Greens becoming the new opposition leaders

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 20th, 2012 - 242 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, Metiria Turei - Tags:

Last night, I saw Kevin Hague on the news talking about mine safety – mining, West Coast, labour rights, and no Labour voice. Same with minimum wage and asset sales.

Then there’s Metiria Turei getting the kind of cut through on National’s corporate welfare and class war that Labour has failed to manage over the last 3 years (not least because they’re geeky to use plain and strong language):

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei today lashed out at Prime Minister John Key and his Government for selling out employment, gambling, and ACC law to big corporations at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders and businesses.

In her keynote address to the Greens’ policy conference in Palmerston North Ms Turei contrasted the “astounding” degree of Corporate welfare and largesse extended by Mr Key’s Government “with their penny pinching towards those who need genuine support”.

“You can be sure of a Government hand-out if you are a movie studio, a profitable casino or an irrigation company” she said.

“But if you are a sole parent on the DPB trying to get a degree but needing just a little bit of help to cover childcare, like Tania Wysocki who went public with her case this week, then don’t expect anything.”

Ms Turei said plans to open up the ACC to private competition, allow private prisons, allow privately run charter schools to access state funding, and the “carving off” of Work and Income job services to private companies were examples of the Government’s approach.

“In all of these areas there is no evidence that these changes will benefit the public but it is very clear that they will benefit the bottom lines of corporations.”

A hungry Green Party is leading issues while Labour appears immobilised. The Greens have maintained their small party litheness while benefiting from greatly increased resources. Meanwhile, Labour is still trying to do things in the bureaucratic manner of a government with greatly reduced staff and no strategy. Indeed, I understand they have been struck by a wave of resignations and still haven’t re-appointed any of their staffers beyond the managers.

Naturally, the media are turning to the Greens – they’re the only ones getting their voice inside the newscycle, they have momentum behind them which Labour doesn’t, and they are now seen as far more relevant by the media than they were when they were a 7% party.

No wonder Metiria Turei is saying they won’t play little sibling in the next government. I see them being a third or more of the next governing coalition.

I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result – especially if David Shearer listens to John Pagani and tries some dog-whistling beneficiary bashing, which will drive away liberal and poor voters while not attracting the rednecks because National will always be more credible and more extreme in bene-bashing. And if the Greens can articulate a more credible version of their green economic policy.

The truth is, the Greens have always had the best policies, now they have the best politics too. They are on the rise because they have what Labour doesn’t: a clear vision, a good brand, attractive policies, and likeable MPs.

The only concern now is that the ‘burn the village to save it’ instincts of Labour’s old tuskers will now come to the fore and they will turn their guns on the Greens when, in fact, it’s from National that they need to take votes to win and a strong Green Party may be the best chance of them being ministers again come 2014.

242 comments on “Greens becoming the new opposition leaders”

  1. Carol 1

    I’m glad to see Turei getting some media cut-through. I have more trust in her on social and economic justice issues than in Norman. I like the succint way corporate welfare is contrasted with what NAct are doing with Work and Income, ACC, charter schools etc in the extract quoted by Eddie.

    PS: Eddie, the Metiria Turei link just takes me to The Standard.
    Looks like it’s this article:

  2. RedLogix 2

    While deeply respectful of Labour’s long and proud heritage as a progressive party of the left; I always expected that the Greens where the party of the future. In the meantime the two must co-exist, either co-operatively or as Eddie points out, destructively.

    It’s really just a marketing challenge, both represent legitimate portions of the political landscape… neither needs to cannabalise the others space if they are intelligent about it. Therein of course lies the challenge.

    With impulsive critters like Mallard in charge of Labour strategy you can’t be too hopeful.

    • ianmac 2.1

      I rather like Trevor’s outspoken frankness and I think that his ticket sale has been exploited by the Right. To blame Trevor for Labour Election showing is a bit odd when National’s failure to sweep the vote last November, is a Joyce failure. Don’t see the same criticism leveled at him.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Don’t see the same criticism leveled at him.

        That kind of criticism would be kept tightly within National, and the MSM would not repeat it.

        • Gosman

          Interesting unsubstantiated opinion you have there CV.

          • McFlock

            Why was Richard Worth kicked again?

            • Gosman

              I believe it was along the lines of lying to the PM about some sort of indiscretion.

              Your point being what exactly?

              • McFlock

                Merely that the difference between Worth and pretty much any of Labour’s scandals is that National seem to be able to keep more tight-lipped about the specifics of the case than Labour. Tending to support CV’s comment of 2.1.1

                • Gosman

                  Phil Goff attempted to keep quiet about the exact details of the Darren Hughes scandal. Unfortunately bacause it was a Police case this proved impossible. If it wasn’t one there is no reason to presume that it wouldn’t have been a similar outcome to the Worth situation.

                  • felix

                    How do you know the Worth situation didn’t involve the police?

                    • Gosman

                      The Police was far more involved in the Darren Hughes scandal would you not agree?

                    • i know the worth case did involve police, and a health specialist. the officers in attendance were encouraging his victim to press criminal charges against him. she declined, but not for a lack of good grounds or evidence.

                    • felix

                      Gosman you tit, you said it was “impossible” to keep it quiet “because” it was a police case.

                      Stop shifting the goalposts.

                    • McFlock

                      wot felix dun sed

                    • Gosman

                      No, The Police actually spent much more time on the Darren Hughes case becausre they had someone willing to complain. As you stated they didn’t in the case of Worth which meant there was nothing for the media to sink their teeth into. On top of that the way Goff handled the Hughes situation was appalling. He basically hung him out to dry and destroyed Hughes’ political career. Contrast this with Key’s handling of Worth and the fact that it was only pathetic leftists like you who who impotently demanding that the PM tell you what the case was about. It was brilliant.

                    • felix


                      You said it couldn’t be hushed up because the police were involved.

                      You can take that statement back anytime you like.

                    • Gosman

                      Felix I can’t help it if your comprehension skills aren’t the best. I mean first you accuse me of puting words into McFlock mouth, (then you suddenly agree with the position you claim I sstated he was coming from), then the next you can’t seem to comprehend that the Police investigation against Darren Hughes was of a different scale to that for Richard Worth. Are you having a bad day today? Perhaps you need to take a breather and put your feet up for a bit.

                    • felix

                      You’re shifting the goalposts.

                      You didn’t say anything about scale.

                      You said that “because” the police were involved it was “impossible” to keep quiet.

                      There is only one way to interpret that statement.

                      You were wrong.

                      End of.

          • Colonial Viper

            My position that National keeps a tightly run ship – are you saying that’s unsubstantiated?

            • Gosman

              Helen Clark led a tightly run ship. The National party more so than Labour over the last couple of years but probably less than Clark. I’d suggest you have no hard evidence supporting your belief that the media favours National over Labour in this regard.

              • Colonial Viper

                “Hard evidence”? Apart from the lack of “Attack on Democracy” headlines targetting Key what will you accept as “hard evidence”?

                • Gosman

                  There are potentially lot’s of ways you could measure media bias. One way you could do it would be to compare the media exposure of Opposition spokespersons at a similar time in the election cycle. So in NZ case you would be comparing the exposure given to Labour party spokespeople in 2012 with that given to National party spokespeople in 2003. Tally up the column spaces and media time allocated to them and you will have a rough idea if bias exists or at least a good starting point to further your atgument. Of course doing this would only make sense if you really cared about finding out if it was a problem rather than just using it as an excuse for why your view of the world is not more widely shared. I suspect you are comfortable just holding your belief though. It provides you a sense of self justification, albeit possibly a false one.

                  • McFlock

                    Bullshit. No two scandals are identical, happen at the same period in the election cycle, and have identical stories competing for attention – like woolly sheep. So any comparison would need control values assigned to the circumstances and other factors, and that assignment would itself be consciously or subconsciously biased. So even if the study were undertaken as you suggest, if it demonstrated bias towards conservative politics you’d argue it was flawed, and if it demonstrated a liberal bias you’d argue it was comprehensive and methodical.
                    So realy, you’re just trying to distract us from the statement that Labour are much less media-disciplined and tight-lipped than National. A fairly self-evident proposition to anybody else.

                    • Gosman

                      You can reduce bias especially if you agree with people from different political perspectives the weightings for the various factors you wish to control for BEFORE you perform the analysis. Then you remove one of your major obstacles for getting agreement on the results. The point is this can be done and in fact DTB states that it has been done. Now this would be interesting to see.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Want to know something Gos? I actually done such research and the result was that the MSM are biased in favour of the right.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Your grammar making my eyes bleed, aside, Draco, cite. Linky link? PUOSU. Because if you have actual empirical evidence, it should be made public through independent on-line sources. 

                    • McFlock

                      Wow. A novel idea. Maybe gossy could also take that up…

    • alex 2.2

      This is not the end of Labour by any means, just as the pendulum swung to National in 2008, it will swing back to Labour one day. However, it isn’t a great shock to see the Greens dominating Labour among voters who are focused on policy issues rather than the news cycle.

      • felix 2.2.1

        Swing back to the left, yes, but not necessarily swing back to Labour.

      • That’s just the thing though- the Greens are winning the news cycle, too. Really the only thing that’s stopping the Greens from taking over the left is this odd leftover notion that they’re not serious on economics, ironically a spectre that haunts Labour in its debates with National.

        • Colonial Viper

          Really the only thing that’s stopping the Greens from taking over the left

          The Greens won’t be ready to select and take command of Cabinet in either 2014, or in 2017 IMO. 2020 maybe? Or perhaps 2023? It’ll be interesting to see if the Greens can take that role by then.

          Until then, talk of being ready to take over the Left is somewhat premature.

