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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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    On the Left | 21-10
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    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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