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Community Organiser beats Money-market Man

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, November 8th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: activism, campaigning, community democracy, democratic participation, obama, us politics - Tags:

Donald Trump says its not democracy, but that is essentially the story of the US election campaign. In the end, on-the-ground organisation beat the billion-dollar PACs. Wall-to-wall negative advertising turned the punters off, but people-to-people contact on both sides of the contest meant the turnout was high. A lot of attention has been paid to his use of technology, but fundamentally Obama had more offices and more people across the country for a much longer time then Romney.

That goes back to a crucial decision made by Howard Dean when he became Democratic President, after missing out to John Kerry as 2004 nominee.

Dean formed the organization Democracy for America and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005. As chairman of the party, Dean created and employed the 50 State Strategy that attempted to make Democrats competitive in normally conservative states often dismissed in the past as “solid red”. The success of the strategy became apparent after the 2006 midterm elections, where Democrats took back the House and picked up seats in the Senate from normally Republican states such as Missouri and Montana. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama used the 50 state strategy as the backbone of his candidacy.

He had to fight Rahm Emanuel, who was leading the Democratic House campaign in 2006, and wanted resources spent on the winnable House seats, the old marginal seats approach. Dean was another far-sighted community organiser and fundraiser and won the fight.

Obama’s background as a community organiser meant he understood the importance of organisation on the ground, as many politicians do not. Organisation can beat money, as we showed here in 2005.

As for the money, a lot of Republican money came from special interests, and from the “old economy.” This article by Carl Pope of the Sierra Club is well worth a read for the parallels with New Zealand – we are certainly stuck in the old economy, and their interests dominate our politics too.

Much food for thought.

45 comments on “Community Organiser beats Money-market Man”

  1. kea 1

    I think this spells trouble for Netanyahu .. and possibly for John Key.

    • mike e 1.1

      Yes they even overcame the dirty tricks the Gop tried like deliberately denying access to vote dodgy voting machines long cues voter id cards.
      Deliberate lies back fired ! in Ohio!Auto bail out.
      Getting Clint Eastwood to talk to a chair, after Eastwood already backed the Auto bailout!

    • aerobubble 1.2

      My take. Sandy reminded America of Katrina. Katrina of Bush junior. Bush of Bush Economics that led to the economic downturn. Then they looked up, they saw a winner of those economic times, how much they were hurting and Romney wasn’t, so they naturally did want him swanning over them. This empowered Democrats out to vote, their vote stood up and grew, as did Republician vote where it did not matter.

      The real question for us is mid-terms and a Democrat takeover of the lower house of congress.

  2. Uturn 2

    The community knowledge of Obama was also promoted in a message from Chris Rock to undecided voters, via the Jimmy Kimmel Show:

    I suspect this is what tipped the scales for most people.

    • Tracey 2.1

      had a bit of a chuckle…

      was saddened to see the candidates extolling “working together” and so forth after a campaign where they both poured a few billlion into negative and cynical campaigning.Even when not being cynical they are being cynical if you see what I mean.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    The conclusions for Kiwis are clear.

    You can’t base a campaign on the view from Wellington (Washington). Labour have become a Parliamentary caucus more than a community party, and as long as MPs think that they can win thanks to Parliamentary funding, staff, and media, then they will lose. Not to National, but to the Greens and other non-Parliamentary political organisations.

    If MPs want voters to become supporters, and supporters to become activists, they should start by listening to them.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      + Absolutely. See my next comment.

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      A bit slow there gobbious one….. I see instances of interaction going on all the time within the labour party….. The few “dinasaurs” left who lost that message are no longer typical among the caucus….

      Do I sniff a personal agenda?

      • gobsmacked 3.2.1

        “interaction going on all the time within the labour party”

        Precisely. They – and you – don’t even see the problem. QED.

        Key word: “within”. How many people is that?

        What is the interaction with the rest of us? How are we inspired?

        “Shearer Says”? “Red Alert”? Trevor Mallard’s Facebook?

        You can’t solve a problem that you can’t recognise, and Labour aren’t even close to seeing it.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    A long time ago I went to Chicago to train in the same Saul Alinsky community organization where Obama learned the community organizing skills which won him 2 elections.

    It works brilliantly BUT there are three problems with trying to apply it in NZ.

    1. Policy comes from the people, NOT elitist liberals like our Labour MP’s.
    2. You can’t be so God damn fucking polite.
    3. You fight for issues, not personalities.

    • mac1 4.1

      I’d be interested, Amakiwi, to have more explanation because of
      the apparent contradiction between points two and three.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Think radiation breath. Attacking and undermining impolitely the very core of the policy.
        Key is very predictable in the way he responds, the fact that Labour aren’t more ready
        (they are a sometimes), is a problem.
        On point 1. Sure Labour seems to leave policy up to the Greens.

        • fatty 4.1.1.1

          “On point 1. Sure Labour seems to leave policy up to the Greens.”

          …or Mana, or Campbell Live – feed the children

    • Richard Christie 4.2

      You guys seem to be conflating campaign organisation with policy. They’re different.
      Obama’s first term (policy, both in implementation and direction) disappointed a significant proportion of his support base but his campaign still trounced the Republican machine.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Can you fight for issues using full throated red blooded language which -gasp- might not always be strictly PC and which some might even consider “impolite”?

      I’d say so. And I’d say that sometimes, not that often, its important to do so.

      • Uturn 4.3.1

        I think if you don’t know you’re using FTRBL then you could be forgiven for doing so. But once you know what you’re doing, your knowledge of your own passion undoes your alibi.

        The problem with the passion argument is that passion is misrepresented as the be-all of genuine intent. There is no doubt people can connect to passionate speech, but passion can be transmitted in silence as well as noise, a gesture as well as a word. Passion is often understood as a feminine trait, but what is commonly offered is a the result of distant logical masculine observation of a feminine source. This causes more problems than it solves.

        A progressive politician can’t expect great success by f’n and blinding because they’ll isolate or switch one supporter for another and come out no better off than where they began. Their inability to notice the dynamics of their own passion reveals an inabiilty to take all people with them, moving whever they move, and always creating an enemy to push against to artificially induce the tension required for passionate discourse. Politics is a job, a controlled persona, it’s not the expression of a free and diverse personality.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    “Organisation can beat money”? Yes it can, if you are being outspent say 2:1. But not if you are being outspent 20:1.

    And even then you are talking about needing sums of many hundreds of thousands of dollars just to make it to the starting gate for your average Congressional race. That effectively ensures that the voice of the top 1% is heard much louder than the 99%.

  6. BM 6

    The only way forward for the Republican party is if control can be wrestled from the Christian fundies who took over it.

    The Republican party these days only really represents middle America.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The Republican party these days only really represents middle America.

      I LOL’d

      The GOP has only ever represented the richest of the rich in the US.

      • BM 6.1.1

        America is two separate countries under the same banner.
        Republican party represents one, Democrats the other.

  7. Community organiser with a billion dollar campaign war chest. Pffft

    • Bill 7.1

      Sheesh. Seven comments in before the obvious is stated! Obama neither is nor was a community organiser. If you think that’s untrue then it’s high time you read some stuff on Obama that isn’t penned from deep within the Democrat machine. He was loosely involved with community projects but not at the grass roots level per se. But hey, there’s spin to be put out there.

      Both Obama and Romney were, are and will be ‘operators’ well in tune with corporate agendas and demands. And if corporate and financier campaign donations are anything to go by, then Obama is a better opertator than Romney is…just as he was a better operator than the last Republican candidate to run for president.

      Finally. And I’d have thought obviously. In a $1 = 1 vote, lobbied to hell and back ‘democracy’, there is no democracy beyond the faint smell of decay that lingers after the physical evidence of something ever having been has gone. Which also maybe goes some way to explaining why 90 000 000 (ninety million) people did not bother to vote.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        From wikipedia, Bill:

        Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago’s South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.[33][34] He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[35] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[36]

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          A director. A consultant. An instuctor.

          What’s grassroots about any of those, incidentally paid, positions of employment TRP?

          not that I think people shouldn’t be renumerated for political or social endeavours, but generally speaking, grassroots stuff is entirely voluntary and driven by conviction; not wages or salaries.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    @aero

    Example: We organized an apartment building. We asked the tenants what the key problems were. They said, lack of repairs and maintenance. The “polite” solutions got no results. You know, asking the owner to make repairs, complaining to the building inspectors, etc.

    People did their homework. Where does the owner live, work? What is he passionate about?

    They found out he is a Black associate professor at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago and got his teaching schedule. One day about 20 tenants with placards carpooled to the university. They went into his lecture theater with children in tow waving waving placards (“Slumload,” etc.) shouting insults at him. By the way, the paper he was teaching was “Urban Problems”!

    We were NOT polite. Our purpose was to humiliate him into making repairs. It worked. In days he he met with the tenants association, itemized their complaints, and shortly thereafter made all the repairs.

    It was NOT about personalities. There was no identifiable leader of the group. All agreed on what their objectives were and how to attain them.

    It was NOT about him. The tenants wanted the rats killed, backed up toilet drains fixed, etc. Thereafter it was the nicest apartment in the neighborhood and he was well respected by his former adversaries, the tenants association.

    It was about POWER. Empowering the tenants by organizing them and DEMANDING changes, NOT politely asking and being repeatedly ignored (i.e. as with a select committee).

    • mac1 8.1

      Thanks for that, Amakiwi.

    • fatty 8.2

      “Our purpose was to humiliate him into making repairs”

      Nice one AmaKiwi…power from the bottom is about stigmatising those above, and humiliation is the best way to do it. We need to flip it on them.

      • AmaKiwi 8.2.1

        Do whatever works. Remember, the goal power, not politeness. There is nothing “polite” about paying your rent and watching rats run around your flat which is filled with the stench of sewage.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Dpf has a thread today that is turning pretty ugly, but this is classic from East Wellington Superhero:

    Remember a few weeks back when the media inferred whites of racism because Obama was dropping in the white vote.

    African-Americans Obama +86%
    Latinos Obama +44%
    Whites Romney +20%

    Simplistic as it is, these numbers suggest it isn’t whites who are the worst at making judgements based on race.

    Derpderp

    • fatty 9.1

      DPF logic would therefore suggest that African-Americans never used to be racist, because 84% of African-Americans voted for Clinton in 1996…or African-American people were colour blind in 1996 and they thought Clinton was African-American

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        That wasn’t dpf, but yeah

        The logic would suggest that because the k k k was only supported by say 20% of the whites but most African Americans opposed them, THAT’S RACIST OF THE BLACK PEOPLE!!

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    Pollsters said eight states were too close to call.

    Obama won all eight. Here are his victory margins: Ohio 1.9%, Virginia 3.0%, Wisconsin 6.7%, Iowa 5.6%, Nevada 6.6%, Colorado 4.7%, New Hampshire 5.8%. Those are hefty margins for supposedly undecided states. Only one of the states was actually too close to call: Florida, where Obama is presently ahead by 0.6%

    I attribute Obama’s large winning margins in these states to community organizing.

    70 years ago the Labour party was probably a community organization. It is not now. It has too many “we know the answer to your problems” liberals. Liberals have theories. Radicals want power.

    • Bill 10.1

      Radicals want power.

      So how does that work in the context of your comment when voting is about giving some ‘other’ power?

      • AmaKiwi 10.1.1

        @ Bill

        I am not clear what your question is. Who is the “other” to whom power is given?

        • Bill 10.1.1.1

          In the case of representative elections, then the ‘other’ is notionally the politician. But really, when it’s looked at with any seriousness for a moment or two, it’s ceding power to those who sit behind the representatives – which in our case is corporate and financial interests.

          • AmaKiwi 10.1.1.1.1

            Yes, unfortunately you are right.

            If you set up a campaign organization based on a Saul Alinsky organizing model, the candidates should be getting continuous feedback from their constituents. This places some limits on corporate interference. The candidates can say to the corporates, “I cannot do that. My constituents are strongly opposed to it.”

            I personally favour referendums as a limitation on politicians.

            We forget the corporates use community organizing continuously. Their community is the old boys network. Their organization meets in corporate board rooms, golf courses, etc. They have the money but we have the numbers. If we refuse to buy their products and services, they are in trouble. We have power. We have to organize to use our power effectively.

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.1.1

              “We forget the corporates use community organizing continuously. Their community is the old boys network. Their organization meets in corporate board rooms, golf courses, etc. They have the money but we have the numbers.”

              Yes and no….people power is the best form of power we have, but corporate power extends beyond the old boys network. The Tea Party movement was driven by corporates, and other community groups can stir up ground support for questionable objectives. e.g. Bob McCroskie and his family first hate gang twisted the issue of smacking….I’d say that the sensible sentencing trust have the ability to shift the public discourse of crime/punishment at ease – and many corporate entities can use these ‘grassroots’ groups to further their interests.
              I’m all for grassroots groups and people power, but it can be a double edged sword

              • AmaKiwi

                “The Tea Party movement was driven by corporates.”

                I have not been to the US in 5 years, so this is my opinion based on news stories.

                I think the Tea Party is angry working class people who are struggling. The difference between them and working class Obama supporters is what they see as the solution: less government versus more socially responsible government.

                I don’t think the corporates created the Tea Party. Corporates threw money behind it because it shared their goals of cutting taxes and reducing government.

                The Tea Party folks are in pain, too.

                • fatty

                  true, the Tea Party supporters are suffering, in much the same way that the occupy supporters were, and even KKK members/BNP etc…but the Tea Party were demanding smaller govt and a less regulated economy. As far as I know they started out as many grassroots movements do, but they became heavily funded by Koch Industries…so they were doing the work of corporates.
                  My point was that grassroots movements can become vehicles for corporate interests very easily, and corporations these days are becoming very good at disguising how they promote their interests

  11. Tracey 11

    Anna, also the polls could have been manipulated to make the race seem closer for Romney’s benefit

  12. jamie prentice 13

    I haven’t read all the comments but I think most are missing the point. What similarities can you see why labour lost time and why the republicians lost. The republicans missed out on the recent immigrates, the young, the poor , the women vote and the liberal vote. In other words they received the vote of older white men and conservatives.
    Using the same reasoning Labour did not get enough votes from the former (immigrates, young etc), in other words, they should win ever time an election is held in NZ, if they target labours natural voters, obivously they are not. Which means they are not connecting with their roots, this is where their own the ground work needs focus and they need to find out what these groups want. Once this has been established the message needs to get out what they want to acheive, rather than telling people what is right for them.
    The labour party as with the republicans appears to me, to be to influenced by fringe groups who have there own agender rather than what the majority of people in New Zealand want. From the outside it appears that intellectals control the labour party or have undue influence, rather than the common man or women

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      I agree but also add that Obama and Clinton have rock star quality.

      Goff and Shearer don’t.

    • Tracey 13.2

      IF the purpose of being a political party is to represent what the so-called “majority of people in New Zealand want”, then that party will be a constant chamelion. Isn’t the point to be a party which represents something or somethings and then get that message out and those who are attracted to it will vote for it? Afterall less than 50% voted for national so do they currently represent what “majority of people in New Zealand want?

      Jamie can you explain what you mean by “intellectuals”?

      It may be that what the Republicans want the world to look like and what Labour wants the world to look like simply aren’t palatable or wanted by “most people”. Changing those principles to fit what most people want makes the party something completely different. Now, if you had said that the point is that perhaps the Republican parrty and more so Labour are now politically redundant, without a place in the political landscape other than waiting for people to get sick of the current lot, I would tend to agree.

      I think yu may have been making that point here when you said

      “Which means they are not connecting with their roots, this is where their own the ground work needs focus and they need to find out what these groups want. Once this has been established the message needs to get out what they want to acheive, rather than telling people what is right for them.”?

      The only way to “change” this is through educating people, explaining stuff to them, showing them a different way to see the world, hence, in the end women were “given” the vote, slavery was abolished. Particularly in the case of the later slavery was what the majority wanted… If people like the way you see the world they may alter their position but if they have no understanding or idea of your view of the world how on earth can they support it.

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  • 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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?" ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    33 mins ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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