  3. Craig 3

    I’m not surprised to see the Greens taking a stronger position on the centre-left. It mirrors what happened in Germany after the Fukushima tsunami and reactor accident, given Germany’s nuclear power reliance and the strong German Green position on that issue. I suspect the Rena scandal also provided our Greens with similar assistance over issues of public risk and National’s manic outsourcing, privatisation and deregulation programme. From memory, the SPD and German Greens are almost at parity. I wish them well- they’re far more stable than Winston and his sycophants and more strategically capable.

  4. Angela 4

    The Greens are organised, hard working and ethical. Far from being radical or wacky their policies are sensible and put people rather than money or power first. It’s time they got decent media coverage.
    At present the Greens provide leadership and balance to the opposition.
    In the future I expect to see them in government, and New Zealand will be better for it.

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Very well spoken Angela. Thanks for sticking to the point, the huge worth of the Greens. Funny how comments tend to wander all over the place!

    • Vicky32 4.2

      At present the Greens provide leadership and balance to the opposition.
      In the future I expect to see them in government, and New Zealand will be better for it.

      I rather suspect that the opposite is true. The Greens are “middle class kiddies”  to a man (and woman) and I know precisely 2 out of many, many Green supporters and voters, who are workers, or beneficiaries rather than law and business students or members of what must loosely be called the “boss class”.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        That’s pretty accurate vicky. As I said above Labour and the Greens represent quite distinct portions of the voterbase…. and as much as you may sneer at ‘middle class kiddies’ they still vote.

        Because while the Greens and Labour have a great deal of overlap around an economic agenda, the Greens are socially more liberal than the typical Labour voter. This is entirely predictable and is the reason why the two parties exist.

        If you insist that the social agenda dominates then you will place both parties into destructive competition and electoral impotence; if you accept that the economic agenda is the core that they share… then it is possible to build an intelligent alliance.

        Sneering is not intelligent.

        • Vicky32

          Sneering is not intelligent.

          You’re right, of course. In this instance I was using ‘middle class kiddie’ as a synonym for ‘self-interested’ and ‘naive’. Ever since the 1980s, when I was student working on an SCSP* project for the Environment Group (and for some people who are now important people in the Greens and Forest and Bird) I have seen a huge class divide between the Greens and the ‘working classes’. They didn’t accept me as a fellow student, but as a gofer and the ‘typist’. I wonder where they thought I came from? 
          * Student Community Service Project.

  5. colour me cynical..

    but i view the speech from turei as largely bluster…and a cover for the fact they are about to sign yet another memorandum-of-understanding with national..

    ..the greens have done this previously with both labour and national..

    ..and with both it has stilled their tongues…(and for a very cheap-price…)

    ..they have voluntarily put what i call the m.o.u.-tape over their mouths…

    ..and they are about to do it again..

    ..and this speech is just to counter the perceptions many have…


    • McFlock 5.1

      I tend to agree – while I have a lot of time for individual Green MPs, like Turei, the wuss-green section pisses me off. That’s the section that insists they are the most ethical party, and waves Tibetan flags, but spends time working with National and trying to find consensus with them, which in reality results in a few marginal bones in exchange for their respectability. Structural improvement is impossible with National.
      They should have had the sense to know what it was before they made deals with it.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Their previous memorandum with the Government didn’t seem to have done them much harm if the last election is anything to go by. Unless of course you think they would have done much better and Labour much worse at the last election if they hadn’t done this. Is this what you think?

        • McFlock

          I merely think that the caring sharing image of the Greens is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies kill children.    
          Although I might add to that thought that the Green’s insistence on doing so is a fine example of a transparent hippie trying to play at politics – obvious, unsubtle and eventually self-defeating. They mistake their success in the last election as a validation of their policies and a general shift in support patterns, whereas I believe a significant portion of it was due to Labour’s failure to completely re-align and re-invigorate itself inside the election cycle.

          • Gosman

            Oh lordy McFlock. You are being overly dramatic today aren’t you. Amazing that around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.

            • felix

              Putting words in people’s mouths again I see.

              • Gosman

                I have not put any words in anyone’s mouth. Once again you make a false alegation Felix. Better luck next time though. Nice diversion tactic though. I like it 😉

                • Matt

                  How does that diversion tactic stack up to your preferred endless nonsense rhetorical questions tactic?

                  • Gosman

                    What is your view? Do you think felix is adding anything or just trying to divert attention from the ridiculous statement of McFlock that National party policies kill children?

                • felix

                  Yeah you did.

                  You accused McFlock of saying that half the voting population of the country likes killing children.

                  And now you’re lying about it.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well yes – the last election turn out proves no such thing, but to say “I merely think that the caring sharing image of the Greens is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies kill children” is a bit strong. National policy isn’t as progressive on that front as it could be, in fact it’s downright backward, but I wouldn’t say it’s the second coming of Herod. Hyperbole bordering on slander isn’t helpful in getting the point across.

                    • felix

                      So what Pop?

                      I wasn’t critiquing what McFlock said, I was pointing out that Gosman was lying about what McFlock said.

                      Try to keep up.

                    • rosy

                      So is …The Greens caring sharing image is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies make it likely that more children will die due to living in poverty-related conditions … ok with you?

                      Because that’s what my problem with the Greens is as well. And having said that I think McFlock’s blunt version is more honest.

                    • Gosman

                      Where did I claim McFlock was saying [sic] that?

                  • Gosman

                    Where did I accuse McFlock of saying that?

                    Are you ascribing your own incorrect interpretation to me once again felix?

                    • felix

                      You can step up and say you acknowledge that McFlock said no such thing anytime you like, Gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      Where did I claim that McFlock did state that? Stop making stuff up. You are really having a bad day today aren’t you.

                    • felix


                      If that’s not what you were trying to convey with that comment then say so, and give another plausible interpretation given the context.

                      Otherwise it’ll look like you’re trying to back away from your comment without admitting it.

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve basically told you that I never claimed that McFlock said [sic] that.

                      As for me giving you another interpretation, I’m having too much fun seeing you basically state that people who support right wing policies essentially support people dying tas a result (something I never claimed McFlock was claiming by the way but which you have seemingly).

                      So given the fact that we have laws against people causing social harm such as via drugs and drink do you think we should have laws against people pushing right wing policies felix considering the social harm you think they cause?

                    • felix

                      That’s not what you said at all Gosman.

                      What you accused McFlock of saying was “around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.” (And you know that’s what I was referring to, because I just linked to it for you).

                      It’s entirely different to what he actually said, which was that the policies supported by people who vote for right wing parties are responsible for the unnecessary deaths of children. (which is factually accurate).

                      It’s not my fault that your little robot mind can’t understand the difference between those two obviously distinct ideas, but I’ll be working all night and I’m well sedated so I can patiently explain it over and over as many times as you like.

                      Oh and ps: Seeing as you’re refusing to state what you meant by that comment, it’s perfectly reasonable to take it that you meant exactly what it looks like you meant.

                      The other obvious interpretation is that you weren’t aping McFlock at all, but that would put you in the position of having said it yourself which could be awkward.

                      I’m taking the more charitable option by assuming (as any reasonable reader would) that you were satirising McFlock’s comment and that you don’t actually believe that “around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.”

                      Up to you though.

                    • Gosman

                      I never implied that was what McFlock stated. This is just your (wrong) interpretation of what I wrote.

                      However as for your position that what he stated was factually accurate how about you produce some hard evidence for this.

                      I have already produced links to statistics that stated the death rate has stayed essentially static and that for infant mortality has drifted downwards.

                      You expect people to take something as a fact when you don’t back it up. I’m calling you on this BS.

                    • felix

                      Gos, either you implied that McFlock said it (that’s reading your comment as being ironic, facetious or sarcastic),

                      Or you meant it yourself (that’s taking your comment literally).

                      If you believe there’s a third interpretation, let’s hear it.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I honestly don’t know why you bother. When I saw this thread had over 100 comments I was thinking “I bet it’s long pointless diversions from Gosman” and of course I was right.

            • Blue

              Not really. As long as it’s not their children, but the children of ‘bludgers’ and they are dying of poverty-related illnesses rather than being murdered, half of NZ’s voting population are fine with that.

              • Gosman

                Probably better for all though that we round them up and ship them to a concentration camp. I’m sure you would agree that someone dying quickly is preferably to dying slowly from poverty related issues. I mean won’t someone please think of the little children suffering.

                • McFlock

                  Typical tory – you missed option C: stop the kids from dying in the first place, by funding health, education, social welfare and housing programmes properly.

            • McFlock

              Amazing that around half the voting population of the country couldn’t see that John Key’s wave hides the fact that he likes implementing policies that are killing children through neglect and inaction right now.

              Fixed it for you.

              • Ianupnorth

                Gossy, you really are a knob; we have a government that is increasing the disparity between communities. Those at the bottom end have lower life expectencies, lower educational attainment and a higher chance of ending up in prison – go figure….
                Better still have a read – readily transferrable to here.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s just unnecessary. I loathe the man, but that’s just… wow…

                • McFlock

                  Is it incorrect?
                  I’m not saying that he’s going “one … two … three dead kids, mwahahahahaha!!!”
                  All I’m saying is that an unfortunate side effect of the policies that make his mates and him richer is that more people die than otherwise would have. And he doesn’t seem to have a major problem with this.

                  • Gosman

                    I love this. Now it seems if you don’t follow left wing policies it is the same as killing children. I can’t wait until someone on the left starts calling for the arrest of anybody for daring to promote a right leaning policies as it is the equivalent of incitment to commit murder. My view has always been that there is an intolerant totalitarian streak running beneath the surface of left wing politics and these sorts of statements just go to highlight this view has some validity.

                    • felix

                      McFlock’s statement is factually accurate.

                      The right-wing policies you support hurt people and kill people. Real people. Real pain. Real deaths.

                      Deal with it.

                    • Gosman

                      Well I guess then there is no other option but to outlaw such dangerous ideas. I mean if we make drunk driving illegal because of the social ills then it is obvious that the same needs to be done in this case.

