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Who benefits?

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, June 21st, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, democratic participation, Economy, education, Gerry Brownlee, health, housing, john key, local government, peak oil, poverty, privatisation, same old national, slippery, spin, sustainability - Tags:

Over the last week, Brazil and Turkey have seen the spontaneous uprisings of masses of people against their governments’ divisive and destabilising economic policies.  At the forefront of the protests in Brazil is the complaint that too much has been spent on expensive stadiums for international sports events, while not enough has been spent of public services such as those of education and health.

As we embark on The Long Descent of the post-peak-oil world, it was only a matter of time until the tide began to turn against the increasingly extravagant pissing-contests that international sports and other events have become.  Many on the left in NZ and other countries are watching Brazil’s current protests in order to see if it is part of an emerging international rebellion against the lords of the “neoliberal” age.

The reports indicate that the middle-classes are at the centre of the Brazil uprising, motivated by rising inflation with costs outstripping, what had seemed like, rising middle-class salaries.  An Associated Press report in yesterday’s  NZ Herald says:

A poll of protesters attending this week’s rallies in Sao Paulo shows they are solidly middle class. Three-quarters have a university degree, half are younger than 25 and more than 80 per cent say they don’t belong to any political party, according to the survey by the respected Datafolha group.

This article claims that there is a disconnect between the protests and reality with the current Workers Party government working more for the poorest sections of Brazil society, and having raised their incomes.  The article paints a picture of middle-classes that just make new demands as their insatiable desires are never satisfied by on-going improvements.

An article in France2 4 paints a different picture; one of a dysfunctional economy:

The absence of a quick fix can partly be explained by the nature of the protesters’ demands. The anger over the rise in the cost of bus tickets and the spending on preparations before the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil is set to host, has indeed shed light on the dysfunction of the country’s current economic model.

Underlying the apparent improvements in incomes for the poor and middle-classes, lies a high level of inequality and a dysfunctional economic model aiming to achieve growth in a post-growth world:

The rise in public transportation costs is part of a larger increase in the cost of living in Brazil. Prices of basic goods like tomatoes rose by as much as 90% in a year, for example. Rent has also been on the rise over the past several years, increasing by an average of 120% since 2008. “This inflation is essentially due to the increase in salaries,” Rifflart pointed out.

Consequently, the poorest Brazilians – those whose salaries have not risen – are getting poorer.

“Brazil remains one of the countries with the highest level of inequality when it comes to salary and access to social services,” noted Jérémie Gignoux, an economist at the Paris School of Economics.

If the Brazilian government succeeded in significantly lowering the poverty rate in the country, which went from 34% of the population in 2004 to 22% in 2009, authorities today are having a difficult time stopping the spiralling inflation.

The government is indeed stuck between two, somewhat conflicting priorities: the need to fight inflation and the need to stimulate the economy so that it is healthy again. Brazil’s economy, the seventh largest, grew “by only 0.9% in 2012, essentially because of low export levels,” Rifflart said – compared to an average annual growth rate of 3.6% over the past decade.

The focus on extravagant international sports events, highlights this dysfunctional economic model.  Simon Jenkins in Thursday’s Guardian provides the background to the over-expensive staging of many international events, and the growing discontent among people in the UK and elsewhere.

The World Cup is an ongoing scandal run by Fifa’s unsackable boss, Sepp Blatter, on the back of ticket and television sales and soccer hysteria. [...]

The Olympics are likewise sold by the IOC to star-struck national leaders as offering glory for political gain. Their purpose-built stadiums, luxurious facilities, lunatic security and lavish hospitality are senseless, yet are backed by construction and security lobbies and a chorus of chauvinist public relations. If the cost is bankruptcy, as in Montreal and Athens, too bad. The golden caravan can move on to trap some new victim.

The World Cup and the Olympics are television events that could be held at much less expense and ballyhoo in one place. As it is, host nations are deluged with promises of “legacy return” that everyone knows are rubbish. Costs escalate to an extent that would see most managers in handcuffs, but gain bonuses and knighthoods for Olympic organisers.

Sport is not alone in this addiction to the jamboree. The London Olympics last year morphed into politics, as diplomacy, culture and trade were conflated in an outpouring of nonsensical rhetoric about £13bn in contracts. A summit used to be a meeting ad hoc to resolve a crisis in world affairs. It is now a Field of Cloth of Gold, a continuous round of hospitality, rest and recuperation, flattering the vanity of world leaders.

This week’s G8 shindig in Northern Ireland was pointless – a night and two days on a bleak Irish lough at a cost to taxpayer of £60m and a deployment of 1,000 policemen per delegate.

In New Zealand, we have seen Gerry Brownlee and John Key foregrounding the building of a new sports stadium, resulting in conflict between them and the city council over funding.  Key and Brownlee favour selling public assets to pay for it. Meanwhile, the urgent need to deal with inadequate housing, and the much needed rebuilding of homes, gets lower priority.

John Key’s government is one of weetbix and circuses: a way of diverting from inequalities an poverty, and a dysfunctional economic model.  And many in the MSM play along with inhumane circuses and distractions, as Queen of Thorns shows in her review of the Vote‘s poverty & parenting debate.

41 comments on “Who benefits?”

  1. Rich the other 1

    Aren’t the Nat’s just wanting to swap one lot of assets for another, that’s effectively what’s being proposed.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to sell assets to pay for housing repairs.
    Do you really think the locals would go for that, I doubt it.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      To paraphrase, “not all assets are created equal.”

      Most assets depreciate. A few appreciate.

      Assuming they are managed properly, manufacturing industries, farms, forests, and power stations steadily increase in value. They produce profits. Profits can be paid as dividends and/or used to increase efficiency and improve the asset’s value.

      Sports stadiums, roads, homes, public buildings, and your car steadily decrease in value. They are worth more on the day they are new than they will ever be worth again.

      Selling appreciating assets to buy depreciating assets is Nact economics. It’s logic: “f*ck the future.”

    • vto 1.2

      Rich, stadiums and convention centres are not assets they are liabilities.

      user-pays
      - its what they say

      so where is the user-pays? Now they want elderly ratepayer pays. Funny that. No cred.

    • millsy 1.3

      Power networks, airports, seaports, works and services companies, fibre networks and bus operators seem to me to be core council assets/functions as they relate to transport and infrastructure.

      Convention centres and stadia are not in the same category as the below and private investors should have no trouble in building them.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Exactly. A sports stadium falls over, who gives a shit. Huntly goes down, the entire nation is going to know about it.

  2. Mr Interest 2

    Is it not interesting that in Brazil they will protest against fare increases and overpriced stadiums yet in NZ the kiwi is incrementally boiled into submission (assets sales to pay for stadiums/traders, accountants, fund manager’s free lunch).

    Here maybe is why?

    The Scarcity principle

    http://www.louischauvel.org/DAVIES2089714.pdf

    Toward a theory of Revolution by James C Davies
    Revolutions are most likely to occur when a prolonged period of objective economic and social development is followed by a short period of sharp reversal. People then subjectively fear that ground gained with great effort will be quite lost; their mood becomes revolutionary. The evidence from Dorr’s Rebellion, the Russian Revolution, and the Egyptian Revolution supports this notion; tentatively, so do data on other civil disturbances.

    Here is also an interesting study on the Pedagogy of the Oppressed (by a Brazilian Paulo Freire Published: 1968

    http://www.users.humboldt.edu/jwpowell/edreformFriere_pedagogy.pdf

    In this landmark account, first published over twenty years ago, Paulo Freire argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the whole situation of economic, social and political domination. By being kept in a situation in which critical awareness and response are practically impossible the disadvantaged are kept ‘submerged’. In some countries the oppressors use the system of education to maintain this ‘culture of silence’ while in others the advance of technology has condemned many people, particularly the less well off, to a rigid conformity. Through the right kind of education, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models and based on the actual experiences of students and on continual shared investigation, every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self which will free them to be more than passive objects responding to uncontrollable change. As Freire presents it, each individual wins back the right to say his or her own word, to name the world.

    The question to ask then is what has caused this uprising, is it a combination of the scarcity principle and improved awareness/education? Note that a high number of the protestors were students.

    How patronising was Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ‘proud’ of protests speech.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22961874

    Sounds like another mum and dad investors quote to me……. a John (or more aptly put… let them eat cake). Its all about hearts and minds ehhhh.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Through the right kind of education, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models…

      And this government is putting in place authoritarian schooling. There is no doubt really, this government is out to increase the oppression of the poor.

  3. What has caused this uprising is capitalism in crisis trying to solve its falling profits by making the working class pay for the crisis.

    It is a mistake to call those who are standing up from Tahrir to Taksim to Rio and Sao Paulo, “middle class”. They are part of the precariat, the mainly youthful, relatively educated working class.

    These mobilisations are kicked off by the relatively young, workers or self-employed workers (like Mohamed Boussaid) trapped in poverty and/or the authoritarian institutions of capitalism which includes parliament and social democratic parties like the PT. When capitalism no longer delivers what it promises they rise up.

    There is nothing strange about this. Capitalism has created a massive rise in living standards over a couple of centuries. Increasing labour productivity has raised education levels in each generation.

    But not only the youthful precariate is on the move. Highly productive and organised workers are also rising up against increased exploitation. Where the impoverished masses are left behind this is only because capitalists actively deny them the wealth they produce by expropriating it as their private wealth. Witness Marikana.

    Capitalism in its terminal decline, destroying the huge wealth fund and democratic culture it has created. It is also destroying the ecological basis of human existence.

    We should be debating how these uprisings can be united globally and turned into a revolutionary force that does away with the capitalist ruling classes and puts in its place the democratic rule of the working people on every continent.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Starting an uprising is the easy bit. Replacing it with something significantly better is extremely difficult, particularly when everyone is furious.

      That’s why I keep harping on the need for democratic reforms now. Democracy requires trust, a commodity in short supply after a popular uprising.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Yep. To paraphrase Eliot Spitzer: expressing popular anger feels good, but is not a form of governance.

  4. Nicolas 4

    Karol,

    The key source of discontent in Brazil, as indicated by the majority of people protesting, is not simply how much the World Cup is costing, or the fact that Brazil is guided by a flawed “economic system”. The real issue the protesters highlight is corruption, which lies at the root of all others.

    The reason why the World Cup has cost so much is because these official “costs” are fake. Much of the public money that should have gone towards building these new stadiums (which would have been outrageous even if no corruption existed, considering the living conditions of so many people in the country) has gone directly to individual pockets. The reason why things are not working in Brazil is not related to any one party’s “misguided economic policy”; it’s almost solely a result of the corruption that is widespread across ALL main political parties in the country.

    The NZ notion of “Right and Left” does not really exist in Brazil. Politicians wear their ideological masks to get into power, and be granted access to the money that belongs to the people of Brazil. Red Rattler’s idea that this is a result of “capitalism” is way too simplistic.

    That could be said to be the ultimate reason why these protests are happening. One thing that should be noticed is that the majority of protesters are not taking party flags out into the streets. They’re sick of them and I really hope radical change occurs. This isn’t simply a matter of getting rid of the corrupt “Worker’s” Party, and the protesters know that.

    • emergency mike 4.1

      I agree Nicolas, until we stop giving power to charismatic psychopaths, narcissists, career con-men and gravy train riders no protest, revolution, nor alternative system of government is going to fix our societal failings.

      Until the voting population understands and accepts that, as John Lennon said, “our society is run by insane people for insane objectives,” it will be meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      The reason why things are not working in Brazil is not related to any one party’s “misguided economic policy”; it’s almost solely a result of the corruption that is widespread across ALL main political parties in the country.

      The corruption is part of the misguided economic policy. The people putting in place the policies and the participating in the corruption are the same people and so they must think that corruption is fine. Hell, they probably don’t even see it as that but just how business is done and I’ve seen (yes, anecdote) a lot of that in NZ.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      Ba, tchê. Militants of left parties and organisations such as PSTU, PCO, PSOL, and even MPL (the original organisers) have been bashed and expelled from marches, by people who have never been seen in any actions previously, under the reasoning that it’s a movement of the people, not parties. Buildings have been vandalised by people who are not known to the other protestors, giving the Police an excuse to attack. A city building in São Paulo was vandalised by a guy whose father owns one of the bus companies. Morons in designer jeans and R$300 haircuts are proudly burning PT flags in the street. They don’t even catch the bus. Pffft.
      Red Rattler’s analysis is spot on, and I’ll add to it. There is a semi-organised movement in Brazil that longs for the days of the military government. These are the ones trying to take over the marches, and they remind me of the far right militants of Tradição, Família e Propriedade who marched against Jango Goulart just before the military coup, although I suspect you might prefer to call that a revolution. That you agree with these neofascists is hardly a surprise after seeing your views on Chavez.

      • Nicolas 4.3.1

        When did I say I agree with neofascists? Of course I don’t agree with the extreme “Right” (or “Left”, for that matter) who have used these protests as an excuse to promote violence. You, yet again, show you know nothing of Brazil’s history or what the country’s situation is today…

        You fail to mention these assholes are a fucking MINORITY amongst the protesters.

        You, Murray, are such an idiot… I do consider myself part of the “Left” (I’m a Green Party member, hardly what a neofascist would be, huh?) but you still don’t get that PT is NOT part of the Left. Brazil’s problems are not down to “capitalism” or “socialism”. When corruption takes over, it almost becomes an economic system itself.

        Only idiots like you continue to advocate for “defenders of the poor” like Lula, who is a FUCKING MILLIONAIRE thanks to the money he stole from the people of Brazil.

        Not only that but I’ve spoken to many, who are taking part in these protests, who are starting to suspect the assholes destroying public property were put in place by the GOVERNMENT to discredit the movement.

        I’ll really emphasize this: these kids are a minority.
        It’s great that assholes like you are also a minority, Murray…

        • Murray Olsen 4.3.1.1

          I know you read Veja and think it gives a worthwhile view of Brazil. That’s enough for me.
          It’s easy for you to say Lula stole from the people of Brazil. Have you got any evidence, apart from Editora Abril or Rede Globo? You’re sounding a lot like Collor, pointing at Lula’s portable stereo and calling him bourgeois.

          Here’s one of my sources that you may or may not like to look at:

          http://racismoambiental.net.br/2013/06/grupos-de-periferia-se-articulam-em-sao-paulo-para-defender-democracia-e-dilma/

          For those of you who can’t read Portuguese, the article linked to is about community groups on the outskirts of São Paulo who are organising to make sure the neofascists don’t manage to derail the movement. These are the real poor, and they don’t expect to be met by rubber bullets.

          It’s easy for you to call me an idiot and an asshole. Have I hit a nerve, bonitão?

    • karol 4.4

      How to make sense of the eruption of discontent on the streets of Brazil?

      Is the ruling Worker’s Party a friend to the low paid, the exploited and the workers, or a corrupt or Stalinist regime?

      Is it a middle-class revolution against a truly socialist government, as Christ Trotter seems to be arguing?

      An article on the World Socialist website explains it as a complex mix of all of the above. It refers to the ruling Workers Party as Stalinist:

      The Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) government which has run the country for the past ten years, first under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and now with Dilma Rousseff, who took office as president in January 2011, has sought to cover over Brazil’s sharp social tensions with minimal social assistance for the country’s poorest and the promise that the rise of Brazilian capitalism on the world stage would bring general prosperity to the population.
      [...]

      Initially the protests were called by the Movement for Free Fares, which advocates providing public transportation as a free public service and had organized demonstrations over the past several years with little public turnout. This year, however, intersecting with fare hikes and mounting discontent, it erupted into a massive spontaneous movement.

      It is noteworthy that Brazil’s unions, which work to subordinate the working class to the PT government, have played no significant role in the mass protests.

      There are already those who are seeking to make a virtue of the initial political confusion, calling for a movement “without a party.”

      As Brazilian workers and youth come increasingly into struggle, it is inevitable that they turn with hostility against the corrupt ruling PT, which has falsely claimed to represent the working class, as well as the other right-wing parties in state and local governments, such as the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira) and Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro), and the various pseudo-left forces that orbit around the PT.

      However, a mass movement with no revolutionary political perspective and program will ultimately face only dispersion, co-option and defeat.

      Another WSWS article reports that right wing opportunist groups are now getting in on the action, attacking any left wing groups involved in the protests. Violent military police have been reported to have attacked protesters and journalists.

      The lack of any worked-out program or revolutionary leadership and the predominance of middle class layers has left this movement open to various influences, including those of the political right. Slogans opposing all political parties and denouncing corruption and high taxes have become increasingly common, and organized groups of thugs have attacked those carrying signs and banners of left-wing parties.
      [...]
      In Sao Paulo, elements referred to by the media as “nationalists” attacked members of left-wing parties, seizing their flags and banners and burning them in the streets.
      The political confusion and the ability of right-wing elements to exploit it is the byproduct of a decade of rule by the Workers Party, a corrupt political machine that falsely claimed to represent the working class, and of the unions’ integration into the state apparatus and betrayal of the struggles of the working class. The unions have played no significant role in the mass protests.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.4.1

        thanx for the reportage karol; the chattering classes of the BRIICS.

      • Jenny 4.4.2

        Yes, thanks for this mention karol. Could you see to it, if the Fare Free New Zealand website could be included on The Standard blogroll?

