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Archive for June, 2008

ToryAid: Wastewatch (3)

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, June 24th, 2008 - 68 comments

In response to the UMR poll that shows 60% of voters would not want tax cuts at the expense of public services, Bill English says “under any tax plans we might have government spending will continue to increase* but [we need] more effective public services in tougher times” Notice, they are already preparing the ground […]

PSA broadens tax debate

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, June 24th, 2008 - 21 comments

It’s good to see the PSA broadening the public debate on tax cuts with a UMR poll showing the majority of Kiwis don’t want bigger tax cuts if they come at the expense of public services. To summarise: 71% of New Zealanders would prefer to keep taxes at current levels than have higher user charges […]

A big week for Treaty settlements

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, June 24th, 2008 - 3 comments

Tihei Mauri Ora Ki nga hou e wha Tena koutou Tena koutou Tena koutou Huri noa i te ao hurihuri, it te ao ipurangi Tena tatou katoa Mauri ora This week is the biggest ‘Treaty Settlement’ week in the history of settlements and it’s a huge week for members of the North Island iwi and […]

Deja vu

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, June 24th, 2008 - 15 comments

I was having a look through some old campaign PR yesterday and found this gem: It seems John Key ripped off more than just Coldplay when he made his DVD.

Blog reader survey

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, June 24th, 2008 - 2 comments

Dear Blog Reader, My name is Andrew Cushen, and I am conducting a survey of New Zealand Political Blog Readers. This survey is part of my research toward a Master of Arts in Political Studies at the University of Auckland. As the reader of a blog that features postings related to political news, discussion and debate in New […]

You call that policy? This is policy

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, June 23rd, 2008 - 90 comments

National has released a brochure, laying out all its policies. They take up two A4 pages of double-spaced bullet points. That’s incredibly lightweight. Contrast that with the policy files of another party outside government, the Greens. National has 14 vague policies. The Greens have 51 policy area pages, each containing dozens of actionable policies. There […]

Reflected by the internet

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, June 23rd, 2008 - 2 comments

Clayton Cubitt (friend of one of the editors of BoingBoing) has recently visited NZ. He’s posted some fantastic visual material to his tumblr site including the video below – a short interview with Vic Taurewa Biddle. More of Clayton’s Kiwi content here but (warning) it’s not a permalink so you might have to page back and forward […]

The grass isn’t greener across the ditch

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, June 23rd, 2008 - 72 comments

The cornerstone of National’s ‘New Zealand sucks’ campaign is that Australia is much better (and we have to lower taxes and slash work rights to catch up). Now, the Sunday-Star Times produced a well-researched article on standards of living here and in Australia. A year late, but good to see, nonetheless. The conclusions: Your tax […]

A foolish promise

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, June 23rd, 2008 - 11 comments

Simon Power promises a new prison in a National government’s first term. What a glib and foolish statement. Had he paused to reflect before his opening his mouth, Power would have realised this cannot be done. Gaining cabinet approval, identifying a site, completing the resource consent process, running a tender process, and building the prison […]

National breaking promises already

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, June 23rd, 2008 - 24 comments

As you know, National promised to cap core public servant numbers at 36,000. That was going to deliver each of us a whopping 50 cents a week tax cut. Well, that one single solid policy promise from National is already in serious jeopardy. Corrections staff make up 6600 plus of the supposed ‘bureaucrats’ of the core […]


Written By: - Date published: 5:36 pm, June 22nd, 2008 - 72 comments

National has been going on about the number of comms staff at the Ministry of Social Development. Rather than ask ‘what do these people actually do that the Government employs them, rather than undertaking other spending or giving bigger tax cuts?’, Bill Ralston parrots the Nats’ line and gives us: “The Ministry of Social Development […]

Daily Show on Baracknophobia

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, June 21st, 2008 - 14 comments

Hat tip: onegoodmove.org

Hollow Men film to premiere next month

Written By: - Date published: 4:57 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 108 comments

The Unionist reports Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men has been made into a film and will be screening as part of this year’s New Zealand International Film Festivals. The 98 minute documentary is directed by Alister Barry, whose previous work includes the excellent In a Land of Plenty and Someone Else’s Country, and is […]

More bluster, still no policies

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 49 comments

Every month, Stats releases migration figures. Each month, they show little change in the pattern from last month. And each month, National comes out all in a fury over the figures as if they herald Armageddon while offering no substance, just a lot of bluster. Nothing has changed from April. In the month of April, […]

The headline you didn’t see

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 94 comments

‘Unemployment benefits at record low.’ The number of people receiving the unemployment benefit has fallen to just 17,465. That’s the lowest number since at least 1979. At the same time, Sickness Benefit numbers fell 1,542 (3%) in the last year, DPB numbers are down 12% in the last five years. Overall, benefit numbers have dropped […]

Reverse graffiti

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 2 comments

It’s a viral ad, but still pretty cool…  

Old man’s law

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 62 comments

Frogblog has footage of Nandor Tanczos blasting the Government’s anti-tagging legislation and noting that “Judith Collins would be screaming about the nanny state if we tried to tell her that she had to keep her Chardonnay under lock and key.” Sounds like Hone Harawira was in fine form too: “Tagging is ugly and offensive and […]

The Standard Week – 13-20 June

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, June 20th, 2008 - 6 comments

Both major parties show-boated over getting tough on crime this week. The only difference being Labour actually had policy; National, just slogans. We generally steer away from covering ‘I’m tougher than you’ politics on The Standard. Instead, we focused on the fundamentals that matter to ordinary Kiwis, wages and rising costs. We also had a deeper look […]

The definition of irony

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, June 20th, 2008 - 45 comments

When a band who sued after their work was famously plagiarised by a certain leader of the National Party is themselves sued for plagiarism. All it needs now is for National to sue the guy suing Coldplay and they’ll have completed the circle. [Creaky Boards’ song vs Coldplay’s] [John Key DVD soundtrack vs ‘Clocks’]

ToryAid: Wastewatch (2)

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, June 19th, 2008 - 40 comments

Here’s the waste National has identified so far: 1) Embassy in Sweden – approx $3 million capital, $3 million operating 2) Badges about Te Teo for school kids – $56,000 Why it’s waste: badges for Maori language! Next they’ll be wanting their land back. Why it’s not a waste: Meh, maybe it is waste but […]

How to harm your brand

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, June 19th, 2008 - 83 comments

Kiwibank, New Zealand’s supreme award winning Sunday Star-Times/CANNEX best value bank for the third year in row, the Socialist Bank of Jim Anderton, the one doomed to failure but making healthy profits, is now advertising on Kiwiblog. Strange, ’cause I wouldn’t have thought that the Kiwiblog right are quite their target demographic. And I wonder how Kiwibank would feel […]

Act now to protect workers’ wages

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, June 19th, 2008 - 55 comments

              Times are going to get harder for workers in the next few years. Unemployment is set to rise to 4.5-6% (still well under 1990s levels). The wages of those who keep their jobs won’t rise as fast. At the same time, prices are rising faster, particularly petrol. What […]

EFA lets voters know who bankrolls parties

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, June 19th, 2008 - 65 comments

National has announced that John Key donated $30,000 to the party this month. That’s all well and good; Helen Clark donates a similar amount to Labour most years. What’s new is that the donations Key and every large donor to National or any other party are now public. Previously, National received up to $2 million a […]


Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, June 19th, 2008 - 17 comments

For everyone who says apostrophes don’t matter, try telling that to the Bioethics Council.

Key promises productivity magic

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, June 19th, 2008 - 47 comments

Key reckons he could bring down inflation by targeting ‘low quality’ government spending. How? To counter inflation, you need to increase productivity. Inflation is projected to run at 4.7% this year. The Government makes up a third of the economy. If Key was to bring that down to 2% by increasing Government productivity how much […]

Creeping socialism in Australia

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, June 18th, 2008 - 83 comments

Kevin Rudd’s Labor government has begun the roll-back of John Howard’s unpopular WorkChoices legislation with ten new National Employment Standards aimed at providing a safety net for all Australian workers. The new standards include a 38-hour maximum working week, 12 months unpaid parental leave (24 months between a couple), flexible working hours, redundancy rights and […]

Slippery John’s “after-tax incomes” line

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, June 18th, 2008 - 33 comments

You’ll have noticed that Key only ever talks about increasing ‘after-tax incomes’. Even when he’s asked about wages for government employees, like doctors, he responds that National would increase their after-tax incomes with tax cuts, not by increasing their wages. But anybody can see that cutting taxes is only a short-term way to slightly increase […]

Hit and Run

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, June 18th, 2008 - 40 comments

I put a comment on one of Steve’s posts a few days ago and he suggested I put it up as a post so here goes: National have been playing a hit and run public relations game for a few years now. It’s not a bad strategy for an opposition as the news-cycle moves so […]

WhaleOil – Technically Challenged

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, June 17th, 2008 - 109 comments

I was just checking the links to the standard and I see that Whale is being his usual self. It looks like he has finally managed to read a DNS. He has discovered that I run a server at home, and that I’m a labour party supporter. Now I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a number […]

The 100 thing challenge

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, June 17th, 2008 - 20 comments

From Time magazine: Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we’re no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we’re huddled masses yearning to free up space on […]

Drinking Liberally email for the next event

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, June 17th, 2008 - 26 comments

“Hi all, Ok, we’re going to try to lock in a regular Drinking Liberally schedule now: first and third Thursdays of each month. Which makes the next session this coming Thursday… And a huge thanks to Dr Michael Cullen for coming along to the last event. The video’s up on YouTube for those who missed […]

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