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You can be a leader of nothing!

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 67 comments
Categories: leadership, Parliament, united future - Tags: , ,

Well it turns out I was wrong – you can be a leader of nothing!

The Speaker has ruled that Peter Dunne keeps all his leaders perks, despite having no party to lead.

Trevor Mallard, and the whole New Zealand First caucus have walked out in disgust. NZF fair to ask why their allowances were cut when Horan was stood down, but Dunne gets to keep his?

The speaker is refusing to release the “substantial” advice that he claims to have received.

Looks like simple cronyism, and Parliament brought into disrepute.

67 comments on “You can be a leader of nothing!”

  1. Poission 1

    Redo the headline it has the news immediately affected the NZ dollar

  2. TheContrarian 2

    Total fucking chaos in the House today

  3. Here is the basic problem and why the opposition is incensed. Rule 34 of Parliament’s Standing Orders states:

    “(1) Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election, is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

    (4) Any member who is not a member of a recognised party is treated as an Independent member for parliamentary purposes.”

    United Future is no longer registered under part 4, ergo it is not entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

    It should be that simple.

    • xtasy 3.1

      I think David Carter has just signed his de-facto resignation for the role of Speaker of the House!

      This is very serious stuff, contempt of the law, by a Speaker, that is what it looks like to me, and hence the resolute walkout by New Zealand First. Peters is an old hand, well experienced with all this stuff, he would know what he is doing in this case.

      Parker was extremely incensed, so were others. While Parker was told off repeatedly by Carter, Mallard expressed his fury and walked out voluntarily. I was expecting that perhaps the whole Labour caucus and possibly Greens were also close to walking out in protest, but they later stayed.

      Yes, Dunne is indeed Mr “Done” now, this is more than embarrassing stuff.

      The Speaker quoting vague advice, refusing to disclose where he got what advice, and giving United Future defacto party status for many weeks to come, until Dunne presents his numbers and a final proof they have 500 members, seems to breach the law. Money is continued to be appropriated for UF as a legally non-existent party, this is adventure territory the Speaker is walking on.

      Carter must take his hat, I suspect.

      Dunne is now the leader of chaos in the House, nothing more. This leaves the legislative body in disarray and disorder.

    • TheContrarian 3.2

      “It should be that simple.”

      Of course it is that simple. Carter has made a ruling based on advice he refuses to share with anyone.

      Simple

      • Pascal's bookie 3.2.1

        What’s interesting about his ruling is the part where he gives Dunne a bit of time to get re-registered. There is no need for that if being de-registered doesn’t matter.

        It’s entirely up to the speaker as to whether the prty is recognised by parliament, as I understand it. But he is having a bob each way there, saying ‘no, he oughtn’t be considered a leader but we’ll just let it slide for a while because it would unfair to follow the rules’ or something similar.

        All a bit shit really.

    • Robert M 3.3

      |There is an even more real issue than Winston and Mallard are raising at the moment. Did Act and United First have 500 paid up members at the date of the last 2011 election or even 500 signed paper members in the case of Unitedfirst . Secondly if Dunne and Banks claim they have to point 1 and 2 have they tampered with either electronic recordings of membership subsuquently or paper records. There will be data and meta records of dates of any subsequent changes and alterations so various paper and electronic trails will exist, if Labour and Greens want to be in Govt. I suggest you change leader fast to David Parker, because he alone will secure an adequate majority needed in turbulent and probably dangerous times and second is administratively competent which Shearer isn’t and Cunliffe may have to settle for Finance.

  4. ianmac 4

    Rob. Word missing “advice” 2nd to last line?

  5. ianmac 5

    The Speaker seems to dig himself a hole then digs deeper. Mr Dunne’s status may also affect the vote that he gives in the House?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Mr Dunne’s status may also affect the vote that he gives in the House?”

      No, he’s an independent MP. Or at least, should be considered as such, Speaker’s machinations aside.

  6. Zorr 6

    I would be curious as to whether, when becoming an Independent MP, whether or not his confidence and supply agreement with National becomes null and void? Because isn’t the agreement between two *parties* for support, not between National and the MP known as Peter Dunne? And if that is the case, doesn’t it leave National without an actual majority and potentially open to a vote of no confidence by the members of the house?

    • Chris 6.1

      I admit I don’t know anything about a vote of no confidence but wouldn’t it need a majority to pass? So it would still need Peter Dunne, John Banks or someone in National to ‘defect’ wouldn’t it?

      • Jackal 6.1.1

        No! A vote of no confidence is basically based on a government not being able to pass legislation (you need a majority to pass legislation). National has a one seat majority, meaning they would only need to lose the support of one vote for no confidence to be successful.

    • Jackal 6.2

      Probably not… The Confidence and Supply Agreement (PDF) would stand even though United Future no longer exists. The signatories to that agreement are still in the House of Representatives, and until the now “independent” Dunce or National party declares the agreement null and void, the agreement would stand.

      The issue here is that the biased David Carter has chosen to flagrantly disregard Standing Orders. In providing additional funding to Dunne that he isn’t entitled to, National hopes to provide one of their allies with the tools to promote their defunct policy direction… Don’t forget United Future was instrumental in gaining some support for the now failing asset sales agenda.

      Either Dunne is being viewed as an invaluable tool for National to use (which is a complete joke), or he has something damning that could bring down the government. I can see no other reason for Carter to disregard the rules and provide an extra $122,000 per year of public money to a politician who is well past his use by date.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Worse. The Speaker has failed three times by my count,
    i.) ignoring the fact that Dunne was told months ago his registration was not in order,
    ii.) ignoring the fact that voters loath the list party loophole that allows a party to get list seats
    immediately,
    iii.) and most egregiously, the fact that even Dunne considerably cheapens parliament by failing to keep his registration in order which returns huge trinkets of office,

    Now today, the Speaker seems to be arguing that at the time of the appropriations the United Future party gained financing and so now that the terms have changed, United Future needs to be given time to get its membership in order. That’s richest of all, given mortgagees who fail to pay, then are given time to set matter correct fail to do so, and then aare foreclosed. The Speaker should foreclose on the United Future until the next election. It had a duty to keep its affairs in order, and should not be reward by the now obvious bias of the Speaker not only to the governing coalition but to the policy of Key to not end the list party loophole.

  8. aerobubble 8

    we know how lockwoodsmith didn’t want to fund a deaf MP, public pressure came to bear.

    Dunne has had months to get his membership in order, he reaps a huge windfall from being a leader of one (oxymoronic) and now he doesn’t even tell parliament but has the speaker writing to him!!! how contemptuous of parliament.

    Its a farce, the list party loophole that for no extra democratic mandate a single MP can sit as equals to the leader of real parties who have made real efforts. No wonder Peters is livid. He got more votes than Dunne and didn’t even get into parliament!!!! When Peters was forced out due to electioneering problems, he worked hard to come back, but their Dunne sits smugly claiming the trinkets of list party leadership.

    What a joke the Speaker has made of parliament.

    • Chris 8.1

      Just to throw it out there since you brought it up twice United Future haven’t had a member come in on the list since the 2005 election.

      • aerobubble 8.1.1

        So he and Banks are leaders of zero list MPs and for this they need extra resources, while Winston who got more votes than them both combined was with any parliamentary representation.

        Oh, I’m so angry. Why was the previous Speaker being such a bitch about funding a deaf MP? There were adequate resources…

        • Chris 8.1.1.1

          Yeah it seems pretty strange (also Hone Harawira is in the same position). I guess it is done that way to avoid the obvious question if the law was not this way of how many list MPs do you need to qualify for funding.

  9. karol 9

    “These are children playing children’s games”

    The Hairdo calling calling Liberace “all show no substance”..

    • freedom 9.1

      Mr Mallard also described the decision as a “farce”

      The article misquoted Mallard.

      Mallard plainly stated “This Parliament is a farce”

      I may be off base here but I believe that to be a far more serious declaration to the House with particularly serious ramifications for the Member who says it. To fully censure the Member who made the statement would demand some serious investigation of the circumstances leading to the outburst, which obviously the Government do not want to see happen, so unsurprisingly the Speaker let the statement roll out the door along with Mallard.

      I don’t care who is in Government on days like today, the Speaker’s behaviour was a stain on the proud efforts of so many who have laboured at the role. His ongoing manipulation of the House cannot be allowed to continuously degrade the quality of our Parliament. But what can anyone do when discussion of an admitted precedent making event is shut down before it is allowed to develop.

    • Alanz 9.2

      “Speaker will not give us his so-called legal opinion or the basis on which he made that decision”

      Carter is bringing the Office of the Speaker into disrepute and is making the processes opaque. The rot has been spreading fast, starting at the top of the government from the PM and now eating into the legislative chamber. It is a dark day for this administration with the House being dragged down so very low.

    • Tigger 9.3

      Indeed, there are games here but they’re not childish and they’re not being played by NZF and Mallard.

  10. vto 10

    Exposes Carter’s shortcomings. Really not very bright.

    • aerobubble 10.1

      What’s needed is a letter campaign from voters to the Speaker decrying his mistake.

  11. freedom 11

    Whether it is the refusal from the Speaker to share advice; the ignoring of basic definitions of words such as registered or de-registered; the stubborn denial of dialogue despite the Speaker admitting it was a precedent issue, there is something that is almost worse than the diabolical shenanigans David Carter has now let loose in the House.

    That is, how Peter Dunne did not even attempt to stand to defend his position or his [de-registered] party. He just sat staring into his own chest, mumbling quietly. Perhaps he was trying to say something and parliament’s sound system failed, again? Perhaps he was incanting favours from deities on high hoping the ground would open and swallow him whole. Perhaps he was simply singing the age ol’ classic. “i’m in the money’.

    What was certainly interesting was just how quickly Gerry Brownlee jumped up and defended the indefensible. Why would National be defending a mute UF unless votes were at risk?

    Speaking of mutes, it is incredulous there is not some sort of manipulation occuring with the microphones in the House. There has been growing disquiet in recent months with the Speaker’s inability to hear the Government when it interjects (and you often see the animated list-puppets flailing around yet nary a whisper is heard). So it is a little odd that whenever a member of the opposition shuffles a sheaf or moves in their bench, you can barely hear the question being asked. ( a slight exaggeration obviously, but I know enough about mics and sound systems to know when an audio desk is being manipulated.) We had Peters’ progressive mic failure then twice today, when King Gerry spoke, the sound seemed to kick in almost a good two seconds after he began talking, which is a dead giveaway of a late level adjustment or a slow mute release.

    There seems to be a hell of a lot of manipulation of processes in our Parliament right now and today was disturbing to say the very least

  12. Pete 12

    Are the Speaker’s rulings subject to judicial review?

    • Jackal 12.1

      You would think that there’s some legislation in place incase a Speaker of the House breached standing orders… Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case.

      A select committee will only consider a breach of privilege or contempt if the matter is forwarded by the Speaker to the Registrar… That’s simply not going to happen in this case.

      The Judiciary is pretty much only permitted to interpret the laws passed by the house of representatives, and cannot take action unless a specific law has been breached.

      Your best bet is to write to the Governor-General, who although has to follow the advice of ministers, also has the option of independent judgement.

      Being that constitutional convention has obviously not been followed by David Carter, there should be a presidence for Jerry Mateparae to rule against the Speakers decision. However considering who exactly the Governor-General is, a ruling against anything the current government does is unlikely.

      Thankfully the Speakers decisions are subject to public review.

      • prism 12.1.1

        Jackal I don’t like the idea of presidents in NZ so hope you are not thinking of Jerry M as a possible. I think you meant precedent.

        • Jackal 12.1.1.1

          LOL! It appears that the Governor-General isn’t the only person who has authority in this case, as Trevor Mallard has already lodged a complaint with the Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

          • prism 12.1.1.1.1

            That’s good Jackal. I’m glad that Trevor can put his fighting skills to good use again. I have the feeling that the NACTs think they can make up the rules as they go along. It becomes more like a computer game every day.

            Actually there may be something in that. Running our country being an interactive computer game I mean. With changeable rules. It would be riveting as each day the measures that had been introduced yesterday get overturned and replaced. Endless fun and fascination. Don’t know how much to charge for the game kit though.

          • lprent 12.1.1.1.2

            Of course. It involves the proper expenditure of government funds.

    • Nope Parliament is supreme and its processes cannot be questioned in a Court of Law. Doesn’t stop voters marking their opposition to what is happening however.

      • Pete 12.2.1

        I wouldn’t say the decision of the Speaker is the law of the land, I recall a case where the Speaker trespassed some protestors from Parliament grounds and that was later reversed in court under the Bill of Rights Act.

        Anyway, judging from what Andrew Geddis says, there’s no way to appeal this ruling.

  13. Ed 13

    Presumably Parliamentary services are responsible for arranging payments to MPs. As UF has been deregistered, surely it would be illegal to continue payments that are only available to the leader of a registered party?

    Could someone seek an injunction against the government or the public service to prevent them making the payments?

  14. Disraeli Gladstone 14

    “The rules aren’t explicit, but the better view is that as written, the rules entitle Peter Dunne to party and leaders funding in Parliament.”
    – Graeme Edgeler

    I really have to agree with our blogosphere’s master of law, Mr Edgeler. I don’t particularly like Dunne. And the rules aren’t clear. But I believe he’s probably entitled to to the funding. It’s just a pity that instead of concentrating on the budget or the horrible constitutional breaches that have occurred recently, everyone is getting into a partisan circlejerk over Dunne.

    • freedom 14.1

      It was repeatedly raised by Parker that the rules state ‘registered parties’. As UF is officially not a registered party at this juncture, at the very least the Speaker should have suspended all relevant payments until the issue is properly resolved. He would not have needed one iota of advice to do that. Once sorted, any monies due could be paid retro-actively to the date of suspension, not exactly a foreign concept to Parliament.

      If it is found that UF do not qualify for the contested funding, The Speaker’s actions have run the risk of creating a criminal offence for the Leader of UF, that of being in receipt of illegally obtained appropriation funds.

      All a bit of a mess really

  15. Hah, they probably just cost him Ohariu with this little stunt.

    • Pasupial 15.1

      United History.

    • johnm 15.2

      Hi Matthew
      I wouldn’t bet on that! Dunne’s Ohariu supporters would vote for him even if he decided to wear a Nazi uniform fulltime! lol There is literally no getting through to them, bloody hopeless! :-(

      • Ben 15.2.1

        I live in the electorate in question and I’ve been wondering if there’d be value in running a “tactical voting” exercise to get rid of Dunne at the next election.

        According to Wikipedia, in the 2011 election Dunne received 14,357 votes, Charles Chauvel 12,965 and Gareth Hughes 2,160. So if there was a tactical voting campaign encouraging Green voters to give their vote to the Labour candidate, Dunne could be unseated.

        (As an aside Katrina Shanks received 6,907 votes – a significant number, and that suggests to me that National voters aren’t getting “the message” that they should vote for Dunne.)

        I want rid of him.

  16. Jacobin 16

    Given that registered parties receive about $100,000 a year in funding and the speaker has given UF 6 weeks to “sort things out” after it has already been de-registered for 2 weeks, the Speaker of the House David Carter has effectively used his discretion to spend $15,000 of taxpayer money to ensure United Future can acquire enough financial members to re-register.

    Outrageous. Where is ACT to argue against this lavish Parliamentary excess?

    • Hennie van der Merwe 16.1

      Whilst the party has only been de-registered for two weeks, I would like to know for how long was it registered illegally? When exactly did it run out of the required number of members?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Very good questions.

        • Hennie van der Merwe 16.1.1.1

          Thank you CV but where do we get the answers?

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            The only documentation proving things one way or the other would be internal UF documents. Unless there was an investigation by the Electoral Commission or a police complaint, I don’t think that UF would ever front up with their records.

            • Robert M 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Thats the critical point Act and the United First Party of Dunne must have electronic or papers records of how many paid or signed members they had at critical points like the 2011 election. If their on the internet and their is an electronic signature they will never be fully erasable. And as the Kitteridge report confirmed with such naivety , intelligence or stupidy the crucial indicator is the meta record of the date of changes to the membership record. The intelligent will be able to draw pretty acurate indicators from that to probably legal levels proof.
              Can labour gets its house in order. And does it want to govern. Key may decide to dissolve the house and go for an election at any point. Has Labour a leader who can win or govern.

              • gobsmacked

                Forget about going back to 2011. The Electoral Commission is not interested (see end of Radio NZ report):

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/136951/united-future-complaint-laid-with-chief-auditor

                The most likely outcome here is … nothing much. At most, a pro rata deduction from United Future’s allocation – a few thousand, covering a few weeks of “non-existence”. The government’s majority won’t be touched.

                For the opposition, the political question is “Does this fit a wider narrative”? And yes, it should. We’ve had countless examples of arrogance-slash-corruption, especially over the past few months.

                Trouble is, when this is pointed out (e.g. Norman’s weekend speech) the “leader” of the opposition looks at his shoes. He wants to campaign on so-called bread and butter (“Stuff is expensive, isn’t it? Stuff shouldn’t be so expensive – Vote Labour!”).

                For the wider public, it has to be about the government’s trampling of their rights (as opposed to MPs’ rights, which they don’t care much about). That means making the connection, day after day, week after week, speech after speech, from now to election day. And I don’t mean on blogs.

                So don’t get your hopes up.

                • Robert M

                  I don’t think its as clear cut as that. I’m sure that their was a TV new doco on 1 or 3 sometime within the last year examining whether Act has actually had the numbers to be a legitimate party for some time- and it was more doubtful. Its seems in recent years their has been no actual check by the electoral commission to check whether the parties books and electronic records where in order and had 500 listed members or that they had paid subs within the specified year. It would apply to UF as well as Act. They just relied on Acts word and possibly UFs.
                  After all Act appears to have been an illegitimate trying to bring Brash and Issacs in to the house as a threesome

      • felix 16.1.2

        Winston also brought that up today.

      • Chrissy 16.1.3

        Wondering that myself.

    • Nick K 16.2

      Act was out campaigning against the illegal use of taxpayer money by the Greens on their failed state asset sale referendum.

  17. DS 17

    Nitpick: United Future is still a political party, just not a registered political party. As such, Dunne is still a party leader. However, as Rule 34 of the Standing Orders refers to registered political parties, Dunne gets treated as a de facto Independent for parliamentary purposes (even though he technically isn’t), and thus the Speaker is wrong.

    • felix 17.1

      Yep, it seems pretty clear. The Speaker is essentially granting himself the power to suspend Standing Orders as he sees fit.

      Very dangerous precedent.

  18. Blue 18

    It would be interesting to know if this applies only to recently deregistered parties that the Government needs to prop up their desperately slim majority, or if anyone can use it.

    What is to stop any MP from ditching their party or being sacked, then declaring themselves the leader of the Nutjob NZ Party and claiming funding as the leader of that party?

    If there’s no requirement for the party to be registered, then it’s a free-for-all.

  19. Jenny 19

    “…….Leader of the United Future Party Peter Dunne” Every time the Speaker of the House David Carter uses this title to refer to Peter Dunne, opposition MPs should raise a point of order.

    I imagine that Carter and all his Nact cronies would get sick of it pretty quick. Such a concerted campaign should raise a few laughs at least.

  20. aerobubble 21

    Had Dunne had any honour, he’d immediately have called a membership meeting of his party and get reannointed as party leader, and the obvious 500 membership numbers. Instead because he was incapable of getting former members to pay up (probably because they are sick of Dunne backsliding on asset sales promises at the election), he declares his duty bound obligation to tell the regulator as a notch for rather than against his good standing.

    The Speaker has injected himself into the affairs of a political party, the members of a party have a mandate to give or take away, they have taken away their mandate of Dunne.

    The Speaker should be impeached.

    As for the media, how disturbing they have yet to interview one former mebmber of the United Future party and provide a balance coverage. Had this been Shearer they’d be all over the rank and file, demanding he stand aside. Yes, funny that, Dunne suggestion that other parties membership rolls are not uptodate, and the follow on, on how those parties would have been treated by the media, just underlies the rightwing nature of our media.

    The Speaker should be impeached.

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    . . 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
  • 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
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 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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