A fighting liberal

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, June 1st, 2013 - 122 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags:

New Zealand voters like strong politicians. And today Russel Norman showed he’s a strong politician – a fighting liberal. For perhaps the first time since John Key took power, someone has had the guts to stand up and blame him for the corrupt government he’s been running.

From TV3:

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the National Party-led government is arrogant and divisive and is undermining democracy with its “crony capitalism”.

In a speech to the Greens’ annual conference in Christchurch today, he gave examples of special deals for friends, citing dairy development in Canterbury, a deal to build a national convention centre and laws to limit protests against mining companies.

“John Key’s National government is arrogant and divisive, and only looking out for their mates,” said Dr Norman.

“Under National, New Zealand is a country of crony capitalism where public money and benefits are showered on those who have the ear of the relevant minister,” he said.

Thanks in part to the godawful backfiring H-fee attack on Key in 2008, the opposition has had a real fear of calling him to account like this. The consequence of this has been two-fold – Key’s popularity has been protected among those that don’t follow politics that closely, and, among those that do and see him getting away with blue murder, there’s been a sense that the opposition is simply a bit weak.

That’s a shame because, as Norman’s speech shows, progressives don’t have to be weak, rather it is vital that we fight for, and are seen to be fighting for, what’s fair and what’s just.

Indeed, there are a lot of voters that didn’t turn out in 2011, not because they weren’t offered the right policies, or because they were pissed of with progressive values, but because they didn’t see anyone fighting for them or what they believe in. We Kiwis are like that – we’ll back the underdog to the hilt. But only if that underdog shows the spirit to fight.

That’s what Russel Norman has done today, and I imagine that the Greens will gather some votes from some surprising corners because of it.

122 comments on “A fighting liberal”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I suspect that having a “gutsy fighting spirit” is an attribute in of itself which attracts the classic Labour voter. Battlers love to see a battler in action.

    • Nordy 1.1

      Of course it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last time a left wing politician asserts the culpability of Key for the corruption and ‘for the 1%’ apprach of his government. What is new is the that the tide has turned, and therefore the message has some resonance outside the beltway.

      Couple that with some of the MSM finally getting off the NACT ‘cheerleading bandwagon’, and the time is right for this type of direct and head-on and sustained assualt on the carefully constructed myth of ‘that nice guy’ John Key.

      What I am looking forward to seeing is a planned and sustained political ‘attack’ on Key and his ministers for their deception, outright lies and continuing fiscal and managerial incompetence.

      • Can we please stop calling the political class the “beltway”? We don’t have a circle motorway around Wellington, and pundits wouldn’t live there even if we did.

        The MSM is still on the National bandwagon, they just realise they have to favour them with selective or horse-race coverage now rather than outright cheerleading

        Got to agree about a sustained attack for their various ethical violations. Painting the government as corrupt is not exactly a stretch and it’ll resonate far more than “labour and the greens are loony lefties”.

        • Rich 1.1.1.1

          +1 This is not America.

          (The other reason for not mentioning a beltway is that it might give the NACT/Fletchers axis the idea that they could pour an awful lot of money and concrete into a tunnel from Seatoun to Eastbourne).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2

          I use the term Beltway Labour to describe the particular kind of Labour in central Wellington who have never welded a seam, never shovelled a tonne of gravel, never been 100m underground, never required hearing protection at work, never tried to raise a family on $400/week. A Labour who is more comfortable in boardrooms and glass storied office blocks than speaking to people in a rural pub or a meeting in a provincial town.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      I suspect that having a “gutsy fighting spirit” is an attribute in of itself which attracts the classic Labour voter. Battlers love to see a battler in action.

      That’s my thought too. The worst mistake that Labour could make would be to think that they’ll win back the battlers with a culturally rightward tack.

      • Red Rosa 1.2.1

        +1

      • rosy 1.2.2

        +2

        Key stands in parliament calling Labour the devil-beast and accuses them of building a ‘far-left’ coalition while Nact is so sensibly centrist…. hah!

        It’s great to see someone call Key out on his crony, corrupt capitalism that is marginalising the democratic rights of ordinary people. Labour needs to get onboard – at least show their policies are mainstream in other democratic countries rather than simply taking the blows from Key.

        • Anne 1.2.2.1

          Labour appears to still think that ignoring the smears and ‘taking the blows’ is good politics. Did it work for them between 2005 and 2008? NO. Did it work for them between 2008 and 2011? NO. Will it work for them between 2011 and 2014? NO.

          End of story.

    • paul andersen 1.3

      yes , norman has the fighting spirit that whatshisname ,the labour leader seems to lack.

      • Rhinocrates 1.3.1

        The facepalm would cause a concussion. Shearer/Robertson are terrified of losing the “soft” NACT vote by saying anything indistinguishable from what they think they want to hear, but is even more terrified of attracting eight hundred thousand roof painters. My flabber is ghasted – or would be, because ennui has taken over.

      • xtasy 1.3.2

        Exactly, and the media now tend to speak to Norman first, when there are issues to be addressed, for which they want the opposition’s opinion and position.

        Shearer is rather bland and dull in front of the cameras, which does not help his struggle with speaking coherently and decisively.

  2. I am ABSOLUTELY opposed to corrupt CRONY CAPITALISM!

    A very good speech Russel Norman. Well done.

    ‘Shonky’ John Key, ex-Wall St banker (STILL a shareholder in the Bank Of America), is clearly working in the interests of overseas investors – his bank$ter and corporate mates.

    WAKE UP Kiwis!