                      Interesting though that you seem to imply that if you support right wing policies you should accept the fact that it kills people yet you were (wrongly) criticising me for stating that McFlock was saying [sic] the same thing.

                      Why the change in position felix or was the previous position just you diverting from the topic to try and score cheap points?

                    • felix

                      What change in position, Gos?

                      Be specific please, you’ve bought it up twice now so it must be something fairly concrete.

                    • McFlock

                      You have a history of talking about stuff that you don’t understand (like epidemiology), so let me be completely clear: Government is not just a game where the winner gets to give sinecures to their mates and taxpayer funds or tax cuts to the interest groups of their choice. Everyday government decisions affect whether people live or die.
                      A case in point is the change to the give way rules. Somewhere, someone in a government department would have done the equations as to whether the change is likely to save more lives (via simplicity of use and international parity preventing accidents) or whether it will cause more injury/death accidents than it prevents (i.e. confusion over the rule changeover). Unless they were fired in the public service culls, of course.
                      When you ignore the pharmac cost/benefit analyses in order to preferentially give medication to a high-profile lobby group, it causes more harm than good. Including to kids.
                      When your sole party action about child poverty skyrocketing is to “green paper” it for three years, that endangers children’s lives. When you know there is a strong correlation in NZ between child poverty and child mortality, that means kids will die.
                      When you give tax cuts to the rich rather than boosting funds to social services, health and education, that endangers people’s lives for want of an ambulance, a doctor or a social worker. Kids will die.
                      When you help increase unemployment by having SOEs purchase substandard infrastructure from overseas so the domestic manufacturer has to lay off workers, that puts the workers’ families into poverty.
                      Oh, we’re not talking hundreds of thousands – just dozens a year. But kids will still die.
                      And when you do all of these things, it’s pretty clear what your party cares about. And it’s not keeping kids alive.
                      And before you or burt come up with a “let’s tax the rich into poverty” absurdity, I recognisethat there is a point where the good of progressive taxation becomes outweighed by the bad. If you can point me to the studies that demonstrate that the government is even close to saving more lives than it is abandoning through its current policies, I will retract my statement.
                      But it would have tobe some pretty impressive shit.

                    • Gosman

                      Explain this position felix

                      “The right-wing policies you support hurt people and kill people. Real people. Real pain. Real deaths.

                      Deal with it.”

                      Specifically tell me how it differs from my absurdum ad infinitum statement that I made above

                      “Amazing that around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.”

                    • McFlock

                      Shit Gos, I must have missed the National Party press release that said “we’ll help the rich by taking money that keeps kids alive”.
                      In fact, looking at the radionz party policy site, National campaigned on no policy whatsoever, just a smile and a wave from Key.

                    • felix

                      That’s been explained to you several times already Gosman.

                      One statement refers to policies and their effects.

                      The other refers to half the people being murderers.

                    • RedLogix

                      We have this new policy that means opposing traffic lights will be green at the same time. We’ve determined that most of the time the traffic will flow more smoothly.

                      That this policy will also kill people… is just an unfortunate side-effect that we are not responsible for.

                    • Gosman

                      Interesting that the mortality rate (including the infant mortality rate) has been static, or even drifting downward.


                      I’d suggest there is no actual evidence that the policies of the National party have led to more deaths in NZ.

                      But by all means keep pushing this view. It just makes you look like fruit loops.

                      Fortunately for the wider center left your views are so extreme that noone is really pushing these ideas seriously.

                    • Gosman

                      “The other refers to half the people being murderers.”

                      There is nothing in my statement that suggests half the voting population is murderers. This is once again only your (wrong) interpretation.

                    • McFlock

                      Not from that table, because it includes things like congenital heart disease, microcephaly and other causes of death that don’t have a socio-economic relationship, and as I say we’re only talking dozens a year.
                      What you’ll need is a breakdown of Cause of Death and contributing factors for say 2000-2010 with attached  confidence intervals. But you’ll know from previous discussions – if you did the homework –  that for the socio-economic-related conditions cluster childhood mortality for the poorest kids is (from memory) around 12 times that of the richest kids. Quite a lot of analysis has been done in that area in NZ.

                    • Gosman

                      And I’ve told you McFlock that there is no stong evidence of a causal link between inequality and death rates. I’m not doubting there is between absolute rates of poverty in that poorer people have higher rates of mortality at a younger age than welathier people (ultimately everybody has 100 percernt mortality rate). Now considering inequality has been growing in NZ over the past 4 years where is the evidence, (you claim it is out there), that rates of mortality have been going up over the past 4 years?

                    • Gosman

                      The problem McFlock is you try and paint yourself as some kind of person who relies on the evidence but when it comes down to it you seem to be relying on ideological arguments to make the claim about National party policies causing MORE deaths. Show me the evidence for this in the pure statistics.

                    • Gosman

                      For your statement to be accurate McFlock you have to produce evidence that greater inequality has led to increased mortality for NZ as a whole not just that poorer people have higher mortality than welthier people. I see no evidence of this in the statistics. That would suggest your outrageous statement about the policies causing MORE deaths is bogus. However I am willing to see some evidence from you that backs up your view. Remember it has to be in a NZ context over the past 4 years and show that more people are now dying than would have been the case if the policies you decry had not been implemented.

                    • McFlock

                      And I’ve told you McFlock that there is no stong evidence of a causal link between inequality and death rates.
                      No, you parrotted your interpretation of what an epidemiologist told you because you have no idea what you’re talking about.
                      I’m not doubting there is between absolute rates of poverty in that poorer people have higher rates of mortality at a younger age than welathier people (ultimately everybody has 100 percernt mortality rate). Now considering inequality has been growing in NZ over the past 4 years where is the evidence, (you claim it is out there), that rates of mortality have been going up over the past 4 years?
                      the evidence is the previous trends and correlations between poverty and mortality in NZ that have been consistent over the last fifteen or twenty years, because the cause of death data for the bulk of national policy impacts is not publicly available yet. You’re a fool for arguing that the raw stats demonstrate anything, because we’re essentially examining a sub-population of at risk children inside the large infant mortality count.

                    • McFlock

                      For your statement to be accurate McFlock you have to produce evidence that greater inequality has led to increased mortality for NZ as a whole not just that poorer people have higher mortality than welthier people.

                      Two points:
                      1) no for my statement to be demonstrable I need the latest stats, which aren’t available. It might very well be accurate, we just don’t know for sure.
                      2) no because we aren’t talking about absolute numbers over time, we’re talking actual numbers vs what might have been. To translate it for your robot brain, “opportunity cost measured in lives”.
                      I see no evidence of this in the statistics. That would suggest your outrageous statement about the policies causing MORE deaths is bogus. However I am willing to see some evidence from you that backs up your view. Remember it has to be in a NZ context over the past 4 years and show that more people are now dying than would have been the case if the policies you decry had not been implemented.
                      No, we need a trend over time that also takes into account technology improvements in healthcare. While a rise would be clear, an actual proof against the opportunity cost of the tax cuts or skyrocketing debt is for someone’s phd. Not a blog.
                      I’m happy that a consistent correlation overtime, aetiological plausibility and other work in the field – including but not limited to the Spirit Level – is enough of a feathery shape that flies, paddles and quacks to call it a waterfowl of the genus scipidae.

                    • Gosman

                      “1) no for my statement to be demonstrable I need the latest stats, which aren’t available. It might very well be accurate, we just don’t know for sure.”

                      Translation – “I don’t have any actual facts and am making this up based on my faulty understanding of some studies which mistake co-relation with causation and my own political bias”

                      “2) no because we aren’t talking about absolute numbers over time, we’re talking actual numbers vs what might have been. To translate it for your robot brain, “opportunity cost measured in lives”.”

                      Translation – “I don’t have any actual facts and am making this up based on my faulty understanding of some studies which mistake co-relation with causation and my own political bias”

                    • Gosman

                      “…, because the cause of death data for the bulk of national policy impacts is not publicly available yet”

                      Translation “I have no evidence”

                    • Jenny

                      Disease rate ‘a disgrace’

                      Damp houses, poverty and a lack of primary healthcare are behind a dramatic rise in hospital admissions from infectious diseases….

                      …..The University of Otago study, published in international medical journal The Lancet, shows hospital admissions for infectious diseases increased by 51 per cent in New Zealand between 1989 and 2008.

                    • Gosman

                      See my comment below Jenny.

                      You have essentially shot yourself in your foot with the link to this article because the study mentions rate increases from 1998 through to 2008.

                  • How about you open your eyes, look around you and develop a conscience.  If you and a few others did that compulsion would not be necessary.

                    • Sorry badly nested comment intended for Gossy boy.

                    • Gosman

                      Show me the evidence that more deaths are occuring as a result of the policies implemented by the National led Government then mickeysavage.

                    • Gosman

                      Here’s an interesting graph on Infant mortality


                      Seems to be trending down in the years after 2008.

                      Where are these extra deaths coming from then as they don’t seem to be reflected in the statistics?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Gosman your call for evidence reminds me of those paid tobacco industry lackeys who cleverly stonewalled year after year as hundreds of thousands of new deaths were caused.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmm…. no. There was plenty of statistics suggesting that the death rate amongst the wider population was higher as a result of smoking. The Tobacco industry tried to hide this. I have produced statistics showing the infant mortality rate falling over the past four years. This is at odds with the view that the policies ofNational causes MORE deaths. Show me your statistics that back that position up and your view will be taken more seriously.

                    • McFlock

                      Shit Gos – your CIA fact book source simply projected rates from the last available data – “accurate as of January 1, 2011”. So they might have had the basic 2009 data, not the 2010 or 2011, and were projecting pretty much from the roll-out by labour of the new VPD protocol.

                      And it doesn’t even agree with your statsnz source.

