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Archive for June, 2009

A Rankin headache

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 33 comments

There must be an automatic recoil on the Government benches when Christine Rankin’s name is mentioned. Even Bill Ralston has noticed the difficulty in which they find themselves with her latest embarassment: We now have the ludicrous position where a Families Commissioner appears to run a shadow campaign by proxy, through surrogates, completely contrary to […]

National’s growing silence explained

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 23 comments

Judy Callingham (partner of Brian Edwards) has a new post, one of a series of media tips they write on. The latest tip might suggest National are slowly learning the hang of managing the media and explains why National are already clamming up and failing to front on so many important issues. Yet while Callingham […]

Hiding to nothing

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 25 comments

Did anyone else detect a whiff of desperation in Family Fist’s PR offensive today championing the case of a man who lost control and repeatedly shoved his son to the ground because he refused to play in a rugby game? I mean, is this really the best they’ve got? A grown man who’s lost his […]

Headline fail

Written By: - Date published: 2:33 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 39 comments

This is a classic. Media are reporting that National MP Nick Smith has had an assault complaint lodged against him by a Nelson man. Right on cue, Farrar puts up a quick post to downplay the whole thing. His choice of headline? “Sounds like a beatup” That’s one epic headline fail 🙂 [For what it’s […]

Electoral finance part deux: have your say!

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 8 comments

Guest post by Rob Salmond It is almost time for you to send your submissions on the government’s issues document on electoral finance. Submissions are due on 26 June, here’s where you can email the submissions. This is the only time we all get to throw around options before the government comes out with its […]

Rhetoric & Reality 4: Tertiary Education

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, June 23rd, 2009 - 5 comments

National sure does talk a good game before an election. This time we’re looking at their rhetoric on education, especially tertiary education: Key: I’m passionate about ensuring today’s young people get the education they need to succeed. Education is a liberator.. It’s what makes it possible for a kid from even the most challenging background […]

What is campaigning?

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, June 23rd, 2009 - 45 comments

As widely predicted, Christine Rankin is continuing to cause embarrassment for the government. She is now succeeding in making the Prime Minister look weak, as despite blatantly ignoring his warnings, he seems unwilling to sack her. From John Key’s post-cabinet press conference just last week (15th June): Question: The families commission’s come out in support […]

1 million Aussies? Don’t get too excited

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, June 23rd, 2009 - 17 comments

So 1,001,880 Australians visited New Zealand in the year to May, up 3.7% over the last May year despite the recession Yay? Well don’t pop the bubbly just yet. The total number of visitors fell 2.6% from 2,482,881 to 2,418,647. The decrease from other countries wiped out the gain from Australia. And here’s the important […]

The mask slips

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 pm, June 22nd, 2009 - 102 comments

The child beating lobby launched its “Vote No” campaign site today. They’ve worked hard in this campaign to present themselves as regular Kiwis standing up for common sense values, so I find it interesting they’ve chosen to decorate the front page of their campaign with this racist, sexist cartoon: The cartoon is clearly designed to […]

Protest for pay equity

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, June 22nd, 2009 - 47 comments

Earlier this year the National/ACT government announced it would be closing the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit, which was set up by the previous government to address the 12% pay gap experienced by women workers. The excuse given by State Services Minister Tony Ryall was that ending discrimination and paying women what […]

Treasury on swine flu

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, June 22nd, 2009 - 15 comments

Here’s the key part of Treasury’s report on the impact of swine flu, released on Friday: Typically Treasury, it’s more interested in GDP than anything (not to say the effects on the economy won’t be big – it should extend the recession by another two quarters). I’m more concerned about 0.08% population mortality rate, which […]

It’s got to be the woman’s fault

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 33 comments

Now, some might want to look further into David Garrett’s misdemeanours. Some might ask how many strikes does this guy get?: Drunkenly equating homosexuals with paedophiles on Eye to Eye. On criticism double-bunking will lead to an increase in assault and male-on-male rape, said: ‘The fact is if you don’t want to be assaulted or […]

I call bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 17 comments

I’d prefer not to wade into the David Garrett sexual harrassment fiasco, but having seen his pathetic blame-shifting in the media I’ve got to call bullshit on him. Both Garrett and his boss Rodney Hide have been downplaying the sexual harassment with the excuse that Garrett was an oil rig worker for ten years, so […]

Knee-jerk wins again

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 90 comments

Does anyone understand why prisons are so expensive to construct? They’ve got to be secure They’ve got to be safe for the prisoners and for others They’ve got to live up to the basic conditions that are set by a civilised society (and I hope we want to be one of those) They’re designed to […]

Lessons unlearnt

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 12 comments

Matt McCarten, who has managed more than a few election campaigns, does a good post facto analysis of where National went wrong in Mt Albert: Despite what the Nats said after the by-election, their internal polls (and Labour’s) at the start of the campaign showed they had a chance of winning. At the very least, […]

Pigs, kiwis… and a king!

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 6 comments

From SAFE: Join Mike King, one of New Zealand’s leading comedians and pig campaigners, launch an exciting new pig-friendly initiative to help end pig suffering in New Zealand. Mike King has become the country’s most notable ambassador against pig crates. Hear how he went from the ‘King of Pork’ to a champion for pigs. Hosted […]

Focussing on the things that matter – to the Aussie banks

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 pm, June 21st, 2009 - 13 comments

What on earth is going on between the National Party and the banks? The week before last Key and English were waxing hot on how the Australian-owned banks that dominate the New Zealand market were charging relatively high interest rates in New Zealand. The Reserve Bank also thought the differential between their rates and the […]

My two cents on Garrett

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, June 21st, 2009 - 52 comments

It’s a good outcome of the Worth scandal that these things are now being dealt with. Worth was known as a man women steered clear of around Parliament. Even back at Simpson Gierson. It was never dealt with until it got really serious. Garrett has been held to account for behaviour Worth got away with. […]

Roger Douglas on Key and English

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, June 21st, 2009 - 19 comments

Commenting on Key’s policy to force the Guardians of the Super Fund to invest 40% of funds in New Zealand, ACT’s Roger Douglas notices a pattern we’ve posted on here at The Standard before: “This only enforces the emerging trend we have seen between Mr Key and Mr English. Mr Key announces a stupid idea […]

“I got the sucker”

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, June 20th, 2009 - 18 comments

Obama kills a fly with his bare hands. Awesome.

One hand giveth, the other taketh away

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, June 20th, 2009 - 1 comment

Last night at the Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards the New Zealand Police and Porirua City Council won the Prime Ministers Award for Public Service Excellence for their collaborative ‘Safer Porirua’ project. John Key himself announced the winners at the awards dinner, and congratulated the Police and Porirua City for the success of the project. However, […]

Caption Competition

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, June 19th, 2009 - 58 comments

Answers still needed from Key

Written By: - Date published: 2:12 pm, June 19th, 2009 - 20 comments

For some reason, Tracey Watkins’ blog is hidden away deep within the Stuff website, far from the other blogs. Which is a pity because it’s where she writes her best stuff. Like this: One part of me thinks it’s bleedingly obvious why John Key lost confidence in Worth so why get in a stew about […]

Server Glitch

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, June 19th, 2009 - 22 comments

I’m unsure exactly what the server glitch was earlier today. The hosting company had a problem with our database going ballistic, so they shut it down and suspended the account until fixed. By the look of it, I was told about 5 minutes later and a few minutes after that received an e-mail from the […]

Pulling up the ladder behind her

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, June 19th, 2009 - 115 comments

Paula Bennett’s image as a Westie solo mum who’s been on the DPB has been an important part of National’s centrist branding. By putting her in charge of the Ministry of Social Development, despite any relevant experience or discernable talent, National gave a clear signal that in their government image would trump substance. Fair enough […]


Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, June 19th, 2009 - 29 comments

The Herald reports Pita Sharples has backed down on his demand to ‘open’ the universities to Maori. Now he says: “he wants Maori to have free access to universities but only if they pass a course showing they have reached required standards.” We already have that, Pita. Just get whatever they call UE these days […]

The scandal that wasn’t there and the one that was

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, June 19th, 2009 - 15 comments

The Herald really really wants to uncover an expenses scandal like in the UK. Think of the fun they could have. But they’re not finding anything for two reasons: 1) our expenses system is much tighter than the UK’s 2) MPs in the UK are paid £67,000, not much by London standards, while the $131,000 […]

The Daily Refrain takes on Larry Baldock

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 pm, June 18th, 2009 - 15 comments

So. There’s this dude who writes a song a day (weekdays only) and puts it on Youtube. Calls it The Daily Refrain. He’s been going three weeks now. Mostly pretty funny and well written. Great little project. Seems like he’s a Kiwi. He’s put up one about the child-beating referendum which is brilliant. Hilarious. But […]

Is it any wonder the papers are dying?

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, June 18th, 2009 - 19 comments

Taken just now from the front page of Stuff.co.nz: Here’s something a little more substantial you might enjoy.

‘Supercity’ Select Committee Submissions Workshop

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, June 18th, 2009 - Comments Off on ‘Supercity’ Select Committee Submissions Workshop

The University of Auckland’s Political Studies Department is hosting a free public workshop presented by Rob Thomas to assist people interested in making submissions to the Select Committee on Auckland’s Governance. This is a non-partisan community event to encourage community participation in the decision making process. At the workshop we will: Discuss a brief history of the Local […]


Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, June 18th, 2009 - 1 comment

This is the latest YouTube clip from 350.org, the international movement planning a worldwide day of protest on October 24 to demand our political leaders negotiate a fair and effective global climate treaty. There are a few events listed in New Zealand but it doesn’t look like anything major has been planned at this stage. […]

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