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Break For The Future

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, November 14th, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags: , ,

I’m not a Labour Party member. I don’t leaflet or campaign on their behalf. And I won’t be exercising any vote at any conference or whatever. But that doesn’t make me or my opinions irrelevant. It simply makes me a left leaning person whose vote is up for grabs. But see, my vote shouldn’t be ‘up for grabs’. Given my political leanings, I should have an easy and somewhat ‘natural’ inclination to cast a vote for the Labour Party.

But the Labour Party in NZ is all tangled up in neo-classical or neo-liberal apologist bindings. And it has been that way for nearly 30 years. Through those years there has been the constant refrain of TINA (There Is No Alternative) offered as justification for their policies.

So, when in office, they have done as the unabashed neoliberal Tories do. But they do it ‘nicer’. And they have, by and large, ‘cleansed’ the party of all and sundry who don’t or won’t ‘get it’. Meaning that dissent has been silenced and people and ideas ostracised. End result? The electorate get a choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum fighting over a so called centre ground that has moved so far to the right that it’s just not funny.

And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected.

I’m not going to run through the policies that have come and gone through the years from the Nats and Labour where a cigarette paper wouldn’t have slipped in the gap between their positions. And I’m not going to run through the legislative ‘roll backs’ that only go in one direction, that are never reversed and that are, at best, stationary while the ‘nice guys’ exercise their managerial remit while murmering the TINA mantra.

The upshot is that we have elections as personality contests now. Is anyone really surprised? Is there anyone who in all seriousness would argue that they don’t know why this is? Just in case such people exist, here’s a hint. In a world that lacks policy alternatives, difference in personality is all that remains, ie the choice can only be between styles when the content remains the same.

And for all the managers, careerists and neoliberal apologists who have occupied our electoral spaces for so long, here’s a wee heads up. Neo-liberalism or monetarism is dead. It died with the global financial collapse. And the rising stench of austerity you want us to breathe in, is an expression of its decay. But we don’t need this stuff. We don’t need to be told (again) that we need to suffer pain to enjoy the gain somewhere off down the track.

And so two questions arise.  Firstly, what is the NZ Labour Party in its current configuration able to offer beyond the TINA policies of monetarism? Well, obviously nothing… TINA afterall. And secondly, what could the NZ Labour Party offer up that was beyond the cruel defeatism of TINA? Well, unlike the first question, only the Labour Party itself can offer can answer.

But it’s obviously not a question we can ever possibly have an answer to while David Shearer or any of the coterie of neoliberal apologists, careerists or managerial types hold the reins of power in Labour.

And we really do need that question answered. We need a Labour Party that is willing to break for the future. So to the ABCers, David Shearer and by association, the Labour Party of the past 30 years – please be big enough to respond in kind when we say to you : – “Goodbye, ta-ra (there are real alternatives) and cheerio.”

And then just go.

101 comments on “Break For The Future”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    But the Labour Party in NZ is all tangled up in neo-classical or neo-liberal apologist bindings. And it has been that way for nearly 30 years.

    That’s right, Labour are so unappealing because they are not left wing enough.

    Good luck with that strategy.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Cheers mate.

    • Yes, they would have good luck with that strategy. Labour needs at the very least to frame issues on its own terms relentlessly, even if they don’t move left. (And they have ample room to move left, unlike the government, which is eating its support parties)

  2. Shona 2

    Hear hear!

  3. Pete 3

    From Labour’s constitution:

    PRINCIPLES

    2. The New Zealand Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles-
    All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot
    The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular nonrenewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.
    All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.
    Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.
    All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.
    All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.
    The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and that the Treaty should be honoured in government, society and the family.
    Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and mutual respect.
    The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

    OBJECTIVES

    3. The objectives of the Labour Party are based on the above principles.
    These objectives are –
    To elect competent men and women to Parliament and local authorities through free elections for the purpose of giving effect to Party policy and principles.
    To build and sustain an economy which can attract and retain the intelligence, skills and efforts of all citizens.
    To ensure the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all the people.
    To promote and protect the freedoms and welfare of all New Zealand citizens.
    To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social cooperation

    • rosy 3.1

      Gosh I’d vote for a party that had those principles.

      Maybe a Labour MP could write a post or make a speech explaining how the current Labour party fulfills it’s principles, or how they make policy and argue government policy with these principles in mind. I’d love to hear it.

      S/He could also include how the Labour party is meeting it’s objectives and is working “To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social cooperation”

      On second thoughts, it might be a bit too much of a challenge…

      • fatty 3.1.1

        “Gosh I’d vote for a party that had those principles.”

        Me too rosy…it appears as though Mana and the Greens form their policies around Labour’s principles

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      “PRINCIPLES”

      “2. The New Zealand Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles-
      All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot” . . . EXCEPT the election of the party leader (i.e., the PM or possibly the next PM).

      I’ve had glance at the 50+ pages of remits for this weekend’s party conference. They need 50+ pages so all the special interests can desperately struggle to protect their patches.

      • Dr Terry 3.2.1

        Presently it is the case that Shearer is endorsing himself (as ever!), dismissing views of his own party members as nonsense, simply not prepared to hear the voice of the people.

    • QoT 3.4

      The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

      Shitballs, I hope Damien O’Connor and Su’a William Sio didn’t have to, like, sign up to this in order to become MPs …

  4. KJT 4

    “And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected”.

    Both Shearer and Key strike me as willing puppets for the interests behind them. Both do not appear to have any real ideas, ideals or vision for New Zealand of their own, apart from business as usual.
    I shudder to think whose interests their backers have in mind. Obviously not New Zealanders on Key’s part. Asset sales, wage reductions and borrowing for tax cuts show a total lack of interest in New Zealanders future.

    Key without the anesthetic and Shearer possibly with it.

    Even a return to classical right wing conservatism would be better than the continuation of the Neo-liberal burglary.

    New Zealanders show they like a bit of mongrel in their leaders, not mister nice guy, which any politician can do. Outward niceness is a politicians stock in trade after all.

    Cunliff is the only credible contender.

    If Shearer cared for NZ he would step down and endorse the only current politician in the Labour party who has any hope of getting them above National.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Even a return to classical right wing conservatism would be better than the continuation of the Neo-liberal burglary.

      Sad, but true.

    • Dr Terry 4.2

      Many a “nice guy” turns out to be a “charmer” who manipulates, not to be trusted far.

      • KJT 4.2.1

        Key has always reminded me of the school bully.

        You know the one.
        The type who has a tribe of wannabee sycophants following them around and laughing at their amorality. Basher Bennet and Brownless are also typical of the followers.

        I met far too many of the type when in Management.
        Who also haven’t read anything except “how to get rich quick” books.

        And I am still astonished that other, otherwise intelligent, people cannot see it.

  5. BeeDee 5

    Dear Bill and other leftwingers

    It is time to start looking for yourselves at the enormous gulf that separates the two main parties. From 2009 the differences between Labour and Nation has been starkly clear. So many Labour Party programmes were slashed in that year that it has been too disheartening to continue the count ever since. In their first year in government the National Party decided to:

    Mine lignite coal in Southland

    Mapping NZ from the air including National Parks with the intent to prospect mineral mining.

    Water rights allocated in Canterbury to farmers.

    Resource Management Act modified to allow increased development with less regulation (ie Marina in coastal wetlands in Coromandel)

    Adult Education cuts; iwi representation on Polytechnic boards slashed; national standards set for primary schools regardless of ideas of experts and practioners, and cuts made to provide extra money (30 million +) to private schools

    Scrapping of Pay & Employment Equity Unit at Work.

    Perfectly competent ACC head sacked for political reasons.

    Campaign about ACC management which falsifies the real situation of surplus; and the decision to run it as an insurance company not as a pay-as-you go system

    Changes to eligibility for ACC especially for victims of sexual abuse, in particular children (Only one consultation free with a psychotherapist ) [this has since been reversed to a certain extent after a campaign by concerned professionals].

    Changes to payments to ACC especially for motor bikes.

    Decision announced to change Act and Foreshore and Seabed without any
    indication of what could replace it (law not yet passed rescinding it)

    Change to ETS law with little time to hear submissions and passing into law under urgency – result is that big polluters will be subsidised by tax payers and have no incentive to cut emissions. [And now in 2012 what will remain of the ETS? – Climate change is too expensive to combat!]

    Deal with Maori Party to subsidise big corporate Maori Forests emissions and not other Forestry corps, a racially divisive action to get Maori Party vote for ETS. (This goes against WTO anti-subsidy aims NZ has always worked for.)

    Pay rise for judges (who decides on this?) at a time of wage freeze for court workers and other govt employees. Pay freeze for hospital cleaners and other staff.

    Change to holidays – possibility to cash in one out of the 4 weeks holiday. Hours in lieu rather than days in lieu and other negative changes especially hurting part-time and shift workers. Changes to sick leave entitlements.

    Enormous payout for the as yet incomplete Brash report and dismissal of
    ideas contained in first part of report.

    Relaxed rules for overseas investors in NZ business and property.

    Auckland Supercity set-up and legislation passed regardless of citizens’ objections. Dedicated seats on council for iwi rejected – all minority representation with any decision making powers negated, in favour of ineffectual advisory councils. Huge power to be in the hands of the Super City mayor. The councils are no longer operating and the transition is being made with Auckland run by a 5 person commission.

    Useless Jobs Summit and unemployment rise

    Technical training cuts

    90-Day Bill allows employers to sack employees without giving a reason within first 90 days at a job.

    No real assistance on leaky homes problems and cases

    Cuts to R& D funding

    Cancelled regulations on clean emissions for car imports.

    Go to Copenhagen with request for money for research into farm emissions and pretend that NZ has targets in place.

    Present the same week the decision to construct billion dollar 4-lane highways and tunnels in the Wellington region. And announce planning to begin for another Auckland Harbour bridge or tunnel.

    Double bunking in prisons and the possibility of using containers as prison cells

    TVNZ NZ charter scrapped

    Junk food allowed back into schools.

    Reversing ban on incandescent lights

    Cut of 2% to employer contributions to the Kiwi Fund

    Cut of contributions to the Cullen Fund – because borrowing didn’t make sense in a recession (but Fund made bigger % interest than the cost of borrowing would have been as it turned out)

    Discontinued Pay Investigations for Special Education Support Workers and Social Workers (CYFS)

    Further cuts to Public Service Depts staff numbers

    Privatisation of prisons.

    
Scrapped biofuels (unsustainable sources eg Brazil) morotorium

    Allowing coal fired stations to re-open.



    ‘Environ’ school projects scrapped (although some councils are financing them now)

    

Similar programmes to train and tour union delegates  to  educate factories on environment friendly practic now cut.

46. Changing RMA investment rules

.

    Nats have changed the home insulation scheme (Greens and labour) to be available for everyone rather than targeted at those 
least able to afford to insulate their homes. With the result that limit of funds is reached and wrong group has acted to obtain the subsidies.

    Bill, how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

    • weka 5.1

      BeeDee, impressive listing. The cynical reply is: how many of those things will Labour roll back/reverse once in power? And how many of those things is Labour actually ok with, and would do themselves if they thought they could get away with it?
       
       

      • George D 5.1.1

        This is the question I always ask Labour MPs: you oppose it now, will you reverse it when in power?

        If the answer is anything other than an unqualified yes, then they don’t deserve your support now (let alone when elected to government). Some things are irreversible in any practical sense, yes. But that list of things is radically smaller than the list of things that can be reversed.

    • Bill 5.2

      Bill, how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

      If I remember correctly, Helen Clark voiced the concern during her step down in 08 that any gains made under 10 years of Labour would go up in a bonfire of fanatical flames under a National government. (I can’t quite remember how she put it.)

      Point is, I’m well aware that the Nats are going for ‘rip shit and bust’ and comletely trashing the fabric of our society. Or what remains of it.

      But I’m also aware that Labour led governments have been enamoured by the same neo-liberal tosh as the Nats. And so those neo-liberal Labour governments ‘went along with’ the broader game plan. They played ball as it were. And that has made it far too easy for the Nats to crank up the ideological extremism. Thanks to the penchant for ‘managerialism’ that marked neo-liberal Labour led governments, the framework that the Nats can now act from was left in place.

      As said before by someone on ts, there may well have been excusable reasons…even compelling reasons… for the Helen Clark led Labour Party acting as it did, or being inactive on some fronts. But that was then, and this is now. The world has changed and the neo-liberal project has shown itself to be an unmitigated disaster from the perspective of ordinary people. And so now, the Labour Party needs to make an unequivocal break from the past. No excuses.

      And you might want to consider the fact that although we are being subjected to austerity and sell-offs and all that guff at the moment, the fact is that NZ was kind of buffered from the financial melt down. But with China shaking and Australia likely to be dragged down by a falling China, the day when NZ gets hit isn’t very far away.

      When that happens, do you want the only response on the table to be austerity (more austerity) peddled out under the guise of TINA? I don’t.

      • karol 5.2.1

        Bill: As said before by someone on ts, there may well have been excusable reasons…even compelling reasons… for the Helen Clark led Labour Party acting as it did, or being inactive on some fronts. But that was then, and this is now. The world has changed and the neo-liberal project has shown itself to be an unmitigated disaster from the perspective of ordinary people. And so now, the Labour Party needs to make an unequivocal break from the past. No excuses.

        Exactly. Now is the time for change, and for Labour (and the Greens) to chart a new path.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Talking to friends in Europe…the hopelessness associated with factories closing down and the sheer numbers of people becoming homeless (and that’s not looking at the more extreme and, some would say, simply off down the track a bit, situations in Spain, Greece etc)…I get lost for words on how imperative it is that a step change takes place within the parliamentary setting of NZ.

        • Dr Terry 5.2.1.2

          Agreed Karol, though I must remark upon the incredibly good performance of the Greens this year.

      • Wayne 5.2.2

        Bill, this is where the Left is deluded. This continual attempt to characterise the Nats as some sort of hard right experiment will fail. You cannot win by making caricatures of your opponents, you need to work out why they are succeeding. Essentially you have the mirror image of the problems facing the Republicans in the US. They completely misunderstood President Obamas appeal, just as you do with the Nats.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.2.1

          Correct. The Nats aren’t the “Hard Right” experiment; the whole of New Zealand over the last 3 decades has been.

        • Bill 5.2.2.2

          The neo-classical school of economic thought is very much a ‘hard right experiment’. And it was accommodated by the parliamentary left as well as the parliamentary right. And it’s collapsed and is causing mayhem. What more to say?

          Maybe the point of my reference to tweedle dee and tweedle dum in the post went whooshing over your head?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.3

          You cannot win by making caricatures of your opponents…

          We’re not making caricatures of National – they really are hard-right and show signs of sociopathy.

          • Wayne 5.2.2.3.1

            Well, good luck in trying to convince New Zealanders that their Govt is sociopathic!

            • Dr Terry 5.2.2.3.1.1

              Not only is the Government sociopathic!! Count in an awful number of its supporters.

              • KJT

                The fact that NACT got over 50% of the vote sort of confirms that half the population are below average intelligence.

                The funny thing is, that if you poll individuals on preferred policies, without specifying the party they originated, most prefer Green policies.

                So. If NACT, or 1984-90 Labour, was subject to truth in advertising rules they would have never got into Government.
                We are going to cut your wages, make you pay twice as much for privatised services formerly provided by the State, sell of all income earning assets and make the majority poorer so less than 1% can become a lot richer, would be true, but would not have won elections.

                Yet another reason why we should have democracy and not just a revolving dictatorship.

                • McFlock

                  The fact that NACT got over 50% of the vote sort of confirms that half the population are below average intelligence.

                  Not if you include the 25%-odd who didn’t vote.
                        
                  Basically, there’re enough people smart enough to realise that no party will serve the people and opt out of the entire thing, but the stinger in that tail is that it means the stupid tory is disproportionately represented in the ballot. 
                         
                  Which is why one should at least push some shit up the hill: if you stop bailing, you might drown in it. 

                  • I maintain that while withholding your vote is a valid option, it is never a smart one. You are always best off to vote for whichever party most closely represents your interests in your opinion, and act to reform them if they are not close enough for your liking.

                • Wayne

                  If you believe that of the voters, you are doomed to fail. Actually you might believe that, but the MP’s I know in Labour don’t.

                  Actually people knew what the Nats were going to deliver in both 2008 and 2011 and voted accordingly. Everyone knows we are in tough times, everyone knew the Nats were promising to sell 49% of the electricity SOE’s. The one thing you can’t seriously allege is that people did not know the Nats agenda.

                  You are going to have to either wait for the change in the electoral cycle – it will occur by 2017, or you you are going to need a more appealing platform.

                  From what I can see of Labour’s remits it is a return to the left solutions pre 1984. I reckon that wont work. How about a 21st century program?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And Nationals is a return to the 19th century.

                    Yes, it would be nice to have a program for the 21st century but we’re not going to get it from either of the two main parties.

                • TightyRighty

                  Channeling Romney now? Great work KJT. Trust a champion of socialism to promote competition by labelling people idiots if they don’t subscribe to the same views that you base on your “superior” insight.

        • tracey 5.2.2.4

          What I have learned from the Nats is you have to look appealing, like you care, while every day bringing down policies that work for the few and benefit the few and corode the maany. In other words lie plausibly.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      Mine lignite coal in Southland

      This was first on your list. Michael Cullen instructed Solid Energy to purchase all the lignite containing farms in Southland. Had he not done that, there would be no problem with this now.

      Same with Labour involvement with other items on the list.

      Eg water issues and water quality problems, they didn’t start in 2008. Dairy has been massively intensifying over the last decade, and the growth in debt and conseqent farm price bubble have been a driver of that. That all happened under Labour’s watch.

      Allowing coal fired stations to re-open.



      This is very selective. % of renewable energy in NZ has continued to go up in each of the years National has been in power, so overall we are using less coal powered stations than before.

      Some of the other stuff the Tories do is unconscionable but Labour has been soft on saying it will roll stuff back asap eg re-nationalising our assets.

      • Peter 5.3.1

        What coal fired stations have reopened? Last time I checked it was zero… New Zealand only has one coal fired station for years anyway – Huntly, which replaced Meremere.

        Mighty River power did not gain approval to refire Marsden B (near Whangarei) with coal, and now its off to India, to be fired up with, you guessed it, coal… You could say that a smart government might have not allowed the machinery to be sold to allow that use of coal, but hell, India is so short of electricity an action like that wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

        No other coal stations have reopened in that time. In fact, the 4 old coal/gas combined units of Huntly are now essentially standby only, as they prefer to use their newer gas combined cycle plant. That new transmission line from the Waikato will also help reduce the need for them to be cranked up.

        I sincerely doubt that any new coal stations will be opened either in the medium term future. Renewables are just too damned cheap.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Campaign about ACC management which falsifies the real situation of surplus; and the decision to run it as an insurance company not as a pay-as-you go system

      Actually, Labour did that after they made ACC a monopoly again 1999

      Pay rise for judges (who decides on this?) at a time of wage freeze for court workers and other govt employees.

      Higher Salaries Commission

      how about taking a true look at the enormous changes to the fabric of our society in these last two and a half years.

      Are they enormous changes though? I don’t believe they are. It was Labour that brought in privatisation in the 1980s and they haven’t done anything to reverse that since. In fact, looking at their actions and what they’re saying now, it really looks like they looking for ways to increase privatisation and increase the actions of capitalism. Hell, even the ETS is an attempt to have capitalism to do the distribution of the worlds resources rather than the governments which is an exercise in futility as capitalism can only work if it uses the resources up at an exponential rate.

    • beatie 5.5

      I notice you didn’t mention the welfare reforms. I’ve asked the question on Labour FB pages ‘will Labour reverse the benefit reforms?’ A simple yes or no would suffice. My question was ignored apart from Darien Fenton who waffled on about ‘exciting initiatives, watch this space’ blah, blah blah. They have no idea, do they. I think they see beneficiaries as an embarrassing nuisance who interfere with their wooing of ‘Middle New Zild”

  6. Bravo, great read Bill.
    Labour need to grab back the reason why the party was formed,the beating heart is irregular
    and in danger of dying a horrible death,if not in 2014 certainly in 2017.
    It’s not enough to say they lost their way,those involved in the current shinanigans need to
    take a long hard look at themselves and ask, ‘Do i have a right to be a Labour minister’
    if not, then hand the reigns over to true labour party heros/heroins. people like Helen Kelly

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    TARA is way hotter than TINA. Just saying.

  8. weka 8

    Well said Bill.

     
    The electorate get a choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum fighting over a so called centre ground that has moved so far to the right that it’s just not funny.

    And, naturally enough, people stop voting. In their droves. Because there is nothing for them in the voting game. It’s disconnected.
    I’m not going to run through the policies that have come and gone through the years from the Nats and Labour where a cigarette paper wouldn’t have slipped in the gap between their positions.
     

    The risk with this narrative is that even more voters get turned off. I wince every time I hear someone say there is no difference between NACT and Labour. While I understand your analysis of the wider politics involved and agree with most of it, there is still value in people voting (on the left): it’s much easier to survive, and easier to effect political change under a leftwing govt than a right wing one, even a useless leftwing one like the last Labour govt. The only rationale I can see for taking the view there is no difference would be to let the country get so run down that people take to the streets. That’s not going to be a quick process in NZ (instead, long and painful)
     
    The narrative I’d like to see is: Labour has been captured by the neoliberals (plus eveything else you said). Vote for them (or someone else on the left) in the meantime, while we work to shift the country (and Labour) back to its core values of fairness and egalitarianism.
     

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Your strategy is correct
      1) We get people to turnout and vote the Left parties including Labour
      2) Those of us who are Left need to make damn sure that those Left parties and their MPs do what they are supposed to do for the people, or they get de-selected or voted out.

    • Bill 8.2

      Yeah. There are, of course, shades of neo-liberalism. Some are ‘nicer’. And if that is the only option we have, then of course, it makes sense to vote for the nicer varient. But our legs will get broken either way.

      What we need now is for the dominant section of the parliamentary left to make a clean break from the past. And it really does have to happen now.

      Meanwhile, I’ve no problem with people taking to the streets. In fact, I think it’s a sign of a healthy democracy that always holds the potential for ideas on developing more substantive and empowering democratic forms of governance to take hold. But I don’t buy the immiseration argument (I don’t think you were actually advocating that btw) whereby, so it is argued, people must experience a degree of suffering before they react. It doesn’t work that way. You can do just about anything to people as long as you leave them enough space to believe or merely hope that a warm shower awaits them.

  9. js 9

    Bill, you said it. You are not a Labour Party activist or member. You will probably never be. To have broad support in New Zealand a party has to cover a diversity from centre left to mild left to more staunch left – to reflect mainstream NZ which is actually quite cautious and moderate, but quite keen on people having a fair go (which National is not doing). That will never be enough for you and most Standard commentators.

    So why should you and other Standard commentators who will also never vote Labour be dictating policy and personnel to a party which you don’t support and don’t volunteer for. But surely you would support it focussing on winning back those 10 or 20% of middle to moderate NZers who have supported it in the past, and are the key to a left leaning coalition government in the future which has broad NZ-wide support. That path also needs an easy going, relationship building leader to do that – which the party has.

    • Eh? Those that voted National in last time pretty much all bought into the neo-liberal BS and carry on about the so-called Labour nanny state; coupled with going paranoid over a voluntary scheme for energy saving light bulbs (which was spun by the mainstream media as the first step towards a Communist state). Labour shouldn’t try to pander to the center-right, it is fruitless as trying to get Republican birthers to vote Obama; as National party supporters see Labour as the party of Satan out to ‘steal their money’ and ‘raise taxes’.

      Labour and the Greens should focus on winning electorates and the party vote of the center-left, as only by getting the center-left to the polls is National going to be turfed out. The center-left grew lazy under the last term of Labour (to the point most in the left felt that they didn’t need to vote), as a result John Key was able to get its voters out in larger numbers and take the country. I wouldn’t say we are as partisan as the US, but it is going to be a tight election and Labour has to be ready for a hard and bitter campaign to take back the country.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        You have mixed up the 2008 and 2011 elections.

        New Zealanders don’t go for “hard and bitter campaigns”. They just want to see good policy and people with conviction to carry it out

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          They just want to see good policy and people with conviction to carry it out

          🙄
           

          Show me the money!

          • Wayne 9.1.1.1.1

            All good politicians have swift rejoinders, that they don’t need rehearse. President Obama; “they don’t have horses and bayonets”. The good rejoinders disable the opponent. As sure as heck “Show me the money” did that to Phil. Both themes played into the voters sensibilities. In NZ the worry about more borrowing; in the US the prospect of increased defence spending, just at at time when they can see the end of more than a decade at war.

            In fact much of the current debate about leadership is about the inability of David Shearer to match John Key in the House. We have all seen it; John Key’s quickness in the House regularly leaves David Shearer looking helpless and out of his depth.

            • PlanetOrphan 9.1.1.1.1.1

              A reservoir of four word one liners that idiots will remember.

            • karol 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually that quip and repartee stuff is based on stereotypes and misinformation – everything wrong with the way image has come to outweigh content.  

              It relies on keeping the general public only partially informed, if not down-right mis-informed.  And really your view @8.50pm contradicts that of 6.54pm.

              My criticism of Team Shearer is more to do with content & policies than delivery.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It relies on keeping the general public only partially informed, if not down-right mis-informed.

                The latter if at all possible. As has been said, if National actually told the truth there’s no way that they’d ever be voted in to parliament never mind government. Unfortunately, even after 4 years of this government lying a lot of people can’t actually see that.

                • Wayne

                  Actually the Govt did campaign on its agenda, no one was misled. People either voted for the Nats because they thought the agenda was Ok, or the voted for the Nats because they thought Labour was not up to it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m pretty sure you’ll find that most of what National has done since the 2008 election most people wouldn’t have realised that National were going to do and that is National failing to tell people their agenda.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.3

              In NZ the worry about more borrowing;

              Can’t have been that worried – National got voted back in with the highest ever borrowing.

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.4

              That is the experience showing through of getting caught previously. But John Key was clearly a quick study and obviously remembers his previous failures vividly. He was no real match for Cullen in election 2005, but had vastly improved when he pushed pretty even against Helen in 2008. I was rather surprised that Phil didn’t have a good rejoinder ready in 2011, although as I recall he tried.

              I saw Helen go through a similar learning curve in the early 90’s in a number of areas. Ruthless self-appraisal and listening to the criicism of others with lots of practice is required. She put up with me amongst others and I am not exactly nice with my assessments.

              It isn’t just the house, although that would go a long way towards getting him ready for debates at the next election. However there he has to hold his own and not actively lose.

              I am far more worried that he simply doesn’t have sufficient skill to drive caucus so they don’t screw up and lose the election for Labour. Nor that he understands what needs to be done inside the party and why. At present he is so busy picking up basic skills that he doesn’t have time for a strategic view for the longer term, and I cannot see anyone else in caucus doing it.

              All good for National short term (but they don’t think strategically beyond a business cycle can they?). Not so good for NZ as the Greens or NZ first emerge as the driver of government over the next decade.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not so good for NZ as the Greens or NZ first emerge as the driver of government over the next decade.

                This is precisely it. Labour screwing this up puts NZ backwards for the next 10 years.

                Which is exactly the time this country needs to be preparing hard out to thrive in the perfect global storm of debt, energy depletion, resource constraints and exploding world population.

    • Bill 9.2

      A parliamentary left that was actually of the left (with all the caveats and limitations that parliamentary realities would impose on such parties) would be absolutely fine by me. Thing is js, when you refer to ‘moderate’ and ‘centre’ you seem to be assuming those positions are fixed and immutable while the reality is, as said in the post, that the centre has been shifted way off to the right over the past 30 years. Ie, our parliamentery politics have become decidedly radical thanks to the adoption of neo-classical economic thinking by the main parties of the left and right. And that ain’t good.

      edit. and when the shit hits the fan in NZ, as it most surely will, will you happy if a Labour led government sits in parliament doing nothing besides trundling out austerity policies? Because that’s what’s on the cards without a step change.

    • tracey 9.3

      because they might be potential or former labour voters??

    • lprent 9.4

      js: If anything, I’m naturally right of the current centre by inclination as anyone can see from my oft-times authoritarian and very individual moderating style here. But for decades I have been expending a lot of my valuable time and effort on a ‘left’ party. It isn’t because that is where my natural inclinations go. It is because I recognize intellectually that societies are too damn complex to be left to vagaries of the market. Especially on infrastructural issues from public transport to raising kids where the short-term profit motives tend to work against optimal long term results. You’ll notice that I seldom talk policy here except when it is about those infrastructural issues.

      So what you just said to Bill applies just as equally to me as well. People like Bill and myself generally aren’t interested in being the sole arbiters setting the direction, we’re interested in contributing to a party (or in this case a blog) that is inclusive, listens, and acts on what it hears. That is why we cooperate here despite our highly divergent viewpoints.

      Currently the Labour party isn’t configured to do that and really hasn’t been for more than 30 years. Sure we can stand up and put a policy remit through and even get it through conference. But more often than not the caucus will simply ignore it. It has been essentially a meaningless ritual, which is also why it has been occupying less and less of the conference timetables for decades.

      Consequently the Labour party membership has been steadily getting smaller and older as it steadily shrinks to a small group of younger groomed office seekers who wind up on the parliamentary payroll long before they get the nod to fight an election, and a residual lump of people from a previous generation who sigh for the days of yore when it was a cool thing to volunteer for Labour. That doesn’t bode well for being a party that represents anything apart from individual ambition. Increasingly that is what I see when I look at caucus.

      And I expect that a party should be configured to win elections. Being configured to coming as a good-hearted easy-going relationship building runner up isn’t something that I am prepared to expend effort on. And that is the position that the NZLP has allowed itself to get to.

      Chief in the things it needs to learn is to learn to agree to disagree again. Which is at least in part what a number of the remits this weekend are about. The absolute best way for MP’s to not have to deal with withering criticism from people both inside and outside the party, from members and activists, is simply to allow the party to be somewhere where you can speak, be heard, and see action in response. I don’t hold out much hope that will happen, so I prefer to expend effort here.

      It has been noticeable over the last few days that many of the MP’s are uncomfortable with being criticised from the left. So how comfortable are you with their attitude? How do you think they will react when they get a push to have this inside the party?

      I can remember when it actually happened and overall it was pretty damn healthy. More importantly we also had active change because MP’s had to to survive the interaction with party members. Now that doesn’t happen. Consequently these days we’re running on campaigning systems that owe their genesis in the days of the Anderton presidency because caucus members feel comfortable with them rather than if they are functional for the modern electorates.

      Which is also the reason that they have a problem with social media like this.

      • s y d 9.4.1

        “Consequently the Labour party membership has been steadily getting smaller and older as it steadily shrinks to a small group of younger groomed office seekers who wind up on the parliamentary payroll long before they get the nod to fight an election, and a residual lump of people from a previous generation who sigh for the days of yore when it was a cool thing to volunteer for Labour. That doesn’t bode well for being a party that represents anything apart from individual ambition.”

        nailed it there….I look at what Labour does in my electorate (home of Mr Bridges..sigh) and it’s basically election year flurry and then nothing….. Ms Mahuta-Coyle turned up a few months before the election, got her name in the paper, lost (as expected) and has now gone to work as a petroleum industry lobbiest…sigh again.

        meanhwile, the green candidate is in the media every week, with the argument against TINA..

        • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1

          and has now gone to work as a petroleum industry lobbiest…sigh again.

          Pagani get her in, or the other way around?

      • js 9.4.2

        This a response to LPrent 12.44pm and I agree about the need for healthy debate and even conflict. I think sections of the LP have been despairing about lack of support from other sections of the labour movement/left and vice versa since its founding (too radical, not radical enough, too white, too old, too male etc).

        But what has disappointed me in the last few weeks is the constant belitting of David Shearer and his senior management team, lots of demands that he and the LP must do this or that – or else! and very little positive. (And also very little that seemed informed by other than some TV appearances.) Consequently, when the last RM poll came out there was was a cheer of ‘told you so’. Sometimes it seems like the Standard is almost a front for the right.

        NZ needs a government of the left and it will probably be a coalition of about 3 parties covering a variety of perspectives. So let’s keep up the healthy debate and focus on the left, but not the bullying by and of the same side. That only plays into the right and sees the PM swaggering in parliament using the Standard to try and destroy the credibility of the left in the eyes of the public.

        • lprent 9.4.2.1

          And have you noticed that we are coming up to the conference? This is the ONLY time when active members really meet from across the country – so this is the time that myself and other NZLP members raise these issues. The other 51 weeks in the year we tend to concentrate on the right.

          More than half of the people who comment here are (in my estimation) NZLP members – including most of the people who you are unspecific in saying are “bullying” (haven’t seen it myself).

          Problem is that right now many NZLP members (including me) have a strong sense that the Labour caucus are the bloody problem. “David Shearer and his senior management team” can’t seem to control Shane Jones running his own message line not once but now at least 3 times without any even any comment or explanation or sanction from that team. How do you feel that is helping the left cause?
          So what makes you think that they are capable of running an coherent and successful election campaign? The last one was not good and as far as I can see they don’t seem to have learnt much. Outside of the blogs the sense of angry frustration at the “management team” permeates throughout the people who help organise the campaigns. What you see here is a pale reflection.

          They need a swift kick by the party and it’s members. These days there is no effective channel to do this within the party so it is getting done outside. If you don’t want it to continue in this manner, then I’d suggest that you assist in getting the obstructions from healthy debate inside the party removed. They are in my opinion mostly inside caucus and concentrated in the “management team”.

          The most vocal supporters of that “management team” in the public sphere appear to be concentrated in the right wing publications, commentators, and bloggers. I wonder why?

        • QoT 9.4.2.2

          or else!

          Nice mischaracterisation there. But I suppose it is easier to pretend it’s a threat, rather than an earnest, depressed, beseeching “if you don’t change course we’ll have another 3 years of National government and fuck me we don’t need that”. Because then you’d have to take the critics as serious, ardent lefties, not evil meanie Shearer-hating bullies without a cause.

  10. hush minx 10

    Js, i don’t think bill is saying he never will vote labour-but even if he is, does that make what he says any less valuable? There is a delicate balance to be had between catching votes but being true to your principles and values. The latter without the former sees you shut out from the treasury benches. The reverse scenario might see you in power but achieve nothing.

    I’ve done my fair share of party work-but Labour will not get my vote, or my volunteered time until they inspire me again. And i think that’s what many of us here have been saying. Labour caucus needs to listen, and democracy and accountability shine in. For that reason i support a 40% threshold for the leadership trigger. Let anyone who is not worthy try that on with members. It is a more meaningful test than caucus and their self interest.

  11. Lots of zombie illusions here. Neo-liberalism is no more an ‘experiment’ than capitalism is. It was a response to the 1970s structural capitalist crisis. Labour was not ‘converted to neo-liberalism; it did what it did in the 1930s again in the 1980’s in the interests of national capital. The difference is that in the 1930s national capital needed protecting so Nash did a deal with the Bank of England to allow it to keep the financial reins. By the 1970’s national capital had to merge with international capital to survive, so Labour reversed its 1930s protectionism, and sucked up to the international banks.
    TARA is ending capitalism, not performing life support on a zombie.
    Labour has a class contradiction running through it, a working class support base and a bosses program.
    TARA means that the Labour Party that was formed in 1916 out of the defeat of the militant unions to lock the working class into parliament will have to split along class lines.

  12. lefty 12

    If Labour refuses to respect its constinuency maybe it needs to be taught to fear it.

    What if unions and left organisations told Labour they will not support them if they don’t change their ways.

    Labour MPs will simply laugh at this because they have learned they will continue to be supported even when they betray those who put them in positions of trust.

    The left could respond by actively campaigning against them during the next election.

    Imagine unions suggesting to their members they vote anybody but the traitorous Labour party.

    And every progressive organisation and individual turning their back on them.

    Labour loyalists could treat it like giving their beloved child some time out for bad behaviour – it would be painful but for the party’s own good.

    It would take a bit of organisation and guts but it could be done.

    The result would be another term of National.

    That would not be pleasant, but only slightly less so than neo liberal Labour led government. After all we have survived more National governments than Labour in the last fifty years or so.

    I’m picking we would only have to do it once.

    The Labour Party and its MPs would get the message that the people it pretends to represent are not prepared to be treated like suckers forever and change its ways.

    The following election people would be able to mobilise around a Labour Party that stood bravely alongside the majority against the elite.

    As long as we stick to following the lesser of two evils path and vote for Labour, regardless of what it stands for, we are going to continue to be sold out.

    And a political space that should be occupied by a centre left party will remain occupied by a centre right party.

    • kiwicommie 12.1

      As much as I agree that Labour needs to change, we can’t afford another term of National (look at the National debt – $70+ billion in 2011, and $21 billion more this year) ; even if we have to grit our teeth at some of the more right wing members of the Labour party, that is preferable to another two years of National; which could turn NZ into Greece, Spain or Italy. Those suffering can’t wait another two years, let alone five.

      • lefty 12.1.1

        Kiwicommie

        It is exactly thinking like yours that leaves us trapped with a right wing Labour Party that treats us with contempt.

        Labour (in its present form) and National are equally likely to turn us into a Greece or Spain or Italy. A capital gains tax, cutting the pension and a bit of tinkering here and there are the only differences in economic policy between the two. If we look objectively at the last 30 years it is clear they have contributed equally to the mess we are in at present.

        Its not a matter of ‘some more right wing members of the Labour Party’. Its a matter of a neo liberal Labour Party that would become a neo liberal Labour Government.

        A genuine Labour Party could make the difference but we are not going to get one unless they are taught to respect the working class that supports them by moving away from neo liberalism.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          The left could respond by actively campaigning against them during the next election.

          lefty

          not just during the election, but during individual candidate Labour Party selection.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      The result would be another term of National.

      Not necessarily. There are plenty of left parties that these people could give their votes to. And you never know, they may actually end up preferring the new party.

  13. js 13

    Lange was an inspiring leader with the smart speeches and one liners but wasn’t doing and was not good at that behind the scenes stuff building alliances and relationships, while the neo-libs were. I like Shearer because he is doing the hard work behind the scenes stuff, particularly in Christchurch.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I like Shearer because he is doing the hard work behind the scenes stuff, particularly in Christchurch.

      Uh…as part of his research and technology portfolio???

  14. tracey 14

    I’m not sure how helpful this headline is for this post

    “The omnishambolic ABC Shearer led Labour Party in context”

    JS, I have refrained from offering what I am about to say because it is from a former employee of Shearer’s and I dont know the circumstances of that employment ending. That said, this employee describes him as a bully (which surprised me) and that he was not good at the nuts and bolts fo getting things done.

    Frankly as long as any party is all about its leader (and I include National in that) there is a level fod eception, or certainly wariness in this voter.

    [B : I think you might be right. Truth is, I hate coming up with brief summaries. Anyway. Summary/headline has been updated ]

  15. Sunny 15

    So js, Shearer is ‘doing hard work in CHCH’ is he? I saw a protest against the (30?) school closures/mergers/heists in CHCH. Looked like a fine day. Shearer was at the front of the march …and there were 200 people! 200! Down here in Dunedin, when the NACTS forced Forbury to close (roll of about 120) more than a 1,000 hit the streets. And they were Pacifika and Maori and poor people who had never marched before in the main. If 200 is the best the ‘leader’ and his party can get out in a city as shagged as CHCH on an issue that affects so many then he’s useless. And he needs to step aside and step aside now.

    • Peter 15.1

      Yeah, and we got close to 10,000 when National + Chch consultants tried to shut down our neurosurgery unit as well.

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    well, I enjoyed the post and thread Bill (just returning the feathers?)

  17. js 17

    Since someone mentioned bullying, I wonder how many people have been disappointed at the petulant bullying tone of some of the commentators of the Standard lately. Do what I say, how I say – or else! And as mentioned above, most aren’t even Labour people. In fact, I recall reading the Standard last election day and many from the so-called left admitting that they voted for NZ First.

    • muzza 17.1

      Lange was an inspiring leader with the smart speeches

      Given this comment further up, and the one above referring to bullying.

      I’d say you’re you have the wooden spoon out, doing a bit of stirring eh JS!

  18. tracey 18

    “petulant bullying tone”? To my knowledge none has been directed at me since I began posting here. I know the few times I went to whale and farrar’s site the commenters and Mr Slater were more than petulant. Two wrongs don’t make a right though. How do you feel you have been bullied ont his thread? I get disappointed when anyone resorts to name calling from any ideology.

    Isn’t it good if the posters/commenters here are from a variety of political viewpoints?

  19. pete 19

    As a National supporter, I certainly hope Labour adopt everything Bill says – 100%.

  20. Michael 20

    I think Pete’s post above, which looks like a cut and paste from Labour’s constitution, should be passed around its conference this weekend before every MP is asked to affirm it. Those that don’t or won’t should be deselected, there and then. Next Labour should debate how those principles are to be applied to the policies it offers the electorate in 2014. The result should be its roadmap while in government. If the people don’t like it, they can’t say they weren’t told in advance what Labour wanted to do, and deserve the government they get.

  21. Michael Wood 21

    In the lather about leadership, some of the other important changes and proposals up for debate at the Conference have been lost.

    One is the proposed Policy Platform. This will be a binding high-level policy document that is controlled by the party memebrship, and which other policy has to be consistent with. I’d encourage you to have a read before carrying on with the “Labour is just another shade of neo-liberal” meme. The draft platform explicitly repudiates the free-market agenda, is blunt in its criticism of the 4th Labour government’s economic policies, and proposes a major change in direction for New Zealand.

    The platform proposal first has to be endorsed and the document is just a draft that has to be considered by members at the Conference, but it gives you an idea of the plurality of thought and the debates happening within the Party. Rest assured that for most of us TINA is not an option!

    Read it here – https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Draft-Policy-Platform-final.pdf

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Michael I hear really good things about you, but when I read things like “introducing innovative growth directed macroeconomic policies” I think to myself…did these guys not get the memo that growth per capita is over, that exponential economic growth will destroy this planet, and by the way…forget about ‘peak oil’: cheap oil is already extinct.

  22. karol 22

    Bill said: The upshot is that we have elections as personality contests now. Is anyone really surprised? Is there anyone who in all seriousness would argue that they don’t know why this is? Just in case such people exist, here’s a hint. In a world that lacks policy alternatives, difference in personality is all that remains, ie the choice can only be between styles when the content remains the same.

    I agree with this, and am glad you focuses on the wider policy issues, and the whole TINA SCAM.  I am not so interested in who the leader is, but in the values being portrayed.  And a focus on a back-story or being the “anti-politician” is just buying in to the neoliberal narrative.  It’s an approach that became dominant in the 80s with the intensification of consumer society, branding and market-values.

    It masked the true  neoliberal agenda, which was to reform politics in the interest of powerful corporates and wealthy elite.  And for a left wing party to put a strong emphasis on leader as brand, is masking a TINA, no-change agenda. 

    The world has changed since the 80s.  I want to see a resurgent left-wing movement with bold new ideas. 

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      And a focus on a back-story or being the “anti-politician” is just buying in to the neoliberal narrative.

      This approach was engineered by the brilliant minds currently running Labour PR and strategy.

    • beatie 22.2

      Karol maybe you need to stop flogging a dead horse then. I remember the excitement of Lange’s win in ’84. It’s been downhill ever since. I haven’t voted for Labour for years. Unfortunately my 88yr old ex coalminer father is still loyal, to the point of being used in photo ops by our local Labour MP. Much to my disgust cos Labour sold him and his mates out years ago. Vote Mana!

      • karol 22.2.1

        I don’t understand what dead horse you think I’m abusing, beatie…?  I haven’t voted Labour for a few elections either.  But the approach by all “left” parties and the left generally is important to me whatever party I vote for (which depends on how close each party comes to me left-wing values).

  23. tamati 23

    The one legged army marches on!!!!!!

    Left, Left, left left left!

    (Bonus point for who can tell who this quote is from)

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    Good post by Pablo over on Kiwipolitico about the Asiafication of NZ Production:

    In New Zealand it is accomplished by maintaining unemployment rates at sufficiently high levels so as to have a labor surplus in semi-skilled and unskilled, middle to lower income, mostly youth and entry-level positions. Creation of lower minimum wage sub-categories (such as the youth wage) and lowering wage requirements for casual or part time work reduces labor input costs. Dropping of social welfare benefits forces people into the job market out of necessity rather than choice, adding to the numbers of the unemployed seeking work. Loosening of the regulatory environment in which most workers work gives them less legal grounds for grievance across a range of issues, from workplace safety to wages.

    The combination of factors allow for the easy replacement of semi-skilled and unskilled labor (and in some instances, skilled workers such as academics), which increases the employment uncertainty and precariousness of the work force. That makes employees malleable to employer demands for more wage restraint, more task assignments, more productive output per employee and hence more working hours with little extra pay or benefits. For employees in a labor market characterized by work scarcity, loose regulations and employment precariousness, increasingly onerous jobs are not easy to give up (tragically, Pike River comes to mind). On the other hand, for employers it is a take it or leave it proposition. If workers want better pay or conditions, they can look elsewhere.

    What we’ve been seeing over the last three decades of neo-liberalism is the deterioration of labour solidarity for the benefit of the ruling/ownership class. It is this deterioration that we need to stop and reverse if we want a better society.

    • kiwicommie 24.1

      I agree, most employers pay peanuts and refuse to pay international rates, workers see better pay and they take it (in Australia or elsewhere), the only skilled workers left are those that work well under heavy stress and pressure, or are conned by the ‘lifestyle’ and 100% Pure NZ crap; excluding those that want to stay here despite hardship. The National party and the Business round-table live on another planet, maybe Jupiter as the gravity would crush anyone that lands on it. 😉

    • asd 24.2

      Brilliant stuff! This is why we need a left leaning Labour caucus that is decided upon and disciplined by the membership so that egalitarian priciples can be enshrined and enacted upon when we are in power and we don’t have to put up with yet another version of neo-liberalism in drag.

    • Rogue Trooper 24.3

      That’s how I been reading our society, and they all seem to be very politically literate and pluralist over there at KP

  25. Outofbed 25

    I should vote Labour
    Hands on working man. Family steeped in Labour traditions, A history of a couple of generations door knocking leafleting etc.
    I should vote Labour
    I believe in Co-operation, rather than competition
    I believe in the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all the people.
    I vote Green
    I don’t really warm to their middleclass wankyness. It does not sit well with me.
    I want someone to vote for who represents me.
    Sure I know Shearer will probably win the next election by cobbling together NZF UF GREENS and the Maori Party a centrist fuck fest it won’t be clean it won’t be decisive but it will probably happen. They know that they will have comfortable ministerial portfolios without doing a hell of a lot. There will be a Labour led Govt probably
    But I want to vote for a Labour party to be proud off I want to deliver leaflets , doorknock stuff envelopes, go to conferences. But not for this fucking lot. My forebears would turn over in their graves if I did that, I won’t do it
    If people want to vote or be an MP in a centrist Party , may I recommend United Future.
    Just fuck off and leave the Labour Party
    I just want to vote Labour

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    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    7 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    14 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    21 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
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