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Beltway blues: serving the public interest?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 10th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: accountability, business, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, Hekia parata, labour, news, poverty, same old national, tv, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Truth to Power: serving the public interest

A 4th Estate media should be, in Hagar’s terms, serving the public interest, informing the public on crucial issues. This often means speaking truth to power on behalf of the less powerful section of the public.  There are many pressing issues for New Zealanders that should be front and centre of most political coverage: the inequality gap, low wages, high power prices, child poverty and abuse, unaffordable housing, the possibility that NZ’s rockstar economy is actually built on sand…..

As geoff posted yesterday, too much of the media coverage of politics is in a B-Hive-Media Loop (otherwise known by the more US-relevant term, the “the beltway”).  Too often, they cheerlead John Key, failing to challenge him or mention that he is very polarising; more often than not they endlessly repeat the NAct spin on the economy and other issues.

The mainstream media has had a horror start to the year. These days, too much political coverage by the mainstream media (MSM) is focused, US-style, on politics as a game, a chessboard of strategic maneuvers, and a personality contest of its leaders.

Once one Hive-Media journalist starts a headline grabbing attack, the rest seem to follow like a pack of baying hounds. So it has been over the last month or two, with opposition leaders being  subjected to more distorted attacks and beat-ups than government ministers.  Often Patrick Gower has lead the running with his vindictive, distorted persecution of David Cunliffe.  The focus has been on over-exaggerating relatively trivial issues, such as an omission in one version of the Best Start policy for young children, Metiria Turei’s clothes, and Winston Peters’ and Russel Norman’s perfectly understandable visits to the Dotcom Mansion.

B-Hive-Media Loop: From The Nation to Qu & A

Having become fed up with Patrick Gower’s attention-getting, “gotcha” reporting, I am now focusing more on TV One‘s news and current affairs coverage.  That said, Gower has gone some way to providing balance by doing his gotcha interview of Key on The Nation.  He continued to take that line in reporting on it on 3 news later on Saturday, saying that Key, like Cunliffe, is also being “tricky”.  However, for me to return to watching 3 News, Gower and TV3 need to do much better, be more informative on a range of significant issues, continually hold the government and Key to account, not just the opposition, and move away from the sensationalist focus on personalities and game playing.

This weekend, it turned out that, while One News and Qu & A aim to be a bit less one-dimensional than 3 News, they also follow similar lines within the Hive-Media Loop, with a strong focus on the perceptions of “Business” and the comfortable middle classes.

It was hard to keep watching this weekend’s Qu & A after the first few minutes: it was a B-grade-Hive-Media recycling of pro-John Key spin – of his (allegedly) uncontested “popularity”, Nationals’ (allegedly) great handling of the economy and David Cunliffe’s media- manufactured “problems”.

There was an attempt at balanced debate, but it still oozed comfortable middle class condescension, not helped by Susan Woods’ smug charmlessness.  Then we had Hekia Parata given much leeway to spin her education policies, with Dann being far more lenient on her than he  later was on Cunliffe. This was followed by the panel: Fran O’Sullivan, followed by Raymond Miller and Nick Leggett unashamedly cheerleading for Parata. TV One needs some fresh blood from outside the Hive-Media Loop – some of the young, the marginalised and the precariously discontented.

The Cunliffe Interview: speaking through the Hive Media for the less powerful

David Cunliffe meeting

Then came Woods’ negative introduction to the David Cunliffe interview. Corin Dann’s opening questions focused on Cunliffe’s alleged “horror” last week.

DANN: Going back and researching this interview, all the interviews seemed to be about this conundrum of David Cunliffe. Where is, where does he sit on the political spectrum? He comes from a business background, and he’s got wealth and yet he’s championing the working class?  Can you understand that the working class voters, perhaps a lot of the affiliates who put you in this job,  are looking at you going, why does he have all these trusts?

So, Dann shows he has only looked at previous media interviews, or maybe media representations of these interviews.  He seems to have done little research on issues important to the less well of and less powerful sections of the “public”.  The question he asks about Cunliffe’s politics, has already been answered many times by the Labour leader.

There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.  Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

Short clip from the Cunliffe interview.

Cunliffe did well to patiently repeat his statements about his politics, while also outlining his values and referring to various Labour policy areas.

Chauvel-Cunliffe-2 maritime union

Dann went on to ask why “people” are confused about where he stands politically, then emphasised it by saying,

Why is Business confused?

He quoted Doug Heffernan, chief  executive of Might River Power, reportedly saying that, “he wasn’t getting enough information” from Cunliffe on Labour’s Power policy. Dann doesn’t seem to have looked for the views of  “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.

Dann continued in an increasingly combative mode, while Cunliffe continued giving clear and non-confusing answers, showing how he is approaching making New Zealand a fairer place.  Dann continued to contest Cunliffe using points of view expressed from those in powerful positions in the Business world.  Cunliffe, unfazed, answered with reference to some of his plans to provide digital access to New Zealanders and protect them from invasive surveillance.  He mentioned using services like those of the People’s WiFi networks and public libraries.

Corin Dann’s report of it on One News last night was a bit of an improvement on Gower’s one-dimensional sensationalism.  Dann’s report followed another report on rising power prices – definitely an issue in the public interest. The anchor’s introduced Dann’s report by saying that Cunliffe talked about Labour’s ICT policy and providing internet access for all Kiwis. Dann then said the start to Cunliffe’s year had been a “horror” one.

No, Mr Dann, it has been the MSM that has had a horror start in their political coverage. However, Dann gave a fairly full report of the content of the interview, including mention of Cunliffe foregrounding his move to front big policies, such as Labour’s ICT policy. Nevertheless, Dann still framed this in terms of B-Hive-Media issues, focusing on Cunliffe’s current position within the game of politics.

Speaking-Truth-to-Power

Out of the Hive Media Loop, towards the (working class and underprivileged) public interest

We need a strong (new?)media stream that steps outside the B-Hive-Media loop, and reports by, from, and for the public interest, – and especially in the interests of working class and underprivileged Kiwis.  The comfortable middle and Business classes have far too much say within political discourses.

32 comments on “Beltway blues: serving the public interest?”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    His response to the question about business being confused should have been.

    I don’t care if they are confused. The Green/Labour Government will serve the workers and unemployed. If business don’t understand that they need to change their excutives within the next 6 months so that they are across what is coming. They need to prepare themselves for real change.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Hi Karol, great article, thanks. I believe the subject matter of your article can’t be repeated too often.

    I find TV1 News far more balanced than TV3 ‘News’ (yeah, this isn’t hard to achieve , however many political programme appear to ‘struggle’ to do so). I agree that they do still appear to focus on ‘business’ opinion and do not balance such out with information and comments of the realtime effects of this current government’s policies for people.

    I do not, however like Q&A. The interview style – is too aggressive; interrupting the interviewee so much that they rarely manage to get anything said. The interviewers come across as more delighted in and promoting their own selves rather than interested in eliciting information out of the interviewee for the viewers.

    Incidentally Susan Wood was provided as an example of someone with a very unprofessional – i.e. ineffective – interviewing style in a media course I attended a few years back.

    As for the choice in their ‘panel’ it begs the question is there so few people who are knowledgeable and capable of analysis in this country that they have to rummage up right wing spin doctors for the job? (Who provides neither knowledge or analysis – solely spin). The panel come across as being full of people who don’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ If someone does break out of the mould and challenge the banal tract the conversation is flowing along – Susan Woods interrupts and brings the conversation back to mediocrity.

    It appears that this programme is not intended to inform viewers – rather ensure that any interviewee doesn’t get to inform the general public and that the programme’s director gets to shape their opinions instead. What a bore.

    [I just posted a very similar comment and it completely disappeared – if it shows up I would appreciate you deleting one of them]

    [karol: done – and thanks]

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1

      Cheers Karol :)

      • Tim 2.1.1

        God strewth!! don’t get me started on some of our supposed ‘interviewers’. You’re correct in that Susan Wood is a good (i.e. BAD) example.

        I have to say that many of the media pundits who make proclamations as to who and what good interviewing styles are, do so mostly on the basis of said interviewer’s longevity.
        I’m thinking Brian Bloody Edwards for example – quite a good interviewer himself if you care to go back to “Gallery” days … but holding up the likes of Paul Holmes as a good example. How is it they usually put it?? …. something like “the consumate broadcaster” – which generally means a self-promoter and egotist.

        Holmes: the foreskin of the leading question more concerned (like a Mora) of promoting themselves through appearing empathetic with an interviewee. Like asking the rape or burglary victim … “I suppose you’re feeling violated?”. God how I used to wish said victim would have said “No, not at all Paul …. because I realise this is all about YOU and my feeling violated would merely be violating your headspace and God-given right to promote yourself to star quality”
        Unfortunately there are fuck all good interviewers left in NZ – we’re now even exporting the dross.

        Part of it of course is environment – particularly the fact that their is no PSB platform (other than MTS and RNZ – excluding Natrad afternoons – which is more like an old ZB commercial network sounding board for the cult of bloody boring personality)

        • Tim 2.1.1.1

          “something like “the consumate broadcaster” above ….. looks like I left out an “M” in “consummate:.
          That’d be the “M” that stands for ME ME ME I I I ME ME ME ME ME

  3. Tracey 3

    thanks karol.

    replace the sun with money and all this makes perfect sense.

  4. Ad 4

    I can sense your frustration Karol. I see vast reams of commentators about how unfair the media is. Please. We know its stacked, work within that context.

    And the alternative has arrived, and it’s us.

    There was an interesting exchange yesterday on Open Mike about the future of progressive blogs that are more populist than this one, as compared to the growing power and MSM competitiveness of Waleoil. Whaleoil is a dump truck more powerful than Mike Hoskings.

    Imagine a Whaleoil for the Left (is it really The Daily Blog? It sure ain’t Scoop).

    Imagine the power it would have, to contest not only newspapers, but tv itself.

    That is the opportunity.

  5. JustLikeTigerWoods 5

    Yeah, it’s all the media’s fault. I mean, they never – never, ever – have a go at National.

    It’s just not fair.

    • karol 5.1

      JLTW.

      I didn’t say anything like “they never – never, ever – have a go at National.” I also did say there were some good things about One News last night.

      Did you read the post about how Qu & A was slanted to a particular perspective? Anything to say on that?

      For instance, why do you think Dann and the rest of Qu & A were following a lot of the recent media lines, and only addressing the interests of “Business”?

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 5.1.1

        You mean Dann isn’t a Labour Party member? He practically winces each time he reads out poll results.

        I think you hear what you want to hear. You ignore the bias and hyperbole against National, but only pick it up when they’re talking about Labour.

        .

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.1.1.1

          JLTW,

          You are attempting to present the view that the media contain rightwing bias as a case of opinion vs facts You require some proof to present this case plausibly to avoid doing exactly what you are accusing Karol of: ‘hearing only what you want to hear’.

          Please supply links or information to when National had stories that attacked them based on nothing other than fantasy or opinion or both.

          Labour and the Greens have recently been accused as being ‘hypocrital’ and/or ‘Tricky’ throughout most mainstream media sources – based on very implausible -unfactual – grounds. This is understandable if it were reported on National propaganda sites or presented as National Party spin – this was not the case though – it was presented as a genuine issue – which it was not.

          Please supply an instance for when this has occurred for National since they have been in power.

          Thanks

        • Tim 5.1.1.2

          Christ JLTW!!
          Next you’ll be trying to convince us all that Kathryn Ryan is a leftie (whereas we all know she’s utterly fair and balanced and just you’re really work-life-balanced regular gal).
          I’ll admit there’s something about her that’s definitely not right, but she sure as hell isn’t left. Dann – same shit different stink.
          Perhaps one of the biggest problems with our MSM journalists is that (either by luck, or personality, or salesmanship, or other), they’ve simply managed to carve out a comfortable little niche, and like the used car salesman … they’ve learned all the buzz.

  6. fender 6

    Great post Karol.

    I genuinely believe the msm organisations and reporters are scared of critiquing Key and his policies in a thorough manner because they are afraid of the consequences of exposing the lack of substance.

    Even when Gower interviewed Key about him being ‘tricky’, Key got that ‘I will have you killed’ look in his eyes to remind people that he’s an ‘assassin’.

    • Chooky 6.1

      Fender…..agreed msm are scared of critiquing Key and his policies

      +100 Karol for a great post …this needs to be sent to Editors of both paper and air/tv and radio

      …New Zealanders are sick of the media beat-ups on David Cunliffe and the Left ..It undermines democracy in this country …and it undermines the taxpayers and voters rights to get a fair hearing from politicians and get the facts !

      (…on the positive side there was a hell of a beat up on Winston Peters and a pollster beat up as well….and his voters were not fooled !….but the pollsters and the political commentators were shown up for the spinning fools they were)

  7. TightyRighty 7

    If labour didn’t fuck up so much, the media wouldn’t be able to report all the fuck ups. Hardly rocket science. Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics and fucks it up because either they get themselves too or get it wrong. Getting themselves: accusing jk of living in a leafy suburb and being out of touch. Dc lives in a leafy suburb and talks bro to try and fit in. Getting it wrong: what’s the government going to do about the manufacturing crises? What manufacturing crises?

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      What does “talks bro” mean you racist waste of space?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”. Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

        Why is that such a mystery…? Simple. People tend to judge others by themselves. It happens all the time both at a collective and personal level. In this instance the “Hive-Media mind” is turned in on itself. They have no compassion, they don’t care if others are hung out to dry… they care least of all about the true facts of a case. All they care about is climbing the slippery media ladder and getting a cushy number in a cabinet minister’s office as a press secretary.

        They simply cannot conceive of someone like David Cunliffe actually caring about the people he purports to represent.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.2

        it’s a dialect of New Zealand english. plenty of people of all colours speak it you dumb shit.

        it’s even been exported to places like london, hong kong, marseilles and bondi. it’s spoken by the “power kiwis” those who have taken the most identifiable parts of new zealand yoof culture with them. A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies. shit, sounds like prime labour territory. the only thing they have in common though is the fact they are from NZ. And David Cunliffe tries to talk like them when he thinks he’s in the right spot for it. yeah boi.

        if you weren’t so quick to be offended, you might not look like a total arse. too late though.

        • framu 7.1.2.1

          yeah, your describing kiwi culture, which pretty much all NZers who are overseas do to some extent – especially the young OE-ers – and thats not “talking bro”

          talking bro would be using words like… um… bro, cuz, chur – that sort of thing. And yes, given that, and possible past statements from yourself, could you see how someone might think your being a bit racist-y?

          nice try – but i would rather be accused of talking bro than sounding like ive had a few at lunch – you do know who sounds like that dont you?

          this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

          • RedLogix 7.1.2.1.1

            this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

            It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.1.1

              yup – sure is. I just dont see how they actually joined the dots on that one

            • Anne 7.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

              And yet every time they open their mouths they expose themselves for the cretins/philistines they really are… starting with their beloved idol, John Key.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.2.1.2

            But they do use those words framu? bro, cuz, chur, yeah boi. i hear it all the time from people in professional occupations in london, sydney, hong kong, paris. so what i’m describing is what i’m describing. not just kiwi culture, but POWER kiwis. it almost seems a parody until you realise they are serious. it’s not limited by the colour of their skin. these are people my age too. late twenties, highly educated, from all kinds of back grounds.

            i don’t really care for what you would rather be accused of. if you want to talk like that fine, but David Cunliffe doing it? seems very much at odds with the face he likes to present to the rest of New Zealand.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.2.1

              starting to sound like a race thing buddy

              “A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies”

              hmm – looks like a kiwi expat culture description to me. (words being a subset of that)

            • felix 7.1.2.1.2.2

              So now your issue with Cunliffe is that he talks like “people in professional occupations” do, like “POWER kiwis” do?

              It’s still not clear. Keep explaining please.

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.2.2

          I wasn’t offended. Stop being presumptuous.

          One can identify racism without being offended you ‘dumb shit’.

          Now back to your bollocks.

          Where the fuck are these ‘bro talk’ examples of David’s?

          • framu 7.1.2.2.1

            “Where the fuck are these bro talk examples of Davids?”

            yes – please point them out

            if anyone could be accused of “talking bro” surely len brown would be further up the list than cunliffe

        • Murray Olsen 7.1.2.3

          TR – to be offended by you, someone would have to care about your opinion. I don’t. I think you’re a pathetic racist, but more than anything else, I think you and the other fools who run off to WhaleSpew and KiwiBog telling how they dealt to the Liebour retards at the Standard are just a joke. A bad joke, but the punchline is coming on the 20th of September. I suppose you’ll always be able to move to far north Queensland and impress the bogans with stories of the old days, “when we…”

    • framu 7.2

      “Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. ”

      yeah – thats bullshit mate

      “Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics”

      Exactly who pays whalespew and the penguin again? Just who do you think has been playing a very active role in the media feeding frenzy about cunliffe? Just who said they had a whole drawer full of interesting info?

      yeah the ABCs are probably in there to – but come on man, you do your self no favours

      This “labour are the nasty party and national are totes honest and play a fair game” meme is rediculous

      yes labour have some clangers – but to sit there and pretend that national dont, and the media havent been giving key a soft ride for years is staggering in its lack of connection to reality

  8. ianmac 8

    How soon will it be before John Key be interviewed again by Paddy?

    It was the first Key interview where he was actually held to the topic and none of his deflections worked. Imagine if we had interviewers who knew their subject and pressed Leaders for credible answers. For instance the shallowness of the “recovery” would become evident.

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  • East Asia and the Pacific: Criminal Charges Filed against Protesters in Bur...
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of State – Press Release/Statement: Headline: East Asia and the Pacific: Criminal Charges Filed against Protesters in Burma The United States is concerned by reports that the Government of Burma has filed criminal charges… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • New steps against kauri dieback – Govt
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: New steps against kauri dieback Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced the Albany Scenic Reserve in Auckland will be closed until further notice to prevent the spread of kauri… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • New steps against kauri dieback – Govt
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: New steps against kauri dieback Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced the Albany Scenic Reserve in Auckland will be closed until further notice to prevent the spread of kauri… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • Law change to ban cosmetic testing on animals
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: Law change to ban cosmetic testing on animals The Government will introduce a change to the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill to ban the use of animals for testing finished… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • NZ Government launches tax modernisation programme
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Tax modernisation programme launched Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released the first two in a series of public consultations designed to modernise and simplify the tax system. “Taxes are an important… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • Oh dairy me
    A couple of weeks ago, Nick Smith and the government decided to prolong the sham that is ECan until 2019. When announcing that there would be a “mixed government model”, he went on to say that democracy was “too risky”… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    18 hours ago
  • Freedom of information and tikanga
    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Another World is Possible Essay Competition
    I'm sure lots of readers (and my fellow-bloggers) could contribute something really awesome to this competition.***********For the second time, the Labour History Project is running an essay competition to inspire debate on alternative futures.In December 2014, an OECD report ranked… ...
    20 hours ago
  • “Fair-weather” scepticism
    My old man used to label us kids as “fair-weather sailors” when we bitched about working outside during bad weather. That phrase comes to my mind sometimes when I come across people who claim to be “sceptics ” (“Skeptics”)… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Compensation for Teina Pora?
    Teina Pora is innocent.The Government, having considered the matter, apparently agrees he should not be re-tried. It is not clear whether the Government agrees he is innocent, but I suspect they don’t.With no re-trial ordered, Pora’s involvement with the criminal… ...
    20 hours ago
  • No freedom of speech in Singapore
    Lee Kuan Yew is dead, but his legacy of oppression lives on:A teenage boy who posted a video describing late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as a “horrible person” has been arrested by Singapore police. YouTube blogger Amos Yee… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Up Front: Mind Your Language
    I have to admit, I had some mixed emotions when I heard Clean Reader had been taken off the market. Delight, because the app was ridiculously stupid. Sadness, because it was hilariously stupid. I still think it's worth talking about… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Labour and the moral high ground
    Since Andrew Little began his tightrope walk regarding whether Northland voters should or shouldn’t vote Labour, there has been much philosophising as to whether a “dirty deal” did or did not go down. To my mind, quite clearly, no deal… ...
    Occasionally eruditeBy jononatusch
    21 hours ago
  • Another day, another IGIS investigation
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Next stage of Beach Rd Cycleway underway
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    21 hours ago
  • QOTD: anonymous ex-TSA manager on behavioural profiling
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    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    22 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
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    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    22 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
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    22 hours ago
  • Speaker: The Power of N – Nutrient Caps and Peak Dairy
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    22 hours ago
  • At The Centre Of Attention
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    23 hours ago
  • Weekly Listening: Rihanna, Jamie xx, Hudson Mohawke and more
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    24 hours ago
  • Bloody Bureaucrats
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    21 hours ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    7 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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