    Protecting our democracy from crony capitalism – speech by Dr Russel Norman at AGM Green Party 2013

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/protecting-our-democracy-crony-capitalism-speech-dr-russel-norman-agm-green-party-2013?fb_action_ids=615659575113405&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • TheContrarian 2.1

      GOOD FOR YOU PENNY! WHY DON’T YOU TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK?!

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Ridiculous her if you see fit, but Penny can claim be thing that I doubt few enough NZers can do at present.
        She cares enough of the plight of many vulnerable and impoverished peels to do and say something.
        You remind me of a school bully, who tries to shut down opinion by mocking the person brave enough to say anything.
        Before you continue to behave in such a manner, please tell us all what you do to make a better world for such people.

        • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1

          I’m not mocking Penny for her beliefs, I am making light of her proclivity towards SHOUTING CAPS!

          • Paul 2.1.1.1.1

            So you would agree that NZ needs more folk like Penny?

            • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really, she’s rather hysterical in my opinion.

              • She certainly has her style, but she’s got the right idea on most things.

              • prism

                Te Contrarian
                You remind me of a saying I’ve got on on my frig. The time for sensible discussion has passed, now is the time for senseless bickering.

                Penny knows that it’s important to step out of our comfortable she’ll-be-right persona and get into active discussion followed by intelligent, strategic action. WARNING- some people may find that her capitals and dedication offend. She doesn’t but puts me to shame.

                • weka

                  “The time for sensible discussion has passed, now is the time for senseless bickering.”

                  Priceless. THANKS prism.

              • paul andersen

                if you dont like the use of caps, STAND FURTHER BACK FROM THE SCREEN.

          • paul andersen 2.1.1.1.2

            if you dont like the use of caps, STAND FURTHER BACK FROM THE SCREEN.

            • QoT 2.1.1.1.2.1

              How exactly would that work?

              And a word to the wise: lprent really, really hates people getting shouty and capslocky.

            • tamati 2.1.1.1.2.2

              This is how I feel about all capitals people!

        • Jimmie 2.1.1.2

          Can you rephrase your post in simple english? Was hard understand very to…..

  3. DS 3

    The Greens aren’t liberal (at least not economically). ACT, back in the days before they were taken over by social conservatives, were liberal. Liberal means pro-free market, pro-autonomous individual; as such, it’s a right-wing position.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Yawn. Liberal just means pro-liberty. A ‘free’ market doesn’t necessarily make for a more free population.

      • DS 3.1.1

        I’m hardly a supporter of the free market. I’m just pointing out that Liberalism, as an ideology, is right-wing free-market and socially tolerant. It should not be used as a synonym for Left, even though Left-wingers are often socially Liberal.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          Yep, and I’m disagreeing with that.

          Everyone is a variety of liberal these days, they differ in means. People who don’t think free markets increase freedom and oppose then for that reason, are still Liberals.

          There is a reason Classical Liberals are called that. Modern liberalism draws from Rawls and others, and says that in order to increase net liberty you need things like, for example, wealth redistribution, access to education and heathcare and all those other things.

        • Actually the greens do support markets that are freer than they are currently, if being free means being fair to the individuals as well. The problem with so-called “free market agreements” is that they are either between countries that are already wealthy if they are relatively fair, or they exempt many key markets or are selectively used to pressure wages downwards. That’s not getting into several key assumptions of “free market theory” that are violated by countries or political movements claiming to believe in free trade- such as completely open borders for immigration.

          There’s often the assumption that because we on the left oppose perverse incentives in the market that we actually believe in command economies or other rubbish strawperson theories. Speaking for myself at least, I feel that when there is no socioeconomic cost to free economic behaviour, it’s fine for the government to butt out until such a cost emerges. The problem is that we’ve let such behaviour run entirely rampant and there’s so much of it to stamp out that the government isn’t seen as a fair broker if it digs too deeply into any one area.

          And as Pascal’s Bookie points out, classical liberalism doesn’t own the word liberal any more, and theories of social equity have begun to dominate the thought space in that area now that we have some very highly developed countries that don’t just have to worry about economic issues.

    • Dan1 3.2

      Liberal has two almost opposite meanings:
      As from my computer dictionary!
      1. open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values: they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people. (ie as applied to Norman above)
      2. favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms: liberal citizenship laws.
      3. (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform: a liberal democratic state. (ie less government interference: Liberterians, Tea Party, Act Party, some of the national Party).

      I have always felt reasonably liberal on most issues but to be compared to the Liberal Party in Australia or Lindsay Perigo in NZ, I am at the other end of the spectrum!

    • IrishBill 3.3

      Don’t be pedantic. Anyway “Fighting Social Democrat” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

      • Dan1 3.3.1

        Irish, I am in agreement! I was responding to DS. Good speech by Norman. Whenever I talk to Labour MPs, my comment is to front foot things; get some policy out there; don’t keep the powder dry until later.
        Turei and Norman are very positive front people. There are none of the shifty eyes of Key and English.

        • IrishBill 3.3.1.1

          Sorry I was replying to DS.

          • North 3.3.1.1.1

            It’s in the area of “contranym” as I just found out via Google. One word with two virtually opposite meanings. It’s been that way at latest since the sociopathic crooks Douglas and Prebble.

            Worries me that while ShonKey Python to his advanatge talks a “broad church” we find ourselves having to argue about a dual usage for Christ’s Sake.

            Surely we know where we’re at, don’t we ?

        • muzza 3.3.1.2

          There are none of the shifty eyes of Key and English.

          That would be due to, the lack of track record, as only being MP’s, and co-leaders.

          Very easy to make big noises, when you’re not in a position to do anything other than, make big noises!

          Unless you’re David Shearer, who can’t even manage to make any noise at all, that doesn’t leave him sounding/appearing like an oxygen thief, playing politician!

          • Paul 3.3.1.2.1

            Yup, can’t imagine Shearer making a speech anything like that.
            In either content or with the same integrity and passion.

            • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.2.1.1

              And furthermore, I think that Norman would not have simply read that pre-prepared speech out, he would have written significant chunks of it himself.

    • weka 3.4

      The Greens aren’t liberal (at least not economically). ACT, back in the days before they were taken over by social conservatives, were liberal. Liberal means pro-free market, pro-autonomous individual; as such, it’s a right-wing position.

      In NZ, traditionally, the word liberal has belonged to the left eg I grew up in a (white, middle class,) liberal family ie one that was progressive in a way associated with left wing (not conservative) politics eg homosexual law reform, reproductive rights etc.

      ‘Liberal’ in the US means what you think it means.

      As far as I can tell this is why in NZ the likes of Perigo use the term ‘libertarian’ rather than liberal.

      When I read Irish Bill’s title, it didn’t even occur to me that he meant libertarian.

      • DS 3.4.1

        The US uses Liberal as a synonym for Left. We don’t, except possibly in matters of social policy.

      • tamati 3.4.2

        Homosexual law reform and reproductive rights aren’t really a domain of the “left”.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.4.2.1

          Apart from the fact that on both issues in every modern democratic country you care to name, the left and right will line up along similar lines. It must be one hell of a coincidence.

          • tamati 3.4.2.1.1

            David Cameron supports gay marriage and Julia Gillard opposes it, which one is from the left and which one is from the right?

            It’s probably easiest to define those who support gay marriage as “the future” and those who oppose it as “the pre-dead”. The old left-right paradigm is pretty antique these days!

            • Pascal's bookie 3.4.2.1.1.1

              left and right are notoriously hard to define, but extraordinarily well understood and widely used. It’s a bit of a paradox for sure, but people know what is meant, and are pretty consistent about them. They are useful terms.

              I find that people who claim they are old hat and whinge about it are outliers who don’t quite fit in with how the left and right break down in their own polity. That’s fine. But it’s mostly bad luck for them.

              On Cameron and Gillard, true, but also irrelevant.

              Both leaders are in trouble for a start. More telling is looking back through history, ( as recent or as far back as you like), and see how the left and right voted on bills, or where the activists come from on each side of the issue, and what happens in comment sections on left and right wing blogs on those issues.

              No bother even checking really eh?

              • pollywog

                Haven’t quite figured the whole left right out thing yet.

                I think i swing around a bit but not even sure of that…

                • Colonial Viper

                  The whole left/right scale is a bit of a one dimensional description approaching the point of over simplified uselessness.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Thing is though, it’s used a lot. That’s the definition of useful.

                    People know what it means even if it’s really hard to articulate what’s going on.

                    There’s no point in doing it (and I suspect you’ll agree) but I’d wager that if you went out with a long list of policies and asked a large number of people to say whether each policy was left or right wing, you’d get a pretty high consistency around the way each policy was scored.

        • Clockie 3.4.2.2

          I think you’ll find that certainly in NZ and I suspect other western countries also it has been certain pockets of the left that have championed those causes until they became politically acceptable across a broader reach of the spectrum.

        • When the right wing starts believing in social liberty again they can start arguing that women’s and queer rights aren’t a left wing issue. Until then the onus is on those right-wingers who do believe in personal rights do have to bear the burden of overcoming that stereotype and of convincing their friends that rights for everyone are the way to go.

    • TheContrarian 3.5

      That’s classical-liberalism

    • paul andersen 3.6

      rubbish, liberals get very anal and uptight and abandon the free market when property values are threatened.

  4. Phaedrus 4

    I suspect the Greens will attract significant proportion of the non-voters in 2011, the ones who stayed home because they didn’t see Labour as a viable alternative to National. I’d also suggest that the country has been waiting for this speech, although it was probably Labour that they were waiting for. This may be the pivotal point leading to the eventual eclipse of Labour as the main opposition party, replaced by the Greens, who know what they stand for and are not afraid to articulate this.

    As a long term Labour member I must say that my vision is developing an increasingly green tinge and I suspect that this will intensify. The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position, e.g. Labour believes in….. and these are our policies to bring this about.

    However, as was the case under Phil Goff, I really don’t know what Labour believes. It’s time they took a leaf from Norman’s book and spoke from the heart with passion, not just peddling stuff that policy analysts believe will negate National.

    The Greens are defining the battleground with speeches like this, and with the NZ Power policy (surely Labour will have seen the positive outcomes from taking this definite stand), and the effect of this is clear – National has been forced to pull out the 2013 version of the dancing cossacks and devil beasts, as they have no other answer, once ideological catch phrases are negated.

    • Anne 4.1

      As a long term Labour member I must say that my vision is developing an increasingly green tinge and I suspect that this will intensify. The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position…

      Never a truer word hath been spoke.

      When you try to get this message across to your local LEC and find yourself (effectively) told to shut up and stop complaining then it becomes hard to raise any enthusiasm.

    • xtasy 4.2

      “The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position, e.g. Labour believes in….. and these are our policies to bring this about.”

      Yes, right, but I think it is not so much that the string pullers do not have any idea of how to use the talents of those Labour MPs you refer to, rather it seems they want to keep them on a leash, so they do not get too much profile and traction by being outspoken.

      The old guard have the problem of still seeing themselves too much as ex ministers, as office holders who worked with the business and other sectors, and they are too mindful of upsetting those, as they perceive them as important and powerful.

      Also I have the impression that Jacinda Ardern for instance is not allowed to speak as freely about social policy issues as she may like to.

      Under the last Labour led government certain policies were introduced to put more pressures on sole parents, sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries, to make more efforts to return to work. That was of course not as strong a push as the Nats are now applying, but it was dressed up in nice words like wanting to “support” and “assist”.

      Also they abolished the Special Benefit, and replaced it with the capped Temporary Additional Support, which leaves many in situations they cannot survive on.

      Labour’s old guard have their hands dirty in some affairs, and if younger ones like Ardern speak up and criticise the present government too firmly, this could back-fire on Labour, that is what they fear.

      The present Principal Health Advisor for MSD, Dr David Bratt, a rather right-wing kind of person, who compares benefit dependence to drug dependence, he was also appointed under a Labour government minister by the way!

      So it is refreshing to hear Norman hold a very good speech and call a spade a spade. Do not expect Shearer or even Robertson to come up any time soon with such strong words as Russell Norman used today.

  5. Paul 5

    That’s why National are so scared of the Greens..hence the devil beast language

    • xtasy 5.1

      At the end of the TV3 news at 06 pm today (just before 07 pm) the newsreader announced, that John Key had phoned in during their broadcast, to tell them what his position was.

      Yes, indeed, the Prime Minister calling into leading media news, in reaction to them broadcasting bits about Norman’s speech at the Christchurch conference of the Green Party, that is a clear sign that he is damned worried and furious!

  6. Paul 6

    “Well we’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby; your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us because we work for the people of New Zealand and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”
    Wonderful.

    • Treetop 6.1

      More to come tomorrow from Turei. Both Green Party Co – leaders are intelligent.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Hmmm any chance Norman’s speech was filmed and will make it to Youtube?

  8. North 8

    Norman’s speech excites in me boyhood memories of winter nights around the kitchen table in a freezing timber village in the South Waikato. In the morning the remaining contents of the teapot frozen. Warm as toast from the wood range, regaled late into the night with maternal grandmother’s and mother’s personal accounts of ’51, protests in the Domain, my uncle beaten up by two detectives outside the Station Hotel and kicked all the way to Customs Street, Basham the bastard horse-mounted cop from Onehunga batoning skulls in Myer’s Park, the Upper Queen Street Chinese greengrocer taking the bloodied in the front door administering a tot and hustling them out the back door, the Depression.

    The philosophical instruction was never direct but it was there alright. The dignity and pride and power of the working class.

    To hell with the smiling scabs and the careerist traitors and back to the future ! As I type this I look to the panel on the right of my monitor which recommends me to NZ On Screen – In a Land of Plenty – Someone Else’s Country – Patu ! – Bastion Point the Untold Story.

    WTF’s gone wrong ? We’ve been heisted and it looks like we don’t even care.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Oh, there are those of us who care, a great deal.

    • Clockie 8.2

      “WTF’s gone wrong ? We’ve been heisted and it looks like we don’t even care.”

      ++1. Couldn’t agree more. (Nearly) all of us (there are always class traitors) who were brought up in working class families can relate stories similar to the ones you’ve just told. They informed our political consciousness as we grew up and learned a thing or two ourselves. I’ve tried to pass on some of that heritage to my kids but I fear too many people have failed to do so as they have become “aspirational” or succeeded and left behind those who didn’t succeed. It’s a pity the same battles have to be fought repeatedly by successive generations. Weak people fail to remember that the “price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

      • prism 8.2.1

        Weak people – I feel that’s a bit harsh. What many of us haven’t understood is that social gains are not secure and stable, but can be withdrawn. I thought we were in upward progress, and never imagined the old slave-trading mentality could take over again. Basically the idea that profit is everything and to ensure that ordinary people are treated fairly is dangerous and anti-trade and will undermine the economy.

        What we need to understand is that understanding politics and taking part in the discussion daily and not leaving it to others except once each three years is essential. It should be talked about over the dinner table or the knees in front of tv instead of sport. Our children need to learn how to manage their democracy so it remains viable and fair, and that certainty of future progress towards reasonable living standards is not guaranteed.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          There is a new wrinkle to the tales to be told as well – resource and energy depletion is acting as an increasing drag on the world economy. The 20th century was a story of ever cheaper and ever more plentiful physical resources. That time is over. Practical skills, ability to get along and work together with people, to stay fit and healthy: these are the best ways to stay ahead of this curve.

          • prism 8.2.1.1.1

            CV +1

            • Jenny 8.2.1.1.1.1

              CV +2

              • AmaKiwi

                CV: “Practical skills, ability to get along and work together with people, to stay fit and healthy: these are the best ways to stay ahead of this curve.”

                No, CV. We’ll join the Yanks in their holy crusade to scavenge the last remnants.

                In six days God created the heavens and the earth. On the seventh day we bulldozed it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  We should be careful lest we are the ones who end up scavenged and carrion…

        • uke 8.2.1.2

          I also think “weak people” is a bit harsh. But one of the lessons of the last 25 years is surely that we must learn to remember better.

          Where has the collective memory of NZ Depression experiences gone? As far as I know there are a grand total of two NZ non-fiction history books on the Depression (both by Tony Simpson). Compare this with the endless stream of NZ war books.

          Cultivating NZ’s working-class and trade union history will make people stronger in the task of resisting neoliberalism and right-wing authoritarianism.

          • karol 8.2.1.2.1

            John A Lee wrote about the 20s and 30s in NZ.

            • uke 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Lee’s “Simple on a soapbox” and “The Scrim-Lee papers”, if that’s what you are referring to, are both good. But strictly speaking they’re more about Lee’s political career than the Depression.

              His novels – “Children of the poor”, “Delinquent Days” and “The Hunted” – are vivid pictures of pre-welfare state NZ. But who reads them these days? How many people under 30 even know who John A. Lee was? To really function as collective memory, such material needs to be adapted and updated for new generations, talked about, kept alive.

              Chris Trotter does this occasionally with his column – but who else?

              • karol

                Um…. The Standard posts of the original Standard pages from 1938?

                • uke

                  Yes, indeed. That is good to see and I thank The Standard for this. Also the Labour history Project and Auckland Labour History Group (thanks aspasia).

                  But I would still contend that the Left is suffering a major collective memory loss. Political and social ommentary on presentday NZ society usually refers to the past only in the most general ways.

              • aspasia

                Who else? The Trade Union History Project and the Auckland Labour History Group.
                Support & enquiries for the Auckland group can go to pgsimpkin@slingshot.co.nz.

                Next event in Auckland:
                Friday 14 June, 2013 12:00-3:00pm WG808, L8, Sir Paul Reeves building
                AUT University, Mayoral Drive, Auckland City.

                Speakers include:
                Gay Simpkin, B&LHG Associate and Auckland Labour History Group secretary
                The ALHG Oral History Project

                Dr Joce Jesson
                Auckland Labour History Group,The Strike, 1912: Recording and Remembering, Creating Popular Culture?

                RSVP to work.research@aut.ac.nz .There is no charge for this event. Attendees must rsvp by 9am, 12 June for catering purposes

          • AmaKiwi 8.2.1.2.2

            “Where has the collective memory of NZ Depression experiences gone?”

            or the memory of the 2007-2009 crash? Banks and governments didn’t change anything, which is why the global economy is again on the edge of the cliff.

      • North 8.2.2

        Fucking eloquent there Clockie !

        • Clockie 8.2.2.1

          I try. 🙂 Seriously, I know I don’t have all the answers, but I was born in the late 50’s and spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a kid. They were all born before 1910 (the oldest in 1901) and went through the hard years that John A Lee wrote about. *

          They were not very talkative people but when they spoke it was to good effect. In a very few, rare phrases I would get a picture of the kind of privation, oppression, humiliation and anger they and their class of people experienced right through until things started to improve with the early programmes of the first Labour Government. It was quite something to see these normally quiet people getting briefly passionate and animated with blazing eyes as they told personal anecdotes to illustrate a political point.

          They would occasionally remind me and anyone else who was listening to always remember that battles which had been fought and won could always be lost and that the boss class would always try to remove the rights and conditions that the Labour movement had wrested from them.

          It’s been interesting watching their descendants and how they’ve turned out over the decades. Some are strong and determined and know how the world turns and remember what the oldies said and pass it on to their kids, others a bit venal, out for themselves and satisfied that “anyone can succeed like them if they try” and others who think that it’s all easy peasy and nothing to worry about as long as the All Blacks are winning, until suddenly something goes wrong and someone’s sick or loses a job or has a disabled kid who can’t foot it in the world…

          *Wikipedia: Lee..wrote his first novel, Children of the Poor — the book was largely autobiographical, and was a considerable success. The book argued that poverty generated crime and vice, and that only a socialist program could solve society’s problems.

          Norm Kirk spoke and wrote along exactly the same lines about the people and the conditions they lived with in his home turf of Woolston in Chch.

          One of the functions of the Labour Party, through people like Lee and Kirk and Lange, was to act as an institutional memory for the working class but sadly, they have really ceased to do that for at least a generation now in my humble opinion.

          I guess I’ll get attacked for saying that but frankly, fuck it..

          • Rhinocrates 8.2.2.1.1

            No, I’m glad that you said it. A child of the 60s myself, I remember Norman Kirk and David Lange, and remember that Bill Rowling was a good man. They were Labour. ABC is not.

  9. Lefty 9

    Capitalism is always about governments looking after their cronies (otherwise known as the ruling class).
    The difference between this capitalist government and some of the previous ones is they are more overt about it.
    There is an almost refreshing honesty about how this government openly administers the system for benefit of their friends and takes an ax to any group, law, tradition or process that impedes this.
    Politics in this country are largely about what group of capitalists will have their people in government.
    Helen had her favourite little capitalists.
    And Russel is constantly reminding us the Greens have their own favoured group of green growth capitalists whom they would favour if they had the power to do so.

    • Matt 9.1

      As Bill Maher said about Democrats vs. Republicans, they’re all in bed with special interests, but the Republicans are in bed with somewhat scarier ones.

    • weka 9.2

      “And Russel is constantly reminding us the Greens have their own favoured group of green growth capitalists whom they would favour if they had the power to do so.”

      Citation needed. And make sure it shows that Norman would give preference to his mates and colleagues over other people with the same green qualifications.

      Sure, any party in parliament in NZ at this time has to support capitalism. But there is a difference between crony capitalism and capitalism that at least allows conventional democracy. It’s scarey that some on the left can’t see that.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        The “Green Growth” meme needs to be shown for what it is – false hope for the middle classes and unsustainable on a finite planet.

        Year on year % growth simply cannot be maintained on a limited resource base, even if you greenwash it. The growth we need now needs to be in terms of qualitative improvement of peoples lives, not quantitative increase in production and consumption.

  10. karol 10

    Excellent speech. I’ve never been that keen on Norman. He’s a bit too centrist for my liking. But good on him for calling National out for it’s anti-democratic, crony capitalist ways. Norman is my idea of a liberal – basically for individual rights and a fair go for all, not very radical left.

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      If Key “retires”, can you imagine Shearer or Robertson taking on Judith Collins?

      Squashed like ants.

      Go Russel, spokesperson for those of us in opposition.

    • Jenny 10.2

      Hi Karol, will there any debate at the AGM on the wisdom or not of whether the Green Party should go into coalition with Labour.

      Which way will the Green Party go?

      I see that Russel Norman, as reported by Andrea Vance says that he has no bottom lines for post-election negotiations. Does this mean that the Green Party could give up their opposition to mining the Denniston Plateau, and Deep Sea Oil drilling, possibly even fracking to get cabinet positions?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8743975/Norman-Greens-can-govern-with-Labour

      • Jenny 10.2.1

        Climate Change the elephant in the room. I wonder if Meteria Turei will let the dreaded two words escape her lips today.

    • Clockie 10.3

      Is it fair to expect either Norman or the Greens to be “very radical left”? I don’t think the party has ever claimed an orientation of being more than mildly centre left, although obviously they have sometimes attracted individuals (eg Sue Bradford) who would be well to the left of the official party ideology and most of the rank and file membership. The fact that she failed to win a leadership position spoke volumes in my opinion. They are a progressive party which believes in practical solutions to issues of social justice. In the meantime that’s good enough for me given the limited options available. The Wikipedia article gives a good breakdown on what the Greens are about and as someone who currently supports them I found nothing in that definition that surprised me or raised any concerns.

  11. prism 11

    I thought that Russel sounded strong, firm and on the mark with no feeling that he was just nit picking or fault finding. Refreshing.

  12. Jimmie 12

    The main point from Norman’s speech today is the perception that we now have a ‘leader of the opposition’ and a ‘ghost leader of the opposition’ – and I would say that Norman is looking a lot more alive and kicking compared to Shearer struggling to stay relevant and secure in his position.

    I would say the outcome from this weekend’s conference will be that the Nat’s will retain their current support in the polls but Labour will lose support to the Greens.

    This speech today was as much about robbing Labour of its relevance as it was about attacking John Key.

    Back in April at the joint release of the NZ Power policy a message was sent to the voting public that at long last they could look at L&G as equal partners in Parliament. (John Armstrong’s Siamese twins?)

    However Norman is trying to get a leg in front from this conference – position the Greens as the strong attacking party while Shearer’s Labour waffles around in the background. (And hopefully an extra boost in the polls)

    How will Labour respond?

    • Rhinocrates 12.1

      The problem is, perhaps, that a lot of people still only perceive the Greens as viable as secondary coalition partners with Labour, so while Labour is so hopeless, they don’t look worth the gamble either.

      Russel and Metiria are doing a damned good job nonetheless, not terrified of focus groups.

  13. Saarbo 13

    More from Norman’s speech today:

    “We’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby.

    “Your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us … and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”

    Norman is in a league of his own, Key started his 2014 campaign with “The Devil Beast” bull shit and Norman has just cleverly rubbed Keys imbecilic crap right back in his face.

    I’m picking that the Greens will lift significantly on the 247k votes that they got in 2011…Go Greens.

  14. Yes 14

    Oh come on guys this is a snippet of the speech. He said John keys was like Muldoon. FFS Russel didn’t come to new Zealand until 1997. What would he know!

    Russell will continue to attack labours voting base. When are you going to wake up to what he is doing!

    All i am trying to do Is seriously wane you. Why do you give the greens so much space on here when you are the voice of labour!

  15. gnomic 15

    Good on yer Ruzza! Anyone who calls out the smirking or latterly scowling weasel for the undesirable he is deserves approbation. Needs to be more of it, as without the Teflon weasel factor what have the Nats got? English, a proven electoral loser. Brownlee, seems he needs a minder just to pop out for lunch in Newmarket. Why would that be? The Crusher. Please, spare us. Paula the puppet? Pass the sick bag. And what’s the message? Roads and more roads, all on borrowed money. Sprawl, more suburban sprawl. Ratepayers subsidise developers to throw up more shoddy housing over good agricultural land. And let’s gut the conservation estate with mining, rather contrary to the tourism brief. Unless tourism is to consist of shipments of ‘high value’ consumers of casino and brothel services. As it might well do in a third world county.

    It is rather sad that the working class have lost any awareness of the struggles of the past. Martin Eden, where are you now?

    The crux of the issue: there is not going to be a reversion to the years of eternal growth, for any number of reasons. Therefore the Labour Party needs to get a new plot, or become irrelevant, at best just another flavour of the neo-liberal conspiracy. I’m afraid that when I hear David Parker say that the last fiscally irresponsible government in New Zealand was under Muldoon, I despair of Labour. As well as being ideologically destitute, it’s factually incorrect The Clark government was irresponsible in its electoral bribes, and as for this current shower, is there still capital punishment for treason, betrayal of the people of the nation?

  16. RedLogix 16

    My 2 cents worth:

    In truth I’ve long believed that while Labour is the proud heritage of the left; the Greens are it’s future. Within a generation, maybe even sooner, it could be Labour who is the minor party… unless it is willing to completely reform it’s internal processes.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/2c-on-the-leadership/#comment-415887

  17. xtasy 17

    Does anybody remember John Key and what the slogan for the last election was? Have you ever heard of the “Brighter Future”?

    Does anybody care to get a grip of what that may all have been about, and who was behind this, as the “Bringer of Light”, kind of the one who wanted to bring us a “brighter future”?

    Perhaps add one and one together, by looking at the interpretations below!

    There is one called “Lucifer”, who has a name and a meaning. Few may suspect it, as the government and its leader are good experts at shrouding much and using smoke and mirror tactics.

    While all are up in arms about Key using the term “Devil Beast”, who really is he himself? Is he not really that “Lucifer” known so well to people with some religious understanding?

    Indeed, the Devil may be the “shining one”, the “bringer of a brighter future” himself. Read up on the “fallen angel” and other stuff below. Have a read and join the dots together.

    You are about so have a true revelation:

    From Wikipedia:

    “Lucifer (/ˈluːsɪfər/ or /ˈljuːsɪfər/) is the King James Version rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל in Isaiah 14:12. This word, transliterated hêlēl or heylel, occurs only once in the Hebrew Bible and according to the KJV-influenced Strong’s Concordance means “shining one, morning star, Lucifer”.[1] The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate,[2] which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer,[3][4] meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus” (or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”).”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

    Also the Latin dictionary (online:

    Lucifer – meaning:

    “morning star| day star| planet Venus; bringer of light”

    http://www.latin-dictionary.org/lucifer

  18. UpandComer 18

    Corrupt government? I love how the left considers anything that involves ‘money’ and ‘getting things done’ and ‘someone not in the Labour party’ as a formula entailing automatic corruption.

    John Key has been great because successful business people respect him, will work with him, and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ. Note the benefits for NZ. Not like Labour which cuts through red tape only when it is of benefit to itself, a la the electoral finance act, Mike Williams board appointments, and Taito Phillip Field, etcetera ad infinitum.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ.

      selling out our legal protections, increasing poverty and gambling amongst struggling Aucklanders, and giving a sweet heart deal to SkyCity international shareholders.

      • rosy 18.1.1

        and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ.

        Shipments of produce held up at borders.

  19. Wayne (a different one) 19

    “He’s a strong gutsy politician” – Yeah Right!

    “Please give me back my flag” – wimp!

  20. tracey 20

    Maarten Wevers, the former head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet wrote the report that just absolved Perata, Foss and English. Should I be reading anything into that?

    In 2012 he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) the first CE of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to have been recognised in this way.

