 15.2.1.4

          Len likes trains.

    • adam 15.3

      Len is left by association, he stands with the labour party – kinda sorta. He is not a socialist nor does he seem to embrace anything vaguely old school social democratic, economics wise. He does appear to support a limited form identity politics – rights for Women, Maori, Pacific, this would put him outside national, and into a left wing camp of sorts. Personally though his economics and his behaviour make him national lite. And as the left these days being full of people who would have voted for Ike – Len is probably happily called a lefty.

  16. captain hook 16

    grumpy and frank.
    well you can always put your own hat in the ring and see how ya GO.
    You would have to cosy up to wailoil though.
    fun to watch.

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  • 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
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • 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
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 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
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter 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...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • 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
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