  5. Wayne 5

    I know some here would like to see protests against the Key Govt on the scale of those occurring in Brazil. But the situation is vastly different, which is why (in my view) you wont see such protests here.

    Brazil used to be a military dictatorship, with levels of inequality that were simply breathtaking. And they still are. Basic services in Brazil in education and health are woefully inadequate, which means some people simply cannot go to school. The major cities have flavellas where people have virtually no property rights.

    So a World Cup and the Olympics (especially both together) might seem to many people to be a fundamentally wrong allocation of priorities, especially given the scale of the other problems that Brazil faces.

    In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.

    So I guess it is a question of balance and proportion. Obviously for many of the people in Brazil the balance is wrong to the point that these protests are taking place. But in New Zealand, I guess the balance is not seen as too bad, certainly not enough to generate days and days of general protest.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      I have a very different view of social history. I believe the social mood changes and AFTERWARDS people come up with explanations.

      During the first week of Brazilian rioting the public officials were baffled. The rioters did NOT have a set of demands nor any organizational structure or leadership. It was spontaneous.

      My explanation: the mood of society has been shifting from trust and happiness to distrust and anger. We have seen it in the Arab Spring and now demonstrations in virtually every developed country.

      The Springboks tour was before my time. I have always wondered if all those anti-tour demonstrators were genuinely infuriated about racism halfway around the world or angry in general and the tour gave them a focus for their anger. I will never know. But if my view is correct, don’t be surprised if we have a spontaneous outburst of anger without any single obvious igniting event to precipitate it.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I was in England during the Springbok protests. I did think that the diverse range of groups that protested was an indication of underlying dissatisfactions that had been around for a long time – probably decades. As much as anything, it looked to me as if it was a protest against the dominant rugby culture, which also was aligned to the dominant culture in NZ society at that time: white, heterosexual male and generally socially conservative.

        That’s also what Rob Muldoon meant to me. I recall walking past the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall in Dominion Road when Muldoon was speaking, not long before I fled the country in anger & despair. I could hear what Muldoon was saying from outside the hall. He started his speech talking about the hall being close to Eden Park, and aligned everything (he claimed was) good in society with rugby. This was how he framed his politics.

        As I recall, then, and on other occasions he said something like, “The average New Zealander is a decent bloke/person, who knows what’s right etc, like on the rugby field. That did a lot to nudge me towards the feminist movement, and towards supporting working class and anti-racist politics. To me Muldoon was totally aligning “decent” average Kiwis with the white male, heterosexual middle-classes, while I could see, everyone else was suffering in one way or another.

        Yep, I agree. Significant and spontaneously erupting protests aren’t just the result of one trigger, but a long term build up of resentments.

        I do still quite like watching rugby. But he NZ RWC, did a lot to lessen my enthusiasm for the game – t’was all the extravagance and diversions, and associations with a very public kind of booze culture. i recall the emergency services were over-loaded with accidents as a result.

      • Martin 5.1.2

        “I have always wondered if all those anti-tour demonstrators were genuinely infuriated about racism halfway around the world”

        I was.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Brazil used to be a military dictatorship, with levels of inequality that were simply breathtaking.

      The levels of inequality in NZ are probably about the same then.

      In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.

      Well, some people did.

      But in New Zealand, I guess the balance is not seen as too bad, certainly not enough to generate days and days of general protest.

      Either that or the people who should be protesting are so wound down by poverty that they just don’t have the energy to do so. I’m picking it’s the latter combined with the broken society that neo-liberalism has bequeathed us.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        “The levels of inequality in NZ are probably about the same then.”

        If by same you mean not the same at all you would be right.

        Gini comparison

        Brazil – 54.7
        N.Z. – 36.2

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          NZ happens to be in the 10 Worst category for income inequality.

        • Wayne 5.2.1.2

          I looked at the comparison between Australia (30.5 measured in 2006) and New Zealand (36.2 measured in 1997). This is quite a difference, but is it correct. Is New Zealand actually significantly less equal than Australia?

          I tend to accept GDP measures as being reasonably correct since I know they are robustly measured and on an annual basis. But I suspect that GINI measures are much looser and taken less frequently, in the NZ case apparently 16 years ago.

          As a general proposition I note that Western Europe has the lowest disparity between rich and poor, and the less developed countries the largest, but no surprise there. NZ is at the higher end of OECD, with Singapore, Portugal, Japan and the US having a higher rating. Quite a few OECD countries clustered around 32 to 34.

    • Mike S 5.3

      “In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here. ”

      Really? I don’t know anyone who loved having the rugby world cup here, especially those I know who are Auckland ratepayers.

      The reason there are no protests, etc here I think are more due to people here having been slowly pacified over the years. As a population we seem to be pretty apathetic towards what our supposed leaders are doing to us and our country. Whereas in Brazil they are far more passionate about things (other than rugby, we don’t seem to be passionate about anything on the whole anymore.)

      For a small example, the anti worker legislation just going through that took away workers rights to two short tea breaks during the day. In the past there would have been massive union action over this sort of thing and it would have been dropped. Sadly, our unions have been legislated against and lazily have allowed themselves to become weak.

      History shows us that when unions are strong and union membership high, wages and productivity are high, whilst unemployment and inequality are lower..

      • Wayne 5.3.1

        Actually Auckland (at least as far as I could see) was really enthusiastic. The crowd problems occurred precisely because people, the Council especially, underestimated the level of enthusiasm.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          lol

          it’s like they didn’t know in advance how many tickets they had sold to the opening ceremony?

          Or maybe it was just shoddy planning and leadership, subcontracting critical elements out to private contractors who didn’t give a damn about cutting costs and corners on staffing and logistics.

        • karol 5.3.1.2

          Yes there was enthusiasm for the RWC in Auckland. Some of my family from both in and out of Auckland were there for the celebrations. But it still was only a small proportion of Aucklanders there.

          How many of us stayed well clear of the Auckland CBD & Eden Park area during the RWC?

          • Rogue Trooper 5.3.1.2.1

            a subset of those (possibly in the majority) who stay away from the mob behaviour, on-field cheating and brawling, side-line aggression, coach and ref baiting, booze culture, over-inflated drink prices , hype etc of the stadium game in general; There was a suggestion that with the ‘televising’ of the game going from pay tv to pay online next, Clubs will make watching the game at the grounds free. :-D

    • millsy 5.4

      “In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.”

      When RWC 2011 came round, most of the grounds had already existed and were up to an acceptable standard. They were also owned and funded (historically) by the rugby fishheads (with the exception of a few council owned facilites).

      We didnt see the government bowl hundreds of state houses to build flash stadiums that will take years to pay off.

  6. xtasy 6

    Brazil set out to join the Asian Tigers, but did so without having built the industrial power base to grow manufacturing. It has expanded largely in agricultural areas, in mining and resource exploitation, also in some manufacturing, but the latter is on an international level not as competitive and productive as the Asian Tiger economies.

    So there are a lot of structural issues, besides of the still immense social divisions.

    It was sheer Brazilian over indulgence and arrogance to compete for and get the Football World Cup and only 2 years later the Olympics to stage there. Such evens require huge investments, and in almost all cases, these investments never pay off. A soccer mad nation though felt it was time to be up there, and celebrate their most favorite and passionate past time.

    With the global economic situation having weakened after the GFC, and Brazil having lost growth the last year, it is now all proving too much for the economy to handle. A grown middle class expects things to get better, but suddenly they have to pay more for goods and services and incomes and job security get weaker.

    The poor are the biggest losers, but the government put up programs to invest in housing improvements and social programs to assist here and there. That has even enraged some in the middle class, feeling the poor get “social” assistance for their paid taxes, virtually for doing nothing. Of course that is absurd, but one must be aware of status of belonging to social groups there, of entitlement thinking and so forth.

    I see major social tensions get worse there, and it pay even end in states of emergency declared here and there. It seems unlikely to end in that, but one can never rule out some strongmen cooperating with the military and police to seize controls.

    The protests seem to be organised only in part, and by various groups. Dissatisfaction is great, but there is insufficient cohesion and unity for anything substantial to come out of it, similar to the Occupy movement, which has almost vanished.

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      Good post, xtasy. One thing important to note about Brazilian economic “success” is that it’s tended to result in increased consumption, rather than investment. Once the minerals or the buyers run out, they’re back to where they were.

      You’re spot on with what you say about the middle class (in general) becoming enraged. We’ve even seen it in this thread. In some cases this is because they have to rub shoulders with poorer people at airports, instead of just having their toilets cleaned by them. It’s easier for them to blame the PT for their problems, stirred up by the big media, than to look at anything structural. Some of the older ones long for the days of the generals, when there was seeming order and a sense of progress. Some of the younger ones have swallowed this nationalist rat under some silly idea that they are all Brazilians and shouldn’t involve political parties, despite the fact that the people pushing this line are heavily involved in various parties.

      I don’t know how this movement will end up, but I note that it’s becoming something of more than just the enraged middle class, and the workers from the periphery of São Paulo and the hills of Rio are becoming involved. They are not the ones calling for no participation from parties. They have their community organisations, some of which are linked to the PT. I’ll also note that, whatever anyone may think about the PT in government, many of the people on the ground are members of the base of that party, as well as smaller left groupings. To some extent, writing the whole PT off for not running a revolutionary socialist government (it doesn’t), would be the same as discounting all members of the Labour Party because Shearer’s an idiot.

      • xtasy 6.1.1

        I appreciate your deeper insight in affairs Brazilian and Latin American, Murray!

  7. xtasy 7

    The world is mad, economic growth is tried to be achieved by creating ever more output in whatever. Brazil produces more palm oil, beef, fruit, logs, oil, gas, iron ore and more. There is some manufacturing and other activity, naturally horticulture, fishing, services of various kinds.

    But looking at the growth of mega cities, endless favelas around the better parts of those urban jungles, the cultivation of former forests, jungles, the formerly unused plains in Mato Grosso, Parana and elsewhere, endless monoculture, all to produce more of the same, it is going to head for a disaster sooner or later.

    Asian countries do similar things, look at the smoke pollution all over Singapore, Southern Malaysia and much of Indonesia. Forest is burnt down, to make way for palmoil plantations and other use.

    The plundering goes on, as if there is an endless resource to grab.

    Cities grow into anonymous, giant concrete and tin hut jungles. Social cohesion suffers. If economic troubles hit, people cannot cope, and they either protest or go out on rampages, or simply rob and steal to survive.

    It would be smarter to develop more balanced societies and economies, without mega cities, without obsessive growth for growth’s sake.

    A functioning society with stability would have smaller cities and more towns and villages spread across areas, would have space for collective and individual garden plots, for less environmentally damaging agriculture, that is sustainable and maintains soil and water conditions.

    Also social justice must be ensured, by involving all in economic and social activities, in sharing jobs, responsibilities, in having services to cover for breakdowns and avoiding social suffering.

    Brazil has not done this, so have many other countries failed. Partly it is the corrupt elites, not bothering to plan and govern smarter, fairer and sounder, partly it is the indifference and ignorance, even sometimes complacency of people to allow things to drift and move into the wrong directions, perhaps also being seduced into short term thinking and acting.

    Perhaps what happens in Brazil at present can teach us and others something, to avoid the same mistakes.

    A mega Auckland of 2 and a half million population comes to mind, just one thing!

  8. Jenny 8

    The dying fossil fuel civilisation is getting violent with protesters who seek a better way of doing things.

    Fare Free struggle on the streets of Brazil

    SÃO PAULO was a war zone the night of June 13 as riot police viciously attacked a peaceful demonstration of the Free Fare movement, which is protesting hikes in bus and subway fares.
    Despite massive police repression and the intransigence of the city and state governments, there are have been four large demonstrations in the last two weeks by the Free Fare movement in São Paulo, South America’s largest city.

    Sean Purdy São Paulo Free Fare Movement

    It is interesting to me that these protests were organised by the movement for free public transport.

    Internationally and here popular movements for free public transport have risen up in most countries.

    Demands by such groups for a comprehensive free public transport service, has been a common sense approach to traffic congestion and pollution identified by people primarily concerned about finding practical solutions to global warming caused by fossil fuel use.

    However such movement’s for free public transport also tap into the feelings of sticker shock felt by hard hit commuters at the petrol pumps by the more expensive gasoline and diesel sourced through extreme and environmentally risky extraction methods. As well as tapping into the groundswell of frustration and anger daily felt by commuters stuck in chronic road and motorway congestion for up to two hours a day.

    The fact that the gutless main stream political parties around the world in fear of offending the powerful roading and fossil fuel lobbies, have been deaf to such common sense solutions to grid lock and pollution, even in countries more hard hit by these problems than us. Has led to a loss in legitimacy for these mainstream parties in the densely populated cities where congestion and pollution are strangling the life out of their citizens.

    Here the New Zealand Green Party in its campaign to appear more “mainstream” has also opposed free public transport as a solution to what the proponents of free public transport call carmageddon.

    Instead the Green Party along with Labour have supported narrow punitive taxes on fuel as a solution to climate change. These added costs punish commuters, who no fault of their own have no alternative to private cars. This punitive autocratic approach has engendered resentment towards those genuinely concerned about doing something positive for the environment.

    In the few examples where it has been tried in cities overseas. The overwhelming success in the free social provision of public transport in getting people out of their private cars has been a runaway success. Commuters who when offered free buses and train rides to work left the cars at home by the tens of thousands causing cities that have trialed such systems to abandon their plans for new motorways resulting in savings greater than the cost of the fareless rides.

    The cost of a completely free public transport system for Auckland for twenty years is less than the $4 billion set aside for more motorway construction for the next four years.

    The $billions already wasted on motorway construction in Auckland have only succeeded in getting us to the traffic jam sooner.
    Ask anyone who commutes on the newly opened Wiri Station Road motorway extension, estimated cost $1billion.

    The Fare Free New Zealand movement in this country was founded by Roger Fowler an ex-bus driver and Queen Service Medal winner. farefreenz@clear.net.nz

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  • Ae Marika! 1 July 2014
    I got a really good response to last week’s article about forestry safety, including this gem from an old mate - “Back in the early 70′s our Maori bush gangers showed you the ropes. You never forgot a thing they...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Green Party MP Holly Walker to step down from party list
    Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party's list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list."Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change...
    Greens | 30-06
  • Pasifika Immigration Plans for Labour- too little, too late – James Papal...
    The Labour Party has recently announced that it has plans to speed up family reunification for Pasifika people. “I have seen these plans and I believe that these are too timid” says MANA Pasifika vice President, James Papali’i. “After waiting...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Support for USA in Iraq “not a deal to die for” – Harawira
    “When John Key says ‘New Zealand fully supports the current steps announced by President Obama (in Iraq) 100%’ he is one step away from committing our troops simply to get a good trade deal with the USA,” said MANA Leader...
    Mana | 24-06
  • Ae Marika! 23 June 2014
    Another key spot for me to meet people is Auckland Airport, on my way back from parliament to either go to Waitakere or the North Shore, or to catch link flights to Whangarei, Kerikeri, or Kaitaia on constituency business. Every...
    Mana | 23-06
  • The Nation review: Paula Bennett on drama queen domestic violence stats
    You really have to see the train-wreck of an interview Paula Bennett pulls off today on The Nation. With Judith Collins and Hekia Parata’s demise, National need to promote one female talent and this has prompted a very head girl...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • There is a war being waged on NZ men… at least according to this Facebook...
    Men’s masculinity is under attack in New Zealand and four people, one of whom is a woman (it always stings that little bit more when a woman is pushing anti-feminist ideas), have created a Facebook page to do something about it....
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Dear hysterical NZ Men – Women’s rights are no threat to our masculinit...
    How insecure in your masculinity must you feel to buy into believing Labour are declaring a war on men? This Facebook site, The Labour Party’s War on Men, is a real voyage through the psyche of angry men angry at...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Education reforms – there is a choice
    To have the Education Minister and the sycophantic mainstream media constantly asserting that the only way to improve the education our children get is to reform the system by privatisation, performance pay, and the collection of a few data sets...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Not That Different After All: Some thoughts on Neoliberalism
    OVER THE PAST 35 YEARS,  the neoliberal ideology has been adopted by virtually the entire Right. Certainly, there is no serious right-wing political party – either here in New Zealand or elsewhere in the developed world – that does not...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Hone Harawira
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • #TeamKeyJr
    #TeamKeyJr...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Random Thoughts on Random Things #7 – the fate of the Maori Party
    . . Watching Pita Sharples interviewed on TV3′s ‘The Nation’ on 5 July, two things occurred to me. 1. There is every likelihood that, come election day,  the Maori Party is doomed. If they are really, really, really lucky, they...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Every bomb Israel drops on Gaza creates 10 new ‘terrorists’
    The latest round of horror Apartheid Israel is using to justify their latest disproportional response seeds from a couple of events. America’s need to talk to Iran because of Iraq has spooked Apartheid Israel into manufacturing a new crisis that...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD 10 July 2014 CPAG says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand’s poorest children should expect a far greater...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • How can New Zealand help defend the Palestinian struggle?
    FOR MOST NEW ZEALANDERS the Middle East is shorthand for war without end. When I was growing up most of us knew no better than to believe Israel was a small, plucky state standing up to big, thuggish neighbouring bullies....
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • “I got an apology”… said no survivor of rape or gendered violence eve...
    When I was 15 my cousin who lived with me and my mum would come home black and blue. Her dealer and boyfriend, Nick Ge used to beat her for whatever reason, for whatever justification he saw fit. Men who...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • NZ – Inequality and poverty measured
    The Household Incomes Reports by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are providing powerful evidence that New Zealand is a deeply unequal society with intractable levels of poverty that includes many with jobs as well as those without. The reports which are...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Child Poverty Action Group – Those with the least left furthe...
    This week a delighted – and no doubt relieved – Minister of Social Development gave us the news we had all been waiting for: under her careful watch, child poverty has fallen 3%. The figures are in the latest Ministry...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Charter Schools are working, why not ...
    Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day Parliament dumped the TVNZ Charter, ceremoniously, by 64 MPs to 56.   The Broadcasting Minister of the day, one J Coleman, said without too much of a smirk that the removal of the charter would have little...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Motorists passing people on bicycles and other vulnerable road users owe them a high duty of care.”...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: High cost of storm damage sign of things to come Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release National’s deal with SkyCity means that a company that flout’s New Zealand’s gambling regulations has the opportunity to greatly...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Please explain Minister… yet again Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says....
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’ A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Murray McCully must go: sign the petition to demand his resignation
    Sign the petition to demand Murray McCully resign and stand with Tania Billingsley and the thousands of women who have survived sexual assault in New Zealand. Tania Billingsley, who is at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat case, has lifted her own...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • More mining our protected places
    Today is the last day for submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) marine consent application to mine the seabed in a protected area, in our most productive fishery. I just got my submission in which you can read here. This...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Poverty and inequality denial are no reasons for celebration
    The headlines proclaim that concerns about poverty and inequality is just a lot of left wing PC guilt squawking because according to cherry picked statistics there isn’t really any inequality or poverty. Cue a rousing round of ‘we don’t know...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National breaks promise to insulate every state house Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release “It’s not just a broken promise, it’s poor economics.” National has broken its promise to insulate every...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • “World Class Welfare System” My Arse. Come Clean Nathan Guy!
    Pigs are not safe in New Zealand. How many farms do activists have to film before the Ministry of Primary Industries comes clean and admits their accreditation scheme is an absolute failure? Do activists need to do the job of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Tania Billingsley – hero
    The astounding courage exhibited by Tania Billingsley last night on 3rd Degree should put the Government to shame. Her criticism of those charged with upholding her rights is to the bone and righteous… The woman at the centre of a...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: McCully should stand down while review considers his actions Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, why I love John ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game
    If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto  Posted on July 10, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press Releases“Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • 7 reasons why online voting isn’t a solution
    Online voting is being waved around again as a means to increase participation.  Here are the 7 reasons why I think online voting is a bad idea. 1 – 21% of those asked why theory didn’t vote in 2011 gave ‘didn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Greg Presland – National and Pacifica
    John Key and National have recently been claiming that Pacifica are leaving Labour en masse and are heading towards National.  I am sorry John but there is no chance of this happening.  But Key and co have been able to get the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Police sweeping domestic violence under the carpet?
    Pressure to lower stats – MPPolice were under government orders to “minimise” the number of domestic violence charges they lay to make crime statistics look good, Labour MP Andrew Little claimed yesterday. This latest allegation of Police downplaying domestic violence...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Invite: AGM & Political Forum
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Invite: AGM & Political ForumCPAG AGM & Election Year Political Forum 08 July 2014 When: Wednesday 30 July Where: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland RSVP here! Please...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Housing figures National’s shame Monday, 07 Jul 2014 | Press Release “These figures are a shame on the Government. All New Zealanders deserve secure housing, whether renting or owning.” The number of...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: QV figures show two-track housing market The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • GUEST POST: Michael Wood – Just Structures
    The headline number at this weekend’s Labour Congress was a very good speech from David Cunliffe, the centre-piece of which was the well-received announcement on class sizes. The Congress ended on a high note, with delegates energised and positive media...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Cunliffe vs Key
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A letter to Hekia
    A letter to Hekia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Animal abuse unacceptable for pigs and consumers
    I was a kid on pig farms in the 1970s. Piglets were castrated using a scalpel without anaesthetic, wire cutters were used to trim their teeth and cut off their tails. Wire was forced through their sensitive snouts. Row upon...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A better Canterbury and a better NZ
    Labour’s first 100 days is going to be a busy time – we’ve got a lot to change!  Kick-starting the Canterbury recovery is going to be a crucial part of those first 100 days.  Labour has announced several Canterbury specific...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Dear Leader loves you! Our cult of no personality
    .   The Cult of Dear Leader . It was inevitable. The poll-rated ‘popularity’ of Prime Minister has evolved into a full-blown, carefully-choreographed, Cult of Personality the likes of which this country has never before seen. The recent National Party...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial crisis, lack of adjustment of the accommodation supplement and high housing costs show...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hard
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Low income families hit hard Council of Trade Unions – Media Release Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Government in denial over income inequality
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Government in denial over income inequality Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes National’s decision to cut nearly $2.5 million from adult and community education in Canterbury over the past five years was short-sighted and Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 | Press Release The latest Household Incomes Survey shows income inequality widening further under National, but that it is...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour Labour has been very clear that it is necessary to review and evaluate the effectiveness of Whanau Ora for Māori, says Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy? Another significant shortfall in the Government’s books suggests the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by, Labour’ Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Lisa Owen interviews Paula Bennett
    Paula Bennett says Government won’t raise benefit levels, disagrees with Children’s Commissioner that current levels do not allow children to participate in society....
    Scoop politics | 12-07
  • The Return of the Worm : Introducing The NZ Election Reactor
    Scoop Independent News has formed a partnership with leading polling company, Roy Morgan Research, to bring the original Worm back for the NZ 2014 Election....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Brazilian tourist behind bars for cocaine smuggling
    A 20-year-old Brazilian tourist will not see much of New Zealand, after being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for trying to smuggle around $656,000 of cocaine into the country. He will be deported after...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Naenae College to benefit from ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot
    National Candidates Lewis Holden and Chris Bishop welcome the news that local students at Naenae College will directly benefit from being involved in ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot programme against sexual violence....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Mr Ismail’s bail conditions
    Mr Ismail was required by the Court to surrender his passport by 5.00 pm on 12 May. By this time, Police had been able to confirm with MFAT that he had diplomatic immunity and therefore the bail conditions were unenforceable....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • What Stops People Moving Out of Poverty
    Speaking For Ourselves is the title of a new report drawn from ground-breaking research that follows 100 families for one year. The families are long-term users of the Auckland City Mission’s food bank and have contributed their experience of what...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Police continue to build pressure on the Headhunters Gang
    Three patched Head Hunter Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) members and an associate have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery following the conclusion of a successful Police covert operation....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • The Nation 12,13 July: Poverty, Offshore Drilling, Regions
    Then as it tries to balance environmental concerns with jobs, Labour energy spokesperson David Shearer reveals his party’s new policy on offshore drilling....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Sexual and reproductive health in the Pacific
    Today on World Population Day, the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) calls on governments in the Pacific to urgently invest in sexual and reproductive health, particularly family planning, to improve the choices...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Its the economy stupid
    A poll being conducted on the Massey Birdwood Settlers website asks the question - Its Election Year - what will you base your vote on?...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Global Thinking Needed to Spark New Zealand’s Digital Future
    Giving Kiwi digital innovators the tools to help them think globally from day one is how New Zealand will become world-leader in the digital economy, says the Internet Party....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application
    The seafood industry strongly opposes Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, saying it will have “significant and irreversible adverse effects on the marine environment.” In its submission to the Environmental Protection...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Māori Parenting Course already a hit
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has commended programmes that rise up out of the community that work ‘with’ families, as opposed to interventions that do things ‘to’ families. She was speaking as guest of honour at the recent launch...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Royal visit no king hit
    Support for a Kiwi Head of State is still high after April's royal tour....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Captioning to give hard of hearing community greater access
    New Zealand political programmes on TV will soon be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Able is pleased to announce that from Wednesday 23rd July, it will be providing closed captions for TV ONE’s Q+A, TV3’s 3rd...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Conservatives Law and Order Policy Based on Mythology
    “The Conservative Party’s Law and Order current slogan ‘Stand for Something’ should be changed to ‘Stand for Anything’ says Kim Workman, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, in its latest ‘Smart on Crime’ blog....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Billingsley reminds us that sexual abuse can be prevented
    Tania Billingsley’s choice to have name suppression lifted and to talk about the wider issue of rape culture that facilitated her assault has highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence in New Zealand and reminds us that it can be prevented....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • 90 jobs lost in the Waikato as NZ Post closes mail centre
    New Zealand Post has confirmed that 90 jobs will be lost when it closes its Waikato mail processing centre. The confirmation comes after NZ Post announced in June last year that it would be closing its Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Award for excellence in International Development journalism
    VSA is proud to launch its award for excellence in International Development journalism. VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in International Development....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Marchers Keep Maui’s to the fore
    After successful marches around the country, Maui’s dolphin campaigners continue their pressure on the Government with a march to John Key’s electorate office in Kumeu on Sunday 13 July at 10am, leaving from the Kumeu Arts Centre at 10.30, 300...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • ESC announcement ‘shamefully late’, says safety campaigner
    The government announcement that Electronic Stability Control will become compulsory on new vehicles is effectively locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, says the car review website dogandlemon.com. Electronic Stability Control detects...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee. “Let’s replace the barbed wire of refugee camps with our own No. 8 wire mentality. Let’s be there for some of our planet’s most vulnerable...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Internet Party Wades in to Fix Sick Waterways
    New Zealand’s waterways will be cleaned up and much higher standards set on water quality in a 10-year plan to be introduced by the Internet Party by 2016....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Time for Kiwis to start punching above weight in Humanity
    Acknowledgments and warm greetings to you all. I would especially like to welcome the relatively new representative from the UNHRC Thomas Albrecht..welcome to our part of the world, the Deputy CE for Immigration Nigel Bickle and the Ian Axford...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • SSC Releases Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) Reports
    The Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) reviews released by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today include the full reviews of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Treasury....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?
    The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • President of PGA to attend Workshop for Arms Trade Treaty
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson will be attending a Workshop next week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to promote signature and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Calls for Government Intervention Premature But Inevitable
    The Taxpayers’ Union is reacting to calls for a Crown Manager to be appointed to shepherd Auckland Council through its budget crisis, with disappointment. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Seeking Sanctuary
    What would you do if you were forced to flee your home because of war or persecution?...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration
    Child Poverty Action Group says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand's poorest children should expect a far greater level of ambition for their well-being....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Cyclists want answers from political parties
    Cyclists are calling for better protection, following the Coroner's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly, held in Hamilton this week. Mrs Farrelly was killed after being struck by a truck near Taupo on March 16 last year....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Malaysian embassy employee
    Police are continuing to support Tania who has recently applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved. Police did not oppose this course of action as we wanted to support...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity
    Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Margaret Mahy boat unveiled on anniversary of ship bombing
    Greenpeace is naming a new boat after one of New Zealand’s best known children’s authors, Margaret Mahy, at a ceremony today on the 29th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland harbour....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • ACC announces schools in sexual violence prevention pilot
    ACC has announced the nine secondary schools and facilitators who will pilot its new sexual and dating violence prevention programme....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • PISA results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels
    PISA financial literacy results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels for young New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles
    The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is urging the Government to consider a suite of NZPI-developed guiding principles on freshwater quality issues when it implements its upcoming freshwater reforms....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Labour Party Policy a Mixed Bag
    The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) would welcome any review of insurers’ response to the Canterbury earthquakes, rejects the Labour Party’s proposal for another regulator of the industry and supports its policy of transferring levies...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
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