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Will the Greens lead the next government?

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, April 8th, 2012 - 195 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, polls - Tags: , ,

Two recent pieces in The Herald are a study in opposites. This one by John Roughan is truly awful – so far divorced from reality that I’d call it unprofessional:

National defies the pundits

For months they have been saying the gloss has gone, that John Key wasn’t smiling anymore, the second-term blues had set in.

They had their reasons. The election campaign had been derailed by the teapot tapes, it was closely followed by the approval of the Crafar farms sale, which was not only unpopular but became embarrassing when the High Court found the stated grounds unsound.

What else? The Maori Party forced a Treaty clause into legislation for the public asset sales, which are still contentious. There’s been a debacle over cost-cutting in Foreign Affairs. Nick Smith’s resignation. The Pullar-Boag business with ACC.

Add it all up and the Government was on the slide, wasn’t it?

As it turns out, no. The first proper poll since the election was published by TVNZ last Sunday and, would you credit it, nothing has changed. National got 51 per cent of Colmar Brunton’s sample, more than its 47.3 per cent at the election. Key’s personal rating was down four points but still high. The Government is fine.

What an embarrassing piece of drivel. (1) The TVNZ poll was not the “first proper poll since the election” – see for example this 3 News poll that had National down 3 points. (2) The TVNZ poll has an awful record, and tends to favour National. (3) Just two days before Roughan’s piece appeared there was a Roy Morgan poll which had the Nats down 4.4%. In short, Nat polling is in free fall, and apparently John Roughan is the only one who hasn’t got the memo.

For someone a little more up on current events, try Matt McCarten instead:

Last Sunday I wrote that a slide for National was imminent. The TVNZ Colmar Brunton survey later that night contradicted me, showing National inching up 1 per cent.

My critics were amused. But that particular poll traditionally favours National and underestimates other parties. For example, it found NZ First support has halved since the election. Does anyone believe that? Nevertheless something significant did show up. John Key’s support slipped 4 points. Experienced pollsters know that when the leader drops, their party surely follows.

On Thursday, my assumption was confirmed. Key must have wondered what had happened while he was away hobnobbing overseas. The more reliable Roy Morgan Poll showed the National Party has dived a whopping 4.5 per cent to 44 per cent. This would normally be ecstatic news for Labour, but its support barely moved. The Greens, who have been doing a superb job since the general election, soared to a stunning record high of 17 per cent.

Most of us focus on the gap between National and Labour, still a huge 13.5 per cent. But a Labour-Green combo hit 47.5 per cent. For the first time in years their combined support beats National’s 44 per cent.

Throw in their likely support parties, NZ First and Mana, and a David Shearer-led coalition easily defeats the current government and its allies.

That’s the political reality which has triggered the current power struggle within National. (My money is on the Joyce faction, they’re playing by far the smartest game.) But let’s see where Matt heads with his reasoning:

The Greens’ success is that they’re consistently on the front foot. They respond faster to any government missteps and they promote their policies whenever they get an opening.

Labour seems sluggish at times. And because Shearer says many of its policies are up for review, it often can’t offer clear alternatives.

Labour’s problem is it is too cautious and risk averse because it isn’t sure what it stands for. The Ports of Auckland dispute is an example. The Green and Mana parties from the start attacked the tactics of the port against its workers and strongly supported the wharfies’ fight for decent pay and secure jobs. Even when it seemed unpopular, the Greens held firm on principle.

With the honourable exception of MPs Darien Fenton and Phil Twyford, Labour was all over the place. Labour needs desperately to reconnect to its working-class constituency. …

The odds of a change of government at the next election are high. After this week’s polls, Labour’s current wooden performance and the appointment of Harre, the idea of a Green-led government isn’t so difficult to consider.

After all, Labour is barely 30 per cent and the Greens are currently 17. If Labour doesn’t lift its game, it may have to get used to the novel idea of its leader being “co-prime minister” with a Maori woman or an Aussie redhead.

It would be interesting to see a detailed breakdown of shifts in support. My guess is that National isn’t bleeding support direct to the Greens, rather it is losing voters to Labour, and Labour is losing them to the Greens at about the same rate.

I’m confident that Labour will emerge from it’s reviews and restructuring with a strong policy platform and a strong voice for the next election. I don’t honestly expect a Green led government in 2014 (though I’d be happy with that outcome!). But the rise in support for the Greens should certainly be giving Labour a sharp reminder that they need to be getting on with it…

195 comments on “Will the Greens lead the next government?”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    A lot could easily happen between now and 2014 that could make the Greens the primary party in a left-wing government. For example if Peak Oil rears its head in a concerted and sustained way, the Greens will highlight that they’ve been bagging on the Roads of Notional Significance ever since they were announced because they “got it” that a private-car future was doomed.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      That’s true, but Labour has many practical transport policy proposals in their nascent stages of consideration which could trump the Greens “I told you so about peak oil” credits.

      ever since they were announced because they “got it” that a private-car future was doomed.

      Labour has acted to give this country options around this very area – buying Rail off Toll for instance.

      My only point is that should (IF) Labour awaken, they’ll still be clear leaders in the coalition. And if they don’t, well I expect the Greens to have a strong voice after 2014, but not have a real chance for leadership until 2017. That would require Labour to continue to bleed and stumble over that time. It could happen.

      • David H 1.1.1

        Come on. Labour hasn’t got a clue, and Shearer is a babe in arms, so far out of his comfort zone, it seems that he is already looking for a way out of this nasty political game, and get back to the relative safety of the refugee camps of Somalia. Labour made an absolute cock up when they picked this baby to be a leader, they should have listened to the electorate and picked the Cunliffe, Mahuta ticket, at least they have the nous and experience to lead. So as an EX Labour voter I do hope that the Greens get in and lead the country, maybe with Labour as a minor partner.

    • The last time oil prices were this high for a sustained period was July 2008, that’s right, when the last global recession hit. Countries around the world are lowering their growth forecasts including New Zealand. Behind everything else the high price of oil is the main driver of this. So I think “if Peak Oil rears it’s head in a concerted and sustained way” is a misnomer. It’s been rearing its head since 2006 when the IEA stated production from conventional sources has peaked, its been rearing it’s head in volatile fuel prices, it’s been rearing its rearing its head as a stagnant 75 million barrels per day production for the last five years and it’s been rearing its head with the huge amount of investment in deep sea drilling and shale exploration.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        Yes, but none of that has been clearly and irrefutably linked with peak oil. The POTUS hasn’t gone on TV and said “peak oil” has he?

        The high oil prices back in 2008 were popularly blamed on “speculators”, and as it happened their actions did seem to be contributing quite a bit to that particular spike.

        • No, the oil companies themselves have admitted that peak oil has already started.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1.1

            And? The MSM isn’t listening. People haven’t changed their behaviours.

            People haven’t changed their voting behaviour.

            That was my entire point: if PO raises its head to a point where people do change their behaviours, including their voting behaviours, that’s how we could see Greens beating Labour in 2014.

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep. 2013 and 2014 are going to be very interesting years on the energy front. $3/L petrol is going to hurt. An actual shooting war in the Straits of Homuz and we’ll have those prices this year.

            • Southern Limits 1.2.1.1.1.2

              People are changing their behaviour i.e. staying at home of the Easter period instead of jumping in the car for a holiday. Also check out the stats in the U.S. on the dissatisfaction of voters with Obama’s handling of high oil prices. It’s only going to get worse with the Northern Hemisphere summer and Iran sanctions biting. Your right that it may not be called peak oil in the MSM but the signs are everywhere.

        • Southern Limits 1.2.1.2

          It has been clearly and irrefutably linked with peak oil by multiple commentators. Just none of them MSM. From 2008:

          “Jeff Rubin, Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets, in a recent report, is now saying that the current recession is caused by high oil prices. Defaulting mortgages are only a symptom of the high oil prices. We should be blaming the underlying cause–higher oil prices–rather than the symptom. These higher oil prices caused Japan and the Eurozone to enter into a recession even before the most recent financial problems hit. Higher oil prices started four of the last five world recessions; we shouldn’t be too surprised if they started this one also.”

          http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4727

    • Hammer 1.3

      Peak Oil
      – another urban myth fired out at regular intervals by the Green Brigade – more code for doom doom doom; we need more taxes to save the world.
      Ever heard of Shale Gas?  They’re already working on transforming it into oil.
      “Peak oil” has been flavour of the year by the Greens for 50+ years.  I am still waiting.
      Their socialist agenda is being put back by decades as Shale Gas comes flooding into the picture through-out the world in many non-traditional locations like off shore Israel/Cypress;  and Poland.
      Britain has large deposits in Northern England [+ major finds around the Falklands of conventional oil].  That’s why the Greens have taken up an “anti-Fracking” stance.
      It destroys their “end-of-world as we know it” senario.
      NZ has been fracking down in Taranaki for 20+ years.
      OPEC has capped production of traditional oil supplies to slow their loss of influence; the USA is now a net exporter of petroleum by-products thanks to shale – for the first time in about 40+ years.

      Sounds like a flood of oil/gas product to me – and the world is loving it.

      • mike e 1.3.1

        the world just loves being polluted to death maybe you could show us by inhaling as much exhaut fumes as you can.

      • RedLogix 1.3.2

        Hammer’s trolled here before. He usually doesn’t last long.

        However one of his points is worth replying to:

        the USA is now a net exporter of petroleum by-products thanks to shale – for the first time in about 40+ years.

        This bit of drivel got some prominence here at a particularly stupid WSJ article

        It was of course debunked utterly as the medacious bit of bs it was in this comment:

        Your title is an equivocation by not distinguishing between REFINED petroleum products and TOTAL petroleum.

        US 2010 Petroleum consumption 19.148 million barrels/day
        US 2010 Petroleum production 9.688 million barrels/day
        Net IMPORTS 9.46 million barrels/day

        Your only refer to the small difference between REFINED petroleum imports and exports.
        The 689.4 million barrels/9 months is only 2.52 million barrels/day which is included within the above numbers.
        See EIA.DOE.Gov for imports vs exports: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.3

        Sounds like a flood of oil/gas product to me – and the world is loving it.