                    • Gosman

                      Produce evidence backing up your claim then McFlock instead of trying to discredit my statistics with your opinions. It should be quite simple to do. Higher mortality figures should be pretty easy to find for someone as in touch with this subject as yourself. I mean it’s not like you are just basing your opinion on ideological bias now is it?

                    • Gosman

                      Even a very critical UN report on Child mortality rates have stated they have remained static

                      “Another committee underlined that many developments had been seen regarding the right to life and survival, yet child and infant mortality rates remained “staggering” and had not changed over the past ten years.”


                      So where is your evidence that National party policies have caused MORE deaths?

                    • McFlock

                      What, produce evidence again? To someone who missed the word “staggering” twoor three times in a news article, but managed to spot “has not changed in the past ten years”.
                      oh, okay.
                      Btw, i was wrong about the 12x thing – it’s only twice as high for  the poorest kids.

                    • Gosman

                      So no evidence then McFlock that National Party policies have caused more deaths especially amongst children?

                      You did state it was out there yet you have failed to produce any evidence. You are full of it.

                    • infused

                      This is why the left sank in the election. The public know you’re nutters. See? I can play this game too.

                      Lets invent more bullshit on the spot shall we?

                    • McFlock

                      There is evidence that it’s a reasonable expectation. The actual evidence has yet to be fully compiled.

                    • Gosman

                      Translation – ” I have no evidence”

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I would expect that to be the received “translation” from someone who has no idea about public health.
                      If we had no idea about the likely effects of a medical programme until well after the fact, it would be a pretty fucking useless discipline, wouldn’t it? 
                      But as it is, we can make pretty accurate predictions based on what we already know. E.g. the new vaccine protocols weren’t created out of thin air – full CBAs were done to predict the results within a pretty good margin for error. The same methodology predicts the likely outcomes of other government policies – or are you arguing some sort of plausible relationship where tax cuts for the rich are associated with declining child mortality rates?
                      Gah – why am I even talking public health with you? You have no idea about the concepts behind it, make basic stats errors and don’t even read the google links you use as sources!

                    • Gosman

                      See my comments below.

                    • McFlock

                      which ones?

                    • Gosman


                      Should be right at the bottom.

                    • McFlock

                      Doesn’t seem to be a comment yet – still trying to look up a response in “Population Health for Dummies”?

                    • McFlock

                      interesting – didn’t show up for a while. Maybe spam queue? Possible IE being a dork.

                  • Gosman


                    That is not evidence that National party policies have led to MORE deaths. In fact it doesn’t mention mortality at all. Also the study is from 1998 through to 2008, which I believe another party other than National was in charge of the Treasury benches for the majority of this time.

                    Better luck next time

                    • wtl

                      1998 through to 2008

                      No, its 1989 to 2008. You’ve repeated the same mistake twice in this thread – did you even read the article?

                    • Gosman

                      Oh I have no problem acknowledging my mistake over the start date. It doesn’t matter in terms of the fact that approximately half the time in the study the Labour party was in power. following the logic of some here the stats should have been swinging in favour of lower rates of hospital admissions for these illnesses between 1999 and 2008. Instead they continued on their merry way into negative territory. By the way where is mortality rates for children mentioned in that article?

                    • Frank

                      See my comment below Jenny.

                      You have essentially shot yourself in your foot with the link to this article because the study mentions rate increases from 1998 through to 2008.

                      – Gosman

                      Gosman, weren’t you quoting some epidemiologist(s) from Otago Uni, regarding the Spirit Level?

                      So you’re content with quoting Otago Uni when it suits – but not at other times?

                    • Gosman

                      Frank, it is always good to see you come here and make some comment that manages to miss the point by a long shot.

                      Tell me Frank how that article referencing a study that ended in 2008 and is actually discussing hospital admissions rather than mortality rates supports the idea that the policies that our current National led Government is following leads to more children dying?

                      I look forward to your answer. Oh wait, considering the chances of getting an answer from you on this is slim to non existent, I don’t think I will.

                    • wtl

                      I’d say that the article was cited by Jenny to show exactly what it shows – that the policies of the 1980s and onwards in NZ have had very detrimental outcomes. Most visitors here can read it and judge for themselves whether NZ is heading in the right direction or whether we instead need to rethink our priorities.

                      It’s only you who has decided to make this argument about a very specific issue over a very specific timeframe.

                    • Gosman

                      Then she should have posted on a different comment stream rather than one that was discussing child mortality. Perhaps she could have posted it against one of the ones below this which mention concerns about the Greens supporting Tory policies but which doesn’t mention them causing the deaths of children.

                    • McFlock

                      Another public health fail, Gosman – morbidity is closely related to mortality. Given smallx% of patients die from infectious diseases, Jenny’s article is relevant to the discussion.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmmm…. no because the study ends in 2008 and we are discussing the policies of the CURRENT National led Government. But hey i’m sure if we wait a couple of years you can come back with those ‘facts’ of yours.

                    • McFlock

                      Ummmmm…. no because the study ends in 2008 and we are discussing the policies of the CURRENT National led Government. But hey i’m sure if we wait a couple of years you can come back with those ‘facts’ of yours.

                      But Gosman, the Lancet (that well-known propoganda blogsite) article includes further peer-reviewed evidence of the relationship between poverty/inequality and infectious disease in New Zealand. For example, this paragraph is quite interesting, especially the last couple of lines:

                      In all four census periods (1991, 1996, 2001, 2006), infectious disease rates were much higher for individuals living in socioeconomically deprived areas (fi gure 3; webappendix pp 38, 43) than for those from less deprived areas. Rates rose for all deprivation (NZDep) quintiles, as did infectious diseases as a percentage of all-cause hospital admissions (webappendix pp 38, 43), but they increased much more in the most deprived quintiles Consequently, inequalities widened over the four censusperiods (figure 3; webappendix pp 38, 43).

                      That looks a bit like the beak-shaped bit of what might be called a “duck”.

        • phillip ure..


          ..i actually can see that they have absolutely no reasons to be smug about their results..

          ..given the environmental-imperatives that surround us..

          ..and the widespread acceptance of those imperatives…

          ..their result is dire..

          ..they should be in the the very least..

          ..and the reason for that disconnect is that many don’t see them as the/any answer..

          ..and that is largely down to them..i reckon..

          ..and the memorandums haven’t helped in that cause..

          ..of presenting a feisty/effective opposition/alternative to the sins of both national and labour..


      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        but spends time working with National and trying to find consensus with them, which in reality results in a few marginal bones in exchange for their respectability

        Exactly right!

  6. and speaking of ‘opposition’…

    ..could you please shave cunnliffe and wheel him into parliament..?

    ..for my sins i have done commentaries on most questiontimes..for some years now..

    ..and cunnliffe is one of the most effective operators i have seen over those years..

    ..(and he ‘rattles’ the right..which is a good thing..)

    ..i want you to let him loose to rip new ones for key/nact…

    ..if he was to be sidelined ‘cos of inner-schisims..

    ..that would be tragic/self-defeating…

    ..and a total waste of a needed resource..


    • muzza 6.1

      Parliamentarians for Global (order), ahem, action

      David Cunliffe
      Kennedy Graham

      Thinking either of these parties or or indeed any of them can turn the ship around is dreaming..

      People are going to get much more vocal, than simply voting for Labour or Greens!

  7. No wonder Shearer was the rightwingers’ prefered candidate for the Labour leadership.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result…

    I can see that but what I see most clearly is Labour becoming a minor party in the medium to long term.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Yer dreamin’ pal! Even at Labour’s lowest moments they are still the preferred choice of most non-National voters by a considerable distance and in the last election were still more than twice as popular as the Greens, who had to acheive their best ever result to even get that close. Normal service is being resumed as we speak and Labour will continue to climb back to its usual mid thirties polling result sooner rather than later.
      The Greens have probably peaked anyway and as long as they have the confused and confusing two leader strategy, they will never be taken seriously in terms of coalition leadership, either by other parties or the voting public.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        I’m thinking of the 20%+ of the population that didn’t vote. Get a party to appeal to them and Labour becomes a minor party.

        • Te Reo Putake

          I don’t see how that works, DtB. If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans. Even if the whole 20% went to one party, that doesn’t relegate Labour, just strengthens someone else. And even if the 20% went specifically to the Greens, that would leave them only a few points ahead of Labour and both would then be major parties.
          I guess the question is whether the Greens can grow without cannibalising Labour’s vote. It’s in both party’s interest to see the other grow to the point where a Labour/Green government is a natural outcome. But if soft votes just alternate between the two, the overall left vote is not improved and nothing much changes. I’m certainly no expert on Green politics, but I suspect there are no Green parties who have ever got a higher percentage than our one achieved in November. And good as that result was, it did not change the Government.

          • felix

            “If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans. “

            Maybe. But why do you think so?

            • the sprout

              considering that 20% is precisely in contradistinction to those who do vote, it’s illogical to then assume their voting distribution would mirror those they are the opposite of.

              Normal service is being resumed as we speak

              what on earth makes you think that? the dynamic performance of the Labour leader, the multiple resignations from his office, or the forcefully and eruditely enunciated new Blairite vision he has for Labour?

              i can think of six former Labour activists i know off the top of my head that wont be voting Labour in 2014 at the current rate, and i expect they’ll vote for whatever else offers a genuine leftward alternative.

              what on earth makes you think voters will start flocking to Labour in 2014 instead of to other parties?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I don’t know about flocking to Labour, Sprout, but if Labour get back to a more normal 34-38% in the polls and the Greens stay in double figures, then my dream result of a Labour/Green government comes to pass.
                Normal service is indeed being resumed, as you can see from the poll results here or in the last Roy Morgan (overdue one from Roy, aren’t we?). Despite all the grumbling about Shearer, he has done really well in that first preferred PM poll and helped move Labour back toward the thirties.
                Now, I would gone with Cunliffe personally, and, frankly if the Rev Blair could get us over the line, I’d happily sign his nomination form, too. The leader is not the party, they are just there to get the party elected. I don’t care if they are seen as right, left or centre, so long as they contribute to winning the next election for the left. 
                And, if I can repeat myself, we should all be demanding a snap election right now. Put it on Key to get a genuine mandate for flogging offf NZ’s assets and then hammer him day and night when he refuses. He won’t make it to Xmas if the public starts seeing him as a coward.

                • Preferred PM is a largely irrelevant poll and doesn’t really mean anything, and it’s kinda amusing that it gets so much credit from political journalists. It’s the party vote we should be basing our analysis off, not the preferred PM stakes.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I can’t agree with that at all, Matthew. It was Goff’s failure to make headway in that poll that specifically won it for the Nats. After three years of the MSM saying Goff had no chance based on his poor showing in the preferred PM poll, the electorate came to believe it and voted accordingly. Or more to the point, did not vote at all.
                    Like it or not, we have a media that thinks in FPP terms and can convince voters to think the same way. Even though you and I might see it as puffery, it does add credibilty to a leader. Which Shearer now has.

                  • felix

                    A lot of people give their party vote to the party who’s leader they like. They do think they “voted for John Key” even though we don’t vote for PMs.

                    The Nats know this, that’s why they only promoted John Key in the campaign.

                    Even the individual candidates weren’t promoting voting for “The National Party”, if you look at the language it was all about voting for “The John Key Government”.

          • Hanswurst

            I don’t see any reason to assume that. You’re basically assuming that the only difference between a voter and a non-voter is that one votes and the other doesn’t. What you are saying is essentially equivalent to saying that if Green voters had not been able to vote Green, their votes would have been split in line with the rest of the electorate. I doubt it.

            I agree that there will be a subset of non-voters whose attitudes more or less mirror the rest of the electorate, but who simply didn’t turn up. On the other hand, I have no idea how large that subset is, nor what the precise reasons would be in other cases. Having said all that, I don’t see any reason to assume that there is a monolithic group of like-minded non-voters who are just waiting for a political vehicle of expression, either.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans.

            Then you don’t understand who votes and who doesn’t (A US survey – can’t find similar for NZ). The reality is that the left make up the greatest proportion of those who don’t vote. That’s why I said 20%+ rather than 27%. It’s a guestimate but I figure it’s pretty close – the other ~7% would have voted on the right. Basically, I’m figuring that ~2/3rds of the 27% who didn’t vote would have voted left.

            And even if the 20% went specifically to the Greens, that would leave them only a few points ahead of Labour and both would then be major parties.

            By major party I’m thinking in terms of leading the government, the party that the PM comes from.

            But if soft votes just alternate between the two, the overall left vote is not improved and nothing much changes.

            That’s why we need to appeal to the people who didn’t vote. ATM, we’re just passing the votes back and forth between the left and the right and we’re losing voters. More and more are starting to assume that there’s no difference between parties and, especially between Labour and NAct, they’re right.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              That’s an odd definition of major party. Personally I think it’s better to think in terms of parties large, (labour/national) medium, (Greens) small, (Maori Party/NZF) and micro. (Act/UF)

              And you’re quite right, the big disadvantage of MMP from my point of view is that it has encouraged Labour to continue its slow drift rightwards, making the differences between them and National ever more subtle as time goes on. We hardly repeal the attacks on the country that National gets done in a single term in government anymore.

              • Carol

                And the more MPs the Greens get, and the bigger the proportion of the vote, the more they drift towards the centre too. I prefer them as a small to medium party that has strong principles and policy focus and sticks to them.

                • Jack McDonald

                  Carol I don’t know what you are basing that arguement on. None of the Green’s policy has changed recently, and in fact, most of the new intake of Green MPs are further on the ‘left’ than the MPs who were already there (think Jan Logie, Denise Roche, Holly Walker). MPs are also forced to vote according to Green policy, even for personal votes.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Maybe its just me then. There seemed to be plenty of Green voters on November 26 who would be happy to vote National as their second choice party. Or who used their candidate vote for their local National candidate.

                    • Vicky32

                      There seemed to be plenty of Green voters on November 26 who would be happy to vote National as their second choice party. Or who used their candidate vote for their local National candidate.

                      I noticed that as well! (I was working, at a language school) and most of the other teachers were middle class. I was one of the only three  true lefties there – the other two were also over 45 – and all the young people were Nats or ‘blue-greens’.

                    • McFlock

                      Split vote summary is interesting – 13% of green party voters voted for a National party candidate. Now of those only about 2300 were Epsom. So that’s about 30,000 “ethical greens” who voted for National candidates.

                    • Jack McDonald

                      I agree, many National supporters are coming around to supporting the Greens, but thats because the perception is the issues we raise are now mainstream and less radical, and those middle class voters are now sick of dirty rivers and no jobs, but there has actually been no change in policy or principle on the part of the Greens

                    • McFlock

                      I agree. Besides one or two individual policies that it uses for publicity stunts to prove it’s radical, the bulk of Green social and economic policy is perfectly acceptable for national-lite voters, and has been for years
                      Of greater concern to me is that the entrenched National party economic philosophies are no longer anathema to Green principles.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I agree, Jack, it is embarrassing that so many Green voters would waste their vote on National Party electoral candidates. Even worse is that over a third of them voted Green in the electorate, which suggests a level of political naivety I’d assumed, but never previously had confirmed. Plonkers.

                    • lprent []

                      Look at the split votes running back over the last 4 elections. The green party voters are steadily moving more and more to tactical voting….

                      Good to see. In 2005, they were making me wonder about long term intelligence wastage from residual pot smoking… 😈

                    • I think that has much more to do with the electorate realising the left is a strong and viable option again than the Greens drifting right. There’s been some political moves that could be overblown as appealing to more centrist voters, but the party’s policies and principles are currently firmly entrenched in the Green part of the left-wing, and if they stray, they’ll have lost me, and no doubt a whole bunch of other members and supporters, too.

              • McFlock

                MMP encouraged Labour to go to the right in the same way that it encouraged minor parties to take up the baubles of power. While some were definitely just after the bling (cough cough DUNNE cough cough), I think a few really thought that by being ministers they’d have the power to change things. What they didn’t pick was that the bad that they did lived on into the election, while the good was oft interr’d within their Cabinet Collective Responsibility (cough cough KIWIBANK cough cough).
                If the Greens haven’t learnt that lesson they’re morons.
                And I think that during the elction Labour showed promise of having learned their own lesson.
                Let’s say 5-10% of the non-vote is realistically reclaimable into participation. If that were going to go to the greens, they would have voted this election – gone towards a prominent, easily distinguishable party. One should also consider the possibility that some of the green vote was a temporary vote against labour, who got their message into the community too little too late. So that’s 5-10% that labour can recover in the next election, while I think the greens will stay static.
                The alternative is that the greens bleed votes off labour, and I think the two parties are distinct enough that this is not a long term strategy. Which leaves either increased voter participation (e.g. their overseas vote campaigns), or going for the central pool of natlab floaters – but the latter will merely be repeating the same mistake that labour made. 

            • mickysavage

              Aye Draco.  Turnout last time was low.  Any higher and Key would be on his way overseas.

            • lprent

              Exactly. The no vote from either people not being on the roll or not voting is the largest ‘party’ vote in the country.

              It affects different areas differently. But taking an extreme, based on the 2006 census, in Auckland Central electorate the “didn’t vote” group are 44% of the electorate.

              • Frank

                Look at the split votes running back over the last 4 elections. The green party voters are steadily moving more and more to tactical voting….

                Good to see. In 2005, they were making me wonder about long term intelligence wastage from residual pot smoking

                Unfortunately, still not to a degree as to rid the electorate of people like Peter Dunne (UF). Green voters in Ohariu could have rid us of Dunne had Green voters given their electorate vote to the Labour candidate. rather than Gareth Hughes (G).

                As it was 1,775 Green votes were wasted on Hughes rather than being cast for Chauvel (L).

                Mind you, the same could be said of Labour voters in Epsom, had they cast their electorate vote for Goldsmith (N) rather than Parker (L).


                Ah well, live and learn, I guess…

                • James Shaw


                  If you’re going to argue that Gareth Hughes peeled 5.8% off Charles Chauvel on the left, you can’t ignore Katrina Shanks pulling 18.5% off Peter Dunne on the right.

                  If Shanks can pull three times as many votes off Dunne as hughes pulled off Chauvel, and Chauvel still can’t win, it’s time for Labour get a stronger candidate.

                  • KJT

                    It’s time for Labour to get over being a softer version of National.

                    Voters can see the resemblance to the USA and UK, where you only have a choice of two corporatist Neo-Liberal parties.

                    All that is holding the Labour vote up now are Labour loyalists.

                    Anyone who realizes that the current economic paradigm has failed us, is voting Greens or, maybe, Mana.

  9. deemac 9

    does it not occur to people that the media deliberately ignore Labour spokespeople? Or do you think they are unbiased?

  10. Fortran 10

    Labour can never be in power in the foreseeable future (2014) without the Greens in support, and they have said clearly that they want their very large pound of flesh.
    Like Winston who may well have the real balance and will take Foreign Affairs (he enjoyed the travel and baubles).
    Norman has said that he wants Dep PM and Finance, but may accept only Finance, at least. Turei will take Social Welfare and Maori.

    • Anderton got deputy PM for delivering far less to the government than the current Greens would. (When he was leader of the Alliance party, it polled 10% and 8% at the elections) If the Greens grow their vote again next election and decide to endorse a formal coalition, they will have earned not only the Deputy slot, but some significant portfolios- I’m hoping Energy and Transport would be prime examples.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Funny – around 1999 the Alliance were saying the same thing.
        Pride goeth before the fall (or leadership betrayal)

        • The fall of the alliance was more about it being an unstable party with idealogical differences too big than about Jim Anderton getting important portfolios. Personally, I don’t think the Greens should shoot for Deputy PM, because I’d rather they go for portfolios and policy concessions.

          • McFlock

            Nah – it was pretty much the mps abandoning party policy that screwed us. The party itself was largely agreed on that issue.
            But then there’s NZ1 and the maori party who also got hammered by being too close to cabinet at the expense of their policies.
            What I suggest is having a c&s agreement that stipulates particular budget items and legislativechanges that have one of two priorities: negotiable” and “non-negotiable”. That way from the outset there’s policy differentiation. Monitor implementation, but don’t have any ministers or associate ministers in the government. And if one isn’t doing so well, start sabre-rattling outside of cabinet, rather than taking baubles and being seen as petulant or capricious (which I think is the smaller partner’s threat).

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Right, I perhaps should have said unstable caucus to be clear that I meant the actual MPs’ ideological differences, and not any incoherence in the party policy.

              You present a good government strategy, and one that should absolutely be considered come next election for the Greens- but there are questions as to whether there are some things for which it is useful to have ministerial powers, and having Labour agree to the Greens leading transport and energy would make for an amazing coalition, I think.

              Some of this is also about marketing, which the Alliance also didn’t do very well, where small parties need to claim their achievements before their coalition partners do. This is part of why Winston Peters keeps getting elected- he’s one of the few minor party leaders who’s done well at marketing his own achievements.

    • infused 10.2

      Mate, if Norman got finance, that would be the day to leave NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Because he could somehow borrow at a faster rate than Bill English? That would be a sight to behold!

  11. Tom Gould 11

    It is somewhat distasteful to see the Greens crawling to the Tories and slagging off Labour at the same time. Hardly the look of a ‘new’ opposition? Or maybe Russel is more Tory than Green, a sort of Green Blue?

    • Jack McDonald 11.1

      Crawling to the Torys??!! how ridiculous. Did you read Metiria’s speech? Also the Greens don’t ‘slag off’ Labour, we critizise all partys where we disagree and praise them where we do agree. We are a policy based party, and act in accordance with our policy.

      And if you think Russel is anything like a Tory, then you really don’t know him at all.

    • Jackal 11.2

      Perhaps Tom Gould doesn’t know what a Tory is?

      In my opinion the main difference between the parties is that there’s very little to criticize about the Greens, even on a personal level. Unlike National that is beset with controversy due to bungling their secret agenda, even Labour looks pious and ethical. Their scandals, although disproportionately reported on by a biased media, are incomparable to National’s underhanded dealings and arrogant contempt for the public’s wishes.

      If the Green’s can halt National’s plans that would see the environmental, social and economic destruction of our country, more power to them.

    • If by “crawling to the Tories,” you mean the Green Party-National MoU, that’s just standard Green Party politics: working with any party in parliament on the issues that they agree on, and it should be telling just how limited the MoU was.

      As for slagging off Labour- the Greens are allowed to hold Labour to a higher standard than they hold themselves to. It’s only wrong to criticise someone when it’s hypocritical or undeserved, and I seriously doubt that’s been the case. The Greens have actually been very nice to Labour in my opinion, all things considered.

  12. Darien Fenton 12

    Eddie : that is a silly comment.

    I was interviewed for that Mines Story and had worked on it since Friday. The journalist cut me from it because the piece was too long, but Labour got the lead on Firstline this morning.

    You must have been asleep on the minimum wage and asset sales.

  13. Darien Fenton 13

    And you probably missed my question in the House too.

    And this on ACC from Andrew Little.

  14. Rosemary 14

    Labour will remain irrelevant until it rediscovers what it means to be the Labour Party. That means revisiting its traditional roots. Shearer’s and Labour’s ambivalence towards the POAL dispute, and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor are examples of why Labour will continue to fail. I cannot and will not support Labour until it fixes itself in this regard, and many won’t trust Labour even if it does purport to sort itself out. Trouble is, there’s not a scrap of evidence Labour will ever learn. To me, I think Labour needs to hit rock bottom for things to change. They’re heading there pretty quickly.

    • Gosman 14.1

      “…and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor”

      When did this happen?

      I must have missed this rather dramatic announcement.Who released the official statement? Was it the leader of the party or was this one of those remits that gets snuck through at the party conference?

      • mickysavage 14.1.1

        Gawd I hate it when I agree with Gossman but when did this happen Rosemary?  WFF for beneficiaries was really brave.  And I think the Greens hid their policies for the poor away so they could enjoy greater support amongst the middle class.  The election results tend to bear this out.

        • QoT

          Got to disagree, micky. “WFF for beneficiaries” was fucking stupid. Calling it “Working for Families for beneficiaries” was exceptionally fucking stupid. Spending massive time and Crown Law resources while in power to defend WFF, and then u-turning mere months out from the election, was pretty damn stupid. Implementing a policy with a stated purpose of “incentivising” beneficiaries to work by depriving their children of state support was fucking vicious as well as stupid. Add all those things together? Sure, it was “brave”. Sir Humphrey Appleby would probably call it “courageous”.

          • mickysavage

            QOT I said the policy was brave.  “Stupid” is sometimes a synonym for “brave”.

            WFF made things better in that the working poor’s plight improved.  Bebeficiaries did not enjoy the improvement but at least part of the population did.

            Electability is as important as principle when politics is being considered.

            I am pretty sure that the transfer from Labour to the Greens was in part because of this policy.  I can quote you the electorates where the Greens had a significant swing and the deprivation rating to confirm this.

            I do not like the result but the suggestion is that WFFFB was a vote loser.

            You seem to be suggesting that Labour was being brave but stupid at the same time … 

            • QoT

              I guess I’m agreeing it was a “brave” policy in that it was, indeed, brave to go out with a half-baked policy with a stupid name.

              Yes, originally you can argue that WFF was an electability vs principle issue. But going out in 2011 saying “we’ll give WFF to beneficiaries” offered neither – there was no reshaping of principles, no “we were wrong, we’re going to tackle child poverty no matter who their parents are because Kiwi kids deserve a fair go”, and likewise no electability in basically tattooing “we are flip-flopping in the hope poor people will show up to vote for us” on their foreheads.

              I’d always have been annoyed about the policy, but seriously, going out to Middle New Zealand and saying “so, we’ve spent our term plugging Working For Families and clearly branding it in line with our Working Poor vs Filthy Bludgers middle-class-friendly stance and buying into the idea that unemployed people won’t work unless we starve their kids … now we’re just going to throw them a handout with a patently-contradictory name” was just … fucking stupid. They could at least have gone with some retro Universal Child Benefit branding or something.

              • Lanthanide

                110% agree QoT. My PoV on this is that they just shouldn’t have said anything about it at all. National didn’t outline all of their policies (we can tell, because they had very few), so I don’t know why Labour felt they had to outline all of theirs.

          • Bill

            fck-ing, best comment I’ve read all day QOT, Thanks 🙂

          • Rosemary


            Abolished the special benefit in 2004
            Introduced work testing for invalid’s beneficiaries
            Removed looking after the poor as the main purpose of social welfare
            introduced WFF which excludes people without employment and those without children
            Have started talking about the “third way”, yet again
            Have failed to stand up against Nact’s welfare “reform” presumably because they’ve accepted the public believes Nact is correct, and have abandoned arguing for an adequate welfare system.

            Josie Pagani’s piece about ‘returning to the Treasury benches at any cost’ echoes Labour’s silence on welfare issues. Any positive reform Labour may refer to, such as extending WFF, not only still leaves many out in the cold, but can hardly be believed, especially when it was “promised” in an election year, and Labour’s track record on promises in the welfare area since 1991 have all been hollow. There’s a big long list of them. They reneged on everything in 1999 and even before.

            It’s the poorest of the poor Labour have abandoned. Labour has been sucked in to believe that talking about social welfare for this group just ain’t sexy enough anymore. They see it as risky, so are pandering to the populist attitudes you see on kiwiblog and hear on talkback radio. Labour’s let this rubbish dictate its welfare policy (if you can say they’ve got one, that is). Labour is no longer the party for the poor.

      • phillip ure.. 14.1.2

        well..they did during those nine long clark years..that’s irrefutable..

        ..and their promises to the poorest for this election were a $3 a year increase for three years..(that’d be ten bucks a week after three years..whoar..!

        ..that’s a’ll show those oecd

        ..and of course..who could forget that promise to include the poorest families in the sixty dollars a week working for (some) families regime..?

        …and that by 2018..(yep..!..2018…6 yrs/2 govts away..)

        ..if that dosen’t spell abandonment…

        ..what does..?

        ..(and didn’t shearer say he was going to ‘reconsider’ abandon..that rash 2018 promise..)


        ..we need lifeboats..

        ..not rubber-rings..

        ..and i don’t think labour have ‘got’ that yet…eh..?

        ..and political motivation of the poor next time looks like it is manas’ to take…

        ..when you bore down into the detail..harawira is the only one offering anything to the poor…. far as i can see..


    • Te Reo Putake 14.2

      ” … and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor …”
      Did I miss the memo?

    • Bill 14.3

      Benson Pope introduced the biggest cut in benefits since Ruth Richardson. (Temporary Additional Support ‘replacing’ Supplementary Support).

      Last Labour government fought tooth and nail against unemployed parents accessing wff.

      And, lets face it, beneficiaries have been on the receiving end of the old ‘one, two combination’…jab from the right and a (double) cross from the left…since, well, since as long as I can remember.

      • Rosemary 14.3.1

        Yes, it replaced the special benefit that Labour ditched under urgency in 2004. National tried to do the same in 1995 but failed. Guess who opposed it back then? Labour did. Labour’s amendment Act in 2007 did a truck load of damage, too. Labour’s opened the door so many times for Nact to waltz through with “reform” even Nact would be unlikely to go through with if it hadn’t been for Labour cutting the track.

  15. Gosman 15


  16. I’m not bagging workers rights, but personally I’m not keen on seeing a greater green representation while they they remain a proponent for socialism, have blogged on consequences.

    • felix 16.1

      Could you explain in what way you’re “not bagging workers rights”?

      What aspects of employment law are you talking about specifically?

      • Rosemary 16.1.1

        She won’t be able to tell you because she doesn’t know.

        • QoT

          Or she will tell you but, if that blog post is anything to go by, you’ll be unable to understand her. Gods, my editing fingers are spasming.

          • Armchair Critic

            It illustrates very clearly that while it is possible to have too much of a good thing, too much of a bad thing is a lot more common.
            To save you actually trying to read them, quite a few of the posts run like this:
            [random introduction on something topical]
            …therefore socialism is bad. And evil.

            • Colonial Viper

              …therefore socialism is bad. And evil.

              But socialism for the rich (and welfare for big corporations) is quite acceptable.

  17. dancerwaitakere 17

    ANd so how will the greens at 20% actually PAY for their policies?

    If the greens want to play with the big boys, they will have to learn to be attacked like the big boys. This means learning to take attacks from labour instead of whinging.

    • felix 17.1

      Good example of the problem right there.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      Dunno but the difference between Greens (and the left in general) and NAct is that the Greens will actually properly cost and cover their policy. The NActs are looking at a massive deficit blow out from theirs because they went with uncosted policies and failed ideology.

  18. John Pagani 18

    Mmm. I’m going to have to disagree with your claim that I’m a dog-whistling beneficiary basher.

    Here’s the last comment I made on the subject:

    “That brings me to the mistakes people on the left make: They confuse welfare reform with beneficiary bashing. Done right, reform is the opposite, because when welfare is working properly there is more legitimacy about the cases of people who need care, and there are more resources to direct to where they are needed. People make the mistake of confusing reform with bashing because they believe no reform is needed at all. But that position is perverse for people who want to genuinely help beneficiaries.”

    If you can hear dog whistling, your ears are tuned to a higher register than mine.

    • Jackal 18.1

      Did somebody whistle a dog? Perhaps you need to reacquaint yourself with some of the literature (PDF) that National has commissioned?

      Yes! Progressive welfare reform is required, mainly to undo negative historical welfare reforms. However current reforms are designed specifically to save money to the detriment of the welfare dependent. This has wider implications to society in general, and a cost association.

      Paula Bennett has been crowing long and hard about the relatively small savings her detrimental reforms have achieved, while publicly lying about job creation and beneficiary numbers. National’s propaganda saying their changes are to benefit New Zealander’s (like most of their policies) should not be believed.

      It’s all about timing… while all that National bullshit is going on a leftwing political commentator comes out and says welfare reform is somehow desirable. WTF! It does not matter that your intent is to benefit society through positive welfare reform; it is that too many Labourites are A OK with pseudo-socialism while undertaking a bit of beneficiary bashing. Present company excluded.

    • Bill 18.2

      How about returning benefits to pre Richardson levels for a start. (Of course, that would put an upward pressure on wages…win/win)

      How about getting shot of the ridiculous situation whereby an unemployed person who manages to pick up a couple of hours work gets financially penalised to the extent they often wind up with less money after taking into account the cost of working….travel to and from, food etc. Many small employers with wildly oscillating labour needs would benefit too by being able to retain staff during their busy peaks. (At the moment it’s often ‘under the table’ until the employer ‘gets the shits’, says they have to put the work through the books and the employee does their sums and quits.)

      And how about rewriting that dogs dinner that passes for legislation so that it can be navigated and understood before anyone attempting to do so goes bald from tearing their hair out?

      And how about introducing a mechanism whereby advocates for unemployed people can gain some renumeration (I believe there is such a mechanism used in the case of ACC?) instead of the current law which stipulates an advocate is breaking the law if they seek or receive payment for their advocacy?

      Or, no. Lets leave things as they are and have targetted beneficiaries. Yup. That’s worked fine so far. Target them, stress them and make sure they know that they will be demeaned and put through the wrangle should they set foot in the WINZ office. And we’ll ‘save a fortune’ because people will feel too intimidated to claim benefits they’re entitled to.

      • phillip ure.. 18.2.1

        as far as that work is concerned.. forgot the financial/poverty-handcuffs of the 85 cents in the dollar clawback on monies earned..

        ..that’s another lets-kick-beneficiaries-in-the-goolies policy labour maintained for those nine long years..

        ..(and i’ve heard no noises about changing that yet from labour..

        that figure again..?..85 cents in the dollar…

        ..cruelties/ignoring leavened with sadism..from my side of the fence..

        ..and no matter how hard she scrubs…clark/that govt. will never remove that ignoring-the-poor stain around her/their hem…

        ..and hearing the attitudes being expressed here by some..

        ..that seems to be yet another lesson labour has yet to learn…


    • hate to pagani but most i have seen from you is rightwing/conservative labour.. are also a reactionary on pot…eh..? josie pagani related to you..?..btw..

      ..’cos she seems cut from the same cloth….

      ..her ideas seem to fit comfortably with the reactionaries who mainly inhabit jim moras’ panel.. you see yrslf as being on the right wing of labour..?


    • Olwyn 18.4

      Many of your responses had the tone of people responding to a dog whistle, and one person, Chris #60, questioned your saying “those who can work should work” by asking, “Are you saying there are jobs for everyone who can work? Former governments since time began (and Treasury, too) have always accepted that almost everyone who can work want to work, but you seem to be saying things more akin to neo-liberal anti-welfare rhetoric than acknowledging this fact.”

      In the absence of specifics it is actually hard to see what you are recommending: are you hoping to ensure that there are jobs aplenty for those desperate for work, or are you suggesting a 21st century version of “We must stop them from drinking gin and keeping their coal in the bath?” I have to say, your tone suggests you are at least flirting with the latter.

    • ak 18.5

      Pago: …when welfare is working properly…. there are more resources to direct to where they are needed.

      That’s not a dogwhistle Pagan, that’s a bloody foghorn from the SS Tory. Blaring “welfare money is being spent where it’s not needed.”

      Evidence please. The beneficiaries I deal with daily will be grateful to know what portion of their benefit they don’t need.

      And did the savings from the Special Benefit you abolished in your last benny-bash get “re-directed to where they were needed”? And did that “solve the problem”? And in terms you might understand, did that particular craven sop to redneckery garner Labour any votes?

      As for the pathetic puppywhistle “train em up and they’ll all get jobs”, again evidence please – what jobs?

      Think back a second; when there were jobs we had the second lowest unemployment in the west, and even the DPB was coming down.

      No extra training, no faux-concern, no veiled victim-bashing from venal poll-suckers, just jobs.

      The greed of a few has killed the jobs: if you haven’t the nuts to rip into them, at least assume the humanity to leave their victims alone.

    • Honestly John, the best thing to do with welfare would be to universalize it to everyone earning under a certain amount, with a few extra benefits for people who are earning but have additional challenges that they need a supplement to their income for. So much of our money spent on welfare is around excluding people that we’d probably save money by just putting everyone under an income of $20,000 a year on negative taxes.

      If you’re going to argue that there’s significant rorting of the system going on, you’re going to need evidence, and you’re also going to have to show that we’d save more money than it would cost us to enforce whatever fixes you’re proposing. Nobody likes it when people take money they don’t need when there are people genuinely struggling who deserve it, but we might just have bigger fish to fry, such as addressing the problems that lead to poverty and underemployment in the first place.

    • Rosemary 18.7

      Sure, but when Labour say reform they mean exactly the same kind of reform Nact want and are doing now.

  19. Mike 19

    “I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result”

    You really believe over 20% of National voters are going to about face and vote for the Greens? Hardly realistic. The Greens will remain around the 10% mark unless they become far more centrist.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      The Greens will remain around the 10% mark unless they appear far more centrist.


    • An increasing number of Green party voters are voting for National electorate candidates, so that suggests that the Greens are already convincing former National supporters to give them their votes. You’re also discounting three other possibilities:

      a) People who didn’t vote coming back to the polls next election and voting Green. This is actually highly likely as the left vote was very depressed this election.
      b) Swing voters who were tired of Labour for various reasons who switched to National realising that the Greens are now a serious alternative to Labour and National, and one that they prefer.
      c) Labour convincing swing voters and the Greens convincing former Labour voters.

      • Mike 19.2.1

        “An increasing number of Green party voters are voting for National electorate candidates”

        Not really that significant other than Epsom, which was obviously Green supporters voting strategically. Also, Green supporters are more likely to vary their electorate vote amongst different parties as the electorate vote doesn’t really mean anything to the Green Party in nearly all the electorates. I simply can’t see voters turning from National and going to the Greens in large numbers, it’s too great a leap.

        “a) People who didn’t vote coming back to the polls next election and voting Green. This is actually highly likely as the left vote was very depressed this election.”

        I disagree. I would imagine (just my opinion) that green supporters would be a very low proportion of non voters and that green supporters are more likely than just about any other party to vote. I’d put money on the highest percentage of non voters in this election who vote in the next election will vote Labour.

        “b) Swing voters who were tired of Labour for various reasons who switched to National realising that the Greens are now a serious alternative to Labour and National, and one that they prefer.”

        Again I would have to disagree. These people switch between National and Labour, I think it is doubtful many of them would vote green, especially if they voted National this time. Switching from National to the Greens is a mighty big ideological leap whichever way you look at it.Why did they switch from Labour to National instead of Labour to the Greens this time? Because they, like most of the population are centrist in their views. The Greens are still to far left far most people although they could change that perception in the next 3 years.

        Aside from that, If we roughly average voter turnout for all elections since introducing MMP we get around 80% turnout. If we’re very generous we can say that based on past elections, 15% of voters never vote. So the number of votes the Greens might pick up from returning voters is not going to be huge assuming a best case scenario of 10% of eligible voters returning my guess is that Labour will pick up the highest proportion.

        Rather than the 20% Green, 30% Labour as suggested in the article I think we’re far more likely to get somewhere around 38 – 44% labour and 8 – 12% greens.

        Of course a lot can happen in 3 years. Key and English might turn the economy around and everything might turn awesome…… (chuckle)

        • Colonial Viper

          Agree: Greens will be lucky to hold on to 11%-12% in 2014. IMO they are at a high tide now, they will need a game changer to get to 15%.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            It’s certainly going to be a hard slog to climb higher now, especially seeing the Greens can’t just paint themselves as the little guys keeping Labour honest any more, and they’ll increasingly become vulnerable to backlash attacks from the right-wing, which have been quite sucessful against Labour in the past.

        • Greens have an incredible appeal to younger voters, and younger voters aren’t very likely to vote, especially in elections where they don’t feel “their side will win”.

          You’re assuming people vote for National for ideological reasons. The fact is that many people just don’t consider policy when they vote- they’re influenced by the people who do to some degree of course, but they can “feel” that National won’t be too threatening and be tired of Labour, even though they love left-wing policies and think right-wing ones are bad or dangerous. We can see that quite clearly based on polling on asset sales versus the general election.

          Now, do I see the Greens getting 20% of the vote next election? Not unless some very big wins happen way more quickly than the political norm. But I do see the Green vote at least stabilising, if not continuing its gradual growth. I’m not arguing that this 30/20 scenario is likely, just that growing is likely, and that 20% is not out of reach for the Greens in a few elections, if they manage themselves well. The Greens are the first party in generations to make the leap from new movement to being the third player in politics, and there’s real potential there. Let’s not talk it down.

          (Also, absolutely at some point the Green vote will shrink again- but that’s likely to happen next time the left-wing vote contracts. For the Green vote to shrink next election, Labour would need to perform much better than they currently are, AND the Greens would have to make some big mistakes, because they’re likely to benefit from the expansion of the left wing)

  20. Populuxe1 20

    I do not trust the Greens at all. They are far to cosy with the Natzis.
    The endorsed GST at 15% (mind you, so did Labour. The fought NZ1 tooth and nail to sit next to the Nats in the benches. They supported Whanau Ora despite it being a Natzi sop to the Maori Party. They keep trumpeting how keen they are to work more closely with the Nats.
    What kind of blue-green is that? Cerulean? Teal? Bondi Blue? (the latter being quite likely as the populace evacuates).
    I am also predicting a massive schism between the centrist technocrats and the hippie ferals.

    • McFlock 20.1

      lol – “natzis”?
      Possibly a bit far, even for me 🙂

      • Gosman 20.1.1

        Not really. You essentially claimed the policies killed children without providing a shred of evidence. Essentially I see this as being on par with comparing theGovernment with Nazis. Certainly when it comes to emotional hysteria that is divorced from factual reality. But hey, if you produce evidence then perhaps you could prove me wrong.

        • Jackal

          If you knew anything about history, you would realize that there are some similarities between the National party and the Nazis, especially concerning their propaganda mechanisms. Policies do kill people Gosman. That’s why there are more suicides after a bit of rightwing political beneficiary bashing.

          I think there needs to be a distinction made: The Green’s will support good policy that benefits New Zealand, no matter where that policy comes from… they are not so ideologically defunct as to only support their own ideas.

          • Gosman


            Did you form this idea in conjuction with your five year old banking sector expert Jackal? You know the same one that convinced you that the CFR has to be funded domestically.

            • Frank

              Interesting how rightwing groupies will jump through hoops; nitpick to the Nth degree; and try to obfuscate any statistic that shows a growing social problem during a National government.

              And more ironic still is that while rightwingers demand the highest standard of Taking Responsibility – they duck taking responsibility when it comes to failed policies of their own government.

              Right wingers default to these three positions: It’s,

              (a) the previous government’s fault
              (b) beneficiaries’ fault
              (c) no problem exists

              (Extra points if a right winger can use all three at the same time.)

              • Gosman

                I wouldn’t know Frank because noone has produced any statistics yet showing this growing social problem and childhood mortality rate, (remember Frank we are discussing Child deaths here), during the current National led administration. Perhaps you have some statistics to add? No?

                • McFlock

                  Bit of a slide there Gos – remember, we’re discussing child mortality that would not have occurred if national had e.g. deferred the tax cuts in favour of boosting health funding.
                  That does not necessarily equal a “growth” in mortality. 
                  If you knew anything about public health, you would already know that.

                • Frank

                  Gosman, only you could distill growing social problems and childhood mortality rates down to a concern about the validity of statistics.

                  Arguing the number of winged supernatural critters dancing on a head of a pin is your style – not mine.

                  The fact that you’re more concerned about wanting more statistics rather than the issue itself, I think, speaks volumes about you.

                  But you go ahead. Like your faux “concern” about children present at an industrial picket, in Auckland, we’re all quite clear about how you view other people.

                  To me, you epitomise the neo-liberal sociopath who functions as an Individual in an “economy” – whilst the rest of us live and co-exist in a society.

                  You demonstrate why neo-liberalism and the Cult of the Individual is destined for the scrapheap of history.

                  • Gosman

                    More statistics Frank??? I would just like to see some relevant statistics. But hey maybe we should just take your word for it. I mean you’re the guy who somehow thinks the terms of trade is impacted by farm sales to overseas investors so you obviously know your stuff.

                    • McFlock

                      But Gos, you don’t even understand statistics – otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered with the CIA projections of infant mortality.

                      I merely made an assertion that National party policies will result in some children dying who would otherwise have lived. My support for this is the known correlations between poverty and hardship (e.g. overcrowding and exposure to other hazards), disease, and (that well-known health outcome of some disease) death. I have also highlighted a number of specific policies (from Herceptin to rail wagon production) that National have implemented to the detriment of child health (and therefore mortality).
                      Your sole defense is that there are no current statistics that compare the last 3 years of national government with the hypothetical last three years of a decent left wing government. 
                      Meanwhile you support arguments you don’t understand by linking to sources you don’t read in order to imply a competence that doesn’t exist. 

                    • Gosman

                      Don’t worry. Only a few more years to wait McFlock. I’m sure you will feel better then.

                    • McFlock

                      “Feel better”? I feel fine.
                      It could be because I’m in one of the higher SES deciles, or possibly it’s just because I’m laughing like a drain at the fact that someone who believes Treasury predictions has incredible difficulty drawing the dots between poverty and health, and yet still has the gall to accuse others of being idealogues.

              • Rosemary

                In exactly the same way that idiot Borrows is comparing the $43k with being on a benefit, ignoring all of the add-ons that waged low-income earners also receive, as well as the extra assistance a beneficiary may be entitled to that is based on actual dollar costs the person has, such as the disability allowance, which means zero net increase in discretionary spending. Act did the same thing a few years ago by taking every single benefit, allowance and even tax credit, and then grossing them up – yes, even the non-taxable benefits like the AS and yes, even tax credits themselves! – to arrive at a figure of $91k argued as what a beneficiary receives each year. Just plain fucking bullshit.

          • Tom Gould

            It still looks ugly to me for a once principled party to be crawling to the Tories for a few crumbs from their table so they can look relevant and included. Sad, really.

        • McFlock

          Wait a few years, dude. Stats take a while to be collated.

          edit: and there’s a difference between letting kids die through negligence, and having it be the objective of your plan.

          • Gosman

            Well until that day comes then I’ll continue to call BS on your hysterical emotional rantings.

            Just console yourself with the fact that you think that one day the facts will catch up with your ideological bias.

            • McFlock

              Well until that day comes then I’ll continue to deny, deflect and distract from your reasonable predictions based on public health correlations and biological plausibility.
              Just console yourself with the fact that you think that in the next couple of years, say in publications based on 2010 or 2011 mortality registration data the facts will be generally consistent with our knowledge to date about how poverty and hardship negatively impacts on child health.


              • Gosman

                Yeah, when you have some actual facts to back up your emotional and hysterical rant then get back to me.

            • thatguynz

              Hahaha classic, you must be pretty thick skinned Gos to have your ideological bias waved in your face so incredibly frequently yet subsequently turn around and accuse others of ideological bias.
              That is just priceless.  I applaud you for giving me the heartiest chuckle I’ve had all day 🙂

  21. james 111 21

    Greens ares the left wing party of the future. Labour is a spent force full of dissaffected unionists ,and teachers. All to use to sucking on the State Titty for a feed.

    At least Norman is looking at being buisness friendly for small businesses this is something Labour cant seem to do. As they see all companys and bosses as bad.

    Until they have a mandate to grow an economy with people who have some business nous they will slide down the path way to oblivion

    • lprent 21.1

      Oh what complete twaddle, and incidentally shows your complete lack of small business experience. Over the years I have come to realize that national stands squarely behind particular types of business – those that they can leverage to get contributions from.

      They aren’t the ones exporting and making money for the country. They are the extractive industries and those requiring special permissions from the government to extort money from citizens. Property developers wanting new motorways to nowhere so they can sell cheaply acquired properties. Construction companies wanting to put their snouts firmly into helping the taxpayers acquire debt by making motorways. Car dealers. Immigrant consultants. Fishing companies wanting to take fishing stocks down to bare seabeds. Farming corporations wanting to grab water (resulting in the effective dissolution of ECan). Etc ec

      In other words, national is the party for parasites. What they don’t actually do is make anything easier for small businesses. They don’t contribute enough.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 hours ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    2 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    3 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    3 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    4 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    4 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    26 mins ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    7 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago