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A right, Left problem

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, July 24th, 2018 - 78 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, Economy, greens, labour, Left, liberalism, national, nz first, political parties, Politics, social democracy - Tags: , ,

Throw out the name of a political party, and almost subconsciously, anyone with an interest in politics will immediately brand the party as either “left wing” or “right wing”. That would be fine if any given point on capitalism’s political spectrum was a point on a singular continuum. So, for example, if the entire political spectrum was simply shades of liberalism, then it could be useful enough to refer to a “right” and a “left”. And if the entire political spectrum was simply shades of social democracy, then again, a simple dichotomous labeling system of “left” and “right” would allow people to orientate where any political party stood in relation to any other. But politics within a capitalist context are comprised from a mix of two entwined but contending strands of political thought/theory, and one or the other tends to dominate at different points in time in such a way as to alter politics at a fairly fundamental level.

Up until the 70’s, and across the western world, the policies generally pursued by political parties were regarded as being social democratic in nature. In that setting, to refer to “left wing” was to point to a party that was more statist in nature than “right wing” parties. In short, “left wing” parties wanted to push social democracy further along statist lines while “right wing” parties wanted to hold back that trajectory.

Since the 1970s and the resurgence of liberal priorities (often enough referred to as “neo-liberalism”), the direction of travel for parliamentary politics has been towards greater market freedoms – the precise opposite direction of travel than that taken by social democracy. And the traditional labeling from the social democratic period of capitalist politics doesn’t transcribe to that change in environment very well – if at all.

Whereas it was Tory or National Parties that were conservative and seeking to dampen or hold back the push towards greater levels of statism during the period of social democracy, it is now the Labour Parties (for the most part) that play the conservative role of merely resisting or slowing the liberal or market orientated direction of travel that politics have taken (ie – since ‘84 in New Zealand and since the 70s elsewhere).

And that change in the respective positioning of political parties occasioned by the shift in the political ground from social democratic to liberal, can’t be adequately described or captured by reference to “right wing” and “left wing”.

To illustrate, using only the terms “left” and “right”, where would you say NZ First today sits in relation to the NZ Labour Party of 1973 – and/or 1984 – and/or 2018?

And where would the NZ Labour Party of those years sit in relation, each to the other?

Or where does the NZ Labour of 2018 sit in relation to Muldoon’s National Party of 1982?

Which of these things are more to “the left”, and which are more to “the right”? It’s not so easy to maintain a coherent picture of NZ’s political landscape through time using only designations of “left” and “right”. And that’s before throwing the likes of The Green Party into the mix.

I’d argue that we can only begin to make sense of political positions like those above, when we acknowledge that two entwined strands of politics (social democratic and liberal) always constitute politics under capitalism, and when we acknowledge the resulting change in what “conservative” means, depending on which one is more evident,

“Yesterday’s” NZ Labour Party (ie- pre 1984) was social democratic and pushing change in a statist direction. Today’s NZ Labour Party is liberal and merely resisting the trajectory of liberalism – ie, it’s conservative.

If NZ Labour had a social democratic platform (for example, like UK Labour with Corbyn as leader), then maybe using the term “left” could make sense insofar as the party had the belief that a socialist end point could be arrived at via the social democratic policies and settings that it was looking to pursue in spite of liberalism dominating the political environment. But that belief (that socialism can be arrived at by social democracy), contentious as it was, isn’t one that NZ Labour harbours. The NZ Labour Party has become – maybe irredeemably – conservatively liberal, as arguably evinced with its penchant for free trade deals, fiscal responsibility, private partnerships and an “independent” reserve bank. (As an aside – well, it’s not really an aside, it’s why I’ve used the term “irredeemably” above – how’s that demand for the properly empowered democratic participation of Labour Party members coming along…?)

If the idea of “left” is to have any currency or meaning at all in NZ mainstream or parliamentary political thought, then that “great leap backwards” to liberal policies and liberal macro economic settings that took place in ‘84 must be walked back and a social democratic or statist path taken in its stead.

Obviously, that’s not something that will just happen because people want it to happen, as a quick glance at the multiple resistances to Jeremy Corbyn and UK Labour’s attempt to return to social democratic roots shows. And the mere enactment of social democratic agendas definitely isn’t a panacea for the troubles NZ faces as a society, or for the problems facing humanity at the global or planetary level. But it is a damned sight better for a lot of people at the level of personal circumstance than anything liberalism can offer, and it encapsulates more potential hope for prospects at that planetary level than can ever be wrung from liberalism.

We need huge, perhaps unprecedented levels of change across multiple facets of our lives to happen very fast. Leaving the starting blocks would be a start in us ‘getting up to speed’. But before that, recognising the starting blocks, and positioning ourselves within them might be useful too. Lazily saying that something is “left” on the grounds that we’ve always said that thing is “left”, and then going home to put our feet up because “it’s all getting taken care of”… well, it isn’t getting us into position, is it?

78 comments on “A right, Left problem”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    It’s only a problem if you try to classify parties as left and right, rather than policies, values, and views.

    The ‘right’ and ‘left’ parties in the US are really just 2 right wing parties, with some lefties supporting the Dems cause limited choice.

    • Bill 1.1

      It’s only a problem if you try to classify parties as left and right..

      Yup. We agree on that front.

      I’d go a tad further though, and suggest that (broadly speaking) policies, values and views can be categorised and to a degree predicted by any over-arching political allegiance to either social democracy or liberalism.

      The US has two liberal orientated parties (Sanders tried to usurp that to a degree). The UK had two liberal parties (Corbyn seems to have successfully usurped that and re-orientated UK Labour in a social democratic direction)
      NZ has had some social democratic parties these past years (The Progressives, Alliance and NZF) sitting alongside liberal parties (NZ Labour, National, ACT etc), and some attempts to re-orientate NZ Labour (Cunliffe).

      Scotland’s kind of enviable. Two major social democratic parties in the shape of the SNP and a resurgent Labour 🙂

  2. I think this ‘confusion’ has only, rather conveniently, developed more recently as the traditional ‘Left’ Parties have started moving away from supporting the poor and the workers, in favour of policies that are more ‘Middle Class Aspirational’.

    But there is still that little prick of conscience, a guilt that maybe they are not advocating strongly enough given the massive destruction and transferal of wealth wrought in the name of Capitalism and Neoliberalism and Market driven policies.

    So rather than being labeled, more accurately as ‘Centrist’, the Liberal parties waltz around babbling about how its not ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ anymore..its all about paradigms-or-something. And being ‘pragmatic’. Maybe topped off with a little sprinkling of ‘Hope’.

    and they wonder why the people who should vote, the people who need help urgently, the people most at the mercy of Government policy, don’t bother turning up on election day.

    • Gosman 2.1

      Except parties that are more ‘traditional’ left such as Mana don’t attract much in the way of a supporter base either so people can’t be crying out for those sorts of policies in NZ.

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.2

      Yep. And also the mainstream media and some of social media reinforce that, which muddies the waters for a lot of the population, and contributes to a few decades of demonising social democrat and socialist policies, views and positions.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        That is the default fall back position of lefties who cannot understand why more of the electorate doesn’t support traditional left wing politics. It is all the MSM and the prevailing “Culture” which is to blame and nothing to do with the fact the policies themselves might be suspect to many.

        • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1

          Yes it’s all a fantasy – the MSM has no influence.

          Which is why the despicable right invest so heavily in it, as they strive to stifle every move away from the sociopathy and dysfunction that characterizes their misgovernance.

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1

            Did I state the MSM had NO influence? Of course there is a degree of influence from MSM. However it is massively overblown by the likes of people such as yourself.

            • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually the influence of the MSM is difficult to quantify, which means it’s hard to tell how effective it is in any given period.

              But the expectations of the Left, of a rational, balanced and informative media run counter to the needs of the extreme right.

              A well-informed populace will halt the Right’s anti-social plans for self-enrichment and prevent them socializing such things as environmental costs. That’s the last thing the rabid Right want, they want to pollute until the last other lifeform is dead.

              They’re determined to be the last dinosaurs.

              • Gosman

                The left always think that until they get in power and then they start misinforming the public as much as any. You just have to see people trying to blame economic issues of left wing countries on made up ideas such as “Sanctions”. It is as much “Fake News” as anything Fox News promotes.

                • Stuart Munro

                  The ignorance of the far Right is only exceeded by the vehemence with which they promote their nonsense – for they know if they let the mask slip for even a moment all their stupid games are over.

                  As the vermin responsible for imposing the Rogergnomics bullshit on NZ that has set our country back a generation, a reasonable person might expect a degree of hesitance from the perpetrators. That responsible caution one sees in science professionals, who are concerned with possible consequences.

                  But not from you – you’ll deny your culpability all the way to the block. As outcomes decline however, you’re going to find New Zealanders less susceptible to your blithe assurances and casual lies. A generational shift is coming that is likely to oblige the parasites to work for living for a change.

                  • Bill

                    As the vermin responsible for imposing the Rogergnomics bullshit on NZ …

                    That was a NZ Labour Party government, right? A party that was thought of as “left” at the time and that is still thought of as “left” today.

                    So what happened?

                    There was a wholesale disavowal of social democratic priorities in favour of liberal ones. And for a while, the NZ Labour Party was more avowedly liberal than the National Party – while Winston Peters, to this day, has remained in that conservative social democratic position that his old National Party used to occupy when NZ Labour were social democratic and pushing down along the road of statism.

                    “Left” and “right” can’t adequately explain or capture those shifts or phenomena – making reference to “social democracy” and “liberalism” does.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “There was a wholesale disavowal of social democratic priorities in favour of liberal ones.”

                      I’d characterize it more as the Left being conned, than disavowing their core values per se. There was a narrative (neo-liberalism) that stated that the superior efficiency of private sector values would enable governments to deliver more from a finite pool of resources.

                      Thirty years on the only positive outcome is a healthy skepticism for the professional pretentions of the private sector, and probably, an increased preference for a properly resourced public sector.

                    • In 1984, the voting public had a choice between Muldoon’s failing Zimbabwean model or the far more appealing social progress promised by Labour. It’s easily forgotten that the Lange government promoted nuclear free NZ and made significant progress in sexual law reform. For a lot of people, that was progress worth voting for and getting rid of Muldoon was the icing on the cake. Socially, Labour were definitely left.

                      Most left leaning folk who voted for them in 1984 were focussed on the social improvements and the vague promises of an end to the stagnation of the Muldoon era and they pretty much ignored the finer details of what Douglas had planned for the economy.

                      In 1987, Labour almost won Remuera because the rich twigged to what what Douglas was doing and voted according to their class interests. Three years later, the majority of voters shunned Labour and voted Tory because Bolger promised the country he’d back away from the Douglas reforms. That was bullshit, as it turned out.

                      In short, it’s only half the story to think of the Douglas reforms when talking about 1984. It’s a bit more complex than that because economics isn’t every voters primary driver.

                    • Bill

                      it’s only half the story to think of the Douglas [economic] reforms when talking about 1984. It’s a bit more complex than that because economics isn’t every voters primary driver.

                      Fair comment. But the economic framework is what every government hangs policy from. And “left” and “right” doesn’t tell us anything about the likely policy prescriptions of a government, precisely because those terms are deaf, dumb and blind on what the economic framework is or may be.

                      That, and “left” arguably only makes sense when the political direction of travel is, or claims, to be headed towards socialism as a destination.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @TRP

                      I think Muldoon partly got an undeservedly bad rap for his economics – given the oil crisis some of his think big made sense. But, for all that he was a relatively decent nationalist, he had the soul of a dictator – democratic or participatory processes really weren’t his thing, he alienated the unions just before he needed to cut a deal with them for example.

                      Rogergnomics was a big deal not just because of what occurred under Lange, but because abandoning the tense détente that had restrained the worst impulses of the rabid right locked in two decades of rightward drift without even the shadow of a public mandate or any real social or economic benefits.

    • Bill 2.3

      Mostly agree. But I don’t think there’s anything particularly “centrist” about a party that ascribes to liberalism. Those reluctant or somewhat hesitant in their belief, or the execution of liberal policies – eg, NZ Labour – are basically just being conservative. (Not a bad thing given what we’re talking about)

    • Siobhan 2.4

      I forgot this link to the Democratic Socialists of America, who to some extent question the ‘Left Wing’ label, but instead push the concept of ‘The New Left Wing’. (my caps) which seems remarkably sensible.

      “In fact, the most important difference between the documents is neither strategy nor program,mission nor vision, but rather expectation. The founding document called for carrying out a strategy and program that were already the mainstays of mass liberalism, but moving this broad liberal coalition considerably to the left. DSA’s new document points in another direction, toward the founding of a new progressive movement…a next Left. That is because the political momentum of mass liberalism is depleted. If we once positioned ourselves as the left wing of the possible, there is now no “possible” to be the left wing of. Of course, considerable opposition has arisen in response to the program of the conservative and corporate elites. But, that opposition confronts a profound crisis of leadership, particularly at the national level.”

      https://www.dsausa.org/where_we_stand

  3. roy cartland 3

    Broadly, I understood the terms to mean:

    Left: cares about most people, at the expense of a few people having huge wealth.

    Right: cares about oneself, and the right to compete for extreme wealth at the the expense of everybody and everything else.

    Left: advocates fairness, limits unfairness

    Right: encourages unfairness

    • Gosman 3.1

      Why would people who support the right agree with the definition you give? Nobody I personally know supports unfairness yet they still vote for right leaning political parties.

      • roy cartland 3.1.1

        Really? Isn’t that what the whole purpose of ‘individual responsibility’ is about? Look after yourself, the rest can look after themselves?

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Not at all. The right has no problem with the concept of group responsibility. Indeed that is why they form groups to fight for their views.

          Have you ever spoken to a right leaning person about their political views Roy or do you base your opinion on what you think they believe?

          • roy cartland 3.1.1.1.1

            Of course I have. But I know that what people would like to think of themselves and their actual behaviour is often inconsistent. I’m like that myself, in ways.

            It is true that I’m trying to understand the terms themselves, not the holders of them.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Did you ask them why they supported the political parties that they did?

              • roy cartland

                Yes, and excluding the tribalism (I’ve always gone blue), it’s broadly the winners and losers argument. Everyone could have what I have if they wanted, and since they don’t [meaning can’t], I’ll take it. No one owns the water – I’ll take it all, sell it, and spoil it if I like.

                • Gosman

                  Then you haven’t really been discussing right leaning politics with anyone sensible. It would be like me stating that left wing people are all obsessed with the politics of envy who want to screw over the wealthy based on the views of Draco and similar minds.

                  • roy cartland

                    It’s true I look for evidence in actions more than people’s opinions on themselves, but feel free to enlighten. What is Left/Right?

                    • Gosman

                      As far as I can tell it is that those who think there is a more centralised (or at least non private sector) approach to dealing with issues are on the Left and those that support a more private sector approach to the same issues are on the Right. There are cross overs of course but the common differences seems to be that the Right wants to use private means whereas the Left wants to use public means.

                    • roy cartland

                      Right, I think we’re on different axes. You’re referring more to a authoritarian-private axis, me the collective good-individual good one.

                    • Gosman

                      No, we are on the same axis. I believe that the private sector solutions provide better outcomes for society than public sector solutions. Hence my motivation as a right winger is not primarily driven by my own self interest (which you were trying to argue was the difference).

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It would be like me stating that left wing people are all obsessed with the politics of envy who want to screw over the wealthy based on the views of Draco and similar minds.

                    I’m not envious. I’m furious that these fuckers are allowed to screw over everyone else to cater to their greed which is destroying our society and life on Earth.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Do the NRA believe in collective strength or are they only champions of individuality?

              • roy cartland

                I don’t know any, do they represent fairness?

                • Gosman

                  I believe they think they represent fairness for people. They believe they enable people to protect themselves and therefore make society safer. You are entitled to disagree of course but that is where politics comes in.

                  • roy cartland

                    Thanks for the permission, I think I will. I think NRA are more likely to represent the right of the individual to have a gun for any reason, over the safety of everyone else. That’s not fair.

                    Similarly I would say the right, at least in practise, supports the individual’s right to have a superyacht even if it means legions of poor and degradation of the environment (which it surely does).

                    In this respect, I think both ultimately support unfairness, no matter what they would like to think about themselves.

                    • Gosman

                      Why would owning a Super Yacht lead to more poor people?

                    • roy cartland

                      Because you can’t be rich in a vacuum, someone has to do the work in order to enable it.

                    • Gosman

                      And that makes them poor how?

                    • roy cartland

                      Resources, money and labour being used for the benefit of the yacht-owner rather than the collective good. Resources are finite, at least at this point in history. The more some has, the less there are for the rest.

                    • Bill

                      ffs Gosman, don’t you think it’s time to stop splattering inanities up and down through the threads today?

                      Rich person has successfully taken advantage of the market’s propensity to mis-allocate resources. That mis – allocation (through concentrating wealth) means that relative poverty rises. So, y’know, “country x” having 300 more billionaires this year is a bad thing if your concern is for the general well being or standard of living for the general population in “country x”.

                      Great if you reckon that you too might be of the 1% some day (though hint – 1% of people is always only ever going to be 1% of people, and the nature of wealth is such that it tends to be “locked in”)

                    • Gosman

                      And this is where we disagree. I don’t think having one billionaire or even 100 billionaires harms the rest of us at all. Bill Gates wealth has little direct negative impact on me or even on the wealth of other Americans.

                    • roy cartland

                      Then would it be even better if we were all billionaires?

                    • Gosman

                      Considering the average Joe or Joanne has a level of wealth and lifestyle that the richest Billionaire 125 years ago could only dream of then you are not wrong.

                    • KJT

                      Tell that to the average Jo in Northland.

              • Tricledrown

                Gossipman Butima and the NRA the backlash of business and young people is exposing the NRA’s corruption.
                Gun manufacturers are going bankrupt.
                The flow of arms to the Mexican Cartels has been stifled.
                The pale stale male hierarchy is coming to an end with a bang.
                The arrogance of their leadership is motivating those who are against the born to rule buffoons.

      • Gabby 3.1.2

        They’re great pretenders gozzers.

    • Bill 3.2

      And those ethical or moral definitions of left and right fit rather well with notions of social democracy and liberalism (statist and market driven policies), but can’t speak to the overarching ideology that informs or limits, either the execution of those ethics, or their translation into policy.

      • roy cartland 3.2.1

        Agreed, I’m trying to understand the terms themselves. Conflating the what and the how complicates the discussion I realise (as I’m finding with Gosman above).

  4. marty mars 4

    The whakapapa of the left is why I’m proud to be left wing. Too many people want to push their square peg into a round hole and they blame the hole.

  5. Cemetery Jones 5

    It is becoming an increasingly irrelevant way of framing politics. Not yet completely irrelevant, but well on the way. Brendan O’Neill’s latest on Ash Sekar vs. Piers Morgan as an example

    • Bill 5.1

      That’s a fun read. And yes, Corbyn belongs to the camp of (to quote) soft social democrats, boring state socialists

      But a movement to that state of affairs as a stepping stone or point of departure is worth conditional support in my book.

      The “trick” would be in avoiding what happened last time social democracy was actually being practiced by political parties in power – that is, to prevent it becoming rooted/ seen as an end in itself – to challenge it and keep it moving until, when it can’t accommodate demands any more, it gets rolled aside to rot off into the ground alongside whatever other abandoned “bad political ideas” there might be.

  6. SPC 6

    The New Zealand Labour Party caucus is increasingly like the US Democrat Party, except in that what it is protecting is sometimes what the Democrats aspire to – such as universal health care. In that Sanders is not really left.

    The war against the (secular) left in western democratic politics has largely been won and anyone seeking to return the left to political governance is now seen as a risk to the orthodoxy of the current world order.

    As for Corbyn, he is only leftward in that he is Labour unreconciled to going along with the Blairite build on the Thatcher regime base. Which of course was in lockstep with US leadership.

  7. Molly 7

    It is notable that even on the Standard, a political blog, a lot of comments are trying to ‘agree’ or ‘define’ what political terms like – left, right, liberal, conservative etc mean. If the definition is not shared by all commenters, the threads often go off on a tangent.

    Billy Bragg, said that the old terms such as “socialism” etc, take too long to explain before having discussions about politics. He suggests using terms such as “compassionate society”. He refers to very few agreeing on what socialism is, but even his granny understands what he means when he says – I want a compassionate society.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      I like that idea! A good expression that everyone can understand – and is actually what progressive politics is all about.

      We often aren’t as effective as the right wingers when it comes to ‘sound bites’ or one-liners, but “compassionate society” is fantastic.

    • Ed1 7.2

      I have always quite liked the political compass:
      https://www.politicalcompass.org

      Years ago this was discussed on the usenet group nz.general, with David Farrar described his personal position. (Look in his introduction to himself on Kiwiblog) . It does not seem to cover some of the modern issues such as the tradeoffs between egalitarianism and crony capitalism, or of the tradeoff between sovereignity and trade arrangements – some of those who protested against the TPP and variants also thought that the UK should have stayed in the EU.
      I suspect the Nats dislike the Political Compass because it shows National as being close to an extreme, and close to the Republican party – but the website has now left out the graphs for USA parties . . .
      Perhaps there is no single answer – see also
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goRiEPXsD3I or
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t78q_79VYWI or

      If anyone has a better (but still simplistic) analysis I am sure many would be interested!

    • gsays 7.3

      You are right Molly, changing the term will often portray the vibe without the listener/reader getting caught up in their ideas about something.

      My favourite is God. Replace the ‘G’ word with consciousness, love, awareness- and the conversation can continue without reference to a sky fairy.

  8. DS 8

    Left-Right isn’t a great categorisation, but it’s OK as short-hand. My bigger complaint is that people today have a bit of trouble wrapping their heads around “economically left, socially centre,” or variations thereof – what would be termed the Old Left.

    (Then there’s the fun of explaining the difference between Old Left and Old Right. New Zealand First are Old Right, in the Muldoonian tradition – they’re economically interventionist, socially conservative… and actually don’t like unions very much).

    • Carolyn_Nth 8.1

      Those terms “old” and “new” left and right really refer to political parties inter-related to the factions that get most support in the mainstream media.

      On the left, there always were anti-racist and feminist and gay liberation elements since 19th-20th century. But the organised labour movement and Labour Parties tended to be dominated by white males. Women, Māori, Pacific and other people of colour had a long struggle to get their issues treated equally with those most supported by many of the more dominant white men.

      On the right, Conservatives and the Nats, were pretty much always socially conservative, capitalist, patriarchal and imperialist. In the 70s-80s, there was the rise of a mix of neo-cons and neo-liberals in response to widespread successes of social movements – especially in the US. In the UK in the 60s and 70s there was a great deal of success with working class politics, as well as with social movements. NZ probably sits somewhere between the 2.

      Neo-liberals have tended to achieve the more successful philosophy/rhetoric in recent decades (small government, free trade, etc), while the neo-cons (anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-LGBT as with the Bushes and Regan eras in the US) took a bit of a back seat- but continued to exist in an uneasy alliance with the neoliberals – think Blinglish in NZ.

      Since the GFC, the neoliberal ethos has been fragile. Recently we have been seeing a rise in neo-conservatism as seen with neo-nazis and a toxic form of masculinity (Trump era), nationalism, with a touch of white supremacy.

      The “left wing” parties had swallowed a big part of the neoliberal pill, but still have a strong element of old style social conservatism.

      Meanwhile, away from organised party politics, there always have been a range of left-right wing views, which are recognisable by those who study it – and can be roughly mapped onto a spectrum – yes a useful shorthand, DS.

      Popular public views, though, have been influenced by all the party political shifts, spin and corporate media cheerleading.

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        Your overview seems accurate & complements Bill’s useful essay well. I keep hoping for the left to evolve but almost half a century of nothing so far. Conceptual, I mean. They did adopt non-violence eventually after so many leftist guerilla warfare movements petered out. Nicaragua showed revolution can still succeed but peaceful coexistence is better.

        No leftist intellectual has even attempted to produce a general theory of identity politics as far as I can see. Yet they seem to tacitly concede that an ideology to replace Marxist class-identification is required. My diagnosis is that sectarianism operates as a collective mind-set to prevent perception of common ground. That’s why the left has taken so long to copy the Greens’ praxis of consensus politics. That’s why I support our current govt in its attempt to prove that the left has now institutionalised this learning.

        • Carolyn_Nth 8.1.1.1

          Thanks, Dennis.

          I think there are academics and others who have attempted theories of social and economic justice. (I now dislike the term “identity politics” because of the way it is used as a derogatory term by some).

          Political economy (associated with Marx) includes a mix of material realities and class identification – ie there’s an element of “identity politics” in Marx’s analysis. He said that when the working class moved into urban factories, they would share their individual experiences and thus become aware of their shared exploitation and oppression.

          The Labour movement really took off in the UK in the late 19th century, when urban workers began to identify as working class.

          Manuel Castells is a major social theorist”- often called a post-Marxist. He began as a Marxist, but later embraced social movements (feminism, environmental movements) in his theories).

          Also, there’s Naomi Klein and bell hooks. And those are just a couple of theorists i know who come to mind at the moment. I suspect there are more.

          Maybe a large number of people need to be prepared too accept a theory that embraces anti-capitalism and social justice across all dimensions – ethnicity, gender, sexuality, able-bodiedness, etc., before such a theory will gain widespread traction?

          It’s probably more that no one theorist has been accepted across the left as providing the way forward….?

          • Dennis Frank 8.1.1.1.1

            I do have Castells’ Rise of the Network Society but haven’t read it. “The Information Age trilogy is his précis: “Our societies are increasingly structured around the bipolar opposition of the Net and the Self”;[10] the “Net” denotes the network organisations replacing vertically integrated hierarchies as the dominant form of social organization, the Self denotes the practices a person uses in reaffirming social identity and meaning in a continually changing cultural landscape.” [from that Wikipedia page]

            To translate this academic-speak into everyday lingo, he’s defining the Self as a social construct rather than personal identity, and empasising the bipolar relation of this social self has to the internet and its component groups. A generic theory of political psychology could then be developed on the basis that any person interacting with a political group online forms a political persona as an organic consequence of their interaction. Multiple such interactions constellate this persona, and multiple political online contexts for their participation deepen it.

            To use myself as an example, my participation in this forum oscillates according to the topic context and which of my two selves gets motivated. If the topic is values or ideals motivating, my inner leftist-sympathiser self tends to respond. If the topic motivates my identity and social self, my centrist political praxis kicks in. A lifetime spent in alternative circles makes both selves extremely deep-rooted for me (comfortably so). I suspect most commentators here lack practical political experience to call on, but I’d be interested if you or other readers are likewise able to differentiate personal & political selves.

            • Carolyn_Nth 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes. The individual, social and political selves interact and are intertwined and yes, they do become naturalised and not totally seperable. And the context will bring one or other aspect to the fore.

              The problem with a lot of the “identity politics” detractors are that they assume the “identity” is about the individual self, and not a group identification. they tend to associate it with individualism.

              Social movements, and class based ones, are about a shared sense of socially and economically/materially defined parts of the self. i.e. a collective identity.

              There’s an element of it that is institutionalised (patriarchy, imperialism, ‘racial’ inequalities). They are a material reality, experienced by people in their everyday activities. So it is not only class inequalities that have a material (economic) reality.

              e.g.For most women there are material realities like menstruation, fertility, etc, that they share with most other women, and not with most men. These have an impact on our lives in ways that are subject to repressive treatment in a patriarchy.

              For many Maori and Pacific people, they are more likely to be treated badly by our criminal justice system, etc.

              I have read all of one or two of Castells’ triology, a few years back, and some of his other writings. He uses two examples of the way forward politically: the feminist movement and the environmental movement. This is because they are international, and there need to be global movements to connect the oppressed and to deal with problems the world faces in a positive way. And, according to his theme, they are networked movements.

              Castells also favours local politics over national/federal ones. This is because they are closer to grass roots, and thus more likely to be democratic.

              He is against the reactive nationalisms that have developed in recent decades. So these two linked approaches (global networks and grass roots democracy) aim to circumvent reactive nationalisms.

  9. Pat 9

    Both parties pre and post 1984 have largely adopted the economic thinking of the dominant economies of their time,,,although Muldoon went down fighting. I think it may be accurate to suggest that even the first Labour government wasnt entirely contrarian due to the great conflict of ideas at the time. So the political class (in NZs case at least) dont seek to row against the tide in terms of predominant economic thought and are unlikely to do so now….until such time as at least one of the major economies does so.

  10. peterlepaysan 10

    “left and right” have become meaningless perjoratives that define the utterers persuasions. Like all perjoratives they are not very useful in meaningful discussion.

    I am old enough to remember when “socialism” was being discussed. One could put three self avowed socialists in a discussion group and wind up with at least 7 different meanings.

    I have always lacked the courage to enter the discussion on “communism”, that made discussions on socialism kindergarten stuff. Communists and socialists rubbed shoulders uneasily, but often over a beer.

    “neo-lib” is often used in a perjorative fashion as well. Some wear the tag with pride, some use it as a badge of shame.

    Maybe we should discuss issues rather than name calling.

    Am I being too radical and extreme?

  11. Anne 11

    Am I being too radical and extreme?
    No.

    I’ve always despised political ‘isms’ for the reason you have given. They mean different things to different people. I use the neoliberal tag but usually in conjunction with ‘market forces’ as a clear reference to my thinking.

  12. adam 12

    But is it though.

    I mean really apart from the members of the beige mafia muddying the waters and forcing people away from politics – are the definitions really broken?

    I think many people are confused about liberalism as an ideology, and its place as the dominant ideology. As an ideology it wants to limit the debate, just look at the people here who fully support liberalism in one form or another, they are forever trying to shut down people.

    Political economic was the original term for what we call today economics. I think we need to get back to that term, becasue it shows there is a divided in how people think an economy should work. It shows there is a left and right divide, and in NZ there is virtually no left when we are forced to think about it in political economic terms. We have no left in parliament, and no left operating outside of parliament. All we have in NZ is a whole lot of left leaning liberals and a whole lot of right leaning liberals.

    • Gosman 12.1

      “As an ideology it wants to limit the debate, just look at the people here who fully support liberalism in one form or another, they are forever trying to shut down people.”

      Where is there an example of that?

  13. R.P Mcmurphy 13

    hah. the real problem is industrial capitalism that will not stop till it has completely exhausted all resources and fucked the whole world. Adam Smith wrote in his essay on the ‘the theory of moral sentiments’ published before ‘the wealth of nations’ that what gives human beings the most psychological satisfaction is command over labour. an assertion supported by bronislaw malinowski in his analysis of the ‘big man’ in melanesian society’s. In other words some people just want to be the boss and th emoney is just a tool for them to use in becoming top dog. this trope has lead to the almost complete destruction of forests and oceans and rivers and will ensure that while we all have all the goods we think we might need and more that counterintuitively we are headed on the path to destruction instead of a glorious future. right and left are both going to have to suck that one up sooner or later.

    • Gosman 13.1

      There a an element on both sides of the political divide but which seems to be more prevalent on the left of Apocalyptic reasoning. This is a good example of it.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        Heres a good example of pending Apocalypse from the Guardian:

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/natural-disasters

        Have a look down the ‘page’ and see all the deadly wild fires currently raging across the Northern Hemisphere… Britain, parts of Europe, Greece, Sweden (as far north as the Arctic Circle) and America.

        If it hadn’t been for the blindingly dumb attempt by right-wingers to turn Climate Change into an ideological/political issue, we would have all the steps now in place to at least avert the worst of the pending disaster. Perhaps these wild fires would still have occurred but not on anything like the same scale, and they are going to become bigger and more frequent in the years to come.

  14. gsays 14

    Great post thanks Bill.
    A couple of things occur to me.
    When the national party was formed, it didn’t stand FOR something, but was intended to stand against something.

    I suppose the social influences in our politics takes second fiddle to the role of the state in politics.

    I had a wry smile at gosmans “approach to dealing with issues “, as opposed to how society is organised.
    As if the responsibility of education, health care, defence, police and administering the social safety net were trite.

    There seems to be a habit here on TS of slurring folk of being ‘right wing’ when volatile subjects are being discussed e.g. 9/11, abortion, euthanasia.

    The climate reminds me of the early 80’s, the rise alternative comedy and the pureness of your lefty credentials.
    There was a lot of change needed (anyone for another mother-in-law joke?), but there was and now is more scorn poured on those not quite with the agenda as opposed to identifying the real oppressors.

  15. Dennis Frank 15

    I’ve got a book somewhere in my library called “Beyond Left and Right”, published 1968, still haven’t got around to reading it due to feeling that the title says it all really. Sixties rebels knew both were part of the problem, so we had to co-create the solution by navigating through the middle way: thus the Greens `neither left nor right, but in front’. It’s an integral stance. Takes the best of both.

    Political psychology seems a discipline devoid of intellectual content. A while back I printed out the intro to Theoretical Foundations of Political Psychology, sat down with a highlighter poised to identify all the key points but finished reading it without a single usage. Co-authored by three professors of political science (one including psychology). So it’s a field of endeavour waiting for folks to plough, plant & harvest therein. A focus on group psychodynamics, stakeholder relations & incentive structures would be the way to design a suitable new infrastructure for political economy.

    Best to identify the left and right as attractors – that suck people into their orbits like gravitational attractors do. Chaos theory developed in the eighties on the basis of attractors defining the trajectories of complex systems, so they can be described via maths as well as physics. Creativity emerges in nature at the boundary of influence: in a binary attractor dipole the region where the competing forces balance creates the basis for the middle way. Thus Odysseus had to sail midway between Scylla and Charybdis to avoid his ship getting sucked into the vortex on one side and the reef on the other.

    • Gosman 15.1

      Most of what you wrote is far too abstract to digest .I am curious about this point though :

      “Sixties rebels knew both were part of the problem, so we had to co-create the solution by navigating through the middle way: thus the Greens `neither left nor right, but in front’. It’s an integral stance. Takes the best of both.”

      How is this any different to Bill Clinton’s and Tony Blair’s theory of “Triangulation” and the “Third way”?

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        I took it as a lame attempt to fake the reinvention of the left that their situation required. Those guys probably thought they were doing good, of course. When you’re a creature of the establishment you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, so they could never give the people they represented a real share in power and economy. Authenticity was out of the question. Same for Obama.

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  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago