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What the Waitakere Myth says about pundits’ attitudes to the working class

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, November 13th, 2013 - 99 comments
Categories: feminism, gay rights, labour, leadership, Left, Media - Tags:

I finally found the words, in a comment at The Standard, to explain something I’ve been feeling for years about the Waitakere Man thesis:

I keep thinking about how to express this exact idea: that the whole Waitakere Man myth says way more about Chris Trotter and Josie Pagani’s attitudes towards the working class than it does about the working class.

I’m no avatar of the working class.  I’m from a solidly middle-class family full of university graduates.  I’ve only ever worked retail to get through university.  I’ve never worked in a trade or a factory.  I live in the gentrifying northern suburbs of Wellington and tend to party-vote Green.  So it may be that I myself am in no position to comment on how Labour, or any political party, should appeal to “the working class”, if we assume that such an identity group even exists any more and votes as a group.

But I know and have known many people who absolutely fit that idea.  People who wouldn’t be out of place on Outrageous Fortune – and Chris Trotter himself used a promo photo of Cheryl West to illustrate one of his early posts on the Waitakere Man idea.  People with “real jobs” and a couple of kids, a van, a mortgage, people who still call a smoko a smoko and yes, people who do mutter about “bloody feminists” or “the gays”.  People who, if you just look at the surface shit they talk about around a Christmas barbeque, you might conclude are social conservatives who hate the social-engineering gaggle-of-gays-and-trade-unionists direction of the Labour Party.

So you might produce a political strategy which says “these people are narrow-minded typical rednecks who want to elect a Prime Minister who’s going to burp after meals and wants to shag Liz Hurley.”

I think you’d be wrong.

Absolutely, we’re not talking about people who would be thrilled by the notion of a gay Prime Minister – but without the media constantly talking up Grant Robertson’s sexuality, wouldn’t really have given a toss, because if they really cared about Robertson’s sexuality (or civil unions, or marriage equality, or homosexual law reform) they’d have stopped voting Labour long before 2008.

And absolutely, we’re not talking about people who ever want to get involved in deep discussions of the Bechdel test or the philosophical underpinnings of prochoice feminist philosophy – but if abortion is being discussed, and you put it in terms of “look mate, I don’t like to think about it myself but a chick shouldn’t have to tell the doctor she’s crazy to get one, you know?” they’re not going to freak out and start voting Conservative.

(No, I don’t use such moderate terms myself, but I don’t think it’s a surprise that the primary audience of my blog isn’t Waitakere Man.)

Absolutely, this group of voters is going to feel left out if the only Labour policies they ever hear about are marriage equality, euthanasia, abortion reform and legalising pot (though plenty of people in this group will be occasional pot smokers) – but that’s why Labour needs to cut through the media bullshit around MAN BANS!!!! and present itself as a party which can do more than one thing at a time.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about this – like I said up top, I am not a part of this demographic.  But neither is anyone who’s been whinging about “focusing on the things that matter to people” for the last five years – during which every attempt to appeal to Redneck New Zealand has been a spectacular failure.  Let’s move on in our thinking, and never ever speak of John Tamihere becoming a Labour MP ever again.

99 comments on “What the Waitakere Myth says about pundits’ attitudes to the working class”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Class Ken. (It was great to see Lynda Topp on This Town. A real trooper).

  2. karol 2

    Well said, QoT.

    What has particularly struck me about the Waitakere Man myth, is the way that it ignores working class women.

    I’m also from a middle class background, though growing up my closest friends were the daughters of men who did manual jobs.

    I also had fiends in London who were working class feminists. Like this woman, they were very critical of many middle class feminists for their class attitudes. I can’t imagine they’d be terribly impressed by the Waitakere Man myth.

    The research mentioned here shows how working class women have received little benefit from focus on the push for gender equality in higher paid professional jobs in the UK.

    And many women in NZ are really struggling under the Key government’s attacks on beneficiaries and employment legislation.

    There’s been a strong fight back from the women in the Tamaki Housing Group’s campaign against removal of/from state housing.

    Yet I don’t see them being taken up by the likes of Trotter as the kind of people that Labour should be targeting in election campaigns.

    The Greens co-leader, Metiria Turei though, has described what it was like for her growing up in an NZ working class family – and she has been championing policies to make life better for others in low income households.

    • felix 2.1

      I am sorry to hear you had fiends.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Don’t you have any fiends felix? :-)

        • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1.1

          a litter of them probably.

        • Will@Welly 2.1.1.2

          Karol, I’ve been saying it for ages, I think Metiria is one of the better performing M.P.’s, and until David Cunliffe took over, I thought she was the best leader in the house. Sorry, Russel just doesn’t do it for me. Metiria and the late Rob Donald would have been a dream team. Winston, when he focus’s, plays Key for the fool he is. For no other reason, I like the guy.
          The problem is Labour, and even Trotter and Pagani are focused on the middle classes – that’s who they represent. Going down to the Coast, to Pike River, to Blackball, upto Buller, to the Denniston Plateau, these were all cultural shocks for many of our nice middle class folk. The same when they go into the poorer parts of the local communities – can’t wait to get back out. Therein lies the difference. Those who were born into them, and grew up and climbed their way out, are not afraid about going back, But if you never lived amongst the depravity, the violence, the squalor, the abject poverty, then you never ever want to go there, unless you really want to, and let’s face, too many M.P.’s and their hangers on wouldn’t know a hard days knock or a day with deprivation unless it came up and kicked them in the backside.

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    What we need now is some working-class commentary and experience articulated…Maybe people could contribute those perspectives to a politically-oriented blog…and maybe more politicians and paid commentariat might read them…And maybe ” a working class-hero is something to be”.

  4. Rhinocrates 4

    Great as ever, QoT.

    “Waitakere Man” or “Loadsamoney” as he was called by Harrey Enfield way back in the Thatcher years, is a desperate dream of self assurance for a party faction unable to understand the present reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON-7v4qnHP8

    A friend of mine once talked about “aspirational voting” – voting for the party that represented the class you fantasised about already being a member of. In the Goff/Mumblefuck/Pagani era, Labour was itself an aspirational party, wanting to represent the people who wanted to be represented by National. Hopefully that will change now.

    Goodbye Waitakere Man, let me introduce you to the Precariat. Don’t know who they are? Well they’re everyone who doesn’t drive an Audi (I hope that you’re not in BMW – they’re so passé).

    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      Ivor Lott and Tony Broke Buster

    • greywarbler 4.3

      Good down to earth NZs drive large machines with 4WD and high tyres and projecting fenders so they can look down on the world and show them who’s a mover and pusher and never have to give way when there is indecision as to who should go first.

      Who they would vote for? I would say National. the tradesmen who would have labour affiliations are ashperational. Those ideas have all burnt up.

      Now they are contractors who employ other contractors and they’re on the way up and they don’t need any of this wishy-washy socialist or community crap. They can make it on their own, and could manage well if they didn’t have to pay so much bleeding tax to keep all these other wankers diddling around smoking all day till they can’t do a good day’s work if they are wanted.

      Sound about right for a stream of consciousness picture?

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Left wing political parties aren’t afraid of pushing through ground breaking socially liberal reforms because none of it goes against the interests of capital, corporates or the banking system.

    Left wing political parties are very afraid of pushing through ground breaking economic reforms for the working class because it all goes against the interests of capital, corporates and the banking system.

    So in the absence of being able to push through ground breaking economic reforms for the working class, what do we get instead to appeal to them? Bullshit like the Waitakere Man model.

  6. BM 6

    First of all you’re correct there is no Waitakere Man class or ruling class or under class.

    In fact there are no classes at all, that’s a wanky British thing and the main reason our ancestors left the shores of Britain and immigrated to NZ.

    Having said that though there are some fairly loose descriptions that certain groups of people fit into.
    1.Office
    2.Trade
    3.Student
    4 Benies
    5.Retired

    The trades is what the so called Waitakere Man fits into and having spent a fair bit of time within the trades most do tend to display certain characteristics, which are
    1. Telling it like it is
    2.Drinking large volumes of piss
    3.Fighting
    4.Contact sports
    5.Working hard
    6.Distinct dislike for people who don’t pull their weight
    7. Spending money on fun stuff.

    Not exactly who Labour represents and I doubt will ever represent again.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Class war continues. The wealthy capitalist class which is winning in a big way, wants to hide this fact so that there is no fight back.

      Of course, a lot of people are realising better.

      • BM 6.1.1

        Seriously? that reads like something Kim Jong-il would say.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          How is it that you know the sayings of Kim Jong-il so well?

        • framu 6.1.1.2

          totalitarian dictators arent the only people who believe in classes – plenty of super wealthy would to

          thats the thing – its all to common to point the finger at lefties talking about class while at the same time forgetting that there would be plenty of righties who are into the whole class thing as well

        • Tracey 6.1.1.3

          WHAT? Someone else said that yesterday… is this the latest whale slick saying or kiwiblog?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Just like photonz going on about how creating new money…which the banks do all the time…is Mugabe economics.

            Just brain dead ways to stop discussion.

        • Hanswurst 6.1.1.4

          That’s quite amusing coming from you, considering that your post, to which it was replying, reads rather like a potted philosophy of Benito Mussolini… or maybe Sir Oswald Mosley.

    • felix 6.2

      Having said that though there are some fairly loose descriptions that certain groups of people fit into.
      1.Office
      2.Trade
      3.Student
      4 Benies
      5.Retired

      The trades is what the so called Waitakere Man fits into and having spent a fair bit of time within the trades most do tend to display certain characteristics, which are
      1. Telling it like it is
      2.Drinking large volumes of piss
      3.Fighting
      4.Contact sports
      5.Working hard
      6.Distinct dislike for people who don’t pull their weight
      7. Spending money on fun stuff.”

      That is the narrowest, saddest, most blinkered, most naive, most ignorant depiction of society I have ever seen. It is the world view of someone who has not only lived a mediocre existence but who has done so completely oblivious to their surroundings.

      No wonder everything you have ever typed on these forums is so utterly worthless. You really, really, really have no fucking idea.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1

        I had come to a similar conclusion, yet…

      • gobsmacked 6.2.2

        1. Telling it like it is – John Key never does that. Ever.
        2. Drinking large volumes of piss – Key probably does that – certainly sounds like he does – but I doubt it’s Lion Red.
        3.Fighting – ha ha ha ha!
        4.Contact sports – a photo op is not supporting the sport. Clark did more for League that Key ever has.
        5.Working hard – on what? Finding other people to blame for his cock-ups?
        6.Distinct dislike for people who don’t pull their weight – See no. 5. How many times has he stuffed up by not doing his job, and then shafted somebody else instead?
        7. Spending money on fun stuff – OK, that I’ll give you. Spends plenty on himself.

        So yeah, if Key is BM Man, then Richard Prosser is the race relations commissioner.

    • QoT 6.3

      It’s funny, BM, but you kind of proved my point there: there’s nothing inherent to your “tradies” class of people which involves being a narrow-minded bigot. And their antipathy for “people who don’t pull their weight” could equally be turned on the banking class as on the beneficiary class.

      But if you think there’s no class structure in NZ, allow me to refer you to this post which may prove illustrative:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/is-it-any-wonder/

      • felix 6.3.1

        “there’s nothing inherent to your “tradies” class of people which involves being a narrow-minded bigot.

        BM thinks that’s what “telling it like it is” means. Because he’s a narrow minded bigot.

    • newsense 6.4

      Yes,

      that would those contact sports such as league of which Helen Clark and David Lange were both the patron and fairly beloved.

      This is though, a-grade intellectual straining for a right-winger, so excellent job with that attempt.

    • Mary 6.5

      That 1 to 7 list made me think of the people on that TV series called Sylvania Waters. There’s no way they’d be Labor supporters.

    • Tracey 6.6

      BM, seriously, do you re-read your posts before hitting submit??

      I have trades through my house daily and have had for weeks.

      Have offered beer to many to thank them, half, yes half, have said no thanks they don’t drink. Hasn’t been a single fight…

      Only one seems to tell it like it is,which appears to mean having a myth based opinion on many things in NZ.

      • BM 6.6.1

        I was a motor mechanic for a few years, then got into the building trades for a while, then was in the air conditioning trades for a bit.
        I now sit at a desk and work on computers.

        According to you my experiences and observations mean shit compared to you who has had a few tradesmen through the house who didn’t want to share a beer.

        Excuse me while I laugh in your face.

        • Tracey 6.6.1.1

          Never said my observations were more worthy than yours BM. Was sharing my experience of the plumbers, builders, sparkies, air con guys, that have been through my house. It’s not my fault they don’t fit your observations with regard to drinking and fighting. But laugh away, the world will be a better place for it I am sure.

        • Ennui 6.6.1.2

          I have met the guy you describe, well spotted BM. You have been berated that he is not a class. Maybe not but he is a cohort. Next time you have a beer with him give him my regards, he definitely looks like the type of guys I grew up with. Maybe they have become so unPC that their mere existence a question of social opprobrium.

  7. Zorr 7

    To start with, I agree. The Waitakere Man is a myth. Much like Big Foot, there is much noise about him but no solid evidence of his existence.

    When we begin to discuss working-class and middle-class – where does the distinction lie these days? It feels more and more like there is less of a separation between the two as automation, technology and globalization have resulted in the loss of many of the “traditional” working-class careers and turned the educated labor market in to a global market that has meant a lot of the upper end of the middle class now spends itself chasing the work around the globe. We have all been trodden underfoot by corporations and fight over the small crumbs that come our way.

    Potentially, the only difference that truly remains are the formal education levels. Life experience, however, has taught me that formal education is a very poor indicator of intelligence and low socio-economic voters are just as interested in what you may have to say as any “middle-class” person but they don’t have the time or energy to think about it outside of the 5 seconds you may share with them (I know I make a special effort to keep up to date).

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Don’t forget the under-class.

      • Zorr 7.1.1

        Which one? (I say that only half tongue-in-cheek)

        Where does the line even lie now? There are those who suffer severe poverty and food insecurity that are already as low as it gets and this is deplorable and they need to be lifted as quickly as possible out of that. However – how many of us live in daily fear of that very situation for ourselves? What happened to our employment laws? Our social welfare safety nets? All those wonderful things we built in order to free ourselves and our country-men of this fear?

        Apart from the top echelons, all of us know this fear. And currently our government does nothing to help fight it back for us but instead beckons forth the darkness.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Where does the line even lie now?

          Actually, the line has often not been so clear cut, at least back as far as the 19th century. I’ve been reading a bit lately about the history of 19th century England. People working in manual/tradesmen occupations didn’t always identify as part of the working classes. There was a stronger sens of class identity towards the end of the 19th century with the rise of automated manufacturing. But, even so, people tended to identify as working class in some low income occupations and not others.

          There were hierarchies within the so-called working class occupations. Some from the skilled manual classes (eg tinworkers) saw themselves as “middle class” and superior to the “lower classes”. (G. R. Searle, “A New England? Peace and War 1886-1918, “)

          So the blurring of class boundaries really isn’t anything new.

          There are clear differences in quality of life between those on low incomes, and those in middle income brackets. Education is also a factor. And women have always fitted uneasily into conventional classifications of class.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Maybe this rule of thumb.

            If you’re unlikely to cope for a month with your income suddenly disappearing, you’re under-class.

            If you’re unlikely to cope for 5-6 months with your income suddenly disappearing, you’re working class.

            If you can pay 25 years in advance for your current lifestyle you’re upper class, albeit perhaps by liquidating the odd minor asset or share portfolio.

            Then there are the intangible factors around one’s ‘breeding’ – the right school, the right suburb, the right connections etc.

        • Wensleydale 7.1.1.2

          The fear is useful to them.

          They openly nurture the notion that if you just keep your head down and don’t make a fuss, you’ll be alright. If you do have the audacity to kick up a stink about trivial concerns like… oh, I don’t know, health and safety or the rights of employees not to be treated like something your feudal overlord would scrape off the sole of his shoe, then you’ll promptly be chucked out into the street, where you and your children will die in miserable penury for the appalling crime of not knowing your place.

          And that’s just they way they like it. God forbid we upset the status quo.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      Some general points concerning Socio-economic Class

      • Zorr 7.2.1

        The problem with that Wikipedia article is that it does very little to enlighten me as to how the terms could even be applied today other than to arbitrarily label some jobs as “working class” while my job makes me “middle class” purely because I sit behind a desk.

        My job security is on the same level as any other employee with a permanent contract outside the 90 day period – with nothing additional. So anyone who works as a mechanic/driver/storeperson/retail assistant/whatever with a similar contract has exactly the same security but would be defined as “working class” just by their job title.

        So this is the reason that I don’t get the distinctions much any more. I personally think the label of underclass is more accurate for the lowest echelon these days. I don’t know what we should label those of us who have a modicum of security in our lives.

        • Rhinocrates 7.2.1.1

          OK, try to think of being highly qualified – at PhD level – highly valued in every performance review and having skills and experience that only a few can offer… but still being bound to short contracts, shifting budgets, no benefits and threatened either with dismissal or “not renewed” every four months if you do anything a manager doesn’t like.

          That’s my reality and it’s the reality for a lot of people now. That’s what it means to be precariat. You can’t make plans, you can’t have a permanent address or partner, you can’t even have a cat.

          • karol 7.2.1.1.1

            I actually think the precariat is not anything new, but perhaps more people are in such circumstances than previously.

            Work can become pretty precarious for many people as they get older, too, no matter how qualified.

            • rhinocrates 7.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re right – the precariat isn’t new – and they’re the reality behind the middle class ashpirashuns now.

          • Jimmie 7.2.1.1.2

            Well Rhinocrates,

            If you have good qualifications and an excellent work ethic then obviously you are a valuable employee. Why not leverage off this qualities and secure much better long term employment elsewhere?

            Or else use your highly educated skills to start/buy your own business and then you can be the boss and no one can threaten you with dismissal etc.

            • rhinocrates 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Are you for real? Of course I’m a valuable employee… and bosses know that valuable employees should be treated like shit. Do you think that I aren’t trying to find something permanent? As for buying a business… what the fuck, I mean what the fucking fuckety fuck?

              OK, I should just use a facepalm, I know… drop the one in with Patrick Stewart.

              [QoT: Dammit, I'm failing at image embedding. Apols!]

              • rhinocrates

                Hi QoT – that was only rhetorical, no probs!

              • chris73

                Of course I’m a valuable employee

                – How are you a valuable employee?

                and bosses know that valuable employees should be treated like shit.

                – None of the bosses I’ve worked for think like that, usually they treat the valuable employees well to retain them and the ones they want to leave they treat like crap (to force them to leave)

                As for buying a business

                – Why not start a business using the skills you have, plenty of people do

                • weka

                  “- Why not start a business using the skills you have, plenty of people do”

                  Yes, and plenty of people are unable to, and of those that do how many fail?

                • Tracey

                  yes they do because contrary to what many supporters of National say on here, NZ is one of the easiest places to open and run a business. But still the business owners complain about all their burdens.

                • rhinocrates

                  - How are you a valuable employee?

                  Feedback from performance reviews and anonymous student assessments.

                  usually they treat the valuable employees well

                  I don’t know about your delusions, but “treat ‘em mean to keep ‘em keen is a widely applied rule.

                  the ones they want to leave they treat like crap

                  Oh indeed, a former employer did just that for openly admitted personal dislike – by breaking the law. They had to pay me a shitload to keep out of court when they discovered that I kept notes.

                  Why not start a business using the skills you have, plenty of people do

                  My skills are very specialised, so I’m in demand, but again, back at square one – treated mean to keep keen.

                  And capital, dipshit. “Hi, I have an idea…” “What’s your capital?” “Um…” “Fuck off”.

                  I suppose that under other circumstances, the naive faith that righties have in the inherent goodness of banks, the police and other authority figures would be sort of charmingly amusing, in a childlike way. Personally, I’m amazed that these sheltered souls can even feed themselves.

                  Plenty of people have won Lotto – perhaps that’s my solution?

            • rhinocrates 7.2.1.1.2.2

              I think that in Jimmie we see the failure of neoliberal economic theory – it assumes rational choice with full opportunity and complete information… but it depends on complete fucking idiots.

              • Colonial Viper

                Funny how the neolib Jimmie’s of the world keep trying to describe scenarios based on advantageous pre-neolib times.

                • rhinocrates

                  Here’s Ayn Rand in a nutshell: An object falling in the earth’s gravitational field accelerates at 9.8 m/s2 Acceleration is a form of inflation, which is caused by socialism. Without socialism, falling objects would descend at a constant rate and parachutes would be unnecessary. Therefore this must be the case and if you don’t think like a socialist, you should leap off cliffs and out of aeroplanes without a parachute and suffer no harm. Remember “should” is a word that makes “is” and “can” unimportant.

              • Rogue Trooper

                laughed out LOUD

            • Tracey 7.2.1.1.2.3

              What about the research scientists we have in numbers who took up Joyces call and now cant find work cos we don’t “do” research in NZ.

              When I was at varisty a Bachelor degree got you work and meant you were qualified…

              Now you need a conjoint or a Masters to be viewed the same way.

        • Sacha 7.2.1.2

          And the old ‘tradie’ is now a self-employed businessperson with staff, tools and an accountant.

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.2.1

            Its the “staff” who are often getting screwed. And the staff are often not even “staff” they are subcontractors (often also “self employed”). Who usually get screwed twice as much.

          • Tim 7.2.1.2.2

            …. sometimes even sub-contracting to a sub-contractor contracted to a large monopoly/duopoly corporate – all created in the name of efficiency and effectiveness with ticket clipping all down the chain.

            Btw @Zorr – that ‘modicum of security’ is what often keeps people content – right up until the time they get it and discover it doesn’t mean shite.

        • Rogue Trooper 7.2.1.3

          I believe that this Theory of Taste may tease it out Zorr.

          Furthermore, I settled on this definition of Tolerances today (being in the garden can do that) , ability to endure: disposition or willingness to tolerate or allow: permissible range of variation.
          I appreciate this conceptualization, but then that’s my taste: economically my advised income last year was $13403 before tax, outgoings, what remained after tax; socio-culturally ? , well , Trade, Degree, Professional level attained ‘Allied Health professional’ / inter-disciplinary team member; Managerial level attained, ‘Workshop Manager’ (staff of five, fleet of 47); Trade level, ”Service Supervisor”, yet I would position myself as working-class, through solidarity with others of similar (yet not identical) tastes- 1. Telling it like it is ;) (well, even a BM is useful for somethings).

          • karol 7.2.1.3.1

            Bour-dieu!

            • Rogue Trooper 7.2.1.3.1.1

              btw, the $80 discretionary per week limits me to trouble I can get myself out of. :-D

            • Rogue Trooper 7.2.1.3.1.2

              divinite ;) Anyway, next to me is Understanding Bourdieu , Jen Webb, Tony Schirato and Geoff Danaher. Allen & Unwin. 2002
              It all began with Friedrich :-D

          • miravox 7.2.1.3.2

            Now there is a man who didn’t come from the elite academic chocolate box. They did however save a little space for him to pop inside. Kudos for one who knows how hard it is to open the lid on existing structures.

            I position myself as working class, others I meet will not. But they’ve not seen my CV or my parents.

            Good post QoT. We’re (the working class, or any other class) not some homogeneous group. I really dislike the way marketing segmentation language blobs people together based on a few economic or identity characteristics. It perpetuates stigma and belittlement, imo, and misses nuances that come back to surprise the analysts when people don’t behave in the way the political market suggests they should.

  8. Tim 8

    …. sometimes even sub-contracting to a sub-contractor contracted to a large monopoly/duopoly corporate – all created in the name of efficiency and effectiveness with ticket clipping all down the chain.

    Btw @Zorr – that ‘modicum of security’ is what often keeps people content – right up until the time they get it and discover it doesn’t mean shite.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Of course, I could be completely wrong about this – like I said up top, I am not a part of this demographic.

    I am and no you’re not.

    To be honest, the so-called Waitakere Man sounds like a bloody wimp and is most likely to (and always will) vote National. Labour, by focusing on these people are doing the rest of the working class a disservice and an injustice by making such simple assumptions.

  10. Ad 10

    There’s some lovely origami-precise folds along gender lines going on right now.

    The Bevan Chuang story hasn’t bled into the Roastbusters story. In fact the Roastbusters story is more likely to elide into accelerating anti-bullying memes than turn sour and inward.

    The Labour gender-balance story hasn’t slid into either.

    So there’s clearly liminal thresholds of discourse that are now allowable, and others that clearly aren’t.

    Advertisers and amplified social stigma have said that drugged statutory rape is entirely separate from the wilful politicisation that went with the mayor Brown affair.

    The Labour-gender balance certainly took hits on talkback radio, but nowhere near as much as when the policy was mooted in its early form, and in the end was supported by some mainstream commentators.

    And the Roastbusters media reaction shows that the residual misogyny within some parts of New Zealand is continuing to shrink and eat itself.

    So QoT is not wrong, and it’s so exceedingly un-Australian that we will look back on the Clark years as the major seminal shift in cultural difference between the two countries.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      That Helen don’t bother me none. (the air-brushing? well…that’s realpolitik when you’ve had funny teeth).

    • Peter 10.2

      It’s with that last sentence I hold out a lot of hope for this country. We’ve tackled gay marriage with limited and pathetic conservative backlash, and with Roastbusters, the issue has primarily been a lingering conservatism within the police to handling sex cases. I’m confident that this too will improve, and this will be a bit of watershed moment for improving it.

  11. The Mad Plumber 11

    First off
    I AM A TRADESMAN not a tradie
    BM, you forgot the hunting, ,fishing, four wheel driving and the boy’s in blue to pick up someone’s Licence.
    We Know who is boss of the house ( and it is not always us)

    We are not very politically correct but want a decent standard of living and not watch our sons and daughters disappear across the Tasman tho when we go across the accomadation sometimes can be cheap (Dad can you pay for………..)

    Yes the old tradesman does employ staff , my Knees are sore, my back aches, my eye sight is going, the hands are sore and someone wants me to work till I am 70, but I pay the apprentice what I can afford because the public will only pay so much an hour, its funny how you characters won’t pay for him to stand around with his finger up his bum while he watches and HOPEFULLY learns something, oh he is oft to blockcourse next week. A break for him and me
    Tim you want to try being a subcontractor and getting paid especially when the main contractor goes belly up.Well back to the paper work now I have had my moan

    And I will never never vote for the smiling assassin, so I am stuck with the Greens or Labour

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    I don’t really think about it as being along income lines but more along a line between “those who are prepared to share and see us as all in this together” and those who are “me first and what makes me feel really good is running other peoples lives”.
    Empathy versus non empathy
    or as we transite to a world stable state not growth some want to fight it out and others want to share to accomodate the change.

  13. Bill 13

    I’m not a part of any fucking ‘identity group’. And I’m not defined by mere demographics. I’m a part of a culture and yup…an ethnicity….not that you’d notice any such option on any official governmental forms.

    And Cunt!… Fuck!… Bitch!… Shite!..intolerant of cliched put me downs, broad brush stroke characterisations or bull-shit pigeon holing. Should I mention I’m intelligent and crass and empathetic…and a part of the working class?

  14. “I’m no avatar of the working class. I’m from a solidly middle-class family full of university graduates.”
    You really didn’t have to let us know how superior you feel you are are compared to us working class Westies ? Your pompous narrow minded article said it all.

  15. newsense 15

    Made the mistake of tripping over to Kiwiblog to have a look and found fairly much evidence for some of the anti-female attitudes which have been discussed here. Really an appalling place.

    Discussing the fame list in the 150th anniversary Herald they say no to Katherine Mansfield (along with Chekov, a celebrated famous guy,) the inventor of the modern short story, and when HC is suggested we get the witty and charming rebuttal: ” We’re talking about humans here, hence Hulun’s exclusion”. I missed a lot of the anti-Helen venom, but I can’t recall that kind of vileness ever being applied to a right wing politician.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Made the mistake of tripping over to Kiwiblog to have a look and found fairly much evidence for some of the anti-female attitudes which have been discussed here. Really an appalling place.

      Need someone to lead the rape culture discussion over there and also on the Trade Me forums. Well, to try :)

  16. xtasy 16

    Waitakere Man may sound “bad” to some, but we have just as bad modern day equivalents, like “ipod man”, “tablet man”, “Facebook Man”, “Twitter Man”, and the same of the other sex. It is about steretypes, and they come and go, and while some Waitak mates may appear a bit behind the hills, I see so many others be smart there, and others elsewhere behind “mental hills” every day, no matter, how “progressive” or not they see themselves.

    Dumbing down is nothing new, it is more common than ever, and some in Waitak land maybe more clued up than the rest of us, that is apart from Paula, Beneshit that is.

    • Tracey 16.1

      what about

      undervalued woman, underpaid woman, objectified woman, glass ceiling woman, be more like a man woman…

  17. karol 17

    “The Waitakere Man” reminds me of the NZ fictional character, often referred to as Man Alone and has connections with Barry Crump’s Good Keen Man. This is because WM uses the singular “Man” and is capitalised.

    It makes an ideal out of something quite dysfunctional. Not to mention individualistic.

    Add “Waitakere” to it – in WM’s case literally meaning the Waitakere electorate. But the word also refers to the ranges, with a history of being the wander ground of many a Man Alone, and one or two outlaws.

    So WM does seem quite an NZ establishment trope – one that is embraced by many in the middle classes.

  18. Bill Drees 18

    Oi ha’ta luk it up!

    “The Bechdel test (/ˈbɛkdəl/ bek-dəl) asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Many contemporary works fail this test of gender bias.
    The test is named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. In 1985, she had a character in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For voice the idea, which she attributed to a friend, Liz Wallace. The test was originally conceived for evaluating films but has since been applied to other media”

    thanks wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

    • rhinocrates 18.1

      There’s this, rating movies:

      http://bechdeltest.com

      The admins note that it’s a measure of a film’s presentation of women, not it’s quality – a film like Das Boot or Dr Strangelove for example, would fail, while both can be seen as devastating critiques of hyper masculinity. Gravity also “fails” but the discussion on the site is good.

  19. BLiP 19

    EPIC post. Thank you.

  20. yabbie 20

    IMHO it IS the aspirational classes that win an election. Waitakere has a fair few of them and finding what floats their boat is why Clark brought in WFF2 and interest-free loans as immediate pre election sweeteners. It’s really was as simple as that. Costs us a fortune and many on the bottom – the unwaged and not remotely university minded or those who can’t afford it miss out terribly. But hey it wins elections.

    Wax lyrical about your principles, but I’ll think the swinging voter has plenty of them – if you don’t like today’s ones, wait until tomorrow.

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    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
  • 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
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • 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
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