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Winner takes all (of us to the cleaners?)

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, May 18th, 2008 - 119 comments
Categories: MMP, same old national - Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Sunday Star Times reports National is keen to have a referendum on MMP. As you would expect Peter Shirtcliffe has been involved in lobbying the Nats for this policy. It’s just as AYB predicted.

I’m sure the advertising agencies will be rubbing their hands together in glee.

I would imagine we’ll hear a lot about how National just support the democratic right to choose an electoral system while their backers run big money campaigns to push first past the post. I see DPF is already running this line. Considering Peter Shirtcliffe was one of the funders of the ramshackle PR fiasco that was Davey’s Free Speech Coalition, one could be forgiven for suspecting David of sophism.

119 comments on “Winner takes all (of us to the cleaners?)”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Good on National if they do indeed hold a referendum to let the public decide what they would prefer.

    After several years of MMP the public can now make a more informed choice between MMP, FPP, STV and SM (?).

  2. IrishBill 2

    And your thoughts on the multi-million dollar pro-FPP campaign that would come with that referendum?

  3. Benodic 3

    Very smart politics from National. You tell people you have no view one way or the other on an issue and put it to referendum. What could be more democratic?

    Of course we all know National only puts to referendum those issues it wants changed and which the party or its backers can win in a PR war.

    You’ll never see National put asset sales, health cuts or the removal of work rights to referendum before making a decision. On those issues National’s taste for democracy quickly disappears.

  4. Actually National is asking the public what they think of MMP. Well done to them.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Bill Multi million maybe and no I’m not so worried that the NZ public can’t see past gross self interest – if you’re so paranoid why not limit the spend as per the EFB.

    If we did go back to FPP I doubt the world would come to an end as most of the worlds democracies have it. All it would mean is that Labour or National would be able to govern without pandering to the likes of Winston.

    Personally I think the majority of the public (National and Labour voters), myself included, would prefer a continuance of a form of proportional representation as I believe the Maori party, Greens and ACT add significantly to parliament.

  6. Daveo 6

    HS fair argument but given the tone of Shirtcliffe’s last anti-MMP campaign do you really think we’ll get that informed debate you’re looking for?

    Maybe if National had proposed a citizen’s assembly I’d have some sympathy and possibly even support it, but you and I both know this has nothing to do with informed debate and everything to with an expensive PR war designed to remove democratic checks on the governing party.

    Why do you think National would want to do that?

  7. coge 7

    Let the people decide, I say. This is true democracy in action. Of course neither system is perfect. But I have to say under FPP all politicians have to engage with their electorate, which is a healthy thing. Under MMP, you get list MP’s who are not answerable to any electorate. In fact, a great deal of these individuals are little more than free loading bludgers. I’m not sure if the term “representation” applies here. As I’ve said let the people decide.

  8. Benodic 8

    If we did go back to FPP I doubt the world would come to an end as most of the worlds democracies have it. All it would mean is that Labour or National would be able to govern without pandering to the likes of Winston.

    Actually it would mean parties could once again govern with minority support. Remember in 1993 National won fewer votes than Labour and just over 30% in total but managed to form a government with no checks whatsoever. How does that serve democracy?

  9. Brett – they could run a survey to do that and it would cost the taxpayer a lot less. I reckon there’d be a good deal of support within Labour for a return to FFP. Just imagine the policy they could have put through in the last eight years without their coalition partners pulling them right-ward!

  10. Wayne 10

    I’m interested in Peter Shirtcliffe’s comment in the youtube clip that MMP would have made impossible the changes made in the Douglas/Richardson years.

    These changes were hugely unpopular at the time and he’s basically admitting that he wants governments to not have to follow the will of the people and that FPP makes that easier than MMP. The idea that this guy or his proposals are serving democracy is laughable.

  11. higherstandard 11

    I’m dubious whether Shirtcliffe is correct regarding his comments about the Douglas and Richardson years.

    Perhaps at the very beginning of the MMP environment but I’d like to think that now the majority of politicians in National and Labour if faced with a similar situation to that upon the exit of Muldoon and the economic situation that was inherited prior to the Richardson budget would probably take a fairly pragmatic approach and put their ideological baggage aside and realise that fairly dramatic measures were required.

    Wayne the reality is there are times that the government must govern without fear or favour from the public, unfortunately our short electoral cycle means that once every very few years governements and oppositions must become involved in electioneering and make decisions that are driven more by electoral self interest than good governance.

    Luckily such dire circumstances haven’t occurred too often in the last few decades and certainly not in the last ten years so promises and actions made during campaigning have not come back to bite I not certain this will be the case this time around.

  12. Robinsod:

    Run a survey? thats crazy, judging by all the posts here about polls and surveys, you guys wouldnt believe the results anyway.

    I say have a referendum, and see what the public thinks.

    Personally I Like the USA system, you vote for who you want as your leader and also vote for the person you want to be your representative.

  13. Wayne 13

    Brett the fact you think the US system even approaches a proper democracy shows how ignorant you are on even the most basic issues. The US system is essentially an elected monarchy and is a relic of the 18th century. Even the president’s cabinet isn’t elected by or accountable to the public.

    The funny thing is the US knows this to be the case itself and when they’re setting up new governments in other countries they put in a modern proportional representation system similar to ours rather than their broken and antiquated system.

    MMP isn’t perfect but it’s better and more suited to a modern democracy than the archaic British or American systems.

  14. Wayne 14

    Higherstandard: that may be the case but if so let’s stop pretending this is about democracy. It’s not, it’s about making sure the business elite can ram through reforms that favour them without the public having a say.

  15. Principessa 15

    I think this is really targeted at the Maori Party. I don’t think the Nats necessarily want to get rid of MMP and go back to FPP- I just think they want to put some amendments in place to kill the overhang the Maori Party causes and/or to remove them from being Kingmaker.

  16. Wayne:

    You missed my point.

    My point was about the referendum, I think its a good idea to let the country decide.

  17. Wayne 17

    Shall we have referenda every three years on our electoral system Brett, or just every 12 or 15 years? Or just on policies that National wants to push through but would rather stand arms-length from and let their business backers fight through a multi-million dollar PR campaign?

  18. all_your_base 18

    Looks like a caluclated gamble to me – classic Crosby/Textor. I still think this could go either way for the Nats though. On the one hand they get to look responsive to the electorate’s concerns that smaller parties may get somewhat disproportionate parliamentary influence under MMP; on the other hand it may serve to remind people that despite all the smiles and spin, Key’s really just the voice-piece of the business elite outed by Hager in The Hollow Men – same old National.

    Weasel words like “some proportionality makes sense, it’s a question of under what conditions and how volatile the outcomes can be” from Key don’t seem to me very likely to help assure the electorate that this is a man with any bedrock opinion either… Have an opinion for God’s sake, it’s painful to listen to.

  19. Lew 19

    The symbolic aspects of a campaign to return to FPP are where it would be won and lost – not on the policy or actual electoral functions of either system. I don’t think that even National supports a return to FPP, though they certainly have the most to gain from it. No other relevant party will favour a return, and so I think the campaign will be more even than people seem to think. The earliest we’re looking at is 2017, and that changes the mix considerably.

    I’d say the primary symbolic quality MMP systems represent is `diversity’, which will no doubt be set up opposite `monoculture’ or something similar. Because of this we’ll have two kinds of parties favouring MMP: those for whom diversity is a major philosophical plank; and those who, under FPP, would be marginalised or eliminated from power.

    So at the present time:

    Labour: Diversity. Much to gain from MMP since its support parties are reliant upon it.
    National: Key’s move to the centre denotes an appeal to diversity, and National could need ACT and UF support, but would be happiest of the other parties with a return to FPP.
    Green: Diversity. FPP is not an option since Green candidates are weak in electorate contests.
    Maori: Diversity; though these guys have nothing to lose from FPP and could in fact gain from it.
    NZ First/United Future/Progressive/ACT: Needs MMP to survive despite one seat each – especially ACT and NZF since Rodney and Winston are marginal.

    The changes NZ sees between now and 2017 will be the major determinant as to whether this diversity/monoculture battle flies or not. By then NZ will be significantly more Asian, Pacific and Maori than it currently is and a much larger proportion of the electorate will have known nothing but MMP. A referendum like this isn’t going to look like a general election; there’ll be a people voting against their party’s interests; but the list above will generally determine the strength of the campaign. On current polling almost 20% of the electorate are undecided on this issue and that’s where the battle will tend to break along party lines; for this reason I don’t think it’ll result in electoral system change. But I think this is a good move for National because they can be seen to be promoting choice. I don’t think Labour will be terribly opposed to it but rather will be kicking themselves for having missed the opportunity.

    Principessa: Presuming the number of Maori seats stayed the same, the Maori Party stand to gain from a return to FPP, since on current showing they would hold more seats than all the other minor parties combined, and they don’t contest the party vote in any case. This would mean they’d function as veto holders unless one party got a clear majority alone; and even in that case the other party would have no choice but to work more closely with them to be viable at the next election. Of course, if National goes through with their plan to scrap the Maori seats in 2014, this is all moot.

    All this is subject to hindsight being 20/20 :)

    L

  20. Lew 20

    Wayne: NZ was promised a referendum in the future when the system was changed the first time. This looks like it might be that referendum.

    Nobody’s suggesting a referendum every few years, and reductio ad absurdum doesn’t make you look smart or cool, even next to Brett Dale.

    L

  21. higherstandard 21

    Wayne

    With your views on the business elite and dark back room dealings you may be better off talking to Eve on her site.

    I find it about as convincing as Bob Clarkson’s convictions that the country is being indoctrinated and manipulated by a bunch of hairy legged lesbians and their male equivalents.

  22. This is another Key flip-flop. Brash was all for a referendum and getting rid of MMP but Key said that wouldn’t happen. Now, I think they’re trying to double up on riding the wave of dissatisfaction both to win outright and get rid of MMP – thereby restoring the old status quo…. It could go badly wrong for them if they are seen as being opportunistic and anti-democratic – just as Labour’s decision to go to the polls early backfired for them in 2002.

    Agenda this morning was interesting – Guyon seemed well-informed for once and asked the next question rather than just taking ‘it’s all gone to hell under Labour and we’ll make it better’ as an answer he asked ‘but what exactly would you do?’ and every time English couldn’t say.

  23. higherstandard 23

    Principessa

    I think you’re way off the mark regarding the Maori party I would not be at all surprised to see them in coalition with National.

    Lew also makes an excellent point that they (Maori party) will be much stronger under FPP and despite Nationals stated ambition that the seats should go at a future date I don’t expect that to be in my lifetime.

  24. higherstandard 24

    Steve

    What is antidemocratic about asking the public their opinion ?

  25. Draco TB 25

    Under MMP, you get list MP’s who are not answerable to any electorate.

    This is a false argument. All MP’s are answerable to an electorate. It’s just that some are answerable to the local electorate and some are answerable to the national electorate. You can vote to oust even list MPs from parliament. Others, of course, can vote to keep them in.

  26. Lew 26

    HS: “What is antidemocratic about asking the public their opinion ?”

    I’ll not answer on Steve’s behalf, but as political scientist I can’t let this sort of naivete go unchallenged.

    No referendum, or indeed no public question, is simply `asking the public their opinion’. No question is asked until a preferred answer or answers has already been sketched out in the asker’s mind. Which isn’t to say that I agree with the conspiracy nuts that National are trying to steal democracy for their big business overlords; just that I think National plan to use NZ’s electoral history to their advantage and tap a vein of dissatisfaction with `special interests’ and `the tail wagging the dog’. I’m almost cynical enough to argue that it’s another example of John Key writing policy by focus group.

    Anyway, Steve never accused National of being anti-democratic in this: he said there was a danger they might be `seen as being opportunistic and anti-democratic’. This could happen if they appeared to be making changes which explicitly favoured them at the expense of others. This would make the current complaints about the Electoral Finance Act look like small beer indeed.

    L

  27. higherstandard 27

    So Lew

    Your position is that the last time there was a referendum on the electoral system the preferred answer or answers had already been sketched out in the asker’s (The government of the day) mind.

    I’m sorry but I can’t remember the questions being blatantly loaded towards MMP.

  28. Lew 28

    HS: I didn’t say they were; and I don’t believe they will be this time either.

    The question is only one very small part of a referendum. All the information used by the public to interpret and answer the question is at the control of various political parties, lobby groups and other actors. Those aspects (shorthanded as the `campaign’) are what makes the word `opinion’ look simplistic.

    L

  29. Multi billion dollar publicity campaigns! Breathless exaggeration methinks.

    I am astonished that you lot would presume that National are trying to remove choice by offering a referendum. Clearly you are assuming that national have the same motives as Labour. After all it was your Labour party and it’s Klingons that forced the EFB on an unsuspecting public.

    I believe it is time for another look at the electoral system. The version we ended up with is a manipulation of the recommended version.
    The winners from a change back to FPP (which I do not support) would be Nats, labour and the Maori party.
    Perhaps a system with more electorate members than list members would be more appropriate. And remove the ability to stand on the list as well as an electorate.
    We have a system now where the few dictate to the many in a much more skewed manner than FPP ever gave us.
    You only need to look at the performance of the greens and winston first to come to that conclusion. It is time the tail stopped wagging the dog.

  30. Lew 30

    BB: While I disagree with your overall assertion (that the few are dictating to the many), I think your overall analysis is about right: that the lead possibility is an amendment to the MMP system to change the balance between list and electorate. I’d be interested as the discussion wears on through the next term in what options people think are viable or useful.

    L

  31. AncientGeek 31

    If they are wanting to go to the massive expense of running a referendum, I’d like propose another question gets added.

    Should the electoral period by increased to 4 years?

    The current electoral period is ridiculously short. Most of the countries that we look to have at least 4 years. From memory, I think Britain is 5 years.

    It was set long before the current select committee process. It was set before MMP was brought in and the subsequent coalition process and the time it takes. That doesn’t count the time it takes to write the bill, get legal opinion from the crown law office, and then get them again during negotiation. Then you have to get it on the parliamentary calendar.

    As it currently stands I’d say that you almost have to start a bill in the previous term.

  32. Wayne:

    Referendums should be used in issues on certain policies that have an overwhelming Public response either way.

    In terms of the electoral system, a referendum should be used every five elections.

  33. AncientGeek 33

    bb: I thought that the number of electorate seats is already greater than the number of list seats. As I understand the system, the number of people in the electorate seats is fixed, and the number of seats in parliament is fixed with a limited overhang.

    Since there have been at least 3 censuses since the introduction of MMP, and the population has increased. The number of list seats should have decreased relative to the number of electorate seats.

    Have a I missed something?

  34. Lew 34

    AncientGeek: I was just about to post speculation that a change to the electoral period might be on the cards too. This would allow an EFA-like system of electoral spending regulation to work more elegantly and with less impact on political expression overall.

    We’d just have to make sure it wasn’t in Rugby World Cup year, otherwise there’d be a change in government every term we didn’t host it…

    L

  35. bill brown 35

    Note to John:

    First win election, then disfranchise your opposition.

    Who mixed his tapes up?

  36. gobsmacked 36

    It may be clever short-term politics. It’s absolutely wrong otherwise.

    Key proposes this question:

    “Are you satisfied with MMP as a system or would you prefer a change?”

    That is not a question for a referendum. That is a customer satisfaction survey.

    I would prefer some changes – to the 5% threshold, for example. Which way do I vote?

    A real referendum is a clear question (e.g. Yes or No to a country entering the European Union, Yes or No to term limits in the US Congress, etc). The people can choose between 1) the status quo, and 2) a defined, clear alternative.

    But we all know this is not about NZ’s voting system. It’s tapping into “time for a change”, “bloody politicians”, nothing more. We certainly need an informed debate on democracy and the constitution, we don’t need cheap gimmicks like this.

  37. If you believe that the American system is still a democracy wow, how’s that for naivety.
    It is as Mussolini said,”Fascism should really be called Corporatism. Google: the money party and you know why private finance should not be involved in the democratic process.

    And by the way why don’t you watch this excellent presentation in an American University and yes it is about conspiracies: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=812494320239887035&hl=en
    http://patriotsquestion911.com/

  38. Travellerev:

    People still vote in a free election in the USA. Its a democracy.

  39. Ruth 39

    Irish Bill – I’m probably one of the few on the centre-right who support MMP – I always have.

    The NZ public now have a sophisticated understanding of MMP, and the next election will show that. The public are going to vote like we still have FFP – either Nat or Lab.

    I do believe ACT will be sent into oblivion along with NZ First. And that is a good thing.

  40. Lew 40

    Tavellerev: Whether or not the US system is a democracy depends on one’s definition of `democracy’ (and there are several). Without an actual discussion on which definition of `democracy’ is appropriate, the question you claim to answer is irrelevant. I can assure you that to most people who understand more than one formally-defined definition of the term, the US is still a democracy.

    I’ll watch your linkies this evening if I get the chance.

    L

    Captcha: `customs happening’.

  41. IrishBill 41

    Lew, there was never a referendum promised as part of the testing of the system. That was a comment made by Jenny Shipley that seems to have woven it’s way into NZ’s political mythology.

  42. Lew 42

    IB: Interesting, do you have a reference? Not that I don’t believe you, I’d just like to read around it a bit because that changes the situation somewhat.

    L

  43. IrishBill 43

    Sorry Lew, I’m working from memory. As I recall it was mentioned in the 1999 sometime as referendums were in the public eye due to the minimum sentencing one being up for the vote. I’m sure the paper on the process for electoral change is out in the interweb somewhere.

  44. Brett Dale
    May 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm
    Travellerev:

    People still vote in a free election in the USA. Its a democracy.

    —————

    What about the people who arent allowed the time off work to vote (as it is on a week day) and a left waiting outside in lines after the polling booths are closed?

  45. Lew 45

    Travellerev: Sorry, I thought you had something to add to the discussion on the topic of democracy and electoral systems, but it seems you’re just whoring the same wingnut propaganda about 9-11. Seen it all before.

    killinginthenameof: Implementation problems exist in all democracies, but that doesn’t change the basic nature of the system. You’ll need to do a lot better than this to argue that the world’s most mature democracy isn’t one at all.

    L

  46. lprent 46

    Lew: “IB: Interesting, do you have a reference?”

    I don’t have a reference either. It is one of those enduring myths.

    But Graeme Edgeler talked about it on KB this morning in this comment.

    If you haven’t run across him before, he writes at HardTalk, and is usually right about these types of matters. There was some subsequent discussion, that I briefly scanned.

  47. Lew 47

    Lynn: I do read Edgeler, yes. But I don’t usually bother with the comments section on KB. Thanks.

    L

  48. Policy Parrot 48

    Just a side note to add – if National achieves majority party government in this election, all of this is moot.

    They will still be able to do anything they like. What MMP does is impose a cheaper form of review than would be the case with an upper chamber.

    If the right are so desperate to enact their agenda – convince 50% + 1 of the population its the best way to go. Otherwise they’ll have to govern by coalition.

    I don’t think there is anyone, aside from a few business elites who would like to remake our country in the form of Estonia, who would be prepared to give them that opportunity.

  49. Monty 49

    I believe the mix of the FPP and MMP would pesent to NZ the ideal electoral system. One where say 63 seats and 7 maori seats and contested and the remaining 50 are up for grabs under a proportional system. Once the Treaty settlements are complete, the country would have 70 seats under the electoral system and no Maori seats.

    the advangtage of this is that no longer will the parasite on the tail (ie Winston and the Loonie Greenies) have the power to dictate terms that 90% of the country did not vote for.

    National with an absolute majority will be able to ensure this does go to referendum. I also think that in time when Labour are free from the shackles of minority co-alition partners will be happy to support such a proposal. Punching this through while a main party remains utterly dependant upon minor parasites was never an option. Maybe – this is one of the reasons why 56% of the country are now comfortable with national having an absolute majority

  50. Lew 50

    Monty: How does this differ significantly from the current system?

    L

  51. lprent 51

    Ummm
    Current electorates

    See the section “How is the number of electorates decided?”

    Currently we have after the 2007 census
    7 Māori electorates
    + 47 North Island electorates
    + 16 South Island electorates
    + 50 list members of Parliament
    = 120 members of Parliament.

    There are required to be 16 south island seats.
    The other electorate seats are required to be about the same size
    Maori seats are divided on the maori roll
    North island seats outside divided on the NI general roll

    So in 1996 I think (could be wrong) it was 60 seats and 60 list. Since then we’ve dropped down to 50 list seats due to population increases.

  52. Oh Lew,
    You sometimes really sound like a nice guy.
    Where does the whoring come in when trying to get people to look again at what really happened on 911.
    Please, please just once finish a scientific presentation on 911

  53. Brett Dale
    May 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm
    Travellerev:

    =People still vote in a free election in the USA. Its a democracy.=

    Are you telling me that voting equals democracy?
    Ever had the feeling nobody really listened.
    Deuh

  54. Lew 54

    Travellerev: I am a nice guy, I just don’t tolerate idiots very well.

    It’s whoring because it’s irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and it’s known to be one of your axes to grind. Why keep pushing it here? Not enough hits on your own site?

    L

  55. Ari 55

    Monty: That’s called “AMP”, or additional member proportional. The issue with AMP is that it’s not really a proportional system, because electorate contests have a huge effect on the shape of parliament overall.

    I think a referendum would be a waste of time personally, but if people really want it that badly, they’re welcome to waste time and money trying to bring down MMP.

  56. Ari 56

    That said, if it does go to referendum, we could get something productive done by asking the public about abolishing the treshhold.

  57. Monty 57

    Lew

    only 50 seats would be subject to proportional representation. So if say Winston got 6% he would return 3 seats in parliament. if National won 40 electoral seats but won 40% of the electoral vote they would have 60 seats total. I think this system would be more about fighting to get both electoral seats as well as the party vote.

    Parties not getting over 5% would not be saved. They would then only qualify for any electoral seat won. there would be no top-ups.

    The main idea would be to stop the parasite minor parties controlling the government agenda is the way that the Greens and Winston have done.

    These are just my thoughts – the electorate does not want a return to FPP, and clearly there is a lot of discontent with MMP. Could this be the balance – delivering more clear cut results – minor parties getting the representation, and the major parties will not be so bound to the minor parties. I do not expect the greenies or Winston to like it. But then again given that those two parties supported the corruption of our democracy through their support of the EFA then in my opinion Winston and Sue can go fuck themselves.

  58. Dan 58

    The Nats are playing things pretty much as various writers have predicted. I am surprised they have played the FPP card so early when the connections to Shirtcliffe and co can be well laid out before the election. We must remember the parliamentary committee that set up the MMP poll chose the least likely system to succeed because they wanted it to fall over. But MMP came in anyway. A referendum would be useful in that we could fine tune the system. I am quite relaxed that the MMP system would stay. As others have said, the Maori Party and the Greens have been very effective, and promote particular viewpoints.

    Expect educational vouchers as one of the next 1990 policies that National will endeavour to refloat. “Parental choice” will be the catch cry! The last attempt at bulk funding was so scandalously unfair that it cost National heavily. Vouchers is the same nonsense in a different format.

    Winner take all…no thanks. Let us keep the balances that MMP offers.

  59. jon 59

    One of the strong reasons for MMP was the following

    Brake on hasty or authoritarian Government
    Advocates see MMP as ensuring that there is an appropriate brake on hasty or authoritarian action by
    Government as an almost inevitable consequence of coalition government. MMP is seen as generally
    providing a check on any prospect of a single party or a group within a single party of forcing through a
    policy agenda without appropriate consultation.

    Ref: Inquiry into the Review of MMP
    Report of the
    MMP Review Committee August 2001

    MMP appeared to fail with respect to Rail but appears to be working with respect to ETS.

    To answer the previous questions. From the 2001 Parliamentary report
    Was a referendum promised?
    52 percent of New Zealanders indicated that it was their understanding that there would be a future
    referendum on whether MMP should be kept or not. 35 percent did not believe there was any
    commitment to a referendum and 13 percent were unsure.

    Timing referendum
    Those in favour wanted a referendum sooner rather than later. In total 85 percent of those in favour or
    the referendum wanted it held in either 2001 or 2002.

    Support for referendum
    There was decisive support for a binding referendum being held to decide whether to keep MMP or not.
    76 percent were in favour and 17 percent were opposed.
    .

  60. Monty, Sounds like the worst of both worlds. You get the unfairness of FPP — in 1978 and 1981 Labour got the most votes but fewer seats thanks to some gerrymandering — and the fragmentation of MMP.

    Under MMP, not only have we had unprecedented diversity amongst representatives, and fairness, but NZers quickly learned how to use the system to provide the sorts of checks and balances that FPP rarely could. Sorry to say this, but in all of the recent elections (1999 on), the preferred option got to form the government, but not to govern alone, a certain quantum of trust being wanting.

    As I understand it, the first ballot would be to decide whether people wanted a change. What I fear is that people vote for a change away from MMP on the first ballot, having focused on the negatives, and then find themselves faced with the choice of STV and FFP. Sounds like a clever ruse to me if this is the case.

    The first ballot should be to determine the preferred option to stand against MMP.

  61. Ag 61

    If FPP is reintroduced, it will basically be the end of New Zealand politics for people living outside the marginals, and for those who support third parties (remember that the old Social Credit party once got over a fifth of the vote and was rewarded with two seats for that).

    The only party that really loses with MMP is National, since there is no natural majority for the ACT like policies that many of its members would like to impose on New Zealand.

    I remember reading that Don Brash had complained that he didn’t want to run as “Helen-lite”. Running as Helen-lite is the only way that National will ever become the preferred party of government again.

  62. Ari 62

    Monty- are you familiar with the idea of tyranny of the majority? A system with reasonable accomodation for minority views, like MMP, helps prevent majorities from making decisions that they don’t bear the negative consequences of. (For instance, pakeha voters abolishing the Maori seats)

    If voters are tired of minority parties under MMP, they can rally behind a large party and attempt to give them a majority government without a coalition. If voters are tired of large, unilateral governments under FPP, there is very little they can do.

    If you seriously think the EFA is the “corruption of our democracy”, you really need to read up on the intent and purpose behind free speech laws. The EFA doesn’t touch on the principle that free speech laws enshrine, (which is that no political speech should lead to or result from coercion or threats) and while it’s not perfect, it is much better than not dealing with paralell campaigning or anonymous donations at all.

    Jafapete: That’s why the vote for alternatives to MMP be performed at the same time, and placed higher on the ballot- so it primes people to consider MMP fairly against the other systems.

    Ag: Agreed. The whole FPP thing is really tipping National’s hand.

  63. RedLogix 63

    Compare and contrast:

    1. Labour introduce the EFA intending to close a number of election funding loopholes that National unethically (and unrepetantly exploited in 2005). For this they have been endlessly lambasted as corrupt… and worse.

    2. National propose a referendum with the clear intention of rejigging the electoral system back to the “good old days” of FPP when they could do whatever they liked in power. And we all discuss this idea as if it were a perfectly ethical idea and that all we are doing is giving the people the chance to express their opinion.

    Bollocks. Wake up, we are being suckered into another debate framed in emotional terms that we cannot win. There is only one answer to this nonsense… face the truth head on. National are not trying to give us choices, they are cynically taking them away from us.

    What does surprise me is that they might normally have waited until after the election and taken power to announce this; but on the back of this weeks poll I guess they’re feeling more cocky than usual.

  64. Jafapete said “Monty, Sounds like the worst of both worlds. You get the unfairness of FPP — in 1978 and 1981 Labour got the most votes but fewer seats thanks to some gerrymandering — and the fragmentation of MMP.”

    I sense a bit of distortion of the facts here JP – the main reason that Labour got a higher tally of votes than National in 1978 and 1981 was due to the Labour majorities in the then-four Maori seats due to the Ratana alliance. If you want to call THAT “gerrymandering”….

  65. gobsmacked 65

    Basic logic breakdown there, Inventory.

    It doesn’t matter what electorate people cast their votes in. Everybody voted once. Labour got more votes than National. End of story.

  66. Wrong gobsmacked. Under the “old” system the total of votes for each party was completely irrelevant. The determining factor was the number of SEATS won by each party. Labour’s vote total was always inflated by the margin of their wins in the Maori seats where five-figure majorities were the rule rather than the exception.

  67. Ted 67

    I rofl at 1990s Barry Soper.

  68. r0b 68

    Wrong gobsmacked. Under the “old’ system the total of votes for each party was completely irrelevant

    Which was exactly the problem, and exactly why we changed to MMP.

    Labour’s vote total was always inflated by the margin of their wins in the Maori seats

    In what way “inflated” iv2? Maori votes shouldn’t count just like everyone elses?

  69. sean14 69

    Why all the hysteria over Peter Shirtcliffe? Was his campaign effective last time?

    People worried about multi-million dollar campaigns obviously have very little faith in the intelligence of the electorate.

  70. Inflated rOb in that Labour had a lock on the Maori seats. Under the agreement between the Labour Party and the Ratana church, Labour had 50,000 votes pretty much guaranteed. Of course Labour eventually took the support of Maoridom for granted, culminating in losing all the Maori seats to NZ First in 1996. You could argue that National had a similar mortgage on the rural vote, but that was spread over 56 seats, as opposed to the Maori bloc, which was concentrated in four seats – hence my use of the term “inflated”. It was in no way meant to be derogatory to Maori.

    PS – captcha “train melted” – a bad omen for Cullen?

  71. r0b 71

    hence my use of the term “inflated’. It was in no way meant to be derogatory to Maori.

    Well I’m very pleased to hear it iv2, because that’s the sort of comment which it is easy to attack as rather racist and foolish don’t you think? So glad we don’t have to go there.

    So Labour had a lock on the Maori vote, and National had a lock on the farmer vote – so what? Everyone gets one vote. The original point stands. In those elections Labour won many more votes, but fewer seats. Such is the suckyness of FFP. Let’s not go back.

  72. r0b 72

    People worried about multi-million dollar campaigns obviously have very little faith in the intelligence of the electorate.

    Someone better tell the multibillion dollar advertising industry that their efforts are futile. I expect they’ll want to clear out their desks on Monday.

  73. This will be a visceral issue for many, many voters. National is proposing to initiate a process that could ultimately strip almost half the voters in New Zealand of a vote that actually counts toward representation. Labour voters in safe National seats and National voters in safe Labour seats will lose their votes, along with every voter for all minor parties.

    There are 8 political parties in Parliament. Only one has a policy of removing MMP: National.

    They did not let people choose on asset sales or anything else that really mattered. Clearly this os all about getting National back into power and keeping them there by neutering voters.

    While claiming to be champions of democracy, Nationals real agenda is to restrict democracy.

    Frankly, it makes me angry. They want to take MY VOTE away. They can’t get any more personal than that.

  74. We can agree there rOb – I’m not convinced that a return to FPP would be the best move. But I DO support the suggestion for a referendum so that the public can be consulted as to whether THEY believe that MMP is the best solution.

    It’s been nice debating the issue, but I have a shit of a week ahead, so sleep is necessary! G’night all!!

  75. Tane 75

    Ted, yeah, me too. Though 1990s Steve Maharey is pretty funny too.

    sean14, yes, Shirtcliffe’s campaigning was very effective last time. He frightened a lot of people off MMP with his multimillion dollar fear campaign.

  76. Sean14: Shirtcliffe’s 1993 campaign came very close to being successful. The scare-mongering funded by CBG’s millions reduced MMPs support from over 80% to 54%. Another example of how millionsires have “freedom of speech” and no one else is heard in the din.

  77. gobsmacked 77

    Actually Inventory2 is arguing that Labour potentially had MORE support than they received at the ballot box. The opposite of “inflated”.

    Safe seats discourage voters.

  78. Thanks gobsmacked & rOb.

    I can see the point IV2 is making — that the concentration of Maori votes in a few seats allowed National to win more seats with fewer votes, but that doesn’t avoid the problem that this also happened in the general electorates, as well.

    Also, there was gerrymandering, and that was a factor in National getting more seats than votes. Bob Chapman used to fume about it for weeks after the boundaries were announced in the late 1970s. A good example was that Labour voting area in Gisborne (forget the name) that was always carved off into the surrounding rural seat.

    Do we really want to return to that?

  79. Christopher Nimmo 79

    Uh.. what? Nobody has to vote Labour because Ratana tells them to, and only a small number of Maori actually are Ratana. Should Ratana praticioners be disenfranchised?

  80. This will be a visceral issue for many, many voters. National is proposing to initiate a process that could ultimately strip almost half the voters in New Zealand of a vote that actually counts toward representation. Labour voters in safe National seats and National voters in safe Labour seats will lose their votes, along with every voter for all minor parties.

    Both sides ‘waste’ votes but a problem exists only if the proportion is well out of whack with the number of seats. That tends to only happen if the boundaries are gerrymandered. Anyway, MMP wastes votes below a threshold, and requires parties with massive support to adopt policies supported by hardly anyone (up to 80% of votes wasted).

  81. Paul 81

    Ah the halcyon days of true representation.

    This party political broadcast was bought to you by one of the extremists at Kiwiblog.

    Piggy Muldoon won one election by a landslide, then was reject by the electorate in the next two elections. That’s what I call true representation.

    A simple choice between a descriptive parliament and a delegated parliament is not simple as the disinformation and emotive campaign by the economic elite of NZ will hijack any reasonable debate.

    I see the poor extremists (there is no other word for them now) at Kiwiblog are decrying the loss of power to the lesbians and tree huggers. I’ve offered a fucking small violin for them to accompany their tears.

  82. AncientGeek 82

    What a long weekend this has been, at least judging from the comments

  83. r0b 83

    AG – Lynn had a theory that it’s the winter weather, but I don’t see it myself – too sudden. That said, I don’t have an alternative theory! Maybe we’ve just passed critical mass somehow. Be interesting to see how it is next weekend. Anyway, g’night.

  84. Funny listening to JOhn Key on Morning Report this morning (Monday) trying to say there was public demand for a referendum on MMP. Followed by Peter Dunne who said the voting system belongs to the people.

    If the voting system belongs to the people, why is National mandating a referendum that wasn’t able to get 5% of electors’ signatures on a CIR petition?

    It’s a naked grab for power. Nothing more…or less.

  85. erikter 85

    If the voting system belongs to the people, why is tha we have a minister of Foreign Affairs, a member of a party with 5.1% of the vote, who acts as the tail wagging the dog, and needs to be appeased/bought with the baubles of power so the socialists can stay afloat.

    To paraphrase S. Withers: It’s a naked grab for power. Nothing more or less.

    [lprent: Tell me - do you have anything worth saying that is not a canned line? I just scanned back through your 10-15 comments without finding anything of interest. I think I'll have to put you on my watch for spam. You look like a machine driven troll.]

  86. gobsmacked 86

    Dear oh dear. Erikter tries to be a clever clogs, and ends up looking a fool.

    What would happen if the system redistributed – or excluded – NZ First’s votes (and presumably, all the other minor parties, as they all have less support)?

    Labour would not have the current constrained minority government, negotiating and compromising. It would have unfettered MAJORITY government. Mmmmmm … socialists!

    Sounds good to me – but not, in fact, what the people voted for.

  87. QoT 87

    National are kidding themselves. If it comes down to MMP vs. FPP, and sufficient young voters get mobilized, MMP wins hands down. I’ve encountered several 18/19-year-olds recently who don’t even know what First Past the Post is, and when explained? Could not understand how anyone ever thought that was a logical way to elect governments.

  88. lprent 88

    QoT: The usual problem is getting young voters to go to the polling booth. It has been a campaign focus by various parties over the years, especially the greens.

    It is one of the more frustrating areas in campaigning.

  89. I come from a country where the MMP system has been in place for a long time. It is one man one vote, and the result is a system that is responsive to the people’s needs. There are some parties that may gain huge numbers of votes on a special topic and when the topic is dealt with they wither away again.
    There still are two big parties one called the Christian Democrats and the other Labour. Currently the Christian democrats are in power, but they are held in check by the fact that there are fairly strong minority parties who are very vocal and wield considerable power. Added to that the Dutch don’t heckle when debating serious issues. People are allowed to speak without interruptions and they expect To Be listened to and the debate should be about arguments for or against rather than play it on the personal level. The Dutch would find the heckling that goes on while debating issues that are important very impolite, childish and distracting from the job at hand.
    It seems to me that for the Dutch politicians cooperation in making decisions that will serve our nation is more important than to battle it out every time there is a debate because that leads to unresolved problems and votes along party lines. I can understand why National would want the old system back they are after all good old fashioned Tories and there must have been mighty pissed off when this system came into place.

    At the risk of being called a nut job again I put it to you that National brings this subject up because it has been told to do so by its money masters. They want power and if I can’t get it by buying the election victory for their favourite sock puppet John Key they will just try another way.

    By the way do you remember Ruth Richardson, yes I’m sure you do and most of you will remember her not too fondly. In case you’re wondering what she’s doing now I can inform you of the following: Ruth Richardson is a board member for a group called centre for independent studies.
    This group CIS is a neo liberal think tank which is funded by a series of corporations like Shell, BHP Billiton. They only release the names of their corporate funders if they agree to do so. They also have private funders and amongst others, god I love this, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch – Mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. Oh oops, I suppose that means that the Fairfax Family and Rupert Murdoch share some interest. Could it be total media control?
    CIS has a special New Zealand policy group, by the way.
    Other board members are Michael Chaney – Chairman of The National Australia Bank Robert Champion de Crespigny – Chairman and Chief Executive of Normandy Mining Ltd from 1985 to 2002. Current chairman of Primelife Lts and Buka Minerals and Sir Rod Eddington who is currently non-executive Chairman (Aust & NZ) of JPMorgan, in addition to maintaining non-executive director roles with News Corporation, Rio Tinto, Allco Finance Group Limited. Rio Tinto wants to mine the black sea bed sands. Do you begin to get the feeling that the vultures are circling poor old New Zealand too?
    The JP Morgan chase bank of which Rod Eddington is a non executive chairman opened a bank or New Zealand last year only open for big corporate money transactions, what you reckon.
    I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. This is the link to their website: http://www.cis.org.au/aboutcis/board_dir.html you can’t even call it a conspiracy any more it so out in the open.
    And here is another link to source watch, a watchdog site at tries to keep an eye on these think tanks, http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Centre_for_Independent_Studies&printable=yes
    And just to keep the conspiracy thing alive, CIS has close ties with the ultra secretive neo con think tank the Council for Foreign relations in America, home to the likes of Cheney, Rockefeller and other assorted financial and political elites.
    this is another nice article about Think tanks: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/12/1060588392062.html

  90. Dancer 90

    Poor Bill English – yet another example of where his greater policy savvy is being over-ruled by Key.

    “National’s deputy leader Bill English has stated that MMP is here to stay, but one suspects that this is to pacify those minority parties who might be called upon to support National in the next election in a coalition.

    But Mr English said yesterday that a National-controlled government would not hold a referendum. He said he had campaigned against its introduction, but the public had wanted it.

    It would be difficult for a National government to use the MMP system that voters wanted to take power only to get rid of it once it had served its purpose, he said.” NZ Herald, 30 May 2007 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10442545)

  91. randal 91

    key now says taxpayers expect up to $180 tax cuts per week because they have high costs…what does that mean? is that National policy or is he just floating nonsense figures in the air to confuse people…this election is becoming psychologically very dangerous and damaging.

  92. TomS 92

    Middle aged white males were enraged when the South Auckland vote came in and got Labour over the line in 2005. The idea of the Pacific Island women who cleans their loos thwarting their God given right to a big tax cut has driven them to distraction over the last few years, because its shaken their belief system that tells them they have a patriarchal entitlement charge, the rich white men in the castles and the brown brown folk at their gate, as the Lord almighty ordained. They will never accept a system that gives those they consider their sexual, racial and social inferiors as much say in the running of the country. And looking at the massively white, old and male National Party one can see that their peers in Parliament agree with them.

    P.S. I object to having to type “Phylis Blanc” before I could post this! Yuk!

  93. Draco TB 93

    Why all the hysteria over Peter Shirtcliffe? Was his campaign effective last time?

    It was very effective. Support for MMP dropped from ~85% to a little over 50% and all it was was scare mongering. It wasn’t designed to give people the information needed to make an informed decision but to sew doubt and it worked.

    If I was to support a change to our present electoral system I would either have it so that the number of list seats equaled the number of electorate seats or got rid of the electorate seats altogether. I certainly would not support going back to an FPP system.

  94. For those of you who still think that America is a democracy read a book called “the best democracy money can buy”

  95. Lew,

    Whoring, Idiot, Wingnut, Conspiracy nut, axes to grind.

    I think I am beginning to see why the majority of the Standard readers chose to lurk rather than partake in the discussions. It’s because of bullies like you.

    I’ll tell you why, since you seem to have appropriated the job of moderator, I sometimes touch upon the 911 truth movement. I try to do so without hijacking threads and with the utmost respect for the people who run this blog.

    For seven long years New Zealand has been involved in the war in Afghanistan. 1200 to 1300 young New Zealand men have served there and there is no end in sight to that war.

    Recently the US VA had to admit that as much as 18 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans a day succeed in committing suicide when they come home from the wars.

    The government did not want to release those figures and only did so because they were forced to do so after a court case.

    The United Nations have recently sounded the alarm bell over the many civilian casualties in Afghanistan; the war kiwis call “the good war’ as opposed to the war in Iraq about which kiwi say, “well at least within get involved in that one.’

    All these events followed after the attacks of 911. Last year in a Zogby poll it turned out that 80% of the American population believes the their government lied to them about what happened on 911 and 56% of the American population wants a new and independent investigation into what happened on 911.

    We recently started an 11th of every month 911 truth group of which there is one in hundreds of big cities around a world and the United States to spread the information and evidence to as many people as we can find receptive.

    We found for example that 9 out of 10 new Zealanders days do not know that the third building collapsed on that day. It was a 47 floor high-rise office block containing CIA headquarters, Giuliani’s bunker, the archives for a great many fraud cases of Wall Street and other assorted secretive organisations.
    It collapsed 6 hours after the twin towers collapsed with only minor fires a minor damage so footprint within 6 ½ seconds.

    That is freefall speed.

    A Dutch demolition expert has gone on record on Dutch TV stating that it was a controlled demolition. He has done so not once but several times in several different interviews.
    If you read this and you were not aware of building 7 collapsing the way that it did than you owe it to herself to Google: WTC7 collapse. If after watching the footage this resembles a controlled demolition to you too then you owe it to yourself to go down the rabbit hole and find out what really happened.
    Because if like millions of us you have to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t 19 Arabs they have to wonder why we are still in Afghanistan and why we went there in the first place.

    I comment here and on frog blog because I hope that I will get through to those who are willing to examine the evidence that has been collected by literally thousands of scientists and relevant professionals. The conclusion is that two airplanes with only a moderate amount of kerosene, most of the burned off on impact, would not have contained sufficient energy to pulverise the twin towers into Pyroclastic flows. An additional conclusion is that WTC7 could not have collapsed into dust in 6 ½ seconds into its own footprint without the help of a team of demolition experts. No steel framed building collapsed before or after the events of 911, even though they’ve been fires in steel framed buildings that burned hotter and longer.
    Only three steel framed buildings collapsed into Pyroclastic flows as a result of fire ever. All three collapsed on the same day and in the same city, in the same complex. Buildings in between the twin towers and WTC7 were damaged but did not collapse as a result of falling debris.
    Conclusion; it was impossible for 19 young Arabs to cause the destruction we witnessed that day.
    And yes Lew, I want to reach as many people as I can. We don’t earn any money of this, in fact it costs most of us a huge amount of time and money and sleepless nights. Some of us, like me, do this full time with the support of our partners, some of us can only spent part time on it but there is hundreds of thousands of us trying to bring the truth to our fellow citizens.

    Our goal is public awareness of what really happened on 911, justice for the victims of 911 (the majority of the people who lost loved ones desperately want a new and independent investigation) Healthcare for the first responders who are now dying by the droves because of the toxic dust they breathed in while trying to rescue and later clean up the crime scene.

    We want to bring back the wars in the public awareness and we want for New Zealand to have the war in Afghanistan be part of the election agenda.

    Given that the real moderators of the standard have shown at least some compassion in allowing me some space to address the 911 issue, I have to conclude that there is at least some interest and curiosity.

    And for this I am extremely grateful.

    Kia ora, Standard crew.

  96. Billy 96

    Ev, I am really enjoying this. While you are about it, can you please enlighten me about the so-called “moon landings”?

  97. Phil 97

    Tom,

    The only racists in New Zealand are those believe that the poor little brown folk can’t do anything for themselves, and they need the help of the much smarter benevolent white folk… you sound like one of them

  98. Billy,

    What about the moonlandings?

  99. Billy 99

    Ev, you mean the “so-called moon landings”, surely. You don’t sound like the kind of person to be sucked in by that cock and bull story.

  100. Lew 100

    Ev: You keep trying to rope me into debating your `facts’, but I’m not going to do it. I’m happy to let your rantings stand on their own merits. Good luck with your crusade.

    L

    Captcha: `Homicides wife’. That’s going a bit far.

  101. higherstandard 101

    TomS

    Or should that be Uncle Tom – it is some time since I’ve seen such a racist load of BS posted anywhere.

  102. TomS 102

    higherstandard, when you guys can debate fact rather than engage in your usual tiresome attempts at being the internet version of the KKK trying to burn a virtual cross on the lawn of those you don’t agree with in order to bully and intimidate maybe I’ll bother to give you the time of day.

  103. No Lew,

    Let’s not discuss facts I agree. Let’s stick with the official unproven
    “conspiracy theory”, that makes perfect sense to me.

    Billy,

    I don’t care what happened either way with the moon landings. Did they happen, did they not happen? I really don’t care. I don’t waste my time on it.

    But when a government starts two wars, and is now working on a third one with millions of people dead or damaged, refugee, traumatised with countries destroyed and uninhabitable because of an “alleged terror attack” don’t you think that it is worth looking into?

    Don’t you think it strange that the 911 commission doesn’t even mention WTC 7? That no official explanation has ever been given?

    Imagine a sky scraper of 47 floors Appr. 130m high. Bam, (you can hear the explosions that precede the demolition)
    This is a 6 minute part of an Italian documentary, be sure to watch it until the end. By the way, the BBC announced the collapse 20 minutes to early. a long link

    [lprent: corrected long link that was flowing off the page]

  104. higherstandard 104

    Uncletom

    When you can provide some evidence that NZ middle class white males consider it their God ordained right to lord it over “brown folk and that they consider everyone who votes differently to them as “their sexual, racial and social inferiors”

    I might accept that your are not a complete buffoon, until such time you are in my humble view not only a buffoon but a devisive prat.

  105. Billy 105

    TomS,

    HS kinda has a point.

    “Middle aged white males were enraged when the South Auckland vote came in and got Labour over the line in 2005.”

    Got a link for that?

    “The idea of the Pacific Island women who cleans their loos thwarting their God given right to a big tax cut has driven them to distraction over the last few years, because its shaken their belief system that tells them they have a patriarchal entitlement charge, the rich white men in the castles and the brown brown folk at their gate, as the Lord almighty ordained.”

    Got a link for that?

    “They will never accept a system that gives those they consider their sexual, racial and social inferiors as much say in the running of the country.”

    Got a link for that?

    Or are you just making shit up to justify your prejudices?

    [lprent: thats good Billy. You're starting to sound like rOb, which isn't a bad thing]

  106. sean14 106

    Someone better tell the multibillion dollar advertising industry that their efforts are futile. I expect they’ll want to clear out their desks on Monday.

    Rob – Thankfully then the electorate has you to protect it from itself. Thank you!

  107. Awesome Billy,

    No matter how many links I give about 911 for you to verify, you go on ridiculing me and ignoring the evidence but when somebody writes something you want him to give you links. What if he gave you the links would you go on ridiculing him as well or would you go there to verify his statements through the link.

    you know what I think, you are just too chicken shit to check my links because if you can not deny what you see there you’re world will go in a spin. As did mine for quit awhile by the way.

    Chicken shit, chicken shit, Billy is a scaredy cat

    Captcha: afraid ap-. Very apt. lol

  108. Billy 108

    Hi ev,

    I do not understand the question. Sorry.

  109. Lew 109

    There is no question. Just the answer. And if you don’t see the answer, well, then … there’s no helping you.

    L

  110. Wow Lew,

    That is deep.

  111. r0b 111

    Thankfully then the electorate has you to protect it from itself. Thank you!

    No problem sean, all part of the service.

  112. vto 112

    Is it just my imagination or does this site really not like white middle class males? (tom s 12.37pm)

    – hi rOb

    captcha – which happens, ha ha

    [lprent: I run this site, you address it and you address me. I am a white middle class male if you want to use those terms.

    I am also a programmer which is of more relevance, and I don't like opinions being attributed to a computer program. I view comments addressed to the site as being an attempt to duck talking to the person you're upset with. Talk to the person whose posts and/or comments you object to.

    Don't talk to me.]

  113. Lew 113

    Ev: Tell you what – a truce. I’ll go and watch your conspiracy theorist 9/11 films as well (I’m a propaganda geek, it’s why I got into polly sigh) – and you read Eric Hoffer’s `The True Believer’. I’ll mail you a copy if you promise to actually read it.

    Maybe then we can talk.

    L

    Captcha: `encourage side’. This recaptcha business is wonderful.

  114. Matthew Pilott 114

    vto, yes, it is your imagination.

    It’s your imagination that lets you see one comment, and imagine that it is representative of “this site” – whatever that might actually be…

    (woohoo, I edited a faulty grammar!)

    [lprent: thanks - I missed that one.]

  115. r0b 115

    – hi rOb

    Hi vto – hope the surfing weekend went well…

  116. vto 116

    Sheesh Iprent, calm down. I was referring to the majority users of the site, not whoever the person is running it. Maybe see Mr Pilott’s comment re imagination.

    Tom S’s bigotted racism went virtually unchecked by other users so I simply asked the question of “the site”, meaning its users. Challenging racism where it lurks Iprent.

    Just trying to imagine the response if Tom S’s post had been similarly dismissive and nasty about gays, whales or equal-rights activists, to use some old terms.

    [lprent: Those things don't concern me in this role.
    I defend the site from direct and indirect attacks (the latter are tactics making the comment area an unreadable cesspool). I tend to go for a robust defense.
    People can discuss their differences of opinions between themselves. I only get concerned when it drops into a flamewar.]

  117. Lew,

    Accepted.

    I’ll be in Auckland on the 11th of June. To help local 911 truthers to start up an 11th of every month movement.
    And in Wellington on the 11th of July to help them there.
    Are you in any of these locations, that would be the easiest.

    The places were we will do our street action will be announced on my blog.

    And yes, I will read the book.

    For those of you who want to watch a real authoritative documentary on the subject watch:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIhTXQfiENI it is a 9 part series of 10 minutes each, but I would be happy if you just started with the WTC 7 video.

    Also Google: 11th of every month movement

    The American people are in trouble and they need our help

    By the way, my blog went up 21 places on the NZ blogosphere ranking and was promoted by Tim Selwyn as being Nutty and conspiracy HQ so it goes to show that ignorance is wide spread both in the right and left wing of the kiwi blog world.

  118. Lew,

    I looked up the book and it looks really interesting.
    Yes, I will definitely read it.

  119. lprent 119

    As a complete side issue – vto’s comment about the “majority users” on this site. I don’t think that there is a majority on most topics.

    If you look at it by the number of comments (obviously not the posts – this is a labour movement site after all), I think it splits fairly evenly on almost every main political axis. Similarly the quality of comments seems to be high across the whole spectrum.

    What is encouraging to me is the strong centrist/extremist split and the slowing increasing number of female commentators.

    Overall it makes for some very interesting discussions.

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    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 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.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way 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...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 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....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 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 again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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