    Inote he was appointed in 2004 when Clark was PM. On that basis can much be read into that position impacting the report?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Return of Disasteradio
    I confess, it had escaped me that there had not been a Disasteradio album for seven years. It's not as if Luke Rowell had been idle: he's made a bunch of records as his alter-ego Eyeliner in that time. But ...
    1 hour ago
  • What to know what’s happening in Charlottesville?
    Do yourself a favour and watch this. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Kiwi petition ignored by National
    The National led government has perhaps been the most arrogant when it comes to conserving our natural resources in New Zealand. Through ignorance and greed, they've managed to damage our ecology beyond measure in their relatively short political history.Unfortunately the ...
    3 hours ago
  • Don’t You Dare, Jacinda Ardern! Don’t You Dare!
    Oi! Jacinda! No!  If Jacinda Ardern follows the advice of her advisers to scale back voter expectations and re-commit to the Labour/Green "Budget Responsibility Rules", then she will endanger everything she has achieved to date. “DON’T YOU DARE, Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 hours ago
  • In the Name of God, Go!
    As storm clouds gathered over Europe in 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, went to Munich where he believed that he had obtained undertakings from Hitler to the effect that Germany would not launch further attacks on its neighbours.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 hours ago
  • 2017 Rail Station Boardings
    For the last few years now and since electrification of the network, ridership on Auckland’s rail network has surged, jumping from 10 million trips in the year to June-2013 to 19.6 million trips in June this year (and bound to ...
    4 hours ago
  • Mark Richardson plays dirty
    The dirty politics debacle should have signalled to the right that underhanded tactics don’t usually pay off. There are some exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking New Zealander’s don’t like nastiness getting in the way of a good debate ...
    4 hours ago
  • Beyond the Beehive: Kaikohe / Whangarei
    In the lead-up to the election, journalist Max Towle is on an epic road trip taking the political pulse of young New Zealanders. The Whangarei electorate has been a safe National seat. Is that about to change? Beyond the ...
    5 hours ago
  • We are beneficiaries: I was used to feeling like a beggar
    A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. They asked artists who have been on a benefit in NZ (DPB, sickness, invalids, jobseeker, whatever) to draw a picture ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei has started something
    .   . When Metiria Turei announced her resignation as co-leader of the Green Party, on the afternoon of 9 August, it could be said that the bullies had won. The reactionary media pack – led chiefly by so-called “journalists” ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    15 hours ago
  • National would tax water as well
    Politics is a strange beast… it requires people to attack others over what they believe, usually because they think it's the best course of action to promote their party. Often those beliefs are founded on a real desire to make ...
    19 hours ago
  • Change happens when we stand together
    Tertiary Update Election Edition Vol 1 No 1 Together we have stopped National’s attempt to change the law to funnel public money to private tertiary education. Over the past few months, nearly 5,000 people have joined our campaign to keep tertiary education ...
    19 hours ago
  • Your university, pay and the living wage
    Dr. Wayne Linklater, co-president of the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) branch of the Tertiary Education Union, discusses how paying the Living Wage would help advance the values of public institutions like VUW.  Universities are the engine of progress. They train ...
    19 hours ago
  • Mental health needs are failed by competitive funding
    Nicole Wallace from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland, shares a powerful story about studying for a tertiary degree with a mental health condition, highlighting why we need to support public tertiary education for better access to ...
    19 hours ago
  • Local public tertiary education is vital for Māori
    Steven Wharehinga, president of the Tertiary Education Union branch at the Universal College of Learning, explains what impact reforms introduced by National have had on the provision of regional tertiary education and what this means for Māori, Pasifika and low income families. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Our own memorial problem
    This week we've all been made aware of the problem of the USA commemorating the leaders of the racist, slave-owning Confederacy with public monuments. Meanwhile, there's a similar problem in New Zealand. Via Twitter, I was pointed at a map ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • No protection for whistleblowers in NZ
    There's been some debate about the need for increased whistleblower protection in New Zealand. And today, we have a perfect example of why it is needed: because the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki has just got the Employment Relations ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • That rail plan
    The big political news this morning in Greater Auckland's proposal for Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga commuter rail. It looks like a good idea. In the southern part of the North Island we already have (limited) commuter rail between Palmerston North, Masterton and Wellington, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • The Singles Life: The evolution of Shorecore
    Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music. Photo: Florence Noble/Facebook It may have been nearly a decade ...
    24 hours ago
  • Just how bad is the Aussie NZ relationship?
    As the finger wagging continues both here and over the ditch about Australian MP Barnaby Joyce being outed as a New Zealand citizen (oh the horror!) it's probably work pointing out just how bad our political relationship with our closest ...
    1 day ago
  • Voter Motivators 2017: Water.
    Worth Protecting? The threat to the nation’s water is real and it demands action. What’s more, the Water Issue comes with a whole cast of ready-made villains: someone to take the blame. Farmers. WHO CAN FORGET that magic childhood moment when ...
    1 day ago
  • Are we all anti-fascist now?
    US neo-Nazis and fascists supporters march in Charoltsvill, USA. Image credit: Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share via Reuters Wouldn’t that be nice? What if the current almost universal condemnation of fascism by the main stream media and social media commenters were genuine.? That it represents an ...
    1 day ago
  • Beyond the Beehive: The Far North
    In the lead-up to the election, journalist Max Towle is on an epic road trip taking the political pulse of young New Zealanders. Drugs, jobs and housing are on the minds of people in the Far North.   Beyond ...
    1 day ago
  • Introducing Regional Rapid Rail
    Greater Auckland is proud to present our proposal for Regional Rapid Rail – an Upper North Island Passenger Network. This post gives you a brief summary of our staged proposal to introduce higher speed inter-city rail to the Upper North ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Second radio interview in the US travelogue series.
    There is some overlap between yesterday’s post and today’s radio interview, but there is also a a fair bit of other material as well: http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/video/2017/08/trump–charlottesville-and-north-korea—the-latest-from-the-us.html ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Whatever happened to one law for all?
    by Susanne Kemp The Metiria Turei case certainly brought a lot of mean-spirited people with double standards out of the woodwork.  People who vigorously defended John Key’s electoral fraud and Bill English’s rorting of the public purse for the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead
    For the past decade and a bit, I've been working as a computer technician and sales rep. During that time, I've seen the desktop and laptop computer go from being the main method people get on the Internet, to an ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration
    Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went ...
    2 days ago
  • Meanwhile, in Poland
    While we're all worrying about Nazis in America, we might also want to keep an eye on Poland:Polish police broke up a feminist rally and forcefully removed activists to clear the way for a march for far-right extremists. A live ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Privacy, not “secrecy”
    Politik breathlessly reports that the New Zealand government kept information on Barnaby Joyce's kiwi citizenship "top secret":New Zealand Ministers and officials imposed a heavy security lid once they realised that they had information which could, in effect, topple the Australian ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport
    The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including: Airport ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    2 days ago
  • The Real Reason for Housing Unaffordability
    The news that the number of houses being sold is falling and that prices are rising more slowly has been greeted in some quarters with responses that are – sadly – all too predictable. The consensus is that these shifts ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Renting in New Zealand (and what politicians are promising to change)
    As politicians talk up their housing policies ahead of the election, renters share stories of stress, illness and why the current system doesn’t work. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Jared Kelly / Flickr Cleaning the house of mould and ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails miserably on housing
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not very happy with all the homeless people wandering the streets and sleeping rough in the cold, some of whom are dying on park benches. But instead of blaming the victims, I think ...
    2 days ago
  • Check this out
    The Spinoff has a terrific tool that lets you see and compare the leading parties’ election policies. You can tick your favourites and then see which way you lean based on your policy choices. It is beautifully done. It almost ...
    2 days ago
  • Loading Docs: Asian Men Talk About Sex
    Eight Asian men bare all as they speak candidly about sex, love and dating.   Asian Men Talk About Sex has been released as part of Loading Docs - a launchpad for short New Zealand documentaries. DIRECTOR INTERVIEW: ...
    2 days ago
  • “Let’s Tax This?” – “Hell, Yeah!”
    "Hell, Yeah!" - Labour must not retreat before National’s “Let’s Tax This!” counter-attack. Not when a majority of New Zealanders are ready to rescue their ailing public services from further deterioration. When National hurls the “tax and spend” accusation at Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce – Asshole of the Week
    It came as somewhat of a shock when the Australian government attacked the New Zealand Labour party and its leader Jacinda Arsdern yesterday, a personally attack over the fact that their Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has dual citizenship and ...
    2 days ago
  • Letters from America, take three: a scab got picked.
    Donald Trump picked a scab during his campaign for the presidency and now the puss is draining out. It will be a while before the wound is cleansed. The puss is racism, xenophobia and bigotry. When I left the US ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Timing is everything for Ardern & Labour
    Timing is just so important in politics, as in so much of life. Plenty of able people don't have the luck – or planning – to be in the right place at the right time. But right now, timing may ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Pouring gasoline on the housing fire
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
    "Pape Satàn, pape Satàn aleppe!" If these words ever meant anything in any language, or were otherwise intelligible to the contemporaries of Dante Alighieri, that meaning is lost. What’s left to us is the beginning of a curse, or a ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
    First published on Werewolf As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Release: TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
    For Immediate Release Tuesday 15 August 2017 TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES Polls are showing that inequality is a top voter concern (Roy-Morgan and UMR Polls). The income equality group Closing the Gap is urging New Zealanders ...
    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    3 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
    Beauty queens, magic, dangly bits and nip slips - Miss Universe NZ had it all.   The top five Miss Universe NZ contestants (L-R): Shekinah Delos Santos, Sarah Hensby-Bennett, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, Holly Waghorn and Brooke Houia. Screenshot: Miss ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

%d bloggers like this: