Author Archive

The democracy challenge

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, November 24th, 2013 - 101 comments

I’ve been thinking about what next years’ election is going to be like. Not like 2011 that’s for sure. Labour was in the doldrums and ran a largely negative campaign. Let’s assume that Labour has learnt its lesson about running an effective campaign and ticks all the boxes. The secret weapon that Labour and the Greens have eschewed for as many elections as I can remember is actually working together.

Dear media….

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, September 24th, 2013 - 9 comments

Just for the record, if you or any other idiot accuse me of homophobia, genocide, necrophilia, child kidnapping or just not being nice enough please use this photo; not the ones you used recently which make me look disturbingly like my mother – whom I love and admire dearly but she is, after all, 81. […]

Cunliffe passes my campaign litmus test

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, September 6th, 2013 - 83 comments

I’ve just spent the last week on the road with David Cunliffe and his wife Karen. Campaigns are a handy litmus test to see people as they really are when under pressure and performing to grueling schedules. As a general rule I’m prepared to like most people but as friends who know me well will […]

No time for experiments

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, August 22nd, 2013 - 158 comments

We all knew David Shearer was a good guy and he’s just proved how good – and noble – a man he is by resigning rather than forcing a messy and protracted leadership coup. Let’s hope that caucus, Labour members and the affiliates will be as clear headed. Now is not the time for another […]

Campaign heroics or hubris?

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 38 comments

I was impressed by this press statement from the Mana Party on the ground in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election reporting that they door-knocked over 1000 houses over the weekend and found that support for their candidate was over 70%.  As a political campaigner of many years experience, and I’m now running Labour’s by-election HQ in […]

Something missing from asset sales debate

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 pm, September 8th, 2012 - 38 comments

Something’s missing from Labour’s position on asset sales. It’s what it will do with the partially privatised companies (if the sales do go ahead despite Treaty issues and the dearth of economic rationale)  when  Labour is once more in  government.  I understand why it cannot promise to buy back the shares but why not make […]

Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, August 17th, 2012 - 65 comments

I could hardly believe my ears this morning when I heard about Paula Bennett’s plan to drug test beneficiaries and cut their benefits if they fail.  Yeah that’s the problem that’s preventing people from finding work.  Drugs.  Not the 6.8 percent unemployment rate (and it’s higher in the provinces).   It’s hard to imagine a […]

Bad behaviour puts Labour activists off

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 pm, August 13th, 2012 - 81 comments

I have spent the better part of 17 years  – eight  of those as a paid organiser for the Labour Party – practicing the ancient art of alchemy; turning supporters into volunteers, volunteers into members and members into activists.  I have recruited hundreds of union and Labour Party members. I have mentored and trained, supported […]

Tea ladies to be drug tested

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 11th, 2012 - 45 comments

 Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson seems to be living  in an alternative universe, with her comment on Checkpoint yesterday that tea ladies in the adventure tourism industry could be drug tested: “The boss might be tested, it could be his turn or it could be the tea lady.” We’ll take it as a given that Kate assumes the boss […]

What would Wilberforce say?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 33 comments

Consciences are uncomfortable things and mine’s been giving me a bit of trouble lately.   I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma (sorry for the cliche but who can resist the imagery?) about employment practices. We allow ourselves a handwringing moment, a short burst of outraged righteousness and then run off to buy  a pair […]

Wanted: more news like this

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 2nd, 2012 - 16 comments

A remarkably nice worker/boss story from across the ditch: Australian Ken Grenda may have sold his bus company, but his staff of almost 2,000 are smiling. Mr Grenda gave cash bonuses totalling A$15m ($16m, £10m) from proceeds of the sale to employees of his 66-year-old Melbourne-based company. The bonuses, averaging A$8,500, were based on the length […]

Setting up business: we’re prize winners

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, January 18th, 2012 - 35 comments

Yesterday I officially set myself up in business.  As a GST registered independent contractor. It took about half an hour. Both IRD and ACC’s websites were easy to navigate and understand. I do admit I got a little befuddled trying to figure out the correct ACC classification for what I do (enthusiastic nagging, recruitment and communications at […]

1000 member challenge

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, January 11th, 2012 - 9 comments

My challenge (as part of my new life as expert communications / campaign / recruitment consultant to the stars) over the next 6 weeks is to encourage 1000 union members to bring their family into the union family for just $1 a week. That’s 1000 people who are already members of a union affiliated to the CTU to sign up their own family and whanau members to Together

Together: union security for $1 week

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, December 22nd, 2011 - 74 comments

There’s a new union in town and who knows?  it might just prove to be the salvation of the union movement (so you can put money on  some hard-headed unionists opposing it for ideological reasons!) The concept  of Together is simple; if you currently belong to a union and you’ve got family members who work in places where there’s […]

The little I know about David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, December 3rd, 2011 - 134 comments

I ran David Shearer’s campaign headquarters in the 2009 Mt Albert by-election. That gave me unique perspective to get a good hard look at a man in a pressure cooker environment. David arrived from the middle east literally a few short hours before the candidate selection speeches.  It showed.  He looked tired. But he went […]

Do the maths on massive public service cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, November 15th, 2011 - 37 comments

We finally get a glimpse of just how ‘small’ the government thinks small government should be. From the Sunday Star Times: It has slashed new spending provisions and put the public service on a belt-tightening programme for which, English warns, there is no end in sight.  The public services, he says, is only about a […]

PAY IT BACK!

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, October 28th, 2011 - 39 comments

The Front Fell Off

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, October 19th, 2011 - 7 comments

Clarke and Dawe on maritime disasters, all good build up to our own home-grown version…

Sleepover Bill in House tonight

Written By: - Date published: 4:10 pm, September 27th, 2011 - 48 comments

Where the fuck is Webb Ellis

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, September 21st, 2011 - 3 comments

Very, very funny. Where the fuck is Webb Ellis? hat tip: Trevor Mallard at Red Alert

118 years on – what would Kate say?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, September 19th, 2011 - 15 comments

118 years to the day when NZ became the first country in the world to give women the vote.  You can imagine how incredibly proud Kate and the sisterhood must have been. You can imagine them lifting their eyes to the future and seeing women standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers, equal in political rights (and determined to […]

Are PPPs the best we can do?

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, September 13th, 2011 - 8 comments

A good piece in the Herald by Max Rashbrook on the high costs of PPPs (public private partnerships) with the new Wiri prison costing over $21m before a single sod is turned or brick laid because of the complex contract negotiatons which have to cover every possible continency for the next 30 years. Earlier this […]

Human face of public service cuts

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, August 30th, 2011 - 41 comments

Good human interest story in the DomPost today about the human costs of public service jobs cuts. A Wellington woman has written a letter to Prime Minister John after her 63-year-old mother learned last week that her position at the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry is to be axed. Staffing cuts after a merger with the Fisheries […]

What we owe policy wonks

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, August 26th, 2011 - 21 comments

Yesterday William commented to Cuts and Consequences to the effect that who needs policy analyst and that big private companies don’t bother with them and so neither should government. I’m paraphrasing a little bit but it did strike me that many people (including it seems some very senior ministers in this government – but not – funnily enough […]

Cuts and consequences

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 21 comments

The government reckons it can cut the number of public sector workers without cutting services. That wasn’t the experience of the 80s and 90s when vital institutional knowledge and expertise were lost in a frenzy of asset sales,  privatisation and brutal job cuts– when public service numbers dropped from around 85,000 public servants  to under  30,000 […]

PSA launches myth busting campaign

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, August 2nd, 2011 - 57 comments

The PSA is launching its election campaign this evening.   Our big challenge is to break through the government’s narrative (now reaching  mythic proportions)  that NZ is sinking under debt the likes of Greece  tooand the only solution is to cut public spending and sell assets. As the well informed readers of The Standard know, NZ’s […]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago