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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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    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • 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
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • 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
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 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
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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