Green Party statements on giving their parliamentary Questions to the Opposition

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, March 19th, 2018 - 49 comments
Categories: accountability, democratic participation, greens, Parliament - Tags: , ,

From the Green Party email from James Shaw to members:

___________________________________________________________________________

Do you know what frustrates me about Parliament? Sometimes, it’s nothing but a hollow ritual.

As Greens, we’ve always stood for modernising our democracy, making MPs more accountable and giving the public better access to the levers of power.

So from this week, the Green Party will hand over its allocation of questions for Question Time to the Leader of the Opposition. That means, we will no longer waste Parliament’s time or yours asking scripted, set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves.

It doesn’t mean we’ve given up pursuing issues we care about. When those issues arise, our arrangement allows Green MPs still to ask questions where we wish to hold the Government to account.

So why the change? The questions we’re giving up do nothing to advance democratic participation. Question Time should be about holding the Government to account, the Opposition can better use some of our questions to do that.

This is another example of us leading the type of change we want to see in Parliament. We’re walking our walk.

Learn more about Question Time here.

Ngā mihi,

James

___________________________________________________________________________

Press release from greens.org.nz

Green Party announces significant change to Question Time

James Shaw MP on Sunday, March 18, 2018 – 09:55

The Green Party has today announced that, from this week, most of its allocation of questions for Question Time will be handed over to the Leader of the Opposition to use, in order to limit the prevalence of “patsy questions” in Parliament and to strengthen the ability of Parliament to hold the Government of the day to account.

The only exception is if the Green Party wishes to use a question to hold the Government to account on a particular issue, consistent with the party’s Confidence and Supply agreement with Labour, which acknowledges the ability for the parties to agree to disagree on certain issues.

“The Green Party has long advocated the importance of Parliament having the powers to hold the Government of the day to account. Question Time is a key avenue for the opposition to interrogate the Government, so this move is a small step we can take to live up to the values we stated in opposition now that we are part of the Government,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party. We expect the opposition to use our questions to hold us to account as much as any other party in Government.

“We think patsy questions are a waste of time, and New Zealanders have not put us in Parliament to do that; we’re there to make positive change for our people and our environment.

“We don’t expect any other party to follow suit – this is about us leading the kind of change we want to see in Parliament.

“The Greens are committed to doing Government differently and doing Government better and this change, along with our voluntary release of Green Ministers diaries to increase transparency, will hopefully spark more of a debate about how we can bring Parliament’s processes and systems into the modern age.

“We will also make a submission to the Standing Orders Review, which kicks off next year, to advocate for further changes to Question Time. This review is where all parties in Parliament make decisions about how future parliaments will operate and is the best place for all politicians to discuss any long term permanent changes to Question Time.

“The Canadian Government has recently trialled changes to Question Time after Justin Trudeau campaigned to do so. This shows parliament systems are not set in stone and should be open to regular review and change to ensure our democracy is healthy and well-functioning.

“We have reserved the right to use our questions when we have a point of difference with our colleagues in government. Our Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour allows us to agree to disagree on issues, and the occasional respectful questioning of the Government from within is also an important part of democracy.

“That we can occasionally disagree with each other highlights the strength and flexibility of this Government,” said Mr Shaw.

___________________________________________________________________________

Green Party Charter:

The charter is the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:

Ecological Wisdom:

The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

Social Responsibility:

Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

Appropriate Decision-making:

For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

Non-Violence:

Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

49 comments on “Green Party statements on giving their parliamentary Questions to the Opposition”

  1. adam 1

    This, really?

    Nope we don’t have a military actively misleading the public. A media actively working against the government. Nope we don’t have civil service who are completely ideologically neolib, and actively hostile to change in government.

    No housing crisis, no health crisis, no issues with the environment.

    No, the issue of the day is the greens not wanting to ask patsy questions. No wonder we can’t have nice things.

    Let me know when you want to deal with a real issue folks. This throwing out all the toys in your cot, is getting sad.

    • weka 1.1

      that kind of framing and response is also part of the problem. But carry on with the heavy negativity and see where it takes us.

      • adam 1.1.1

        My issue is with the labour party hacks getting upset by this.

        I don’t see much point in this taking up two posts. The greens will do what they do – if it works good, if it doesn’t then they will do what they always do, try somthing else. It’s more of the labour way or the highway stuff, tiresome, as it is childish.

        Getting upset by this issue is churlish. Especially when food banks are struggling, the temperature is dropping and we still have thousands of people living on the streets.

        I’m bored senseless of having to hear another political wonk telling me and everyone else to play there game. If there game worked, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          So you hate parliamentary politics and you think it’s appropriate to be relentless negative under posts about parliamentary politics. Write some Guest Posts adam on what you want to see talked about. I’ll put them up and moderate them.

          I put this post up because the conversation is going to happen anyway and I’d like to see it be a bit more informed by giving access to what the Greens have actually said.

          I don’t appreciate having my work spat on.

          • adam 1.1.1.1.1

            Take a step back, and reread what I said. I’m saying the greens have the right to try anything they want. If it works, GOOD! If not – they will do what they always do – try somthing else – that might work better.

            To think doing the same thing, that is not working, over and over – is the definition of…

            As for labour people telling the greens this is wrong – bugger off and go fix anything – rather than moan about this.

            If my point was not clear, I hope this clears it up.

            • Xanjo 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I hope this helps clear it up for you Adam. The Greens are a part of the Government. They are in power. When you’re in power, you can try all kinds of things to try to make things better and when you’re in power, you’ll be held to account for each and every one of your attempts, especially if it ends in failure. When you’re in Government, the LAST thing you do is empower the party that is ready and waiting to take you and the rest of your governmental partners down and leave you out in the cold where you can get nothing accomplished for another nine years. Yet that is precisely what the Greens have done. Talk about Green! Could they get any greener?

    • Alan 1.2

      you can have nice things Adam, we are lucky enough to live in a time and place where this is possible

    • Granty 1.3

      Nz needs a senate… an upper house instead of direct rule

  2. ropata 2

    Despite being in opposition, National still represents “the Establishment” and are not going to ask questions in the best interests of all New Zealanders. They will waste them on petty personal attacks and crosby textor framing on behalf of their multinational clients. National isn’t a real political party, they are a vehicle for banks and corporations wanting to pillage NZ. The Greens are sadly deluded if they expect Nats to behave honourably

    • weka 2.1

      I doubt that the Greens expect that at all. But follow that through. The Greens have prioritised democracy and reforming how parliamentary politics gets done. If National continue to abuse that privilege (not just the GP Qs, but QT in general) what should happen next?

      Should National be left with their own allocation to just carry on as normal? Or should someone in parliament try and change how that whole thing happens?

      Lefties need to get out of the whole power and control stuff because at the moment I am seeing a huge amount of justification for the status quo when we know the status quo is fucked.

      • cleangreen 2.1.1

        100% Weka this is the best comment here today.

        The Government is heavily influenced by the global elitists & their lobbyists now and in parliament the lobbyists are thick as flies and twice as messy to deal with so you are so right, the parliament is fucked as a democratic institution now.

        The greens know this and are trying to change this from inside so let it happen.

    • Anon 2.2

      And Labour isn’t a a vehicle for Unions? This is MMP now anyway, no party should try to represent everyone.

      • ropata 2.2.1

        So you’re happy to have a party in our flimsy democracy that is just a marketing scam & doesn’t actually represent people?

    • tracey 2.3

      Labour also represents the establishment. If their signing the revised but not TPP didn’t prove that to you, nothing will

    • tracey 2.4

      You forgotten who first sold the Banks? Labour.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Why have they done this? Does this raise the bar? Or does it appear to kick a partner when things just got nasty?
    Like many I’m finding this hard to fathom. I hope he is right and it does improve democracy, otherwise he has played into the opposition’s hands, and we lose.

    • Cinny 3.1

      Maybe, because of the extra questions, the natz will obstruct and be louder at question time……due to them having more scope for the Speaker to remove questions for bad behaviour? Maybe…

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.2

      I’m a bit puzzled by the move, but will wait to see how it works out in practice.

      And I have pretty much given up on watching Question Time. It’s bound by rituals and standing orders that make it more of a cynical game rather than somewhere the government is held to account. So, the weaknesses of the GP move may not make the situation much worse.

      John Key lowered the already low tone even further with his sneering refusal to answer questions, and his cynical clown play.

      Or does it appear to kick a partner when things just got nasty?

      Let’s not forget that Ardern kicked Turei into touch when the media turned nasty on Turei – at that at a time when the GP was getting a surge in support, and when many welcomed finally that someone in power was speaking for beneficiaries from a place of knowledge – and all that to regain momentum for Labour.

      I don’t see Labour being that much of a friend to the GP, so I suspect part of the motive was to serve notice to Labour that the GP is not Labour’s lapdog.

      Shaw said this yesterday, in respoi=nse to media questions about why they were giving their questions to National

      That means Jacinda Ardern’s conscious of ensuring coalition partner NZ First and supply and confidence partner, the Greens, “get the profile associated with our work programmes”, he said.

      Asked whether the move was about differentiating his party from Labour, Shaw said, if “NZ First and the Greens both get squeezed out of Parliament then (Labour) will end up with a no friends situation and not being able to put the numbers together”.

      So this just may be the GP starting to be a bit more hard headed in how they operate.

      Remember also, that Labour has sold the whole left out by signing up to the CPATPP, while the GP is the only party to stand their ground against it. And they haven’t really stepped up on Operation Burnham this week. Democracy needs a government that will step up for all Kiwis and for a better future for all – and that WILL be held to account if they don’t.

      So, if Labour are not going to represent the interests of democracy, and the least powerful groups in society, why shouldn’t the Greens try their best to change the set up.

      There’s other measures that could be done to make question time an arena where the government is TRULY held to account, now and in the long term future. Giving members of the public the opportunity to submit questions seems a great idea.

      • Xanjo 3.2.1

        I think you’ll find that Turei kicked herself into touch. She didn’t need any help. She did it all on her own through her own short-sightedness. She committed a crime. She’s lucky she’s only out in the cold and not in jail for it. Arohata & Christchurch Women’s Prison are full of women who committed the same or similar crimes just so they could feed their families. When Turei made her unfortunate admission, she did what the Greens are so good at doing, engaging her mouth before the brain had time to process the real ramifications of her actions.

    • tracey 3.3

      Kick a partner? Like signing the TPP you mean?

      • dukeofurl 3.3.1

        Thats not what Shaw has said. He supported the changes that labour has made to the TPP

        “We recognise Trade Minister David Parker has made significant progress on some controversial provisions in the TPP, including investor-state dispute settlement, and we support those changes. However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said
        https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/no-change-green-position-tpp

        Labours election policy was to sign the TPP with changes. The old one was dead when Obama failed to get Congress to pass it and new president Trump wouldnt support the old deal.

        Labour will renegotiate these provisions and said exactly this in their manifesto.
        https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8555/attachments/original/1504500586/Trade_Manifesto.pdf?1504500586

        Clearly Greens felt labour ‘didnt go far enough’ but its hardly a ‘kick’

        • tracey 3.3.1.1

          “However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said”

          It is a kick when you thought NZF and to a vague degree Labour were agin it.

          Kick may not have been the right word but this trumps a few patsy questions in parliament I would have thought.

          • dukeofurl 3.3.1.1.1

            Its terrible that what ‘we think at election time’ and what spelled out in the manifesto dont align.
            What is the problem, as the Greens have also done what they spelled out and dont support it. ( they dont like Trade agreements period, which is fair enough as they arent some magic sauce)
            It surely cant be a surprise that a party platform isnt aligned 100% to our own views.

            • tracey 3.3.1.1.1.1

              No surprise. But as I say if the Greens giving a few questions to the Nats is a “kick” as one commenter here put it, then labour effectively rubber stamping TTP was a “kick” to NZF and Greens.

      • patricia bremner 3.3.2

        I suppose that could be reason.

      • cleangreen 3.3.3

        Yes tracey,

        Exactly!!!

        Labour just pushed the TPP signing over our public opposition to it we all will always recall, as national did with selling our assets and other things like state homes.

      • Xanjo 3.3.4

        Labour signalled that they would sign the TPP BEFORE the election and why wouldn’t they? It was their baby to begin with. If this was such a deal-breaker for the Greens, they could have refused to form a Government with Labour. If they’re intent on changing things, now is their opportunity. They’re in Government. They have the power, they just don’t have the brains. If Question Time was so repugnant to them, they could have made a real statement by saying they would keep their questions and not use them. This would have saved an enormous amount of time spent in Parliament listening to drivel. Instead, they chose to hand their questions over to National, who have no love at all for the Greens, never have, probably never will. Only a complete idiot hands over a baseball bat to their enemy so the enemy can beat them with it. Let me introduce you to the Green Party. A gathering of complete idiots who have failed to learn anything while sitting out in the cold for so many years.

        • tracey 3.3.4.1

          5 bottom lines Xanjo is what they had…. the definition of bottom line seemed to shift. As did the claim they had secured the Investor Rights back down when in fact National secure dit over 12 months ago.

        • weka 3.3.4.2

          “Labour signalled that they would sign the TPP BEFORE the election and why wouldn’t they? It was their baby to begin with”

          During Little’s time Labour’s messaging was that they wouldn’t sign unless. The framing changed to “we will sign and do our best” quite late in the piece.

          “If this was such a deal-breaker for the Greens, they could have refused to form a Government with Labour.”

          Have you thought that through? If the Greens didn’t support Labour to form govt then National would have and we would have had a worse TPPA. By all means critique the Greens, but please base it on something rational.

  4. I would like to see him asked why the questions can’t be handed over to the public, to be asked by MPs who name the person or organization that submitted them.

    James Shaw can seem really high handed at times. I wonder if it even occurred to him as a possibility.

    • weka 4.1

      “I would like to see him asked why the questions can’t be handed over to the public, to be asked by MPs who name the person or organization that submitted them.”

      I’d really like to see that conversation happen. If I have time when this thing quietens down, I might write a post about it. The immediate thing I see is the work that goes into preparing the questions and there would need to be a process for that, as well as how to prioritise them. I’m sure there are other issues. I have a feeling this has been tried in the past, so if anyone has memory of that or links, I’d appreciate it.

      • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1

        Russel Norman asked members of the public to submit questions to be asked in Question Time. Can’t find a link to it yet.

      • Chris 4.1.2

        Shaw says:

        “So from this week, the Green Party will hand over its allocation of questions for Question Time to the Leader of the Opposition. That means, we will no longer waste Parliament’s time or yours asking scripted, set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves.

        “It doesn’t mean we’ve given up pursuing issues we care about. When those issues arise, our arrangement allows Green MPs still to ask questions where we wish to hold the Government to account.

        “So why the change? The questions we’re giving up do nothing to advance democratic participation. Question Time should be about holding the Government to account, the Opposition can better use some of our questions to do that.”

        Why can’t the Greens choose their own questions and ask them instead of the “set-piece “patsy” questions directed to ourselves”? Surely the supply agreement lets them decide whatever the heck they want to ask.

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          It does and the Greens have retained the right to use some of the Questions to hold the govt to account when they need/want to. I’m assuming they don’t need 42 of such questions per year.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.2.2

          “Why can’t the Greens choose their own questions and ask them”

          They do . labours patsys go its own Mps to ask , NZF to its own Mps to ask.

          Thats what he means by a circular process . The greens staff formulate the questions and then formulate the answers to those questions.
          The Mps are just actors asking the questions to ministers who know the answers

  5. Siobhan 5

    And I’m sure National will enter into the spirit of things and work hard to uphold and further the “principles of democracy and accountability “.

    After all there is nothing in their record, or Bridges career to suggest otherwise.

    Unless you count Nationals ‘spamming’ of the written Question time process.

    Or, you know, their whole political History of attack, lie, ‘disremeber and obfuscation.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      The numbers tell the story Siobhan. Greens + national = majority to get changes in Question Time.

      I would hope a good deal has been done on specific changes to Oral Questions that national has agreed to support.

      From what Bridges has been talking about ‘documentation’, it doesnt sound like a purely verbal agreement so far.
      But then Bridges has been saying ‘no strings attached’ as well.

    • patricia bremner 5.2

      Tui there Siobhan.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Apart from all the other reasons this decision is insane, patsy questions actually serve a purpose. They allow the public to find out about things that the opposition won’t want promoted in Parliament.

    Someone has definitely lost their marbles and I can only assume its James Shaw. I wouldn’t have thought the other members of the caucus would have gone along with it. At this point, I’ve noticed nothing posted on Facebook about it on Chloe or Golriz’s pages, but it is on Gareth’s page.

    • Carolyn_Nth 6.1

      On reflection, if the Greens are determined to change to culture and related structures of parliament, they will need to bring all parties, and significant majority of all MPs on board. So they will need to be able to show to the Nats that it will benefit everyone.

      Otherwise the systems will be changed back as soon as the Nats get back in government.

  7. Incognito 7

    I’ve come to see this latest move by the GP as a fine example of prefigurative politics: being the change you want to see.

    It comes hot on the heels of their transparency measures to proactively release their ministerial diaries, to show who they’ve met with and why as well as Green Ministers, MPs and staff not accepting corporate hospitality, such as free tickets to events unrelated to their work.

    If you want to change & improve democracy in NZ you start at the source: Government and Parliament; I cannot fault the inescapable logic of this.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Yes to that, Incognito.

    • weka 7.2

      I think there is also an earlier change of declaring their spending.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.3

      Yea but it’s going to be used against labour by national. we can’t give the baby killers more power to attack the righteous saints of the labour party now that they are in power

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    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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