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Why charity cannot replace the state

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 2nd, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: public services - Tags: ,

One of the mantras of the current government is the importance of charity in society. The state is not necessarily the best deliverer of social services, they’ll tell you. Which is why it’s important to get the private sector involved.

The assumption is that the private sector and NGO’s will deliver services more efficiently and cheaply. What they never mention is the fact that charity can disappear as fast as it came.

That’s what’s just happened with Owen Glen’s promise of $80m to fight child abuse. Money that the Herald reports is now tied up in some kind of trust fund dispute.

Glenn’s offer was incredibly generous, as have been his other acts of philanthropy, and I certainly hope the money comes through, but in many ways this situation is indicative of the reason charity cannot replace the state – because it can’t be relied upon. If, for example, the money for these initiatives had been cut off once they were up and running rather than before they started the situation would likely be much worse. Indeed, I suspect the government would have had to step in.

Best it’s there from the start, I think.

53 comments on “Why charity cannot replace the state”

  1. Jackal 1

    On Saturday the 3 September 2011, Owen Glenn promised the Nation that he would make a donation of $100 million to the government if the National and Act parties won the next general election. As far as I’m aware, that $100 million “donation” has not been forthcoming.

    Owen Glenn is a conman… Nothing more.

    • CV - Real Labour 1.1

      Owen Glenn has not donated $100M to the National Government. That seems like a good thing. Glenn is not a perfect individual, but he’s been doing a lot of good with his wealth. The left shouldn’t fall into its usual tall poppy syndrome trap.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 1.1.1

        A charity offer that is tied to a party rather than the ‘government’ has fishhooks. But then if someone rich were to offer to donate so that Green policies could be carried out it would be hard to turn down. And if it was dependent on the Greens raising their % vote it would certainly act as a vitalising spur, on top of their already vital approach and indicate support and agreement from a considerable percentage of thinking voters, always a minority I think!

        But a modern democracy intent on maintaining standards of living and support for people who require it, can’t turn its back on providing what is required by the polity and leave it to grace and favour of those with money, or just pay churches and NGOs funds to make the problems go away. It’s too easy to end up with the cold charity that was the norm in the 1800s with the righteous with the goods to distribute. Think of Peter Sellers and his take on this, as a sick peasant with the lady of the estate visiting him with a kindly gift of potato peelings.

      • Jackal 1.1.2

        CV – UnReal Labour

        Owen Glenn has not donated $100M to the National Government. That seems like a good thing.

        Not only did Owen Glenn illegally try to bride the public to vote for the National and Act parties, he didn’t even follow through on the $100 million that he said he wanted to go towards helping educate New Zealand children… So not really a good thing any way you look at it.

        The left shouldn’t fall into its usual tall poppy syndrome trap.

        It’s not that I dislike Owen Glenn for his wealth CV, it’s that I dislike him making promises he does not keep. It’s not like these are promises to take your kids to the movies or something, these are important things and Glenn is ultimately wasting a lot of other people’s time and money.

        • CV - Real Labour 1.1.2.1

          Moralise over Glenn all you like, maybe he just got smarter and decided that donating money to the Key Government was a bad move.

          • fatty 1.1.2.1.1

            Perhaps his withholding of the promised donation was partly due to this – when the economy slows and more charity is needed, those who can give to charity are less inclined to do so because their money is less secure.
            That maybe part of it…but Jackal is probably right and Owen Glen is a conman. Glen donated millions to the Business School at the University of Auckland.
            As far as I’m concerned, that’s a dickish thing to do. Last thing NZ needs is more dickheads learning how to force more kids into poverty.

            • CV - Real Labour 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m not a fan of our Economics, Finance and Business schools, but when we start criticising people for donating to universities we’re pretty much at the end of the road.

              Glenn’s perspective is of someone who made a lot of money during a massive expansion of energy use and money printing. It’s doubtful that he gets the new environment or that parts of his recipe for success in the old environment no longer applies.

              Is he a business shark who likes to see his own name in print, sure. Is he a “conman” like Bernie Maddoff or the Hanover Finance guys? I’d say certainly not.

              • fatty

                I’m not a fan of our Economics, Finance and Business schools, but when we start criticising people for donating to universities we’re pretty much at the end of the road.

                True, just criticising people for donating to universities would be stupid…I never did that.
                Criticising economic rationalism, its supporters, and the institutions that ensure its hegemony is maintained is the start of the road…that is what I did.

                Glen would have done more for NZ if he had of flushed that money down the shitter.

        • TheContrarian 1.1.2.2

          “he didn’t even follow through on the $100 million that he said he wanted to go towards helping educate New Zealand children”

          You’re right – it was only 80 million.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7293444/Owen-Glenn-gives-80m-to-fight-child-abuse

          • fenderviper 1.1.2.2.1

            Have n’t you heard?

            The family trust that the money is in seemingly don’t share the charitable spirit of Owen, there’s a dispute taking place over releasing the coin.

      • geoff 1.1.3

        But what did he do to get that wealth?

        • CV - Real Labour 1.1.3.1

          He introduced new business models in logistics which helped enable the globalisation of trade and manufacturing.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        The left shouldn’t fall into its usual tall poppy syndrome trap.

        I get pissed off with this BS. There are a lot of people out there that are just as good if not better than the rich and yet they’re on the bones of their arse simply because they don’t have access to the resources they need to show it. That’s what happens when you have limited resources and they’re all in the hands of a few people who then give access to them only if they themselves become richer.

        Such a system produces three effects:
        1.) Society becomes dependent upon those few
        2.) Advancement of the society is slowed and, eventually, halted
        3.) Society must eventually collapse as poverty increases until it is unsustainable

        This is what we are seeing today.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.5

        Labour doesn’t do tall poppy. Oh, is that Cunliffe’s head I see on the ground?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    The better example is of the Rape Crisis centres that are either operating without enough money or are closing down due to not having any. Yes, a couple of them have been saved by donations but next year they will be in exactly the same shape as they were and there may not be any donations coming especially if the financial economy keeps collapsing the way it is. The government could easily keep these centres going without any of this stress from lack of funding but instead they’re cutting funding to them.

    • rosy 2.1

      “Yes, a couple of them have been saved by donations”

      It’s mainly to do with the private sector allocating on the basis of which charities are most beneficial to be associated with – sort of why breast cancer charities get so much more funding than bowel cancer charities, for example.

      • Macro 2.1.1

        exactly! and blind dog puppies – not that these shouldn’t receive private funding – but private funding is skewed towards the attractive rather than by need.

      • AwakeWhileWalking 2.1.2

        +1

        Associating yourself with rape victims doesn’t seem to have mass appeal (but how would anyone know? I think the majority of people support these types of causes but feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons). Those who do associate themselves find a loyal following so I think in terms of impact this type of financial support goes much further than with traditional “feel good” fluffy causes.

        FYI there is much going on to prevent future funding issues with rape crisis. For details you can email everyoneneedstherighthelp@gmail.com and volunteer time. The troops are rallying and it’s a worthy cause : )

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    Charity has been practiced for a very log time (see link). http://www.historyextra.com/feature/charity-what-can-we-learn-history
    There seem to be the misguided belief that this is the solution whereas this is the ambulance of last resort at the bottom of the cliff. Unless the structural imbalance is not addressed the problems will just escalate. The notion that charity ought to compliment/replace social welfare will take us 2000 years back into the past. Whoever is driving this must count on the gullibility of the general population. I for one would like to see a fair taxing system that hat a measure of proportion to income and tax loopholes closed. As for people who donate, good on them for trying to sooth their conscience, tax free I may add. Too much money and the next tax step is coming up? Just make a donation….

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      in Victorian England the authorities persecuted the church for being Too charitable; let them suck on Woody’s

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    He could always live in New Zealand, pay the appropriate taxes like the rest of us and probably wouldn’t have to make large donations.

  5. Tiresias 5

    “One of the mantras of the current government is the importance of charity in society.” – IrishBill

    It’s a mantra that becomes somewhat muted when one of the charities is “a scheme allowing people to sponsor children in Third World countries … being replicated for New Zealand children living below the poverty line.”

    Next stop, foundling hospitals, hospitals for the poor and needy, alms houses and ragged schools.

  6. Bill 6

    It would be useful to seperate private providers from NGO type providers.

    The former seeks profit – usually from having won a contract that pays by ‘results’. And it kind of just channels public money to private coffers and does not necessarily mean that less public money is spent and usually means services deteriorate .

    The latter often relies on voluntary labour, very small amounts of public monies and gets the government ‘off the hook’ vis a vis government’s social responsibilies.

    Both scenarios are wrong and both promote negative (but different) dynamics.

    As for rich philanthropists donating to this, that or the other cause, well, that’s okay until it comes to social services. That’d a very US ‘way of doing things’ and is a fast track to lock in ideas of deserving and undeserving.

    Poverty is about injustice; not charity. Many social services are also about justice, not charity. And unless resources (public monies) and meaningful power is put back into communities for communities to deal with community issues, government should never be allowed to shirk it’s responsibilities and throw people to the tender mercies of philanthropy, private profit seekers or registered charities.

    • JK 6.1

      Excellent comments, Bill.

      Some of our philanthropic trusts have already started down the slippery slope of wanting to “pick and choose” the deserving poor for their largesse aka the USA style.

      In addition, under the recent Charities legislation it has become easier for private providers to become so-called “charitable trusts” and pick up government funding for their services. This is happening in health services (eg private hospitals doing elective surgery or providing maternity services), starting to happen in education (eg charter schools), and no doubt will continue in other areas as entrepreneurs/business people see the opportunity for making money from providing these services

    • Foreign waka 6.2

      “The latter often relies on voluntary labour” – just wondering whether the renewed call for prisoners to work (of cause free of charge) is in conjunction with the reduction of government funds for basic infrastructure services. Naturally, no one want’s to be seen to donate to that cause.

  7. millsy 7

    IMO charites always pick and choose who gets help and who doesnt, and who ever is lucky enough to get the help, has to jump through hoop after hoop, and pretty much be dictated to how they live their lives.

    Look at Habitat for Humanity, they have a huge application procedure and the person on the other end have to help work on their house (too bad if youre sick or disabled, or your job stops you), and then go through this complicated lease arrangement where you lease it for 5 years, and if you are lucky to not get kicked out, you get the privilige of having a mortgage at market rates.

    I tell you right now, the state housing program, as well as the State Advances/Housing Corp mortgages, got more people into housing in between 1935 and 1994 than that idiot peanut farmer’s Habitat for Humanity ever will in 200 years.

    And dont get me started on uni scholarships.

  8. Yoza 8

    I’m reminded of the definition John Ralston Saul applies to charity: “Those who have get to decide what those who do not deserve.”

    Owen Glen’s offer seems counter intuitive. As I understand things, the massive offer to fight child abuse was conditional on a National/ACT coalition gaining power. This combination of political ideology is demonstrably abusive to children living in the lowest quintiles of the socio-economic order.

    Condemning children to environmental conditions which dramatically increase their exposure to infectious diseases, domestic turbulence, mental illness, substance abuse and any number of issues relating to the impoverishment of societies most vulnerable ( See the latest edition of Poverty Watch ; then offering to pay a minor percentage of his personal fortune to ameliorate some of the worst effects of the socially disastrous political philosophy he is co-sponsoring, seems counter-intuitive.

    If Owen Glen were truly worried about the welfare of New Zealand’s most vulnerable citizens he would not support such an obviously vicious form of national economic management. Although, there would be no knighthood or media recognition in opposing the neo-liberal status quo.

  9. AwakeWhileWalking 9

    No one has commented on the attack on advocates work yet:

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2012/11/17/charities-as-advocates-time-we-called-the-governments-bluff/

    Quote:

    “Community organisations already spend much of their time advocating. They shouldn’t be excluded from getting charitable status (and tax exemption) because of this. Organisations of long standing repute including the National Council of Women have been denied charitable status on the basis that advocacy is their primary purpose. Advocacy is not currently deemed a ‘charitable purpose’ under the Act, and therefore they are denied tax exemption for donations.”

    Advocate for some poor soul kicked by the system and they’ll try and strip your charitable status away. HOW CAN YOU NOT WRITE ABOUT THIS?

    It affects benefit rights advocates, mental health advocates, rape victims being supported by advocates… Advocates act for those who’s voice would otherwise go unheard, often at their own expense. Is this not the very definition of charity? A gift of time and speech rather than money is no less valid.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9.1

      Awake WW
      Very good point. And counter to the type of political system that the government appears to follow when dealing with non-poor people. They seem to follow the pluralistic way where different factions lobby and fight for government funding.

      Yet when the people in your corner are needy and you point out the government’s shortcomings in assisting them, probably in causing their problems, then off with their heads say the aristos (we hope the French haircuts are not repeated here but there seems a pathway in that direction).

  10. Craig Glen viper 10

    Im in the States at the moment the homeless on the streets is appalling, in LA alone they believe 7000 of the homeless are war Veterans, a large percentage seem to be mentally unwell. Welfare is defiantly preferable to desperate poverty.

    • Foreign Waka 10.1

      So nothing has changed in the last 10 years. I went there and had complete different expectations, what a shock it was that there are so many poor people. I traveled the east coast but was actually glad to board the plane and fly to Europe.

  11. One Tāne Huna 11

    “Why charity cannot replace the state.”

    Bleedin’ obvious innit? Charity is all that existed for almost 40,000 years. That’s why we invented the welfare state in the first place: charity was manifestly inadequate. Anyone who believes human nature has evolved in the last 100-odd years is delusional.

  12. karol 12

    WINZ refers people to places either partly or fully done by unpaid volunteers. Such volunteers do more than Owen Glenn – he gives (or doesn’t give) money that he doesn’t really need. Volunteers give their time and good will to help those in need, and consequently help to maintain our society.

  13. Foreign Waka 13

    Help please, if anyone can enlighten me on the charity NZ Family and Foster Care Federation Inc.? Registered under CC25139.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Now, let me tell you about HealthCareNZ…and the Whatever IT Takes model…

  15. higherstandard 15

    you people are all fucking cunts – rot in hell

  16. xtasy 16

    Indeed, charity is not the answer, as a media release by Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) already stated on 29 Jan. 2013:

    http://aaap.org.nz/

    But that is where National want to take us, with their little mercenary in yellow camouflage (from the ACT Party).

    Indeed the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill is preparing us exactly for this, the outsourcing of welfare services, of work testing, of work preparation, of special other service deliveries. That will go hand in hand with increased use of NGOs as charities and whatever.

    Their ideal is to create a system more akin to what they have in the US. The motto is a perverted interpretation of JFK’s words: “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your contry”.

    And the draconian new regime will include a draconian work capacity assessment regime, that is based on what the Department for Work and Pension uses in the UK, which led to 1,100 deaths in the time from January or February until Sept. 2011 alone, as people considered “fit” for work, either died while trying, or committed suicide. Those were seriously sick and disabled, whose doctors even considered them unfit to work.

    But the new regime that MSD and WINZ will use will not just rely on what your doctor and specialist says, they will also look at OTHER information, to see what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.

    So good on IB to remind us of the state’s role, but the problem will be, the state does want to bring in new rules, that will see to it, that the beneficiaries will have to look at it like: Work sets you Free! Toughen up, get a job and stop winging and malingering.

    Read Paula Bennett’s speech to medical experts again:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

    And see what kind of stuff is planned to “replace” what “the state” in NZ used to do and abide by:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-handbook.pdf

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/defining_medical_assessmentexami

    • Ryan O'Shea 16.1

      gold right here “Sir Mansel says that health wise, after six months of unemployment each day off work is as detrimental as smoking 200 cigarettes.” oh so it’s not being too fucken poor to eat properly or shit housing and drugs and alcohol – it’s the idleness chaps, all sorted then!

  17. Right-wing policy requires individuals to make a choice with where they put their own charity. If people vote right and do not take part in charitable donating, ideologically this is one of the areas where the right-wing approach is very weak; it doesn’t require the state to cater to misfortune and requires individuals to be charitable on their own terms.

    This is one of the real rip-offs with New Zealanders voting for right-wing parties en-masse; its not as though they understand the political thought behind what they are voting for and follow their vote through with additional support of charities. They take their tax break and run.

    Societies have to cater to unfortunate events and circumstances, because misfortune, being part of life (or at least some lives), cannot be avoided and when ignored the whole society eventually ends up suffering. This is where the left-wing ideology is more pragmatic and simply includes the addressing of misfortune in with the Government’s business.

    New Zealanders appear to be choosing to live in a dreamworld where all would be just dandy if everyone got out and worked hard and if someone is in a difficult situation it is their own bloody fault (subtext: and they should be flagellated for it until they ‘see the light’) This is a false belief and thus leads to failure in society as a whole. Not everyone can be hard-working, not everyone is born into the best circumstances, nor with the best faculties, some are and can still experience misfortune; and when a society as a whole forgets misfortune then the whole society becomes unfortunate.

    The proof is increasingly there for people to see.

  18. Descendant Of Sssmith 18

    We have a government and a population who votes for them who want to convert no fault state support for the most vulnerable to a moralising charity.

    I have no doubt that the attacks will also continue on no fault ACC and then no-fault matrimonial settlements.

    These people are bastards and what they do will overwhelmingly have the hardest impact on women and the unwell and disabled.

    The no-fault aspect of support is what clearly distinguishes welfare from charity. It’s not enough for them to just reduce welfare – turning it into charity via social obligations (and then having people take profit from it as well) is stomach churning – it’s a pity Labour are not part of the fight against it, that Maori Party have been sidelined by seeing the opportunity for picking up the contracts and are part of it directly but go Mana and The Greens who at least openly oppose it.

    It would be nice if Labour could even express something like these values in this The Year Of Policy.

    From 1977 yearbook

    The present system cannot be characterised according to any single principle, theory, or formula. As already stated, it has evolved from changing needs and experience in dealing with them. For example, it looks like a form of community insurance, but is not financed, funded, or administered on an insurance basis. It is financed from general taxation; but a person’s benefit bears no relation to his tax contribution. While basically income-tested and selective as to need within classes of benefit, it is also universally applied without regard to other income or means in three main cases (superannuation, family, and medical benefits) and in the lesser miners’ benefit. It transfers income from the more to the less affluent mainly on the basis of greatest help for those in greatest need. It reflects the traditional humanitarian, egalitarian, and pragmatic approach of New Zealanders and, most importantly, reflects an acceptance of community responsibility for social welfare.

    • Well said, Descendant of Sssmith,
      Moralising charity” is a lucid term for it and you illustrate the difference well by the other term you use “no fault state support”.

      It is stomach churning.

  19. Descendant Of Sssmith 19

    Anyone know how these groups are going in their local areas?

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/welfare-reform/list-of-providers.html

  20. Descendant Of Sssmith 20

    Factory workers explain the welfare state better than this current crop of Labour MP’s ever could.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8256615/Are-Kiwis-really-one-big-happy-family

    “For a long time, living in a state house and working in a factory was a badge of honour. If you did a hard day’s work you deserved to live in a good house and live a life of dignity,” said Salesa, whose father was a factory worker with Fisher and Paykel.

    “Being poor in New Zealand, the first thing you don’t get is dignity.”

    The denial that this inequality exists has been labelled the modern form of racism in New Zealand. Race relations wasn’t just about being kind to each other, it was about being fair to each other, said de Bres.

    “The holding up of a vision and belief of excellent race relations in New Zealand is a denial of the reality. The irony is it is so important in our national view of ourselves that any challenge leads to quite strong denial.”

  21. unicus 21

    Glenns sudden interest in the welfare of South Auckland children was always suspicious – it looked good on the knighthood CV – now he’s got it to hell with them .

    Charity comprimises the dignity and independence of low income people by exposing them to the whims of rich . and self serveing egomaniacs like Glen and Rosie Horton .

    • xtasy 21.1

      Moeny not there now, hey, wonder, wonder, he even layed some criticims on the government last night, hey, wonder, wonder, but nobody in NZ really registers, cares or gives a damn, as it is all about me, me and more me!

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  • Here we may see what Men for Stealth and Robbing must endure …
    It seems a bit odd to be devoting a post to a policy proposal coming from a party with just 0.5% support in the opinion polls - a bit like taking seriously United Future's crowing over the victory it has just...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Keeping up with the Joneses pretty damn hard actually
    28/3/2014: Editorial: can Shane Jones save the Labour Party? 13 hours ago: Nat man co-funded Jones’ Labour bid 6 hours ago: Shane Jones’ loyalties questioned 19s: Shane Jones quitting – National creating role for him ‘Pacific Economic Ambassador’ Seriously, the...
    The little pakeha | 22-04
  • John Key Aspires to Mediocrity
    The Prime Ministers of New Zealand who have had lasting respect are the ones who have stood up on the global stage on points of principle. While we may be a small country and almost insignificant in a population sense,...
    Local Bodies | 22-04
  • Photo of the day: Problem not a lack of roads
    This photo from Lennart Nout on Twitter today of the morning peak shows that the problem with traffic in Auckland isn’t a lack of roads. During the off peak and during times like school holidays there is more than enough capacity available...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Climate dollars and sense – preventing global warming is the cheap option
    The IPCC has now released all three of the reports that comprise its 2014 Fifth Assessment of climate science. The first report tackled the physical changes in the global climate, while the second addressed climate impacts and adaptation, and the...
    Skeptical Science | 22-04
  • What ACT’s Jamie Whyte could learn from Albert Einstein
      stuff.co.nz   In a remarkable coincidence two Essex district court judges are arrested on the same night for riding their bicycles without lights. On the following morning they turn up at court to answer the charges. “Well, this is...
    Brian Edwards | 22-04
  • Australia’s lawless gulag
    When a reugee was murdered at its Manus Island gulag in February, the Australian government tried to blame the victims and pretend that its prisoners were responsible for the violence. Since then, we've learned that the opposite was the case,...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • John Key hates transparency
    Over the weekend, the Greens proposed greater Ministerial transparency, with quarterly public declarations of meetings, overseas travel, gifts and hospitality. Its a great idea, which would help restore confidence in our system of government. So naturally, John Key opposes it:Prime...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Access: Who Are Disabled New Zealanders?
    Disabled people are part of every community and grouping in New Zealand. However, most surveys do not ask about us, and we’re poorly understood for various reasons. Let’s start fixing that together.How manyOfficial Census results every five years or so...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • The GCSB has a credibility problem
    Last month, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave evidence to the European Parliament, in which he revealed that the NSA were "advising" their "partners" on how to interpret mass-surveillance-enabling "loopholes" into their spy-laws. New Zealand was specifically mentioned as having received...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Green bonds set to help finance green economy
    Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars...
    frogblog | 22-04
  • Mahurangi Matters on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry
    To date there has been limited media coverage on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry. Fortunately Karyn Scherer, from the local Warkworth newspaper Mahurangi Matters, is one of the few reporters attending the BoI.  She writes in her opinion piece:...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Porn and Politics in the US of A
    What is with Kansas? My former colleague at UCLA Seth Masket, writing at The Mischeifs of Faction, has published a graph he made which compares per-capita usage of online porn to vote shares in the last Presidential election. Because... why...
    Polity | 22-04
  • New Fisk
    Another ‘sham’ election is over, so what now for Algeria?The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Shane Jones confirms everyone’s suspicions
    So, it turns out that Shane Jones' campaign for the Labour leadership was funded by a Nat. Which is hardly surprising - the loudest voices talking up Jones' ability and "leadership potential" have always been on the right. But actually...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Nerdy praise for The Nation
    A lot of the attention heaped on our current affairs shows is all about the interviews. But the investigative reports on TV3's The Nation are making really good moves to bring more actual evidence to New Zealand's discussion of current...
    Polity | 21-04
  • The Greens Stand Alone
    Earth's Last Champion: The history of the twenty-first century will be shaped by an increasingly bitter struggle between the two great remaining “metanarratives” – Neoliberalism and Ecologism. If the Greens did not exist as a political option we would have...
    Bowalley Road | 21-04
  • The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change
    The combination of a recently acquired desktop video magnifier and a kindle has for the time being restored some ease to my reading. Hence this review. I was drawn by the title The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values,...
    Hot Topic | 21-04
  • Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
    Anti-fluoridation activists often claim fluoridating chemicals used for water treatment are contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides. I have written about this before in Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?, Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride? and Hamilton –...
    Open Parachute | 21-04
  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs
    That we have a trade in synthetic cannabinomimetics is not, as most of the country currently seems to believe, a consequence of the Psychoactive Substances Act passing last July. That business existed before July and, indeed, was substantially larger and looser....
    Public Address | 21-04
  • Boyd-Wilson
    Don’t get raped. That’s essentially what the message has been, the last few days. The Boyd-Wilson path is pretty notorious in Wellington and it’s in the news again with two attacks committed there in as many days. The police response...
    The little pakeha | 21-04
  • I am still holding out for a three-way
    David, Winston, and the Greens up a tree. G O V E R N I N G. Some of the commentary over Easter has focused on a supposed strategic conundrum for the Greens. If Peters is in a position to...
    Polity | 21-04
  • How rail was saved in Auckland
    Next Monday will be a historic day for transport in Auckland as for the first time the city will have electric trains carrying fare paying passengers. Electrifying the rail network is something that has been talked about for 90 years,...
    Transport Blog | 21-04
  • What makes a national day? Not the Anzacs
    There will be much talk on Friday of “national identity”. Just one year short of the original baptism of the Anzacs, jingoism will be in fashion. Some will say, and many will think, it is our real national day. The...
    Colin James | 21-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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