Archive for October, 2009

The horror of low wages

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 pm, October 31st, 2009 - 24 comments

The Unite Halloween-themed $15 minimum wage march went well yesterday. Looks like there were a fair number of people there. Pity there’s no single good shot of the whole crowd (hint for protest photographers) but John Darroch managed to get some pretty cool snaps. Here are a few:  

Exchange rates, Kiwisaver, breaking promises, & the art of doing nothing

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, October 31st, 2009 - 7 comments

A range of interesting political/economic comment today in the Herald: Fran O’Sullivan joins the left-wing and groups like Federated Farmers in calling on the Key Government to sort out monetary policy. At the moment, the Reserve Bank is tasked solely with controlling inflation with interest rates as its only real tool, while the exchange is […]

Voters see Nats’ feet of clay

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, October 31st, 2009 - 25 comments

Amongst all the puffery from the right-wing commentators in the Herald today, a very interesting piece – interviews with ordinary people from New Zealand’s most marginal electorate, New Plymouth. she voted National because it was “time for a change”. “I’m quite impressed with John Key. He’s coped with a lot of situations. Compared to the […]

Key’s piggies at the trough

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, October 31st, 2009 - 13 comments

A few months ago, John Key said of ministers taking their partners travelling on the taxpayer dollar: “I’ve told them if they want to take their partner, they can do it, but they pay for it’. So he must be furious that Rodney Hide, David Carter, Peter Dunne, and Phil Heatly have all had the […]

Cycleway to nowhere

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, October 31st, 2009 - 8 comments

This just in: A picture of stage one of PM John Key’s personal solution to NZ’s recession – the cycleway to nowhere! OK, just kidding. It’s one of the images from The Guardian’s photo show on “Crap cycle lanes”. View them and weep, fellow cyclists… (If you want a political angle to haggle – how […]

Open mike 31/10/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 31st, 2009 - 9 comments

We’re trying a daily “Open mike”. This is a place for anyone to post comments on topics that might be of interest, and for any discussion following up on the comments. Over to you…

CTU Alternative Economic Strategy

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 30th, 2009 - 24 comments

If you watched the media coverage of last week’s Council of Trade Unions conference you’ll have walked away thinking it was about John Key telling teachers to take a pay cut and some woman threatening to throw a shoe at him. Entirely missed was the launch of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy. That’s a pity, […]

Hey Righty

Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, October 30th, 2009 - 170 comments

One of our commenters prism asked a good question on Open Mike the other day: The honeymoon for the Nats stretches on and I’m puzzled as to why? It would be interesting to hear what actual policies and actions are perceived as so good let’s hear the examples from Nat fans, rather than generalisations. Or […]

Bill’s pants are on fire

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 30th, 2009 - 9 comments

Bill English claims (echoes of another Bill!) that he did not have pecuniary relations with his family trust: “I didn’t have a pecuniary interest in the trust, I never have had, I don’t now and I don’t have any other interests in it.” According to both common sense and the Auditor General he was wrong […]

$15 min wage march tonight

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, October 30th, 2009 - 15 comments

The Campaign for a Living Wage will be taking to the streets of Auckland’s CBD tonight to demand a minimum wage of 15 dollars an hour and an end to poverty wages. The theme is Halloween trick or treat. If you want, you can dress up as: (a) a Zombie worker who has awoken from […]

Key OK with ministers’ backdoor perk

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, October 30th, 2009 - 26 comments

I’m sure you noticed Hide’s latest shenanigans – getting his partner taxpayer subsidised international flights despite Key’s directive not to. Key (surprise, surprise) is ‘comfortable’ with this because Hide used Parliamentary not Ministerial funds. Hide was taking a jaunt around London and Toronto to see other ‘Supercities’ close-up (unfortunately, he ignored the lessons). It was a ministerial trip but we paid […]

Four day week good – science

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, October 30th, 2009 - 14 comments

Yes Mr and Ms Work-Life-Balance, science is on your side. Last month the New Scientist summarised research from Utah that showed workers were happier, took fewer sick days, and were more energy efficient when working four day weeks instead of five. The full results of this experiment won’t be published until October, but an ongoing […]

The best dividend is POWER!

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 30th, 2009 - 17 comments

At this point it seems a bit pointless coming to work this morning. I’m sitting in a dark office with the cheeping of UPS’s (uninterruptible power supplies) and ozone as the batteries discharge keeping servers alive. The entire crew are sitting around waiting for the power to come back on, like large number of people […]

Treasury provides cover for Nats’ rightwing agenda

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, October 30th, 2009 - 19 comments

National’s favourite public servant (who got himself a nice pay rise), John Whitehead, has been offering dire warnings of the future. $2 trillion in debt by 2050! Something must be done! Naturally, the Treasury has an extreme right-wing solution – cut everything: cut health – yeah, a less healthy workforce that’ll be great for the […]

Breakfast is on us

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, October 30th, 2009 - 20 comments

Check out the invite we got to ‘Plain English’. Incredible. I didn’t even know until watching the Campbell Live story that David Cunliffe and Roger Douglas will be in the debate too. They’re not even mentioned  in the invite. But English is and there’s a picture of him. In fact, he’s portrayed alongside Guyon in the same […]

Open mike 30/10/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 30th, 2009 - 26 comments

We’re trying a daily “Open mike”. This is a place for anyone to post comments on topics that might be of interest, and for any discussion following up on the comments. Over to you…

One of these things is too like the other

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 3 comments

Now TVNZ is pulling the Bill English ad, I notice the web ad is also gone. In it’s place is something so vapid that I pray it was knocked together by a new minted marketing grad in ten minutes (‘Do you feel guilty looking for another job when you’ve already got one?’ No, why would I? but maybe you ought […]

Outdoor smoking ban stupid

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 41 comments

According to Radio NZ the Western Bay of Plenty District Council is declaring a ban on smoking outdoors. The ban covers 30 beaches including the popular holiday spots of Waihi Beach, Maketu and Athenree – and the towns of Katikati and Te Puke. Signs will be put up informing smokers to stub out on playgrounds, […]

Sue Bradford’s valedictory

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 11 comments

Some highlights from Sue Bradford’s valedictory speech. We’ll link to the full version once the Greens get it up. Update: Frogblog has a clip of the whole speech here.

Nats flying high, on your dime

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 16 comments

Why is our agriculture minister spending as much as the Prime Minister on international travel? David Carter has spent $72,000 on international travel in nine months Peter Dunne, Minister of Revenue, has spent $76,000 Judith Collins, $70K. Anne Tolley $79,000. 70-80K each – we’re talking about enough money to buy half a dozen last minute […]

Anyone remember this guy?

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 6 comments

With all the noise around Obama you don’t hear much about this guy now. He was politically naive but knowingly and willingly acted as a front for much more machiavellian minds. He came to politics with lots of money and was promoted very quickly, but he wasn’t too good at inspiring confidence by way of […]

On Cameron Slater and mental illness

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 52 comments

A few months ago, a couple of us worked out that Cameron Slater, following his little spin in the media where he gloated about receiving income insurance for depression, had been kicked off his payments by the insurance company. The angry post asking for a lawyer who hates insurance companies, and the switch to […]

$15 minimum wage, it’s only fair

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 4 comments

The campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage is gathering pace. Initially, Unite kind of set out on their own on this one but I understand they’ve got other unions on boards now. They need a bit over 300,000 signatures to force the government to hold a referendum. They’ve got until May 7, just […]

Political marketing expert fooled by English ads

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 9 comments

If you thought TVNZ’s promo ad for its Plain English series looked like an ad for the National Party you’re not alone. Seems the ad is so faithful to the political advertising genre that it even had a political marketing expert fooled. Here’s Dr Clare Robinson on her reaction to seeing the ad: “When I […]

Good on you Sue

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, October 29th, 2009 - 4 comments

Ever since the Greens were elected into Parliament for the first time, Sue Bradford has been one the MPs I have admired the most. She stood by strong principles, for the right kind of change, and always represented those who lacked a voice and political power. Her final political statement was insightful into the kind […]

Bill’s latest rort

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, October 29th, 2009 - 74 comments

I hadn’t seen the Bill English ad until now. I guess I had kind of assumed it couldn’t be that bad – surely it would be a promo for the show with a few stock clips of English because he’ll be appearing. Nope: It’s just an ad for English. In fact, I’ve got no idea what […]

English condemned

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 29th, 2009 - 30 comments

Bill English stands condemned. Only in part by the Auditor General. Her report is ambiguous: The result was that the Crown was renting a property for Mr English from a trust in which he had an interest, and the arrangement was explicitly based on a view that he did not have an interest. Clearly, this […]

Open mike 29/10/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 29th, 2009 - 8 comments

We’re trying a daily “Open mike”. This is a place for anyone to post comments on topics that might be of interest, and for any discussion following up on the comments. Over to you…

Myth-busting: ACC and injuries

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 28th, 2009 - 19 comments

One of the Right’s silly myths, never backed up by any facts, is that not privatising ACC leads to more injuries. The logic (and it’s a logic only the money-obsessed could come up with) is that private workplace insurers would charge higher premiums for dangerous workplaces and lower premiums for safer workplaces – this would […]

Caption Competition

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, October 28th, 2009 - 44 comments


Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, October 28th, 2009 - 20 comments

Why on earth is Labour supporting this police state bullshit? The article says Labour MPs were concerned about the extent of powers being given to the police, and Charles Chauvel tried to amend the bill so a judicial warrant would be needed. Amendment was voted down, but Labour went and voted for it anyway. Some […]

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