        20 years ago, $50bb oil prices were seen as astronomical and economically unsustainable. Today people see $100-$110bb prices as the norm, a norm which is not going away ever.

        The world is not going to run out of oil. It’s simply going to run out of oil that ordinary people can afford to use.

        the USA is now a net exporter of petroleum by-products thanks to shale – for the first time in about 40+ years.

        Very partly true. The US is recently again a net exporter of refined petroleum by-products. But it is still a massive net importer of the crude it uses in its refineries to make those products.

        The other reason why the US can export those refined products – its internal economic demand has collapsed so much that it now has spare to sell.

        You can spin all of that into a positive if you like, but its not really.

  2. just saying 2

    Matt’s commentary has seemed all over the place lately. He supported Shearer knowing he was to the right of Cunliffe, and has since cheered team-Shearer for steering solidly rightward, and now he says the LParty is in danger of losing more working class support. He seems to have noticed that the lurch to the right serves the interests of the comfortably middle-class and the one percent at the expense of the interests of the working class and its interests. Well Duh!!

    Labour can’t move to the right without supporting a reduction in the income, working and living conditions, services, dignity and welfare of those on the down side of the median wage. And also without ceding yet more of the national discourses to the right.

    I’m not sure what Matt is saying in all of these contradictory messages. Is there something left unsaid, some particular section of the most needy that he believes should be sacrificed by Labour for the greater good of the left?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      McCarten is all about self interest. His last vehicle the Maori Party is clapped out and in the thrall of national, so the next bandwagon is the Greens.
      He ridden every party hes been associated into the ground and expects to hop on board the next ‘left’ taxi coming along

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        McCarten is all about self interest.

        Actually, last I heard he was a dying man.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1

          So we are supposed to cut the ‘Lusk of Left’ some slack ?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            You know, the Left occasionally gets accused of being “nasty” by the Tories. But there is actually a home truth there, I realise now.

            The Left don’t know how to look after their own, something that the Tories do damn well. Solidarity my ass.

        • Anne 2.1.1.2

          Correct.

          Response to CV.

      • just saying 2.1.2

        I’ve got a lot of time for Matt, and think he genuinely cares about, and works hard for working class people.
        Just don’t know what he’s on about lately.

    • Olwyn 2.2

      I think this may have to do with differing conceptions as to what “a move to the right” means. For example, a move to shore up and genuinely encourage NZ industry and manufacturing would be one sort of move to the right, and the sort of which Matt might perhaps approve. Another sort of move to the right would be settling in as the neo-liberal second eleven; endorsing almost exactly the same actions as National, but describing them in more cautious language.

    • Matt’s commentary has seemed all over the place lately…. I’m not sure what Matt is saying in all of these contradictory messages.

      Agreed, just a couple of weeks ago McCarten was saying it’s smart of Labour to move right to give more room to Greens and Mana (which seemed a plausible argument to me, much as I didn’t like it) – now he’s implying they should move left. Which is it Matt?

  3. bad12 3

    At 17% and rising the Greens hardly need sully themselves with either the baubles of office or the inevitable adverse effect upon popularity being part of Government inevitably brings,

    At 17% of the vote and with the imminent demise or the severe shrinking of Party,s that presently,and in the past,have been the ”go to” Party,s for both Labour and National to secure the numbers to be able to form a coalition Government the Greens will in fact find themselves in a position of being able to ”tell” either Labour or National which pieces of Legislation they will support coming into the House and what they,(the Greens), want to see in that Legislation,

    Having been ignored in the main by National and to a lesser extent by Labour over the years the Greens as part of any support which allows either Labour or National to Govern would also have the luxury of having government revisit any issue of Legislation that they,(the Greens),wish to have corrected,

    In effect,the Greens are close to having the required influence to be able to have the messes of the past cleaned up and sanitized by those who made them,(thus teaching both National and Labour what it is to be Green),

    In such a situation we would then expect to view some real Social Justice and enjoy a large helping of the Poetic kind as well…

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      All that may come to pass if Labour don’t get their A into G. The Greens are definitely attracting a lot of talented operators at the mo.

      • muzza 3.1.1

        Kennedy Graham!

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.2

        Laila Harre?? : the quintessential Chardonnay Socialist,( like Simon Lusk with her own vineyard)

      • deuto 3.1.3

        I was particularly impressed with Julie Ann Gender this week taking on and showing up Brownlee on roading issues in Parliament and on TV as I knew nothing about her previously.

        I like her straight to the point style of questioning and drawing analogies to basic things people can identify with, and the ability to stick with it and stay on message without getting diverted by answers intended to do just that.

        Some lessons there for the Labour front bench imo, as too often they seem to give Ministers the chance to avoid and score political points by asking long convoluted questions with more than one facet in the same question.

        Not trying to divert, but she also shows this style of answer in today’s Stuff article on TVNZ pay levels – perhaps better for Open Mike, so will post the link there.

        • Pete George 3.1.3.1

          You mean Julie Ann Genter – her sort of questioning was a welcome change from the usual QT game playing – it was asking legitimate questions of Government. If more MPs did that then the image and effectiveness of parliament would improve.

          [you both mean Julie Anne Genter. She showed up Brownlee four times in a week and Labour took enough notice to copy her with a similar question on Thursday. Impressive. Eddie]

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.3.1.1

            This is the kind of questioning the Greens do all the time, Pete. It’s just more obvious it’s right here because everyone who acknowledges the reality of our current resource situation is going to lead to a world with less or very few cars.

            • Reality Bytes 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah it’s one reason I appreciate them and they often collect some of my votes come election season. Because they put an honest effort into thinking things through, explaining themselves, and getting straight to the fucking point – without all the bluster and lame epeen shit which other parties often piss us off with.

          • Rosemary 3.1.3.1.2

            Pete, I think I’ve finally found the perfect job for you. That’s right, think I’ve finally cracked it: co-ordinator of a suburban branch of a CAB. There you’ll be able to be political, but not too poilitical – call for new ideas, but not radical ones – but best of all you’ll be able to talk and talk and talk without saying a thing and people will listen to you, even respect you, like no other place on earth.

  4. My guess is that National isn’t bleeding support direct to the Greens, rather it is losing voters to Labour, and Labour is losing them to the Greens at about the same rate.

     I’m not sure r0b.  Labour has been involved at the more aggressive edge of latest scandals.  It may be that this is shaking support loose from National but it is going to the more pleasant sounding Greens rather than directly to Labour.

    Interesting times though … 

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      I seem to recall that matching the Green party vote with the electorate vote in both Ak central and Waitakere shows that a significant percentage of ‘greens’ voted for Bennett and Kaye. That’s an indication that in the Roy Morgan poll, the support lost by National went direct to the Greens, rather than National to Labour, Labour to Greens.
       
      That might suggest that Tories won’t vote against their class interest, and rather than vote Labour, they have moved to a party with no discernible class.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        and rather than vote Labour, they have moved to a party with no discernible class.

        Ahhhh the truth which is implicit in that statement haha!

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1

          Cheers, CV, here all week, do try the shrimp etc …
           
          More seriously, Labour are constantly chided for supposedly losing touch with their roots, yet the Greens are immune from that criticism, because they have none that are noticable. Somewhat aptly, given the holiday, they are like the Apostle plant, which changes its roots in each new iteration.

      • Reality Bytes 4.1.2

        I do know a lot of people like this. Sometimes I work with pretty blue rinse Nat folks. When we chin wag about political shit; they are often very supportive of the Greens.
        I try to hang round with people that appreciate the great outdoors, so that shapes those results of course.
        But the funny thing is virtually all the Nat supporters I know of say that they will vote Nat as the candidate; because they think so and so is a stand up person or whatever, but when it comes to the party vote they often say Greens because we have to look after the environment etc. And likewise I know a lot of Labour Candidate/Green list voters too for the same reason, ie. that they want to show they care for the environment.

        This Nat Green thing is very real from my personal experience.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Interesting.

      1. It’s pretty obvious that the Labour and Green party core constituencies represent quite differerent cultural groupings.

      2. Labour’s core tribal support is around 30%. It’s never really dipped below that in any poll for any length of time. This means that the current Labour polling represents hard core tribal voters who are unlikely to shift alleigance.

      3. By contrast Nationals’ core support is probably around 40%. That means that much of the 10-12% they’ve been polling over that is quite soft.

      4. I’d argue that much of that soft support is quite capable of transferring to the Greens. The percentages involved suggest a correlation…. although I agree they do not prove it.

      5. And that the Greens have been doing far better since they moved away from some of their more extremist looking policies… and look a much less alarming choice to middle of the road voters.

      6. And besides… the Greens have been saying this stuff for years and slowly but surely people are realising that they’re right.

      7. Plus some damned good talent attracted into their ranks.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1

        Wrong . Nationals core support was 21%. Thats what they got in 2003.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Wrong . Nationals core support was 21%. Thats what they got in 2003.

          You can’t ignore the factional war which was going on inside National at the time (with one of the faction leaders being Boag against English, interestingly enough…hey English has been very quiet lately hasn’t he haha).

          I suspect that leaving those special circumstances aside, National’s core vote is close to 30%.

          BTW I know of a lot of people who would have considered themselves “Core Labour” just 3-4 years ago (having voted for Labour many times in a row) decide to go Greens. Or NZ First.

          • KJT 4.2.1.1.1

            I think this core vote is a bit of a myth.

            I cannot imagine “core’ Labour voters voting Labour in 1990.
            A lot swallowed some dead rats and voted National, just to show their disapproval of the first ACT government, for example. A lot of Labour voters that year would not have voted for the real Labour party under Rowling or Kirk.

            It is just an assumption they are all the same people, core voters.

        • the sprout 4.2.1.2

          Labour’s core tribal support is around 30%. It’s never really dipped below that in any poll

          also worth correcting considering the 28% party vote of the last election, and on present trends that could drop further 

      • KJT 4.2.2

        Don’t know about that.

        A lot of my staff, usually staunch Labour supporters and Unionists, are saying they will vote Green next time.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.3

        By contrast Nationals’ core support is probably around 40%.

        Nope, around 20% according to the 2002 election result.

        • sweetd 4.2.3.1

          Do keep up, that was 2002………10 years ago!!!!!, these things are not set in stone.

      • David H 4.2.4

        They got me. As far as I am concerned Labour needs a huge clean out. Something that will not happen so I and a few people I know are leaving Labour (you can’t call it deserting). as they did not listen to us the voters (and get rid of Goff, Sykes, Mallard, and the others of this ilk) So Green here we come. So don’t blame me when Labour becomes just another also ran party. It’s their own fault for not listening.

  5. Nick K 5

    The “problem” with the centre right manifests itself in writing like Roughan’s. Under MMP, you need to count the total seats in the bloc. Roughan, and othr FPP “commentators” still talk of National, as if as long as National is leading that’s all that matters.

    Quite simply, they’re f***ing idiots.

    • Reality Bytes 5.1

      I agree, but I am also much more agreeable with more topics of a Nat-Green voter vs a Nat-Nat voter :)

  6. IrishBill 6

    I suspect National is losing voters directly to the Greens and I suspect those voters are middleclass urban voters who are brand-narrative voters/buyers – the type of people who would be happy to be seen driving an audi or a prius but not a holden, would be happy to buy their groceries at moore wilsons or common sense but not pak’n’save, and would be happy to associate with brand-key or brand-green but not grubby old brand-labour.

    I kind of think of Danyl over at the dimpost as a bellwether for that demographic.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      People just like me IB. We do exist and we do vote.

      And while it may look like we’re a bunch of chardonnay swilling, middle class poseurs… scratch us and we do care. We don’t see ourselves as working class anymore; we’ve worked hard to be upwardly mobile… and in general we’re happy to see other folk get up the ladder behind us as well.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Concur.

        I am another one who fits the Chardonnay Socialist definition.

        And. Well within the middle class, beamer and boat owners.

        We will have a much better society if the ladder is there for everyone.

        In a society as wealthy as ours it is disgusting that we have children in poverty, just so a few of us can pay a few % less tax.

    • I suspect National is losing voters directly to the Greens

      That’s quite likely. I’ve floated between Greens and National (and Labour), I’m sure there are a few who would switch National to Green directly, possibly quite a few.

      But I’d be very wary of Greens going straight to leading government before doing an apprenticeship. Being at the business end of government is a lot different to floating ideals. Just as there was an electoral resistance to giving National 50%, I think the floaters will balk at giving Greens too much power too quickly.

      • Te Reo Putake 6.2.1

        Plus the issue of whether a party entirely reliant on the Party Vote to get its MP’s will ever be seen as legitimate by middle NZ. Right leaning voters tend to see the list MP’s as hacks and bludgers and only electorate MP’s as having a mandate to be in Parliament.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Right leaning voters tend to see the list MP’s as hacks and bludgers and only electorate MP’s as having a mandate to be in Parliament.

          And the irony is, most National electorate MPs are “hacks and bludgers”.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.1.1.1

            Wrong . Thats just a political line pushed by right wing bloggers. In the US the meme of the last 3 years has been ‘Obama the socialist’ which crops up in the strangest places.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re saying that most National electorate MP’s aren’t “hacks and bludgers”??? I could name a dozen off the top of my head.

        • George D 6.2.1.2

          Not having electorate MPs is a problem for a party polling above 10%, but certainly for one pulling in 15%+. When the party was consistently in the 6-9% range, the widely-held internal narrative was that pushing for electorates was a diversion of limited energy and resources. That’s no longer a sustainable attitude, and it may be the case that opinions are changing.

          • bad12 6.2.1.2.1

            The Green Party have NO problem with not having electorate seats,the rising popularity of the Green Party would tend to suggest that the Greens supporters have no problem with the issue either,

            MMP is here to stay and while having an ”office” in the electorate might be important to the old style of politics Green support is garnered from something way more fundamental than being able to beg favor at the office of the local MP…

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.2.1.1

              If the Greens reach 20%-25% party vote (which I suggest is a possibility in 2017 if things go well for them in 2014), then some electorates will start seeing Greens candidates as viable electorate MPs.

      • Dave Kennedy 6.2.2

        “But I’d be very wary of Greens going straight to leading government before doing an apprenticeship.”
        National are the most experienced at being in government at the moment and are generally stuffing up, Labour have had mixed results and their current leadership team are less experienced than the Greens. The Green party have never been in government but have worked with governments in advancing their policy for over twenty years. Green MPs, including the new ones, have long experience of working within parliament and many have management and governance experience in their previous lives (Kevin Hague was a competent CEO of West Coast Health, for example).Combined with Russel Norman’s sound understanding of economics I think the Greens would make an excellent job of Governing.

    • Anne 6.3

      I suspect National is losing voters directly to the Greens…

      Agreed and for the reasons IB outlines. It’s all about projecting the 21st century version of the Yuppie image and supporting the latest designer brands. In politics that brand is increasingly seen as the Greens. But the moment they lose the brand status – and they would once dealing with the realities of government – their new-found Yuppie friends would be off to greener pastures. Or should I say back to blue…

      • It’s entirely possible that this would happen, however I have to disagree with your reasoning on why.

        Much more likely is backlash from actually implementing left-wing policies, like what happened over the S59 repeal to remove the defense of reasonable force in assault cases where the victim was a child. The Greens are not divorced from the realities of governing, in fact they’ve probably dealt with them a lot more than the small parties have.

        Part of what is driving this shift to the Greens is also a frustration with personality politics, and right now, the Greens are the only party that’s not playing that game, and I doubt support that’s shifted their way for that reason will be lost quite as easily as you’re implying.

    • Carol 6.4

      I’ve never been totally Labour, but have chosen different left parties, from Values, through Labour and Alliance to Greens. Am middleclass, live in cheap rental accommodation, own an old late 20th century small car, use public transport, shop at pak’n’save, don’t drink alcohol or frequent Parnell or Pnosonby coffee houses. Voted Green party in recent years. Will decide bewtween Greens and Mana for the next election party vote.

  7. All bullshit.
    Who wants to chose between a leather sofa, green deckchairs or a lilo?
    I vote we give the engineer a joint storm the bridge and take the ship on a tropical cruise.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I vote we give the engineer a joint storm the bridge and take the ship on a tropical cruise.

      Most sense I’ve heard all day.

    • bad12 7.2

      You make a good point there,but, in the spirit of John’s(or was that Paul’s)lets give peace a chance we see storming the bridge as the next cab off the rank…

  8. Blue 8

    At least John Roughan has comedy value. I particularly enjoyed his remark about John Key being ‘completely without conceit’.

    To be charitable, he probably wrote this week’s serving of fanboy drivel before the Roy Morgan came out, in view of the long weekend.

  9. bad12 9

    We see very little point in ”pushing” the Greens to an expectation of being part of Government simply for the ”power rush” or ”pride” that may be provided by being able to tell ourselves that the Party we support is now ”part” of Government,

    Green ideals can be organically grown within Party,s on an extremely cost effective basis,(in terms of electoral support), simply by allowing those who crave the Titles and having their buttes carted about in the Beamers to come to the realization that if they are not good little children in terms of how their ”policies” treat the Planet they wont be getting any ice-cream,

    Long lasting changes within economics,ecology,conservation and social justice cannot be achieved by simply occupying the seats of power for this period or that,major Party,s that still exist must be made,educated if you will,to understand and accept that society as the majority of us would want it to be along with the sustainability of that society upon the Planet we occupy can only be achieved by those within those major Party,s that still exist changing the economic/social paradigm from within which they,(the major Party,s)extract their economic,social, and ecological legislation,

    Should such major Party,s in effect refuse to change this paradigm of intellectual bankruptcy then obviously the Greens must TEACH them to do so and how to do this,(after all it is all LEARNED behaviour),

    Should the Greens at any point feel uncomfortable at any point where they,(the Greens)feel that either of the major Party,s CANNOT learn new behaviour then it is in the best interests of the Green party in New Zealand and the Green movement world-wide that the NZ Green Party simply occupy the Parliaments cross benches while the support continues to grow organically…

  10. alex 10

    The Greens will not lead the next government, but the one after that could be a possibility. Just as their policies have a long term focus, so does their strategy, and they won’t risk it all just to sit on the top floor of the beehive.

  11. bad12 11

    The neo-capitalist strictures of the Chicago School of Economics,along with all the social discord and misery they created could not have been brought into New Zealand unless both the Labour and National Party,s brought into that ism whole-heartedly,

    They did,both Labour and National and both still cling to that neo-capitalist ism, the only percieved difference being that Labour is perceived to be the Party that ignores the nasty and growing negative side-effects of the ism,the growing number of have-nots,while National is perceived as using those have-nots as a football to kick about,

    The have-nots are in effect the score card of economic policy and their number would suggest that that score-card in terms of that particular economic ism be marked as FAILED by both Labour and National…

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      Analysis fail, Bad12. By any objective test, Labour is not in thrall to neo-conservatism and the 9 years of the Clark leadership significantly improved social equality and balanced the books, neither of which are Chicago school objectives.

      • bad12 11.1.1

        While personally ”liking” Helen Clark We saw NO significantly improved social equality from the gutter whence we have a perfect view of the lives and the ”means” of that living for the Have Nots,

        The Clark Government simply maintained the status quo for the Have Nots there being no marked improvement in the provision of State Housing,(once at the core of Labour’s beliefs),and,in not extending the tax credit for children to benefit dependent children while extending it to families We would consider upper middle class the Clark Government ”showed” us all that if it were ”Socialist” it was the ”Socialism” of,by and for the middle and upper middle classes,

        While buying back both the Rail-network and AirNZ may well fit within the ”Socialist” ism of State ownership of the means of distribution the price paid and the later expenditure upon simply meant that the basics of ”socialism” such as affordable decent housing for all who needed it were largely ignored…

        • mike e 11.1.1.1

          bad boxing technique slugger the buy back of kiwi rail is proving profitable with rail making healthy profits .
          Air New Zealands buy back is far more complicated high value exports were at risk as well as lower competition would have lead to a smaller tourist sector.Air NZ has made enough profit to cover its bail out.
          Before you make an idiot of yourself get your facts right.
          National have not brought back market rents.
          National have cut the number of state houses being built after labour increased the numbers in their last term.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            National have cut the number of state houses being built after labour increased the numbers in their last term.

            So what if Labour builds an extra 2,000 state houses and National gets rid of 2,000.

            Its all scraping around the same margins, margins which don’t actually begin to address the massive needs in this country.

            Just look at the massive and ongoing shortage of affordable housing (including rentals) in Auckland today: that didn’t just happen you know. Cullen saw the property price bubble massively inflate under his watch, and he knew it was driven by massive increases in private debt levels. And Auckland growth forecasts stretching back more than a decade foresaw that thousands of new state houses would be needed annually in the City of Sails.

            And what do we get from Labour? A few drops in the bucket.

            Better than nothing I suppose. Us beggars can’t be choosers, can we.

            • bad12 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Hear hear!!!the measurement of the ”Need” for more provision of State Housing should not have degenerated into a glance at the 20,000 strong HousingNZ waiting list,(whereupon we shut all the HousingNZ offices so as to make it that much harder to apply)

              If we had 76,000 State housing property,s back in the 90,s when the sell-off began with a population of 3 million+,then numbers alone would suggest that we now need 100,000 State rentals with a population of 4 million+,

              The correct measurement of the provision of State Housing should not lie within the numeracy of the ”waiting list” it should lie in the ability to have X number of State Houses for which a tenant cannot be found…

            • mike e 11.1.1.1.1.2

              CV well especially if you don’t turn up and vote.
              Labour is having to move further and further to the right.
              Low voter turnout is one of the main problems.
              Lesser numbers of activists want to waste their time on boring old politics.
              So apathy is the winner.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh I see. Your position is Vote for Labour enough and they will eventually remember their roots and act on their values. I can’t even begin to communicate how much disdain I have for this apologist proposition.

                Labour is having to move further and further to the right.
                Low voter turnout is one of the main problems.

                You left out another main problem: a complete disconnection with its industrial, provincial, working class and underclass roots, in favour of beltway intellectuallism and social liberal elitism.

                Let me say this very clearly – for hundreds of thousands of Labour voters they never left Labour; Labour left them.

                • More like the world moved on. Things are vastly different not to how they were in the 1930s. The “good old days” of politics can’t be returned to.

                  • McFlock
                     
                     

                    Oh bullshit.
                    The problems are still exactly the same: 
                      
                    an economy run to benefit the owners of capital, not all citizens;
                    employers trying to casualise staff and prevent workers organising;
                    workers dying instead of management keeping safety the priority;
                    poor children getting sick and dying while rich kids get healthcare and education;
                    and, of course, tory apologists trying to persuade workers that the cup of urine might not be champagne, but it is lemonade, and everything is all so difficult to fix, so we should all just trust the rich to fix it for us.
                     
                     
                     

                     
                    • No, “we” shouldn’t rely on the rich to fix everything for us, everyone should do something to improve things for themselves. But not much will change in that respect until the consumerist sheep class wake up. And that’s far from guaranteed.

                    • felix

                      All in the hands of the market though, eh Pete? Nothing anyone can do about that, right?

                    • McFlock

                      …”tory apologists trying to persuade workers that the cup of urine might not be champagne, but it is lemonade, and nothing will be fixed until consumers change, so our single MP will still vote to support the rich”.
                           
                      Suggestion taken on board, pete.
                       

                  • fender

                    Yes PG the world moved on, it moved on to the wrong track though. Now is the time for REAL men and woman to stand up and take control, to steer the world onto a better track. And there will not be any requirement for fakes and flakes with slippery hair product hands to be involved, i.e. only people with integrity will be needed.

                    • Balanced View

                      How do you propose to get there? Legislate?
                      I think the people will speak with actions when they are ready. To me, it doesn’t feel that this time is now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BV speak for yourself, or shall we trust your neoliberal feelings in this matter?

                    • Balanced View

                      There’s little real evidence to suggest that people want a change

                    • felix

                      A million eligible people didn’t vote in the last election.

                      That tells us, at the very least, that the visions offered by our various leaders are failing to resonate with a significant and growing number of us.

                      Now I realise that falls somewhat short of “evidence to suggest that people want a change”, but it’s also pretty good evidence that a lot of people aren’t too pumped about the status quo.

                    • Balanced View

                      Really? Apathy is usually expressed as support of the status quo.
                      Besides, this issue isn’t necessarily about politics. There are many ways the public can voice disdain for capitalism.

                    • McFlock

                      There you go again, sliding [...]“REAL men and woman to stand up and take control, to steer the world onto a better track” into “against capitalism”.

                    • Balanced View

                      Not at all. I think on the whole, the public, including me, like capitalism

                    • McFlock

                      Did I say otherwise? No. I simply pointed out that seeking improvement on the status quo != anti-capitalism, so your point was irrelevant and possibly (depending on one’s political perspective) perjorative.
                            
                      Oh, that’s right: your “balanced view” means that your following points are always tangential to the comment to which you reply.
                       

                    • felix

                      “Really? Apathy is usually expressed as support of the status quo.”

                      “Apathy” is a huge assumption on your part.

                      The other day I popped into the bakery for a filled roll but they didn’t have any. What they did have was a huge range of pies. Bacon and egg pies, steak and cheese pies, vege curry pies, smoked fish pies, a great selection of pies.

                      But I didn’t want a pie, I wanted a filled roll, so I left the bakery without buying lunch.

                      Now would you say I was expressing apathy toward food?

                    • No, apathy to what was on offer.

                      How do we get some filled rolls in politics?

                    • felix

                      Indeed.

                      Mr Balanced View, however, somehow manages to interpret it as support for the pie warmer.

                      How do we get some filled rolls in politics? I don’t know. In my case I ended up getting some sushi across the road and forgot about the bakery altogether.

                    • Balanced View

                      Flocker – apologies, I had incorrectly interpreted your previous comment.

                      Felix – I see your point. I do however think that suggesting that a lack of viable options is the reason for so many people not voting. My circle of friends were chatting soon after the election, 6 of them didn’t bother to vote. 4 because they “knew” National were going to win, and the other 2 because they “knew” Labour were going to lose. That is apathy.

                    • McFlock

                      My circle of friends were chatting soon after the election, 6 of them didn’t bother to vote. 4 because they “knew” National were going to win, and the other 2 because they “knew” Labour were going to lose. That is apathy.

                      Actually, no. Assuming they focused on outcomes for the party they support, for 4 of them it was overconfidence (that almost blew up in their faces) and for 2 it was fatalism.
                           
                      “Apathy” is when people don’t vote because they don’t care about the result, not because they think it is futile or guaranteed.
                       

                    • Balanced View

                      You’re right.

                • mike e

                  party activists are thin on the ground and are not getting involved in labour policy recruiting fund raising especially.

            • locus 11.1.1.1.1.3

              Just look at the massive and ongoing shortage of affordable housing (including rentals) in Auckland today: that didn’t just happen you know. Cullen saw the property price bubble massively inflate under his watch

              It’s a pity the 5th Labour government didn’t build another 30,000 State homes.
              An ambitious government programme to build thousands of State houses in and amongst wealthy neighbourhoods might stop NZ drifting towards the divided society it’s becoming. It would certainly bring rents down to a more affordable level, it would stimulate the building sector, reduce unemployment, make it less attractive to the wealthy to accumulate houses (at the expense of the taxpayer), would stimulate growth because 30,000 families in State houses would have more disposable income, would reduce levels of overcrowding and might just reduce the likelihood of people buying up homes for capital gains.

            • David H 11.1.1.1.1.4

              And a Capital gains tax would have fixed that, and made some needed cash for the Govt. Oh and I hate to tell you this, but apart from Aucklanders NO ONE else, as far as I know gives a rats arse about the place. The roads are a nightmare (decent road signs would help) the people are unfriendly, and everything is too expensive.

          • bad12 11.1.1.1.2

            Creating a ”straw-man” argument by attributing comments to us that We have not made so as to be able to rebut such unmade comments would seem from here to be the usual attempt at dragging the topic down a blind alleyway in an effort to kill the debate…

          • alwyn 11.1.1.1.3

            You have got to be dreaming, or perhaps smoking something illegal.
            Kiwi Rail making healthy profits, my foot.
            If this were so why did they propose to write down the value of their assets by no less than $6 billion? This happened in October last year in case you missed.
            The Labour Government should never have paid Toll what they did for the railways. The company was absolutely worthless. Cullen spent the money because he thought it might win votes from an economically illiterate public for his party.
            Consider the following question? If you didn’t own a railway now what part would you build? For freight there are arguments for the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga triangle and from the West Coast to Christchurch line to ship coal. Other than those routes the rest should be scrapped.
            There is also an argument for keeping the (heavily) subsidised passenger services in Wellington. Wellington’s geography of radiating spokes up the Hutt Valley and out to Porirua are suitable for rail. Auckland’s geography is not.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.3.1

              Railways are a logistical lifeblood of the economy mate. Their sale and capital rundown was a tragedy, and this Government’s unwillingness to do what is required to bring rail back up to standard (while being very willing to pour billions into subsidising the road transport industry) is going to back fire on the country pretty shortly and spectacularly.

              There is also an argument for keeping the (heavily) subsidised passenger services in Wellington. Wellington’s geography of radiating spokes up the Hutt Valley and out to Porirua are suitable for rail. Auckland’s geography is not.

              That was due to decisions made by a short term thinking National Government. No change there.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.3.2

              Actually, Auckland geography is fine for rail passenger services and the only reason we don’t have them is because the bloody stupid councils went with the inefficient and wasteful roads for private cars.

            • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.3.3

              The Labour Government should never have paid Toll what they did for the railways. The company was absolutely worthless.

              This is the most hypocritical, worthless and irritating argument of all. Right wingers keep trotting it out in a vile effort to re-write history.

              Dr Cullen had three choices:

              1. Do nothing and keep subsidising (via OnTrack) the operation of the privately owned Australian Toll Rail… to the tune of at least several hundred million per year for the indefinite future.

              2. Buy the rail system back at a negotiated price. Keep in mind that Toll’s initial asking price was $1b.

              3. Nationalise it for $1.

              Which of these three choices would you have made? You seem to be rooting for Option 3… are you sure?

              • alwyn

                I suggest that you look at this report from VUW regarding railways in New Zealand.
                It was done by The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.

                http://www.iscr.co.nz/f511,14914/14914_The_history_and_future_of_rail_in_New_Zealand_RR_.pdf

                Although I don’t agree with all the conclusions I think it gives a fair and unbiased review.
                Railways are, with only some exceptions, a 19th century technology that is obsolete in the 21st century.
                It still has its place in situations of bulk haulage of low-value items between fixed nodes.
                It is perfect in this role in moving iron ore in Western Australia from the Pilbara to Port Hedland.

                • RedLogix

                  Answer the question….Which option alwyn?

                  • alwyn

                    None of the 3 you suggest.
                    How about opening up the railway lines to anyone who is willing to put trains on them and pay for their use? If Toll wanted to keep going they could have done so. If not they they could have closed down and written off their investment. This would have meant changing the agreement that the Labour Government stupidly made when they bought the tracks but that could have been arranged.

                    • RedLogix

                      Toll would not have taken over OnTrack. No more than any of the big trucking companies would build and pay for their own roading system.

                      So Toll would have walked away and under your scenario we would have scrapped our rail system.

                      So you are going for an Option 4 …scrap it. Why not just come out and say so?

                      PS . Do you think that was in any shape or form a realistic political option to Dr Cullen.. or indeed any government?

                    • RedLogix

                      Railways are, with only some exceptions, a 19th century technology that is obsolete in the 21st century.

                      Which is of course why so many countries in the world have spent the last decade heavily investing in rail.

                      The simple fact is that over the next 2-3 decades freight volumes will increase substantially. Our state highway system simply cannot cope with that volume of trucks. Driving SH1 at night-time is bad enough as it is. But crucially the report you link to in Sec 7.1.2 states:

                      With the benefit of hindsight, the 1 July 2008 price of US$142 a barrel was very close to the all-time peak of US$147 reached later that month. The price subsequently dropped to below US$34 in January 2009 (“Oil Prices Hit US$34 a Barrel,” 2008) and is now around US$50 (April 2009). Oil prices can be expected to remain volatile but it appears unlikely that they will return to the US$142 level in the short-to-medium term.

                      Well Brent crude is $122 at this moment. In the long run it will only go higher… and train locos can be electrified while trucks cannot. Not now, not ever probably.

                      Some of this extra freight will shift to coastal shipping, but under your scenario we would have entirely scrapped our rail system altogether.

                      And you still think that’s smart?

                    • alwyn

                      RedLogix. This is meant to be in reply to your 2.55pm posting. The problem is that you aren’t coming up with a reply option on some of your posts. Actually when I look more closely it isn’t just you. It appears there is a nesting limit on replies.
                      Technically Toll DID buy the rail network when they bought Tranz Rail who owned it. They did of cousrse only buy it if the Government would immediately buy it of them for $1.
                      The crazy thing the Government agreed to was to allow Toll exclusive access to the tracks. That is the clause they should have broken. They could probably have argued that if Toll stopped running trains they forfeited any rights to access at all and got away with paying them nothing. Whatever they did they should have allowed competition on the tracks in the same was as it occurs on the roads. As far as I am aware the only roads that give one firm exclusive access are the privately owned roads in forests.
                      You ask whether I would have closed down the entire rail network. The answer to that is no but I would have closed down a lot of it. There is no way I would continue the line from Napier to Gisborne for example. Why spend millions to have a couple of trains a week.
                      Would closing any part of the system have been acceptable to Michael Cullen or any Government you ask.
                      Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be right though and I think a lot of politicians greatly under-estimate the commonsense of the public in these matters. Remeber that the Lange Government was re-elected with an increased majority in 1987 and it was only after Lange forced Douglas out that their support collapsed.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes there is a limit on reply nesting. Just scroll up to the last one visible (takes some care to get the right one) and reply to that. They’ll just add on in sequential order.

                      The problem with your argument is that it’s so short-sighted. While there is a reasonable argument to shut-down the Napier-Gisbourne line today (it’s been ruined lately by a massive washout so nature may have had the last laugh after all) … the actual cash spent on keeping these marginal lines open is modest.

                      Besides when you close them, you lose them for good. For instance the Masterton-Woodville line doesn’t see a lot of traffic. Except when the Main Trunk line is close for maintenance or they have a major slip in the Manawatu Gorge. (Like massive slip on the Gorge road that’s kept it closed for what.. the best part of year now?) Close this line and you lose that flexibility forever.

                      You never quite know what the future holds. Fifteen years ago the ‘milk train’ from Woodville to Hawea didn’t exist; nowadays it’s good business. Scrapping things just closes off these options forever.

                      The real investment KiwiRail is making is in getting freight times between Ak and Wgtn to under 12 hours. Back to what they could do before it was privatised and the track system was rundown to the point where there were so many speed restrictions that it was taking upward of 15 hours. Get that right and they’ll pick up a lot more volume.

                      No-one argues that just because an existing road doesn’t see an ‘economic’ amount of traffic that it should be shut down. The difference is that we see roads as a ‘public good’, they’re useful to have. Most of us own assets that are probably very marginal, if not very poor, investment decisions when narrowly defined… yet we keep them because their real utility to us is not readily measured.

                      And of course the only people who keep arguing that rail is a bad economic investment and should be scrapped … are of course the trucking companies. They are the only people who would benefit from such a decision.

                      In the final analysis no government is ever going to make your Option 4… scrap it. Even you acknowledge this. I would like an Option 5 for the entire system to be converted to high-speed standard gauge and fully electrified… but that’s not going to happen either.

                      So realistically Dr Cullen could only have ever gone with Option 2… negotiate a price with Toll. Which is what he did.

                    • +1 to you RedLogix.

                      We need to increase resilience in our transport systems, not the opposite.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Railways are, with only some exceptions, a 19th century technology that is obsolete in the 21st century.

                  That must be why the National Govt seems intent on subsidising the road transport industry to the tune of billions a year.

                  BTW as petrol prices reach $3/L, $4/L, we may find that what is old is suddenly very useful again.

                  • alwyn

                    I would suggest that you read section 4.8 of the ISCR report I referenced above.
                    The conclusion it comes to is –

                    “In conclusion, there is no evidence that road transport is subsidised to the detriment of rail transport in New Zealand. The evidence points to a subsidy in the reverse direction”.

                    The argument that Rail pays its costs and that road transport doesn’t is widely made but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence for it.
                    I’m not quite as rabid as RedLogix so I won’t use his words in this debate about your statement.
                    His words were “This is the most hypocritical, worthless and irritating argument of all”.

                    • RedLogix

                      You keep evading the obvious.

                      Which of the three choices facing Dr Cullen would you have made? Simple question… can you answer it?

                      PS Oh I see you’ve come up with an evasion above.

                    • alwyn

                      RedLogix. I answered you question at 2.10pm in respose to your post of 1.37pm.
                      It is about 3 entries up. Please keep up.
                      Just because you give me three options it doesn’t mean that I have to choose one of them if there are other alternatives.

                    • RedLogix

                      And I’m moderating half a dozen threads and several conversations. Not just this one.

                      Besides I did spot your answer and replied at 2:55. Please keep up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “In conclusion, there is no evidence that road transport is subsidised to the detriment of rail transport in New Zealand. The evidence points to a subsidy in the reverse direction”.

                      Billions of dollars of new infrastructure for roads, starting with but not ending with, the RONS.

                      Sweet FA for rail.

                      You do the math.

        • locus 11.1.1.2

          The Clark Government simply maintained the status quo for the Have Nots there being no marked improvement in the provision of State Housing

          Under the nats 1990-99 13,000 State houses were sold off, bought by almost exclusively by existing home-owners to increase their wealth. They knocked them down to rebuild and sell at a profit or kept them as rentals happy to bump up the rents and accept overcrowding as long as the money kept rolling in. Government assistance to the increasingly poor underclass flowed to the new landlords who could also write off all the costs and interest on their mortgages against income tax. Another rort of NZ taxpayers.
          Under Labour 2000-06 the number of State houses was increased by 6,000 reducing overcrowding. They also introduced income-related rents which helped address the ever growing number of people spending more than 50% of their income on rent.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1

            13,000 sold off by the NATs, 6,000 added by LAB, all the while our country’s population grew and grew each year.

            Its pretty clear that the Right Wing can always dismantle faster than the Left Wing can (or cares to) move.

            They also introduced income-related rents which helped address the ever growing number of people spending more than 50% of their income on rent.

            Great mechanism to alleviate the problems of the capitalist free market system. Doesn’t change anything related to the fundamentals of the system, though. BTW anyone who has to spend more than a third of their disposal income on housing can be considered in distress. Over 50% is just the worst of that group.

            Sure its better than nothing but its not exactly inspiring or game changing is it.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        and the 9 years of the Clark leadership significantly improved social equality and balanced the books

        3 years of National Govt were enough to sweep all of those gains away, thanks. That tells you something about how shortlived the effect of the Clark Govt initiatives were.

        • mac1 11.1.2.1

          “That tells you something about how shortlived the effect of the Clark Govt initiatives were.”

          CV, it tells us something about the inherent instability of a unicameral parliamentary system where both sides get ‘given turns’ to govern. The Nats also have managed the new MMP system to their advantage using proxy parties such as ACT under Banks or small parties like Maori and UF willing to sell principles and tolerate the loss of those gains for being in power.

          • KJT 11.1.2.1.1

            It shows why we need a real democracy.

            Parties and politicians should have to convince everyone of the validity of their policies before they are implemented.

            Democracy has given the Swiss a century of stable and successful Government.

            Kleptocracy and rotating dictatorships have left us without any choices at all.

            I doubt if the majority, given alternatives to the Neo-Liberal direction of both Labour and National would have voted for it again after having seen it in action in the 80’s and 90’s.

            I see the voting patterns in the last three decades, and the popularity of MMP, as an attempt to punish politicians for Neo-Liberalism and regain democratic control.

            We even had to vote National! to get rid of the first Act Government. I doubt if it was for any other reason than National seeming the lesser of two evils.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.2

            CV, it tells us something about the inherent instability of a unicameral parliamentary system where both sides get ‘given turns’ to govern.

            This is one factor, but as (I think) RL has previously pointed out, it takes far more time and effort to build stuff up than to pull it down and sell it off.

            It takes a term and a half for a Labour Govt to undo the worst of the last National Govt, and another term and a half to even get its own agenda powered up. Which usually the Nats can undo in 24 months.

            Its a losing game for the Left.

            • Matthew Whitehead 11.1.2.1.2.1

              Part of that is because we don’t just pull down their disfunctional laws en-masse when we get into government, and instead focus on doing substantial reform. It would make sense for the next labour government to just repeal everything off the bat that they don’t plan on reforming substantially during the first year.

            • mac1 11.1.2.1.2.2

              Agreed, CV. So the left has to get smarter about firming up its partners and the electorate will have to realise that being ‘fair’ and giving the other side a turn when the other side are fast acting wreckers is very stupid. Or, somehow have a group of partner parties which are not so easily sold out to higher bidders but have identifiable core beliefs that they won’t allow to be wrecked.

              At the moment you have the balance hinging on Dunne, Maori Party, Mana and ACT. ACT is a wrecker proxy of National so all we have remaining are Mana who are of the left, the Maori Party which is conservative but not an ideological wrecker, and UF who are conservative, need to be in power to survive and will support the wreckers.

              That analysis as it is now seems to be a losing game for the left. The battle is for the centre, as always. Hopefully Mana and Labour will chase off the Maori Party and Ohariu will lose Dunne.

              As for the Green/Labour who will lead the next government issue, the Green Party will have to show good leadership in depth for me to have any comfort with their coming through. At the moment, Labour has to show much the same thing with its depth (and it does have some very good people) but also its renewal and refocussing needs to be clear and definite about its core beliefs.

              The electorate needs to see that it is not Tweedledum and Tweedledee, let’s be ‘fair’ and give the other side a turn, or worse just stay away from the voting process. The divide between left and right is one between building and wrecking, benefit to the many versus the few, sustainability versus exploitation, social justice versus greed, selfish libertarianism and social pathology.

              The Greens and Labour can cooperate with making sure that divide is clear.

  12. satty 12

    Following German Politics, there are parallels to Germany (mainly last year), where one of the most conservative states – Baden-Württemberg – changed for the first time since WWII from CDU directly to the Greens – in coalition with the SPD. Even on national level, the Greens had a high of around 23%, the Labour-equivilanet SPD was at 27%. The conservative CDU lost its natural partner the Liberals (looks also familiar here in NZ with Act loosing significant number of seats).

    Since then the Greens lost a bit of ground (should be a warning for the NZ Greens), the Liberals are still too low in the polls to have any hope to make it back into parliament (Act might manage this in a couple of years time).
    But there’s another “shooting-star” in Germany… The Pirate Party, which managed within a very short period to get in state parliaments and have around 12% in the latest polls. The party has the main focus on civil rights in the age of Internet.

    So while it’s good to see the Greens higher in the polls, I wouldn’t read too much into it. However, choosing the right policy mixture, including new technologies (alternative energies, Internet etc.) and civil rights, could see them in a even better position going into the next election.
    Labour should get used to the 30% range, I doubt after years of slaughter by the mass media they will fully recover in the coming years.

  13. George D 13

    To quote/paraphrase myself from another less public forum.

    I think it would be a Very Bad Thing if at the next election the Greens had similar support to Labour. For one that would almost certainly mean a further collapse in Labour support (a Bad Thing), and the Greens simply don’t have the institutional strength to deal with a caucus that large or that level of responsibility. Throwing the Greens from small opposition party (08-10) to large government party (13-onwards, possibly) is a major challenge. It’s destroyed other parties before. Not having any electorate seats, and having no clear plans to get any, is another real problem.

    I think it’s entirely realistic to keep that poll result, and even grow it, but there’s a lot of work in sustaining it.

    At the same time, it’s extremely important that Labour maintain strength in the electorate. Labour can get out to vote great numbers of New Zealanders and drag in support. I hope the things I’ve been hearing about institutional weakness are either overstated or being dealt with adequately.

    • Jackal 13.1

      Just in case you’re not aware, the Green party currently has 14 MP’s and there is no sign of them struggling through a lack of “institutional strength” because they’re a relatively young party. In fact the Greens environmental and economic policy has really come of age recently, mainly because it has to.

      I think what sets them apart from many other political parties is that the Greens truly believe in their policies… and they are developed through extensive evidence based research from many institutions. This makes your claim that they lack strength in this area complete rubbish! The Greens also have a strong support base and membership to draw talent from that will ensure the party continues to grow.

      The problem with the Greens campaigning for electorate seats is that it splits the left wing vote, whereas there is really only one choice for the right-wingers. This allows National to win by default, when in reality the combined support for the left wing is greater. I sometimes despair at people wasting their votes instead of strategically voting. There may come a time when the Greens should campaign for electorate votes, but I think that’s a fair way off.

      The Roy Morgan poll shows that Labour support remained the same, while the Greens gained. Therefore your contention that the Greens can only grow by taking votes away from Labour is incorrect.

      With a strong and cooperating opposition to the right wings defunct and corrupt National government, there is no reason all opposition parties cannot increase their support… which is likely what will start being reflected in more polls as National’s incompetency becomes more apparent.

      • Pete George 13.1.1

        I think what sets them apart from many other political parties is that the Greens truly believe in their policies… and they are developed through extensive evidence based research from many institutions.

        I’ve been having a look at Green policies. Tax policy is one of the most important.

        1. Ecological Taxes

        Ecological tax reform is a simple idea: shift taxes off work and enterprise, and onto waste, pollution and scarce resources. Those who waste and those who pollute, pay more. Clean business pays less and everyone pays less income tax. This Green tax shift will create a more sustainable economy, and it’s happening now in many European countries.

        Ecological tax reform is gradual process, and needs to be worked through with all concerned. To help provide the revenue for removing tax from work and enterprise and better align our tax system with sustainability goals, the Green Party will:

        1. Begin a process of ecological tax reform by setting up a working group. The working group will:

        – look at all existing taxes and possible new eco-taxes
        – work with the community, unions, Maori, and business to find the best way to use ecological tax reform to set the economy on a more sustainable course;
        – identify ways to make the tax and income support systems work together better
        – develop recommendations for Government;

        1. Empower central and regional government to introduce a water levy on commercial users for all water used on a volume basis. Such a levy should reflect all direct and indirect costs of water management and monitoring and be structured in a way that encourages efficient use of water

        http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/green-taxation-and-monetary-policy

        Apart from their numbering hiccup, my concern here is the vagueness. it doesn’t look like it has been ” developed through extensive evidence based research from many institutions ” developed through extensive evidence based research from many institutions”. They want a working part to “begin a process”.

        What if “community, unions, Maori, and business” can’t agree (almost certain), and what if they don’t like what Greens want?

        Is there more detail than what’s on their website? Or is this evidence the policy is not based on substantial research and costings?

      • George D 13.1.2

        Jackal, that’s not what I said. The expansion of the Green caucus was large, but it wasn’t unmanageable. The party was prepared, and is sufficiently strong and experienced that it could adapt existing mechanisms. A very rapid expansion beyond that (especially one accompanied by a Labour collapse), and the challenges of government is another set of challenges again.

    • toad 13.2

      Why is not having electorate seats a problem? They are essentially irrelevant under MMP. If a party gets 20% or even 30% of the vote, it gets a roughly equivalent number of seats.

      Electorate seats are an irrelevance as far as political power is concerned. The concept of a geographical electorate relates to pre-internet days. Now we have many communities of interest, not just geographic ones, that connect electronically. People do on-site meetings less, and on-line meetings more.

      Personally, I would rather get rid of electorate seats altogether, and have a purely proportional electoral system.

      • George D 13.2.1

        Toad, I think they’re still extremely important if you’re trying to build a major party. Place is still relevant, having a local and ‘direct’ representative adds to your ownership.

        Outright dismissal of these things (which are widely accepted by intellectuals and activists outside the Greens) may or may not be arrogant, but it’s certainly harmful.

        • Carol 13.2.1.1

          +1

        • Greens still have local representation, they just don’t care whether their local reps win the electorate or not, because they’d rather get better policy outcomes for everyone and grow their party vote.

          local representation is important and will continue to be, but whether we need electorates to manage it is increasingly coming under question.

          • Te Reo Putake 13.2.1.2.1

            Yep, you are right that the Greens just don’t care, Matthew, that’s why Paula Bennett is still in Parliament. And Nikki Kaye, whoever it is in Chch central and no doubt others. It’s that kind of immaturity that suggests that the answer to this post’s headline is a resounding NO!

    • KJT 13.3

      Doesn’t anyone see the irony in going on about weaknesses in the Greens, compared with the dearth of talent at the top in Labour, and the competency vacuum that is National.

      The Greens have a wide base of competent and intelligent people.

      Even Labour has some promising young people.

      Unfortunately it will be many years before Labour’s time servers let them have any influence.

      • Colonial Viper 13.3.1

        Unfortunately it will be many years before Labour’s time servers let them have any influence.

        And the young people who are actively allowed to progress up the ranks are the ones who are young in body only, and already have “old guard” heads.

  14. bad12 14

    While once decrying the ”Tory landlord”, Labour and its core support base had in a strange paradox become just that,

    The children of the 1950,s Labour movement having brought into the ”ownership model” had moved a further step to ”save for their retirement”,(something once seen as a Government responsibility) went that one step further and became the letters of housing in many cases securing State Housing stock at an extremely favorable price resulting in the previous decile of ”renters” now renting the same properties at 4,5,and sometimes 6 times the amount the previous State tenants had paid,

    In effect the Have Nots paying into the retirement funds of the middle and upper middle classes among whom could be numbered a number of Labour MP,s….

  15. Balanced View 15

    Be careful to discount the TV1 poll. They had the best prediction of the 2011 election of the major four.
    And all four polls taken immediately before the 2011 election showed reasonable differences to the actual results, so a bit too soon to claim that anyone is in free fall or flying high.
    Joe Public don’t really immerse themselves in politics. I suspect that a reasonable amount of the Green support is a vote against National or Labour, and is more likely to show up in a poll than in an actual election.

  16. Carol 16

    Here’s an idea…. why not outlaw all political polling and especdially the publishing of poll results? Then parties/candidates would just need to focus on explaining their principles and policies, and let the election results fall where they will.

    That way we get away from parties trying to pander to popular opinion merely in order to gain power.

    • alwyn 16.1

      The most frequent and detailed polling in the period before the election is in fact done BY the political parties of all persuasions. These are certainly not published although they tend to be talked about along the lines of “Internal polling shows that we are much more popular than the MSM polls” or “We’v heard that the opposition internal polls show that they are much less popular than the MSM polling” The parties also run focus groups to fine-tune their announcements. How are we going to stop these polls being run.
      The parties aren’t “pandering to the public” on what the MSM and Morgan polls are saying. After all what does the answer to a question such as “If an election was held tomorrow which party would you vote for” have in it to help you decide what policies are popular?

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      Agree with you Carol. The leadup to an election should focus on the policies and the politicians, not the polling scores (which in of themselves can convince voters to go one way or another).

      No media publication of political polling for the 7 days before an election should do it.

  17. ochocinco 17

    I am in my 30s, and have always voted Labour.
    The prospect of a Greens-led government, is to be perfectly honest, terrifying. They have plenty of good ideas – I love their thoughts on transport, on most environmental issues, on farming, even to a point on education and health.

    But the fact is this: there is a core of government where I don’t think the Greens have the ruthlessness to do what must be done. When it comes to realpolitik, the Greens are lacking. I shudder at the thought of Greens in charge of Police / Defence / SIS / GCSB (though I actually think they’d make fantastic Ministers of Corrections, as their ideas on rehabilitation would be a godsend).

    Politics isn’t all about the nice, easy decisions. Bismarck talked about blood and iron and although it’s less about needle guns and Alsace-Lorraine, the tough decisions still have to be made.

    If I had the choice between a National-led or Green-led government, depending on the size of the Labour component (if it was close to 1:1 it might be different), I think I’d vote for National.

    I also agree that a lot of the Greens vote appears, from my limited perspective, to be based on brand appeal. A lot of my friends have very little historical perspective and vote for the Greens because a few of their policies sound good on the surface. The classic Greens voter also retweeted #stopkony

    • ochocinco 17.1

      And I’ll add something else here.

      From my philosophical perspective, there are two main sorts of “lefties”
      I like to call them socialists and hippies.
      Socialists believe in working together for the betterment of all, working for the common good, even if we don’t always want to do it.
      Socialists gave us Stakhanovites, tank-traps dug on the approaches to Moscow, law and order.

      Hippies believe we should just do what we want to, man, and that only communes and collectives (voluntary) are relevant. Hippies have given us nothing.

      • Carol 17.1.1

        Out of the hippy movement came feminism, gay rights, civil rights etc, and when linked with socialist ideals in places like the UK it gave us Greenham Common, the miners’ strike, the anti-nazi league etc etc….. and more recently the occupy movement.

        Out of socialism also came Leninism and Stalinism.

        Up til now, I have leaned towards the Greens, because, more than any other NZ party they have promoted policies related to issues of fairness around gender, sexuality, disability, ‘race’, tangata whenua, socio-economic inequalities etc. That’s the mix I look for. Labour has been luke warm on many of those issues in recent years.

        I do have misgivings about the middleclass, middle-of-the road voters who have jumped into the Green camp based on a superficial understanding of where the Green MPs are at. I hope the Green Party doesn’t try to pander to those voters more in the future.

        With time in government comes more focus on practicalities. A certain amount is a good thing. Too much endangers the founding prinicples.

      • bad12 17.1.2

        Oh what fertile ground you provide for us to apply the plough to,the very apparatus you type those words on provided to us all by none other than a bunch of Hippies,

        Pray tell us befor the mirth causes our fall, oh what great provision of ANYTHING has the government organ of SPYING upon its own citizens the SIS given us all in the vein of working together,

        As one who would rather vote National in case the senses were abused beyond repair by the thought of a bare-footed unwashed Hippy appearing as the spokesperson at a Parliamentary press conference We feel not the slightest need to consider for more than 1 iota your views as you express them,

        Note to Russell and Metiria,We feel a barefoot unwashed Hippy should introduce all Green Ministers in a future Government at Parliamentary press conferences,

        As these may in fact be a scarce human resource in number We further suggest that various office staff be rotated into and out of the role of unwashed Hippy and be forgiven the smell on a daily basis…

        • alwyn 17.1.2.1

          Surely we have both sorts already represented in the leadership of the party?
          Russel is the (currently very) short-haired person who wears a suit at all times and Meteria is the hippy, having learned her trade in the McGillicuddy Serious party and the Legalise Cannabis party.
          I will not comment on whether she is unwashed and smells though.

          • bad12 17.1.2.1.1

            We could add more detail to Her Cv,but, We will let Mets blow her own trumpet or sit back and watch as the show unfolds whichever she may desire…

          • alwyn 17.1.2.1.2

            Sorry it’s Metiria not Meteria.
            Bloody typos.

        • ochocinco 17.1.2.2

          Uhh?
          My computer and the internet were developed by governments, not hippies.
          ENIAC, Arpanet etc.

          • Carol 17.1.2.2.1

            Initially, but a lot of the development came from franchising out development to local univerisities in the Paolo Alta area (Stanford etc) so that a lot of the development was done by grad students living in the context of the counter-culture.

            http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/817415_chap4.html

            Like many myths, this one contains several grains of truth. The 1970s did in fact witness the rise of a new form of computing, and Bay area programmers, many with countercultural leanings, played an important part in that process. And as they were distributed, some of the new computers—particularly the 1984 Apple Macintosh—were explicitly marketed as devices one could use to tear down bureaucracies and achieve individual intellectual freedom. Yet, the notion that the counterculture gave rise to personal computing and computer networking obscures the breadth and complexity of the actual encounter between the two worlds. As Stewart Brand’s migrations across the 1960s suggest, New Communalist visions of consciousness and community had become entangled with the cybernetic theories and interdisciplinary practices of high-technology research long before computers were miniaturized or widely interlinked.

            So it wasn’t a straightforward development from counter-culture to cyberculture, but the hippy ethos did have some influence.

            The on-going development of the Internet owed a lot to the networking culture in Silicon Valley due to the surrounding social environment:
            http://www.princeton.edu/~starr/saxerev.html

            The problem Saxenian sets herself is to account for the continued vitality and growth of the electronics and computer industry in Silicon Valley compared to the relative stagnation and decline of the industry along the Route 128 corridor in Massachusetts in the 1970s and 1980s. The pivotal differences, she finds, lie in Silicon Valley’s open networks of communication and exchange across firms compared to the more autarkic and vertically integrated structure of Route 128 companies.

            [...]
            Saxenian locates the origins of these differences in the history and culture of the two regions in the period after World War II. University, corporate, and venture-capital leadership may have been key influences.
            [...]
            Stanford encouraged wider participation in its activities by local firms. Hewlett-Packard also helped to set the tone in Silicon Valley by welcoming and even helping start-ups, while its 128 counterpart, Digital, was largely closed to the regional economy. In addition, the venture-capital leadership in Silicon Valley played a role in transferring skills and knowledge among firms, whereas in Boston the more traditional sources of finance had little technical expertise. In almost stereotypically Californian fashion, the corporate culture in Silicon Valley was “laid back” about sharing of information and skills, whereas firms in Massachusetts anxiously sought to protect their intellectual property–and ironically ended up with less to protect.

      • alex 17.1.3

        To consider the Greens hippies is to be living in the late 90s. Get with the times, Russel Norman is the most credible economics thinker in Parliament at the moment.

        • Salsy 17.1.3.1

          +1

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.3.2

          To consider the Greens hippies is to be living in the late 90s. Get with the times, Russel Norman is the most credible economics thinker in Parliament at the moment.

          Nah. Possibly first equal with Cunliffe, possibly. And Norman doesn’t have any of the hands on experience in senior ministerial roles that Cunliffe has.

  18. captain hook 18

    depnds on their comittment to trotsky’s permanent revolution or to the good of the people unburdened by any nonsensical ideology.

  19. Andrew R 19

    How can anyone believe a commentator who puts an apostrophe in “its”?

    Another reason for Labour failing and the Greens rising?

    • mac1 19.2

      It’s quite often that I put an apostrophe in ‘its”- it all depends on its meaning. What drives me bananas is “Banana’s $2 kg.”

      As for ‘hippies’ developing modern culture- I’m not so sure- whatever being a hippy was. I was one of that grouping in terms of age, demographic, hair length, being a varsity student, played in a blues band, beard, experimentation etc but a ‘hippy’? I never considered myself one.

      Hippy culture was at best short-lived and transient in nature- self-serving about free love and drug-usage.

      Tim Shadbolt summed it up in a memorable speech at Canty Uni in the late sixties- after looking at all the goals in life set for and by us, SC, UE, Bursary, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, a PhD etc., what we really needed was “a steady job.”

      • Carol 19.2.1

        Actually, I considered myself a bit of a hippy, but I was never into “free love” or recreational drug use. I never “tuned in and dropped out”. I WAS into ideals of anti-materialism (which I saw as a dominant hippy value),and along with it was anti-repressive authoritarian states. I was into getting a reasonable job that would support me, but other than that never chased the mighty dollar.

        I also saw hippy values as being about an egalitarian society, sharing and caring, co-operation over competition. I think that “free-love” and “drug use” was part of that for some, but over-hyped by the sensationalist media.

        It was this political aspect of hippydom that I was most interested in during the 70s:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie#Politics

        Politically motivated movements aided by hippies include the back to the land movement of the 1960s, cooperative business enterprises, alternative energy, the free press movement, and organic farming.[71][105] The San Francisco group known as the Diggers articulated an influential radical criticism of contemporary mass consumer society and so they opened free stores which simply gave away their stock, provided free food, distributed free drugs, gave away money, organized free music concerts, and performed works of political art.[42] The Diggers took their name from the original English Diggers (1649–50) led by Gerrard Winstanley[106] and sought to create a mini-society free of money and capitalism.[107]

        Nevertheless such activism was carried through anti-authoritarian and non-violent means and so “The way of the hippie is antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since they are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom…Hippies don’t impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe.”[108]

        I was also into the anti-fashion side of it, old patched clothes, long untamed hair etc, and some of the music. Yes many of my generation that were just in it for the superficial aspects that were considered fashionable at the time – sex drugs & rock-n-roll etc. But at its core, there was an anarcho-syndicalist, socialist philosophy and practice, which was picked up by social movements like grass-roots feminism. This had an energy about it that captured the imagination and activism of some of us, and has never really left us.

        There was an individualist libertarian strand to it, which was strongest in the US. But in other places, especially the UK and Europe, there was a strong socialist element to the counter-culture. NZ and Aussie tended to come somewhere in between these 2 strands.

        • mac1 19.2.1.1

          Thanks, Carol. My journey was that of a socialist conscientious objector to the Vietnam War with a sense of spiritual values and social justice. As a young male the challenge as I turned 19 was whether I could wear a military uniform.

          Certainly the hippy culture followed that road but so did many others and there was a lot of cross-pollination of ideas.

          I also learned my union values at that time and the politics of the Labour Party suited me. An assurance from Norman Kirk at a meeting in 1969 that NZ troops could and would be withdrawn from Vietnam was very influential as was a trip to Wellington to the Peace Power and Politics in Asia Conference. So too was the anti-war stance I was able to take as a young Catholic with James K Baxter so influential at that time.

          The Church, unions, artistic community, students, university teachers all were an influence along with the hippy ‘counter’ culture.

          Ah, halcyon days.

          • Carol 19.2.1.1.1

            Ah, halcyon days.

            Ah, indeed. And for me, though I disliked a lot of NZ’s dominant culture & politics of the time (dominated by Pakeha values, uneasily associated with masculinist, rugby culture), there was hope of a fairer, less repressive, less oppressive & more co-operative and “better” society for all.

            I went from NZ Values to the UK where I got much more of a grass roots, socialist, feminist and anti-racist political education. At the time, just before Thatcher smeared “socialist” into a dirty word, and set out to dismantle the metropolitan centre of democratic socialism, there was a thriving left wing grass roots movement in UK cities.

            I was devasted by the shift to Thatcherism.

          • Carol 19.2.1.1.2

            The Church, unions, artistic community, students, university teachers all were an influence along with the hippy ‘counter’ culture.

            Yes, the problem with over-generalisations about historical influences, is that they ignore the interplay of diverse philosphical and institutional strands. This can involve contradictory outcomes as a result of struggles between (sometimes shifting) power blocs, and between the most and least powerful.

            The trajectory of history is often the result of these complicated interactions, struggles and powerplays. There was a shift leftwards during the hippy/counter-culture era, but powerful right-leaning elites then tried to regain dominance with the neoliberal narrative. In practice the outcome of this was an uneven and sometimes contradictory enactment of policy. So the neo-cons (with a strong streak of anti-liberal fundamentalist religious dogma) sometimes joined forces with the social liberal neo-liberals.

            The right wingers have their own struggles between various strands of political philosophy and power blocs as we are now seeing being played out within the National government.

  20. Anne 20

    Such a thing as a typo dear boy. Or are you so perfect you never make them?

    Oh btw… one of the many reputable (note the word reputable) international surveys that all come to the same conclusion:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2095549/Right-wingers-intelligent-left-wingers-says-controversial-study–conservative-politics-lead-people-racist.html

    Are you one of the right wingers?

    Oh and another btw: I think the author of the post is a Green supporter.

  21. lefty 21

    The problem is that whether we the government is National, Labour, Green or any combination of them we will still be led by capitalists of one sort or another. Labour and the Greens tend towards the technocrat end of the capitalist spectrum and are constantly devising new recipes for how you run the system without changing its basic nature. At best they may be able to marginally improve the situation for the masses – certainly Labour has in the past – but we will remain stuck on the same rollercoaster being operated by the same priviliged few.

    National don’t do imagination in the same way. They don’t need to. They are the custodians of a system the others have pretty much bought into and control the intellectual and cultural behaviour of all our major institutions to the extent neither Labour nor the Greens even bother trying to challenge their paradigm at its basic level. Their system is the default for most of the population and all the political parties except Mana.

    Matt is taking the piss of course. He knows the dead hand of Labour has stifled any real debate and action on the left for many years. There is a much better chance of developing a genuine Kiwi socialism if Labour self destructs and encouraging them to the right is the best way of achieving that.

    The Greens would then have the choice of becoming a party of the left or having one supercede it.

  22. captain hook 22

    labour will win.
    national were elected to cut the fat and by and large they have achieved that but now they are bereft of ideas and they have to go.
    only the left knows how to change things and even then imperfectly.
    the right dont want things to change because they are satisfied with what they have.
    and they want to stay the boss for the psychological satisfaction it gives them.
    in the meantime a new world is being created right in front of our eyes.
    blink and you will be gone.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      national were elected to cut the fat and by and large they have achieved that

      There wasn’t any fat to cut and thus NACT have been cutting the muscle away.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        They left plenty of fat (SCF bailout funds, consulting contracts, board positions, highly paid jobs in the PM’s office) for themselves and their Tory mates though.

        Which is the usual Tory modus operandi: fat for us, starvation for you.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    From my philosophical perspective, there are two main sorts of “lefties”
    I like to call them socialists and hippies.
    Socialists believe in working together for the betterment of all, working for the common good, even if we don’t always want to do it.
    Socialists gave us Stakhanovites, tank-traps dug on the approaches to Moscow, law and order.

    Hippies believe we should just do what we want to, man, and that only communes and collectives (voluntary) are relevant. Hippies have given us nothing.

    That’s an ok piece of trolling, but a wee bit obvious. Dropping the ‘from my perspective’ and the ‘I like to call them’ bits would take your self out of the conversation better, which should always be done as much as possible so early in the troll. Stating those things as established facts would provoke a far more visceral reaction in the readers.

    Similarly, the final para should completely drop the hackneyed and overplayed attcks of the first sentence. The final 5 word sentence is perfect though, and should have been allowed to shine.

    As to the argument, I’d say that there are indeed two types of lefties; those that put people in death camps, and liberal leftists. The hippies are a small subset of the second sort.

  24. pdubyaj 24

    So the Greens will actually stand a candidate and win a seat in a general election,

    I guess it will come to pass one day. However it’s a stretch from a seat or two to leading a government.

    • bad12 24.1

      Yes please continue to ponder democracy from a point of view of the now extinct First Past the Post electoral system,

      One fine morning in a future November not to far into that future you will awaken to find that the Green Party will hold such a % of the vote that they will be able to ”negotiate” just who Governs New Zealand,and, what legislation passes or does not pass into law…

  25. james 111 25

    The Greens are in a honey moon phase at the moment. They will pick up a continuing share of the left vote. As labour as seen as an old tired party with tired Members, and tired failed ideas.

    They will never lead a government because moderate people realise that the Greens are basically against business and again as all left (socialist) parties, want to tax people to death until there is no breath leff in them.
    Fortunately NZs arent radicals at heart and when a party swings to far to the Left such as the Helengrad party who wanted to create a nanny state ,and totally control yours ,and your kids thought processes.

    Or to far to the right such as Muldoons party. Or Ruths National government they will get voted out.

    Any Party that Greens had control of would have a very short shelf life due to their radical ideas that bubble to the surface through the manure all the time ,and give off a horrible stench with most of the voting public

    • fender 25.1

      Lay off the booze oh wise one./sarc

      Helen wasn’t into thought control “old sock jimmy”, but clearly there are some who have a thought process that could do with some stable guidance, I nominate you jim jim for a mind recon, as you have obviously lost the plot.

    • bad12 25.2

      Please report immediately at camp 11 for re-education….

  26. captain hook 26

    they might have ashow if they promise to do something about the attack on our liberties and our freedom by hordes of ignoramuses on loud motorcycles. If their activities are not curtailed, controlled and rigidly enforced then any green government will be deemed a failure.
    maybe the police have become infantilised and de-sensitised to the noise too but their duty is to uphold the peace and thre is no peace while these cretinous imbeciles continue to ruin the world with their cruddy little toys.
    national said they’d do it but they are stuffed and couldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding at the moment.
    in fact their voters distinguish themselves with the amount of noise they can tolerate.
    no wonder they are all frigging deaf.
    hahahahahahahahahahaha.
    anyway.
    the green movement must make its position clear about noise and the principles it stands for rather than giving in and pandering to the soft cocks on motorbiles.
    send them all to afghanistan.
    and do something about dogshit and dogs too.
    the country is a whole festering pile of canine faesces.
    then we as a nation can get down to real issues.

    [I let that out of moderation but only just. Drinking and blogging are a bad mix...RL]

    • bad12 26.1

      Beyond camp 11 is camp 14Z, you can tell it by the tombstones…

      • deuto 26.1.1

        LOL! I am so pleased you have stuck around. Don’t necessarily agree with everything you have posted but you bring a lot of interesting points expressed in a very unique manner.

    • Reality Bytes 26.2

      Were your shift keys away for the easter holidays mate? :)

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    Greens | 29-10
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    Greens | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Greens | 29-10
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    Labour | 29-10
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    Greens | 29-10
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    Labour | 28-10
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    Greens | 28-10
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    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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