Growing the Left vote

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 5th, 2013 - 279 comments
Categories: activism, election 2014, greens, labour, mana - Tags:

At the moment the Left and Right political blocs are poised more or less evenly in the polls. So how do we grow the Left vote to win in 2014?

A lot of commenters here think the answer is for Labour to move to the Left. Frustrated at the slow closing of the polls, they think (with the National government being such an obvious disaster) that all Labour needs to do is become more radical, and the voters will come flocking in. With respect, I disagree. If it was as simple as that, The Greens and Mana would be rocketing ahead. And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it. Much as I hate the phrase “center left”, the centre seems to be where the vote are, and my guess is it’s where Labour has to stay to win them. That leaves space for Mana and the Greens to position themselves more strongly, and, thanks to MMP, it means that a Labour / Green (/Mana?) coalition government is likely to be more Left wing than Labour itself (fine with me).

OK, so what does grow the vote for the Left? I don’t have anything to add to the well known factors:

(1) Hammer the Nats. The disaster that is the National government is obvious enough to us, but it clearly isn’t obvious to the electorate in general (yet), or National’s polling would be falling faster. So – all Leftie parties need to keep hammering the government’s record, keep getting the message out…

(2) Have better policy. We need plausible, costed, more equitable, more sustainable, better policy – be bold!

(3) Turn out the vote. The non-voting block is huge – motivate even a fraction of them to vote Left and we win. But we can’t assume that having suitably leftie policies is enough to do it or these people would be voting already for Mana or Green – and they aren’t. So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?

(4) Cooperate cooperate cooperate! I don’t have any hard evidence, but anecdotally voters want to see cooperation between parties of the Left. Coordination and agreement – a government in waiting, building confidence in the policies.

So, that’s my list, no magic bullets, just the usual hard work. What have I missed? How do we grow the Left vote?

279 comments on “Growing the Left vote ”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    I would like Labour’s policies to be more to the left, but that will not win more votes: passion, competence, conviction, confidence on the other hand, will.

    Add those to the mix – and demote blundering has-beens like Toxic Trevor – and watch the electorate respond.

  2. karol 2

    Maybe Labour should concentrate on engaging more with voters? Talking about growing the left votes seems like conceding Labour is no longer the force it once was .

    Cooperation is a two-way thing and can’t be dictated.

    • One Tāne Huna 2.1

      “The old guard in Labour is seriously defensive, insecure and lacking any humour. I actually think voters see it.” Duncan Garner.

      • Tom Gould 2.1.1

        Bit rich coming from Garner, I reckon, one of Key’s biggest cheer leaders. The people only know Key and Shearer from the media, and the media love Key, so the polling holds up, and they report his popularity. A virtuous circle, by definition.

    • Agreed Karol.

      To engage more with voters you need activists. To get more activists you have to have a principled coherent policy and stand for something. And you need some passion.

      To do this you have to strop triangulating and be different to the other side.

      My four simple sentences to describe what I think the Labour Party ought to be doing …

  3. IrishBill 3

    Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.

    Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

    Secondly, there is a whole lot of enrolled non-vote who are disillusioned with the process and dropped out. The Greens are trying to reach these people but my gut feeling is they’ll struggle as the ENV is likely to be working class, not university educated and unlikely to find the Greens middleclass brand attractive. It’s not the traditional knocking on doors style of getting the vote out that will capture these voters – they need something to get out for. Which is to say they need a bit of hope that they’ll see some change that will make their own lives better.

    Thirdly, most of my assumptions about the ENV are just that. Assumptions. Because very little analysis of the ENV has been done and as far as I know, none by Labour. I presume Labour’s neglect of their enrollment data has made any meaningful analysis possible.

    Fourthly, people. If you don’t have people on the ground you’ll struggle to capitalise on your support. I’m pretty sure that this is the reason the Greens often lose a couple of percent on election day (compared with the polls).

    That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people. Not being left or right. And right now Labour has damaged its brand, neglected its data, and pushed its people away. Until they get that right any talk about policy is meaningless because there won’t be a chance to enact it.

    • Agreed entirely Irish about the importance of having people on the ground. My strong impression from a number of campaigns I have been involved in is the more activists the better the result. They are directly responsible for building up excitement and momentum.

      I am also not sure about the “left right” divide.

      What people do want are leaders with conviction. The really good ones are able to actually move the electorate. Maggie Thatcher moved the UK well to the right and Key has shown a similar ability.

      Labour has struggled since the first Labour Government. Nash blew his chances with the black budget, Norm Kirk was cruelly taken early, Lange was a potentially great leader but his legacy was wrecked by the rogernomes. Helen Clark did have that ability to communicate a clear vision and her electoral success was a direct result of this.

      • IrishBill 3.1.1

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to be neither left or right to win. I’m saying it doesn’t matter greatly for many many voters. And yes, I agree with you on leaders with conviction, I’d place that quite highly in the “brand” column.

    • fatty 3.2

      nice comment irishbill…I like the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that.

      You also point this out: …Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

      Rebranding Labour (to give it more sizzle) now that they have stuck with Shearer is impossible as far as I’m concerned. He lacks every trait needed to connect with voters. However, I think the bigger issue that Labour will need to overcome if they want a shot in 2017, is they need to challenge this idea of individual responsibility, rather than encourage it

    • vto 3.3

      Mr Irish I think you are quite a lot wrong on this: “Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.”

      I think what is happenning with this type of swing is in fact what you say it is not…. It is thought-out individuals changing their base political outlook. (of course, there are surely other types of sizzling swingers, but not the ones you describe) From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity. They see the cheating banks, the grab at the environment, the snake eyes, the various failures of the ‘market’ and put that together with the policy direction of our governments since 1984. They are not silly people and they are swinging back to a more natural political setting for kiwis – the one that existed pre-1984. It reflects a strong movement in political conviction, not a weak one.

      The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement. This is part of it. People I speak to and see say as much and from what I read of comments on here many others are having similar conversations. It is not moving on the sizzle (there aint no sizzle if you look around) it is moving on the sausage.

      This sea-change is a slow tide and the left should learn it and enhance it.

      • IrishBill 3.3.1

        You could well be right but what I see here (and elsewhere) is politically active people having those conversations. I think there’s still a sizable chunk of the nation that only think about politics for a few days out of every term. They’re the swingers (heh – I said “swingers”) I was talking about.

        • vto

          Yes, two types of swingers – the short, quick ones and the long, slow ones.

          I was referring to the long slow ones and it seems like there are a hell of a lot more of them than there used to be. It seems there is such a movement going on – a movement which was not there even just a few short years ago. The jolt from Clark to Key’s second term may have been the spark to ignite the movement. It is relatively recent but it is most definitely underway imo.

          The left can grab both of these swingers with careful and accurate moves appealing to each – some sizzle for the short quickie swingers and some more sausage for the long slow swingers………….

          • billbrowne


            I think you are right.

            It seems to me that there is a real underlying current of desire for a roll back of the policies that have been enacted since 1984.

            Now is the time to act on that current.

            Labour is underestimating the appetite for change, radical change.

            I can remember the movement in the other direction in 1984 – it just takes someone to grab the momentum.

            • Wayne

              I think this nostalgic view of the past is not where most New Zealanders are at. There is very little desire to go back to pre 1984, with its extreme control of the economy (think rigid exchange controls, extremely high tariffs, import licensing, state owned everything, compulsory unionism, on the verge of an IMF bailout, etc).

              As David Lange said, a Polish Shipyard. What young person, say anyone under 40, would want that level of economic control over their lives. In fact you would have to be almost over 50 to have any effective adult memory of the pre 1984 period.

              I can see that people want an alternative, but it has to incorporate the reality of the reforms of last 30 years. Helen Clark recognized this. She did not roll back everything from the 1980’s and 1990’s. But she did soften it, so the ERA replaced the ECA, and is still the basis of industrial law. The major modification, the 90 day period was chosen by the Nats precisely because it was mirrored the Nordics (and as some here will appreciate I know the origins of this policy). Interest free student loans, not grants for all, because 50% of young people do tertiary education, as opposed to 15% pre 1984. It was a realistic approach, which is why she won three terms.

              Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

              Use your imagination about the future. Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

                Nor is the answer the Chinese shipyards. Or Chinese railyards for that matter.

                Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

                Yep. And we have to go further, much further.

                The Nordic countries invested in their countries during a time of economic and energy wealth. We have to do much more, with far less.

              • billbrowne

                I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                Probably not very clear above.

                There was a need for change, the pendulum, however, swung too far in the other direction.

                Reference would be the magnitude of changes made in Australia over the same time frames.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                  The principles and objectives of the Old Labour Era B.R. (Before Rogernomics) need to be implemented today but in new modern forms, and using new mechanisms and strategies, taking into account current conditions and constraints.

              • geoff

                Absolutely, Wayne.

                Kiwi’s have no interest in going back to a time when unemployment was low. To a time when you could house, feed and clothe your family on one income.

                Nobody wants that.

                What we want is more rat race, more uncertainty, more stress and less time with our kids. We want low pay and no retirement savings. We want big mortages and no sense of community and a few more starving kids. We want more river pollution and bigger dairy farms. We want rents to go up, we want food prices to go up and we really really want the corporate tax rate to go down. Because, let’s face it, those poor, helpless, legal entities, just can’t catch a break.

      • fatty 3.3.2

        From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity.

        I wish I saw that…truth is, I see the opposite far more often.
        I did interpret the ‘sizzle’ as being image, and the ‘sausage’ as being policy (maybe I misread this).
        Perhaps its the people I spend time with, they would be under 35 years of age. I mingle with educated, uneducated, poor and not so poor…one thing that I find is quite prominent within my group of friends is a disinterest in policy. They all vote Green, but generally not for the policy…I guess they have a vague idea of their political philosophy.

        The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement.

        It disturbs me how many other students I come across who see student loans as natural…once they get into that kind of mindset, individualism becomes embedded in their psyche and then neoliberal ideals become normalised.
        That’s why Labour won’t connect with younger voters until they abolish the student loan scheme. Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day. Its like trying to get slaves to vote for a continuation of slavery.

        • vto

          hmmm, true dat i’m sure

        • felixviper

          “Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day.”


          And it’s not just student loans either, it’s the acceptance on so many levels that these neolib, individualistic, Randian ideas are ok in and of themselves as long as you hang a red flag on them.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with contracting out Kiwibuild so private companies can extract a profit from the selling off of state-owned land to individuals instead of just building state houses that we all own.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with Hipkins buying into National’s pro asset sales narrative and sending a message to the electorate that asset sales in and of themselves aren’t the issue, it’s just a matter of how the loot is divvied up.

          Right wing individualistic greedy selfish sizzle, and Labour don’t even seem to be aware they’re selling it. No wonder the right wing individualistic greedy selfish sausages at the next bbq over are selling so well.

        • billbrowne


          A lot of that is to do with the non-presentation of a feasible alternative.

          Should a large political party come out with a cohesive and overwhelming repositioning of the whole tertiary sector including the two main streams of learning – practical (via polytechs) and academic (via universities).

          The alternative would focus on:

          Eliminating fees from tertiary study
          Supporting trade training
          Eliminating pseudo competition
          Spending money on state institutions

          If this was presented, I think that a whole bunch of people would realise there IS and alternative

      • Polish Pride 3.3.3

        Agreed VTO
        I’d also say that those that are disenfranchised with the system will come from all classes, working, whitecollar, university educated or not. It is really people that have the the ability to think for themselves and cannot see any political party having policies that will fix the problems that they see. They like me see the same old problems persisting never getting resolved no matter who is in the hot seat. I am univerity educated. I have spoken to many others also university educated and others who are not.

        Any party that wants to do really well needs to take a step back from offering token policies (that they think) are geared towrads winning the election….
        Instead they need to provide a cohesive and well thought out group of policies that can capture peoples imaginations of what our country would be like to live in, in 10 or 20 years time. They need to be able to logically show how in the current environment their ideas will help provide a much better future to live in. They need their ideas to resonate with people so that those people see them as something they can be part of and have ownership of rather than how it is now where people see politics as something that is done to them by the political party of the day rather than sometyhing that they are part of.

        I have said many many times that I am no longer voting because I don’t believe in the system. Don’t treat me like an idiot and give me something I can believe in, paint a picture of the future for me and how what you are doing will get us there. If I can believe it, Not only will I vote but I too will own the vision and sell it/explain it to anyone who will listen.

      • Fortran 3.3.4

        Where is the evidence that some Nats are swinging to the Greens – not in the polls.

        • Skinny

          Their out there in droves, Swing voters who voted National 1st time around, took the tax cut then gave Key another term.

           Not next time, they have woken up, middle to higher income earner struggling that’s what turning them off. I make a point of getting a grasp of the mood these people are in. They were only too keen to boast they voted National (mainly cause of Key and the tax cut policy). Not now… they are disappointed & finally waking cut… hearing one say “I don’t trust Key…use too but not now.” Others are disgruntled & rightly so, about all the job losses & stagnant economy..and on and on the complaints go. So asked who they would vote for now, most opt Greens. 
          Why because they see younger, academically smarter MP’s coming thru  no back stabbing trough feeders & and that’s always going to be a attractive & trendy bandwagon to be aboard.

    • r0b 3.4

      That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people.

      Thank you IB – spot on as usual.

      Brand – now there’s a tricky thing. How does Labour improve its brand?

  4. David H 4

    ” So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?”

    I did mention this in another post wtf King. I think.
    I have 2 teens that are now able to vote. They won’t even enroll. And the main reasons when I try to get them to vote? is those old guys are more interested in them selves, and not in what we need, to even get a job. And they Don’t Care or listen.
    All they have to look forward to at this time is a life on the dole, and having to jump through even more hoops for even less money. And whats Labour offering??? SWEET FUCK ALL!

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David. I was taken down to the Post Office and enrolled as soon as I was old enough. My folks didn’t tell me who to vote for, but they did tell me why it was important I did vote.

      The Keep Our Asset sales petition still needs support. That’s another thing your kids are missing out on if they are not enrolled; the ability to influence their own futures in a nationwide referendum. Think globally, David and FFS, act locally.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        Lol. How old were you when your parents took you down to the post office and enrolled you TRP?
        When I was 18 I’d left home and was living a long way from my parents. Maybe they should have taken a day-trip and marched me down to the nearest post office. Gross negligence really.

        • Te Reo Putake

          My circ’s were clearly different from yours, js. I was also educated in a time when children were taught civics, so I had the advantage of having a basic knowlege of the democratic system. Youe experience may vary.

          • geoff

            Well don’t you sound out of touch, TRP.

            In your day (I visualise you as a crusty old man), I’m sure that a sound argument could be mounted as to why you should vote. A time when all kiwis (maybe not Maori) had some skin in the game.

            Contrast that with today’s environment and you should be able to sympathise with David H’s children. The best you can offer them is a referendum that isn’t even politically binding!

          • fatty

            TRP, You were brought up in a generation where as a 25 year old, you had political voice. Gen X & Y have no political voice under the main parties, and the smaller parties limited influence means that our young have been depoliticised.

            That parenting failure comment was fucked…a Paula Bennett comment. And then you followed it up below by suggesting negativity is a problem.
            FFS Te Reo Putake…not even Paula Bennett would combine the poor parenting myth with a demand for aspirational thinking. Those neolib memes are never said together…John Key calls for less negativity and Bennett promotes poor parenting.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

              David can pick up a couple of enrolment forms any time he wants. He can then have a chat with his kids and try to convince them that even a flawed democracy is better than no democracy at all and they should take the opportunity to enroll.

              Or he can sit on the sidelines and moan. It’s his choice.

              btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

              • fatty

                btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

                If we look at the 2011 results for Ótaki, the National and Labour MPs collected 89% of the votes. Both National and Labour offer youth nothing. That’s right, nothing. In fact National and Labour have created a system that excludes teenagers, both economically and politically.

                I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

                Lucky you, you lived in a time when the Tories had an opposition. You lived in a time when Labour invested in youth, rather than punished them.
                Looking at the 2011 results, youth in Otaki would be wasting their time voting for the Green MP. Or they could politicise themselves and work hard to oust the Blue Tory and bring in the Red Tory…how would this change their lives?

                • geoff

                  +1, fatty

                • David H

                  Hey asshole I NEVER said I was opting out. I did say that I would NOT vote Labour this time I tick Green. What I did say is that I CANNOT force my teens (again) Who are now young adults with all the privileges and pain that, that brings. And I Will not force anyone to do anything against their will. It’s still a free country, for now.

        • lprent

          I was at university working on Holyoake’s farm in Taupo (as part of the year off before Uni) when I turned 18, a long long way from Auckland. I enrolled then and voted just before I did basic at Waiouru. Didn’t vote National.

          But yeah, my parents had nothing to do with it….

          • Ron

            That explains it. I often wondered why we needed that nice road to Holyoake’s ‘farm’. Obviously he was worried that his farm workers should have a nice smooth road to travel to work on.

          • Wayne

            Basic: National Service or TF? Have you get the Defence Service Medal yet? I hope so, since you have earned it. By the way I did TF Intake 3.

      • CV - Real Labour 4.1.2

        Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David.

        You’re more than a bit of an asshole you know that? Seems to me that David H’s only crime here is that he’s taught his kids to think independently for themselves too well.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.

          • CV - Real Labour

            Did you just call someone’s parenting style “relentlessly negative”. You’re really something you know that.

            • felixviper

              Don’t forget poisonous. What a fuckwit.

            • Te Reo Putake

              No I didn’t call his parenting style “relentlessly negative”. I called David H “relentlessly negative”. You’ve read his comments so you know what I’m talking about, CV.

              And felix, I know you’re still smarting from being proved wrong yesterday, but there is no reason to call David that. Grow up, why doncha!

              • felixviper

                Eh? Where was that?

                Pretty sure you said his negativity had poisoned his children. There’s no way to interpret that other than calling his parenting poisonous.

                You’ve developed a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things and then tying yourself in semantic knots to pretend you didn’t. Get used to being called on it, dickhead, you’re just smart enough to have fun with words but you’re a long way from being able to use them to actually convince anyone of much.

                • TheContrarian

                  Ha! Felix telling someone else they have a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things. Wow.

                  • felixviper

                    Correct, but did you read the rest of the sentence? It’s not really about the shitty things, lots of people say shitty things.

                    Takes a special kind of fuckwit to immediately turn around and deny saying them though.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Poor felix, comprehension problems two days in a row. That’s most unusual!

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t think anyone’s having trouble comprehending you TRP, you’re being quite transparent.

                      But just to make sure, are you now denying that you accused David of poisoning his children with relentless negativity or not?

              • fatty

                So you’re sticking to your ‘be more positive’ and ‘bad parenting is the problem’ position?

                I’m not saying David H is negative…but I think its time we installed some ‘negativity’ into our children.
                Be careful when you promote positivity, aspirationalism and personal responsibility…have a look at the MTV reality shows for the results of this kind of thinking

                • felixviper

                  TRP is a person who accuses someone of poisoning their children with relentless negativity and then insists that he never passed comment on that person’s parenting style.

                  It should come as no surprise that a mind capable of holding such thoughts simultaneously would also be prone to sticking with them indefinitely.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I suggested it as a possibility because David H is relentlessly negative on this site. I know nothing else about him than what he writes here, so my comment was based on that knowledge. If his comments here are reflected at home, then it is obviously a possibility that it has rubbed off on them. Children learn from their parents, both the good and the bad.

                    Parents do not always give their kids a good impression or always give them good advice. That doesn’t make them bad parents overall and you should be ashamed of suggesting that David is a bad parent based on your misreading of my comment.

                    • felixviper

                      So now you’re accusing me of calling David a bad parent.

                      Care to quote where I did that?

                    • fatty

                      Nice one TRP.
                      You can start rehashing your comments with the words ‘possibility’ ‘do not always’ & ‘suggested’ if it makes you feel better.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV. I, quite literally, raised it as a possibility, not as a fact.

                    • felixviper

                      It was the only possibility you suggested.

                      The context (an alternate suggestion to CV’s directly above) is there for all to see.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And I expand on the possibilities in another comment. And other commenters do so as well. So what? I don’t resile from the possibility I raised. In fact, to be explicit, I think it is a parent’s duty to educate their children. As David rightly points out, a parent cannot force kids to do much of anything these days, but, then, I wasn’t suggesting force, anyway.

                    • fatty

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV.

                      I was referring to this comment …the one where you attempt to tread quietly backwards from your ignorant accusations aimed at David H

                      Try an apology

          • Scintilla

            “Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.”

            That’s a deeply offensive comment, TRP. Makes you look like a small-minded, mean-spirited, nasty piece of work.

      • David H 4.1.3

        Why call it a Parenting Failure??? They are 19 and 17 they are considered adults in every aspect of their lives. Drive a Car Buy Shit on HP and go broke. They can Drink Smoke Join the Army /Police/Navy. But these like the Airforce are being gutted by the Nacts, And the lines for even the most basic job is in the hundreds. And all they hear is Silence from Shearer on All the crap Key’s pulling, and they don’t see any alternative to the morons in power. Mana and The Greens are too small to ever Govern alone, unfortunately, So if it means voting in a bunch of self serving ‘old guys, to get out other self serving ‘old’ guys, they say Why bother, they’re all the same. Nothing to do with parenting at all.

        Now Shut up and join the 21st century, the days of telling a teen what to do are long fucking gone! And they signed the Anti asset thing, as did I, if you really must know. And the reason was because it’s for the good of ALL, and not the for the good of a few greedy pricks.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Good on them for signing the petition. But as they aren’t on the electoral roll, their signatures don’t count for anything. They’ve wasted their time and the time of the petition organisers.

          You’re the adult, David. They look to you for guidance, and always will, even when you are an old, old man. However, in political matters, it appears the negativity you feel really does stop you giving them good advice. That is a parenting failure, as I see it. If you are telling them that they will never succeed, that’s its all too tough and they should stay disengaged from society, then you are bright enough to know how that is likely to play out.

          However, if they are engaged enough to want to sign the petition*, then why aren’t you suggesting they go on the roll, so their effort counts? Not just because it’s a legal requirement, but because they do have an influence. They do have a say. They do have a vote. If they are not put off from exercising their right, that is.

          * The petition still needs signatures, folks. I’m told a few thousand more are needed to cover for people like David’s kids who signed but aren’t on the roll or failed to give an accurate address.

          • David H

            Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

            As to being negative Have you been asleep since the NACTS took power???? the biggest negativity I have seen has come from the Labour benches, because they don’t even talk about whats wrong with this country, unlike the people in here, and if I am negative and you don’t like it, Tough shit. NZ has been in Negative mode for the last 6 years.

            • fatty

              Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

              What argument did I bring that is no longer valid?

  5. just saying 5

    So, if there is an appetite for social democracy the Greens and Te Mana will ‘soak it up’?

    It’s really just a coincidence that the tribe of voters who would benefit from a change from National to Labour-led, under the current “centre left” regime is the comfortable middle-class* And this iwi just happens to be the one that the party powerbrokers, and all the MPs and their advisors belong to, associate and socialise with, listen to all but exclusively.

    And looking after these special people, puffing up their pillows, pandering to their predjudices, just happens to be the best way of furthering the interests of all New Zealanders. It is in fact the only way.

    It’s really just a pity there’s no alternative.

    *People as yet untouched by the depresssion other than by a growing sense of unease….

    • Olwyn 5.1

      What you are talking about is a party world view dominated by courtiers and careerists, who either want the party to deliver them a cool job among “those in the know” or who want to transform the party’s focus to be better aligned with their own ambitions. Hollow men stuff. I think any party is vulnerable to this when it loses light of what it is supposed to stand for. I notice, on the odd occasion when I hear Matthew Hooton on RNZ, that the “centre” he speaks of is the centre of 2007; the centre he still occupies, and from which many who think they are middle class have since been turfed. In fact I think that a first step toward becoming electable as a Labour Party might be to end Matthew Hooton’s contract if he has one, or stop talking to him if his advice comes free. His conception of a centre left party is in fact a watered down centre right party. Furthermore, he is the enemy of conviction politics because such politics have little need for middlemen such as himself.

  6. geoff 6

    1) Hammer the Nat’s: Dotcom has done a great job, as have the Greens. Labour needs to pull its weight and not allow GCSB videotape debacles to happen again.

    2)Have better policy: Yeah like properly costed housing policy. Labour, get your ducks in a row before presenting policy. Also, R0b, shifting to the left is completely doable right now. You just need leaders who are competent and who are truely left, not cardboard cutouts.

    3)Turn out the vote: NZer’s only vote out a party, not vote one in. Is that the line? If that carries any truth then this point ties into point 1) Hammer the Nats, so turning the vote out entails getting the electorate angry at the Nats, rather than getting them angry about those bloody bludgers

    4)Cooperate cooperate cooperate!: Totally agree. What’s happening with Shane Jones’ having a go at the Greens? Also, I’ve heard that Shearer has been bagging Green’s housing policy. If so, not a smart move.

    The Labour leadership would do well to listen R0b here, they need to improve their performance a great deal and cease cutting their nose off to spite their face.

  7. Ron 7

    In my opinion Labour needs solid policies and most of those policies do need to be left of centre.
    The policies need some boldness. Wish washy will not cut it.
    I would suggest
    1. Get rid of SOE’s and move back to Government Departments.
    Electricity should a full Government Department Stop the silly split models. One Department responsible for all Electricity generation and Distribution.
    Housing back as a Government Department. It should have a firm policy to help NZer’s into housing.
    if private firms cannot build quality affordable housing then the Government should do it
    Consider using the American system of HUD & HEW, It makes a lot of sense to have a minister responsible for Health/Education/Welfare as the three areas are intrinsically connected. If there is a failing in any one area it will affect the other two. If people do not have good health there is little chance they will get good education, Likewise it is pointless to consider Housing with Urban Development. They are connected and should move together.
    Dump the Area Health Boards and bring control directly under Health Department. One point of focus for all health matters

    2. Transport. Move Rail permanent way and train control and Roads infrastructure under a single authority. Rail would pay a fee for use of permanent way the same as road transport operators already do. It would be the job of the authority to consider best use of money and ensure that both road and rail have access to all parts of country. The Railways would then be responsible for providing good reliable transport rolling stock and a service that meets the need of New Zealanders

    3. Social: Announce a full Royal Commission into Gambling in NZ. To focus on the the whole subject including whether we have casinos at all if if we do what controls should be imposed on them.
    What are the benefits and harms of gambling. Should private gambling be banned?

    4. Alcohol. It is well past time that we look at the harm that alcohol causes in society. Might be well worth an enquiry to look at the whole subject with a guarantee of action on recommendations. Do we really want bottle stores on every corner. Watching the ‘Sevens’ footage last night one would have to question why any civilized country would want to pander to people that just drink to get wasted and cause mayhem in the process.

    5. Broadcasting. Come up with a proper Broadcasting policy, support a people owned Radio and TV system that gets back to the inform, educate & entertain of previous years. Ensure that private radio/tv operators cannot hog the system to detriment of the public. Private Radio should; be limited to one or two genres per company. It is stupid to allow two large companies to own just about every radio station in NZ. Let Radio network have a talk and a music network that is it. Someone other company can have some other mix. Likewise with Media Works. We might then get operators willing to broadcast more fringe areas of music. It seems amazing that we have no private radio that offer classical music, no country or blues stations, no jazz etc etc.
    SKY television should be regulated and some of its profits should go into the system to provide funds for NZ on air.
    It should not be allowed to run both a pay and a free to air channels.
    The Government channel broadcast system should be allowed to compete in the pay TV area by marketing a FreeView+ which would be chargeable
    Channels such as BBC, ABC should be rebroadcast as a chargeable service.
    Government Broadcasting should have a charter and it should be structured in such a way to guarantee freedom from government interference.
    Radio should be moved to a digital platform now. This could be used to encourage a wider range of broadcasters.
    Kordia should own the Fibre in NZ and licence the use of such fibre,

    These are just a few ideas that would be good for Labour to consider when making its policies but along with new ideas we need new blood in the party. The old guard needs to be out of office by next election with a new fresh people with new ideas. Michelle Boag managed to do this for National but Labour seems reluctant to draw up party lists to ensure the deadwood gets dumped. Likewise with electorate seats. We need good strong candidates selected not because they have friends in the hire achy but because they have good policies ideas and can articulate them to the public. It would be good to start pressuring some of the older electorate members to stand down before the election. Good chance to get new people into House.

    Enough for now

    • marsman 7.1

      Great stuff Ron, makes good sense.

    • fatty 7.2

      I agree Ron…

      I like the way you have pointed out the failure of the PPPs in points 1 & 2.
      Then 3 & 4 cover gambling and alcohol – two often forgotten issues that cause poverty and violence in NZ
      Your point 5 is also useful if we want to resist the dumbing down of society. I haven’t seen Seven Sharp, but here is a review of how sadistic it really is.

    • Wayne 7.3

      Very pre 1984.

      There is not a chance in hell that Labour would abandon SOE’s and go back to Govt Departments. And it would be crazy to do so. By and large they sell services in the market, which is not what Govt Departments do.

      For instance electricity can be bought from Trust Power, Vector and Contact, along with Mighty River, Meridian and Genesis. That is why the Govt is going for a partial privatization. The SOE’s are similar to their private (Contact) or mixed ownership (Trust and Vector) competitors. Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

      Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange. You would see a better port, more able to meet the competition from Tauranga. But I know this is heresy on this site!

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.1

        Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

        Simple: to destroy competition in the electricity market, and in fact, to destroy the electricity market itself, and in doing so supply power to homes and businesses at cost.

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.2

        Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange.

        No, you destroy competition between ports, and instead have an amalgamated public entity which owns and runs a co-ordinated port strategy for all of NZ.

    • David H 7.4

      I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet and also after building all the infrastructure back up to legislate to keep the Rights thieving paws off of them. As for Alcohol Personally for me you could ban it I have seen first hand that damage it can do. Also stop the complete waste of money criminalising people because they want to grow and smoke a weed. A weed that’s one of the best pain relievers out there. NZ needs to have an unhassled medical marijuana scheme as well. We need a benefit system that does not vilify the people who need help, and the has a payment that is above the poverty line. a system that helps people back into work not one that hinders at every step. They need to have a taxation scheme that’s fair that taxes at all levels of income. More public transport and less motorways.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet

        Just require 50% of the shares.

        Pay the current owners a fair price.

        Done by this time next month.

  8. marsman 8

    Labour, the Greens and Mana need to collectively jump on Paula Bennett the moment she opens her mouth so as to dispel, refute and expose her lies about Welfare. Ditto Hekia Parata about Education. Ditto Bill English about Finance. Ditto Steven Joyce about the Economy, Tertiary Education. Ditto Gerry Brownlee about Transport, Christchurch rebuild. Stop the lying scum dead in their tracks don’t give room to move.

    • Ron 8.1

      I am not sure that achieves anything. Instead of jumping on Government members we should be shouting our great policies over and over so that public knows exactly what we stand for. Attacking anyone tells a lot about the attacker but not much else.

      • CV - Real Labour 8.1.1

        I think you draw up a message calendar (I’m sure Shearer’s highly paid staff have started one, although it seems largely blank right now) and schedule time and effort to attacking the Govt, and time and effort to promoting great alternatives.

        • billbrowne

          I don’t think they really need to spend any time and effort on attacking the government – everybody can see their shit already.

          Now’s the time to ignore that sideshow and promote their own vision

    • vto 8.2

      Agreed. Call them out each and every time.

      In the same way Key called out to Goff “show me the money”, grab an easy line and apply it over and over and over and over to each of Bennett and English and Key etc. Get aggressive ffs (and to dispel a seemingly common myth in NZ, aggression is not violence, aggression is not nasty, aggression is merely assertive, bold, energetic).

    • felixviper 8.3

      marsman, in order to be able to do that, Labour would have to fundamentally disagree with National in all the areas you mention.

      It won’t be very effective to shout “YOUR IMPLEMENTATION IS SLIGHTLY FLAWED!”

      • Naturesong 8.3.1

        You could use a slogan like … “Wave good bye to higher taxes, not your loved ones”.
        Worked for National.

        Reduce GST back to 12.5 (or 10%), and exempt food etc, and outline policies which would attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand ….

        • Grant

          You have got to be joking the only thing that will attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand is much higher wages. No government either National or Labour/Green can makes this happen only more growth in higher paying jobs and a more highly qualified population can make this happen. A higher GST is better because it catches tourist dollars, people who don’t pay tax and people who spend more than they earn. If anything we should raise it higher and cut the income tax rate more but only the bottom rate.

  9. The opposition parties should work on getting New Zealand refugees* in Australia and elsewhere to vote, there are at least 565,000 New Zealanders living overseas. They would vote Labour, NZ First or the Greens as they were forced out of New Zealand by the shit economics of the National party.

    *Yes refugees (perhaps political refugees considering the state of the welfare system in New Zealand), because New Zealanders have few rights in Australia in terms of welfare, employment and education.

    • Skinny 9.1

      It’s interesting you point out the oversea’s vote. Last year a close friend who now lives( 18 years) in Switzerland came home for a holiday, she was appalled at the low wages, cost of living, house prices. She is ashamed of not voting previously & is next time. She is as i remember a swing voter, in the short time she was here & following NZ online  she cannot stand Key & the damage National are causing, however  Shearer.. she liked something about him. So there we go Shearer has a likable attraction to flowery voters. 

    • Grant 9.2

      Another rubbish post they have been pouring out New Zealand long before this National government came to power. This government has not done much to reverse the trend but to blame it just on National is just stupid. Its about wages something governments have very or no control over.

  10. Why try to grow the left vote,when one of those in the drivers seat is and has ignored
    left voters now and in the past.
    Labour are now firmly of the ‘light blue’ hue and have no credibilty of being on the left.

  11. CV - Real Labour 11

    And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

    So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it.

    Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis, and the reason why is simple.

    People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

    But they don’t want to see the Labour Stage Show performed as a cover by the Greens. Or by Hone Harawira. They’re just not The Real Thing.

    Labour voters like the deep red symbology and mana of Coke The Real Thing, not that crappy stuff in a Green labelled bottle which admittedly tastes quite good when you try it but you wouldn’t ever buy with your own money because it’s just not The Real Thing.

    So what happens when the Coke The Real Thing Company decides that its future is in a reformulated but milder, more middling, better focus grouped NEW COKE? Well, a bunch of its die hard fans get pissed off and start complaining loudly and actively inside and outside the company. And a lot of its other customers say nothing much but quietly stay at home and stop buying your product. A few might start buying that shit in the Green labelled bottles (and find that its not too bad, even though its definitely not The Real Thing).

    In other words, the critical flaw with using the Greens and Mana (and the Maori Party) as stalking horses to test out the polling viability of being a properly left wing Labour Party is that they are NOT THE LABOUR PARTY. What you are missing here is the vital scientific tool of blinding. Put the Greens Housing policy in a Red Labour Folder and give it to the focus group to examine. My bet is that its score will be SKY HIGH. It’s what they expect from a Real Labour Party and people like their expectations to be met.

    So while Labour continues it’s dalliance with being a centrist party because that is the sensible thing to do according to its strategists, it’s ceeded a full 20% of the electoral vote to: the Greens, Mana, the Maori Party, and especially, to the biggest party of all of those: The I Don’t Vote Party.

    • Ron 11.1

      yes, yes Yes

    • r0b 11.2

      Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis,

      Morning CV! Yes of course – that’s why we’re here…

      and the reason why is simple

      If I may likewise raise an issue – the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

      The center-left formula works (and doesn’t cannibalise the votes of other Left parties). I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

      • vto 11.2.1

        I don’t think he is saying hard left, he is saying true labour left instead of mealy mouthed watered down left. Clark imo was a bit of each.

      • The Fan Club 11.2.2

        Both of you are wrong, I think. The last Labour government was barely centre-left; it didn’t actually do much on a large scale to deal with the legacy of Rogernomics. The next Labour government will have to deal with that legacy. But it’s not going to be hard left either.

        I think the how-far-left question is a bit pointless. Especially look at KiwiBuild. Bold policy, not exactly hard left, but very much breaking with post-Rogernomics orthodoxy.

        Jordan Carter (may he return to us swiftly!) used to describe the problem of the Labour party under Clark as being a liberal party with a social democratic membership, and the problem now being how to turn that liberal party into a social democratic party.

        • Skinny

          I figured you followed your mum into social credit principles & probably still carry their torch mum’s Fanny ‘.’

          • The Fan Club

            And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.

            • felixviper

              And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out.

              • Polish Pride

                Regardless of what you think of TFC or his mum, his idea is important as is they way you respond to it. The mentality of your approach towards him is the sort of thing that will switch some/many voters off, If you are serious about wanting Labour in power then you need to listen to peoples ideas and treat them and their ideas with a great deal more respect than you just have. You don’t have to agree with the idea, but you should treat it and the person behind it with respect.

                “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                There are a number of people who have come on here because they see things aren’t working and are looking for solutions and like mided people. Instead they get belitted and insulted. Then they go away and tell 10 other people etc.
                But then perhaps you don’t understand the impotance of a brand and how easy it is to damage it.

                • felixviper

                  I don’t think you realise that “The Fan Club” is specifically here to cause damage to the very brand you’re trying to protect.

                  ps why are you bringing TFC’s mum into it? Bit creepy mate.

                  Actually how about you come out on front street and tell me exactly what I’ve said to TFC that’s so bloody controversial.

                  • Polish Pride

                    I should probably have put the reply under skinny’s, but it was directed at both of you.
                    A long time ago I was a National voter.. My preference is now left but I see pretty clearly that they will not solve the problems either. The point is that in life I have changed my position on things many times as new information has come to light or an experience in life has changed my thinking. The thing is you have the opportunity to change the thinking of every R winger that comes on here. It may not be today, It may not be tomorrow but I can gaurantee if you attack the person you will never change their thinking…

                    I can see how the world can become a much better place either through the Right being in power or the Left. Through the right it will be through unlimited greed and excess and the eventual collapse of the system that will probably result in a lot of pain and destruction along the way.
                    Through the left it will be through a gradual transition to a much better and fairer system. It should be far easier to change someone from righ to left than it would be the reverse…

                    Don’t waste those opportunities.

                    • felixviper

                      So your answer to my question is…

                      ps interesting that you identify TFC as a right-winger.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No don’t identify TFC as any particular persuasion.
                      What was so controversial that you said to him … nothing much

                      His comment – “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                      Your comment in response …
                      “And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out”

                      Your comment does not make what he has said untrue… in fact it could be taken as accepting what he has said as true but not caring that some on this site are like that.
                      Here’s a question for you was your response adding value to the conversation ?

                      By the way I’m not here to protect any brand at best I see Labour as the lesser of two evils (with the exception of the last 3 policies announced so perhaps they are starting to get on the right track) and that is still not a reason to vote for them in my book.

                    • felixviper

                      Forgive me if I was mistaken in assuming I knew what you meant, but I took all that stuff about not missing an opportunity to sell left-wing ideas to right-wingers to mean that you thought TFC was presenting such an opportunity.

                      As for what I think I might have achieved, probably not much. But TFC has been here every day posing as a devoted Labour Party member and concern-trooling the hell out of these threads, so maybe a few more people are aware of that now thanks to you and I 😉

                      But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that I treat everyone with different ideas the same way I treat obvious trools like TFC.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I agree Polish. It doesn’t really matter how Fan Club gets treated so much as it matters that hundreds of people will read the thread. Many of them will just see personal attacks and get turned off instantly. Unless the purpose of The Standard is to start and maintain an exclusive club, we should be careful what we post. I try to be and think I’m generally successful except with deranged conspiracy fruitcakes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The only answer here is to accept moderation to a somewhat tighter standard. Which I would support because it would turn the Standard into an instant MSM hit and quadruple its exposure.

            • Skinny

              Ok Fan Club no offense intended, just got a tad annoyed with some of your belittling comments yesterday. 

              Point taken Polish Pride.  🙂     

            • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

              The Fan Club
              One nutter doesn’t make a (basket) case such as you have described. However it takes one to know one if we’re going to trade cliche insults.

        • geoff

          Gee TFC, you’re so politically savvy. We’ll see how far that attitude gets us when unemployment breaks 10%.

          • The Fan Club

            What the fuck you idiot I’m on your fucking side here.

            • geoff

              You’re not on my side when you’re slagging off The Standard and trying to claim it is irrelevant.


              The Standard is front and centre now. I think Annette King’s presence here yesterday could mean the caucus vote was very close and that ABCers feel they need to engage with us here to save their skins.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous. Some of us have been badgering the Labour leadership since the Clare Cullen bullying incident about the need to engage with the Standard in a mature way. I’d like to think that maybe the penny has dropped and that they now see that TS is here to stay and reflects valid left opinions that they need to listen to. Here’s hoping, anyway.

                • geoff

                  Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous

                  How could you possibly know that?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Ever since Shearer hobbled Cunliffe at the conference the numbers have swung back behind the leader. There hasn’t been any sly leaking of the numbers yesterday, which suggests to me that the most, if not all, voted confidence in Shearer. If there had been a protest vote of any substance, this most leak prone of caucus’s would have let the cat out of the bag by now, don’t you reckon?

                    • geoff

                      Quite the contrary, I think that if it had been a unanimous vote in favour of Shearer then the leadership would have told the papers.

                      Considering that it was an anonymous vote and that only the whip should know the result (I cynically believe the leadership knows the result) then I don’t think it is plausible that MPs who voted against Shearer would have leaked yet.

                    • felixviper

                      Indeed Geoff. TRP is making some huge assumptions – or perhaps misdirections is a better word – about where the leaks in this most leak-prone caucus come from.

                    • geoff

                      Exactly, felixviper. The leaking usually comes from ducky and why would he leak a result that undermines shearer?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Good points, both of you. However, the leaking is not all from one camp and I really don’t think that a serious anti-Shearer vote could be hidden. There doesn’t even appear to be the usual beat ups on the right wing sites or speculation in the media about the vote. Some carping about the numbers not being released, of course, but, honestly, if there was a close vote (and remember close only means a dozen or so MP’s saying no in the 60% plus one system), then I think we’d know about it.

                      Nah, my gut feeling is that Cunliffe gave a broad signal in Parliament last week to those with lingering hopes not to bother rocking the boat. At least for the time being.

                    • felixviper

                      Quite possibly true. Still makes me wonder why ducky wouldn’t leak a unanimous or near-unanimous result though.

                    • geoff

                      Because it wasn’t unanimous felix. I have recently heard that it was very much not unanimous. 😉

      • Olwyn 11.2.3

        “People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%.’

        That is not a list of hard left values.

        • The Fan Club

          No, but are you backing those commitments up with money? Where does that money come from?

          • vto

            From the 4 million souls who inhabit these islands, where do you think?

          • CV - Real Labour

            The only three places that it can come from. Taxes, borrowing and printing.

          • felixviper

            It’s the same money your lot are spending, TFC. Just spent on better stuff.

            • The Fan Club

              How? Where’s the money coming from and where’s it going? What are you cutting from the present public expenditure or are you raising taxes?

              • vto

                All sorts of changing and massaging and re-prioritising obviously.

                Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                you ask some odd questions

                • felixviper

                  Odd questions for a supposed leftie Labour party member, sure.

                  Not that odd for a NPRU trool though.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                  That’s a classic line, I like it.

                • The Fan Club

                  Handwave handwave handwave. That’s a Romney-esque set of sums that don’t add up vto. Put the cuts on the table, or explain the tax raises you want Labour to campaign for.

                  This is the problem with the Standard comments section: there’s no coherent program to engage with. What should Labour be doing? Magic, apparently.

                  I mean, how on earth is: let’s make the sums add up, let’s make sure our promises are ones we can actually follow through on, a failure to be insufficiently left? Or is the problem that you guys don’t have a grip on reality-based politics, and being forced to confront these issues is too unpleasant to handle?

                  • Um Fan Club who is making up any signs? Olwyn is talking about some basic principles. I have never seen a Labour Administration spend money that it did not have.

                    I had you placed as a staffer, maybe you are but in a different party.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      If the LP employs this idiot, the party is in worse shape than even Hooten would dream of.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Honestly I really am not a staffer micky. Not quite sure why y’all are so obsessed with the old Fan Club, I don’t really give a fuck who y’all are.

                      Of course Labour’s never spent money it doesn’t have. That’s cause we’ve spent the past century jumping on people who want us to make unfunded promises. Find the money for the promises: put up or shut up. And you want us to start chucking that away so instead we can be “conviction politicians” or whatever the hell this week’s codeword for Cunliffe is?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      That’s precious, Fanny, it’s not as if Key and English aren’t spending $300M per week that they don’t have.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yes because clearly Labour should model ourselves on the Nats? WTF? Are you guys all complete idiots? Labour will need to put forward a credible economic platform. That means no spending that isn’t costed and accounted for. And that means if you want to start splashing money around, you’ve got to be raising taxes, or cutting other spending.

                    • felixviper

                      Enough of the “we” and “ourselves” TFC. That ship sailed a while ago.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                    • vto

                      same amount of money silly, just spent on different things. Net effect on amount of money spinning in economy = nil. As for which ones, don’t ask me I don;’t make the decisions, although I am quite happy to.

                      Anyway, derailer, this mini-thread was about values and guiding principles. Gotta them right first dontcha big fulla? Eh? or not?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                      Clue: you’re yet another one in the wrong party.

              • felixviper

                I’m not doing either TFC, I’m not the govt or the opposition. I’m just pointing out the vacuous nature of your questioning is all.

                How about you ask the same vacuous question of the National govt and tell me what answers you get. Hint: they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.

                • TheContrarian

                  “they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.”

                  Indeed – I am no longer smoking Dunhills and bought a pack of rollies the other day for the first time in years. I only smoke about two packs a week but that is $36 whereas $40 of rolling tobacco will keep in smoke for 2+ weeks.

                  • felixviper

                    Yep, and there’s also ACC, Vehicle Registration, RUCs, Petrol Levies etc etc.

                    Oh and the 20% rise in GST of course.

                    Wave goodbye to higher taxes. lolz indeed.

                    • TheContrarian

                      It was sneaky political rhetoric:

                      “Oh I only meant income taxes”

                      Part of the game unfortunately

                  • bad12

                    Free yourself from the theft by stealth taxes of this Slippery lead National Government,

                    Dig a garden and grow your own, it is legal,

                    And vote Green of course,

                    (note: this has not been an official Green Party campaign note)…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried and failed at gardening. The only think I have kept alive is an anemic looking lemon tree, some odd looking tomatoes and a large San Pedro cactus.
                      When I last tried to grow chillies I wound up with Bell peppers.

                      I do try to visit the farmers markets though. For the same price as a red pepper and a cucumber at New World I can get a weeks worth of veggies.

                    • bad12

                      Your problem then is that you have failed to feed the soil the nutrition it needs to grow ‘stuff’,

                      A well fed soil will grow anything and i mean ANYTHING, the soil in my main garden was absolute s**t dug out from under my house, a year of feeding this soil everything from the kitchen scraps to cut up rolly paper packets and supermarket receipts along with every weed i have ever pulled from anywhere on my property has allowed me to become self sufficient,

                      My addiction is far more severe than yours, 100 grams a week, economics would dictate that i make best use of the garden to grow most of what is the greatest expense, thus freeing up monies which allow me to buy more of what is less expensive,

                      To address your previous comment: its just sneaky political rhetoric, yes you are correct,

                      However, sneaky rhetoric(and vote buying) have little detrimental effects upon the middle ground comfy with their degrees and the employment this buys them, the detrimental effects are actually felt by those on the income brackets below that comfy middle class,

                      And please don’t give me the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS because any fool can see that for what it is, bullshit…

                    • bad12

                      PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried doing that too – bought a ton of soil, fertiliser etc.
                      I am not blessed with a green thumb it would seem.
                      I’ll try again sometime in the future.

                      I wasn’t going to give you the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS.
                      I think everyone should try for higher education but for reason of personal fulfillment.

                      But I realise that isn’t for everyone

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      One major success of having done the right thing with your soil is shedloads of WORMS. If you manage to get it to the stage to get that going, you’re on a roll.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES”

                      I am not trying to deflect or spin anything for anyone.

                    • bad12

                      If by Fertilizer you are referring to the chemical variety then that is possibly where the mistake in your ability to grow stuff has occurred,

                      Chemical Fertilizer if applied too liberally will act as a really efficient weed killer which is why you should instead use organic material as ‘food’ for your garden,

                      The rule of thumb being that if it came from nature and has little industrial chemical in it’s composition and will ROT in conjunction with soil and water it will make good ‘food’ for the garden,

                      You cannot over-feed a garden with organic material that has already broken down within the soil of that garden,

                      I have the luxury of growing 1 crop during a 4 month summer window,

                      Having such a long period of down-time in the growing cycle allows me not only to dig what are raised garden beds in a relaxed fashion by simply digging a spade width trench across the width of the garden once a week to bury the scraps,(along with a small bucket of organic compost),

                      That long period of downtime in the growing cycle also allows me to incorporate any weeds i have pulled from elsewhere on the property straight into the garden in the same fashion and allows both the food scraps and the weeds the time needed to break down to the extent necessary to become ‘food’…

                    • bad12

                      PS, if you bought a shitload of soil of the type sold in 40 liter plastic bags that also could be part of your inability to grow stuff,

                      Such soil,full of chemical fertilizer is notorious in an outside garden situation for leaching any growing capability away with each rainfall, it needs a more solid soil mixed in with it so as to ‘hold’ any nutrients introduced in place long enough for any plants to take up such nutrients over their whole growing cycle…

      • CV - Real Labour 11.2.4

        I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

        Well it would have to fall into the category of “action research” 🙂

        the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

        Or could it be more accurately described as centrist (in political-economic terms) + left (in socially liberal terms)? The more I learn about Labour’s changes to the benefits system, and only moderate realignment of the ECA, the less I am inclined to call Clark’s government “centre-left”.

        The political ability of H1, H2 and H3 as a team were quite something. In my view, a lot of Helen Clark voters kept that government in power, but they were not the same as Labour voters, and when she left, they left.

        Also I believe that the massive surge in private debt (and house asset prices) pushing huge amounts of money into the economy lay behind much of that electoral success. Cullen knew what he was doing, exchanging NZ’s public debt for private debt.

      • billbrowne 11.2.5


        Labour won three terms in office going on for 5 years’ ago (and the last election they won was touch and go) so I’m going to say there’s about 8 years’ worth of change in opinion.

        That change is gradual but it’s out there and it’s accelerating – and from what I can see it’s moving away from the tinkering around the edges market driven setting towards more control.

        Now is the time to start talking about an alternative way of doing things. There is still, just, enough power behind the Labour voice to push this – people will sit up and listen if they perceive the voice has credibility.

        I don’t think the Greens have nearly enough credibility amongst the general population to do this.

    • Wayne 11.3

      But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

      In any event the Nats obviously can also do health. It is no longer a natural advantage for the Left. In any event the Left seems to forget that National voters also want a good health service, since most do not have health insurance. Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue. When did you last read of a major health crisis?

      • Scintilla 11.3.1

      • Rhinocrates 11.3.2

        But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

        Possibly most Labour voters, most people even, wouldn’t want “socialism” if it had that name because it has had so much mud smeared over it, but when pressed they would say that they do indeed want health care, weekends, free education for their children and so on – things that are all socialist in origin, but are taken for granted nowadays.

        Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue.

        I get your point there, but the best way to hide a fire is to set off a nuke, even accidentally, and Parata’s been dependable on that front. Nonetheless, Ryall, I have to admit, learned fast from his first stumbling media appearances and understands stealth, spin and media presentation in a way that a lot of other politicians should study. His work only seems apolitical.

    • McFlock 11.4

      People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

      [citation needed]

      • CV - Real Labour 11.4.1

        Nah fuck it. What they really expect is Labour to continue BAU like National, but with a bit of softening around the hard edges and maybe some anaesthetic.

        • McFlock

          Dude, I know someone who voted national in 08 because “it was national’s turn”. When you talk about what “people” in general expect, you need to keep people like that in mind. As well as people who tick random boxes on the day, people who expect labour to follow their habits of the last 25 years, and people who have never heard of Michael Joseph Savage.

          That’s reality. You take the knocks democracy gives, because although it ain’t perfect it’s still the best system anyone’s come up with.

      • felixviper 11.4.2

        Srsly McF?

        • McFlock

          yep, see above.

          Some people expect labour to be truly left wing. But as to what most NZers expect labour to be, who the hell knows.

        • CV - Real Labour

          The majority of people dislike having their toe nails pulled out one by one with pliers and a blowtorch.

          [citation needed]

          • felixviper

            Yep, you’ve got to take into account masochists, and people without toes, and people who have never heard of pliers or blowtorches.

            That’s reality, it ain’t perfect, etc etc.

            • McFlock

              But that analogy is extreme pain directly and obviously caused at the will of a specific individual.

              What about folk who grow up thinking less extreme (but still serious) family violence is normal?
              Or the Stockholm Syndrome, where shared external threats can create strong emotional bonds between offender and hostage?

              Torture’s a funny analogy, but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be nationalise and be damned left wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

              • billbrowne

                If you’d written:

                …but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be de-nationalise and be damned right wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

                in ’83, you’d have been wrong too.

                Step changes can happen, they’ve happened before. I hope one happens soon – in the other direction this time.

                • McFlock

                  I have a slight problem with the logic that a previous unexpected reversal means that “people” a generation later expect a similar reversal any time now. Or that they’de be logically correct to do so (slightly more likely than the Mayan Apocalypse, but still unlikely).

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    Of course. It just means that your steady-as-she-goes complacency is unwarranted.

                    • McFlock

                      If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right.

                      It’s not, so you’re not.

                    • billbrowne

                      “If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right”

                      Oh, so Labour’s most likely partner, the Greens, are going to busily be urging Labour to the right???

                    • McFlock

                      no. the left. So I see no desperate need for change in labour.

                  • billbrowne

                    There are still a lot of “people” of that generation, and earlier one’s around, thank you very much, young man.

                    • McFlock


                      2.4 million aged 40+.
                      1.5 aged 15-39 (ie, not voting 20-odd years ago but likely to soon).
                      Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.

                      So just how many expect Labour to be old-school left wing in 2014?

                    • billbrowne

                      “Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.”

                      Yeah, nats which were around when the nats were more socialist than today’s Labour party.

                    • McFlock

                      So seriously, how many potential labour voters do you think expect labour to be truly left wing? How many even have a rough idea of what that means?

                      I’m not talking about our KB brethren (and usually they are brethren) who scream “C0mmun1st!” at the thought of lightbulbs. How many people actually know of and want NZ implementing free tertiary education and primary healthcare systems and dramatically boosting benefits and the minimum wage, for example?

                    • billbrowne

                      How many do you know that don’t (not counting yourself) ?

                    • McFlock

                      I know a few who believe it’s unaffordable fantasy.
                      I know a few who try not to clutter their minds with politics.
                      And I know a few who simply vote as per their whim on the day (actually, that includes me, but my whims are between labour and everything left thereof, not the same breadth centred straight down the middle)

                    • billbrowne

                      Look, I’m gonna stop arguing with you ’cause you clearly don’t give a shit anyway.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I’ll just sit by waiting for the revolution by the socialist majority in NZ.

                    • felixviper

                      Sit and wait for the revolution? Perhaps it’d be better to methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes.

                      Either sounds better than blindly pretending there’s ‘nothing wrong with Labour’.

                    • McFlock

                      You say “methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes”.

                      Part of that would be pretending that “voters attributing their personal poverty and unemployment to John Key’s macroeconomic policies” is totally as easy and automatic as “connecting the agony in you feet with the guy who just ripped your toenails out with a pair of pliers”.

                      Oh, sorry – you didn’t include “rationally” or “reasonably” as adverbs to describe how one works towards those changes. My mistake.

                    • felixviper

                      Err, no, it’s way harder to connect that because it’s a far more complicated relationship with a lot more moving parts over a much longer time-frame.

                      That’s why “gradual.”

                    • McFlock

                      That seems to imply that the torture analogy CV-RL floated was indeed bullshit, then.

                    • felixviper

                      Yeah. Either that or it implies that it was an exaggerated analogy to make a point rather than a direct equation.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, well I must have missed the point then. That’s the trouble with exaggerated analogies.

                      I thought it was supposed to illustrate that people associate “labour” with classically socialist ideals as naturally, fundamentally and automatically as they feel pain. Which is bollocks.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Torture’s a funny analogy

                What analogy? You thought I was using an analogy?

                You think the children stuck in the bottom 10% of the socioeconomic heap aren’t suffering permanent, irreversible psychological and physical damage to their health today, tomorrow, and in fact, every day?

                • McFlock

                  Analogy. Look it up. In that I don’t believe very many of them are being blowtorched and having toenails removed with pliers, and if a few are then I reckon it’s unlikely Key is the one doing it to them.

                  And yeah, I agree about the permanent irreversible damage. But my point is that it’s pretty abstract to connect that with mr smile&wave on telly.

  12. To add to my post,The greens are the genuine left,they walk the talk.

    • kiwicommie 12.1

      True that, next year the greens will get my party vote.

      • Ron 12.1.1

        The strange thing about Greens is that so many people seem to think they are a left wing party but talking to them I see a party closer to National than Labour. A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government. Governments have so many other areas they have to heed when they govern that pragmatism is an essential key to forming a good government. If Greens were somehow to become a government they would suddenly find many of their supporters attacking them for not staying true Green and that would be a novel experience for them.

        • Colonial Weka

          The GP already has experience of being challenged by its voters for not staying true enough to its values. Why do you think Bradford and Tanczos left? Because they were unhappy with the direction that the GP were taking. Which was to attract more of the middle NZ vote. Which puts paid to the other lie in your post, that the GP are fringe. You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

          • geoff

            You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

            You can if you trick them. Don Brash (With help from the Labour party’s newist strategist, Matthew Hooton!) got awfully close…

        • fatty

          A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government.

          I hear this kind of statement often, such as…the minor parties can promote unrealistic policies because they’ll never get in.
          I have to disagree.
          Take Mana or the Greens for example. I am yet to see anyone show me how any of their policies are unrealistic. So long as their policies are taken together, they are not only possible, but also preferable. They usually depend on tax increases, and that is where they are supposedly unrealistic, and that is because Labour have normalised a neoliberal tax structure.
          To paraphrase Zizek…he says that the end of the world is more likely than the end of capitalism…we can imagine an asteroid ending civilisation, but adjusting our society to provide more equality, free education, better health systems is seen as impossible.

          There is nothing wrong with any of the Greens or Mana’s policies…the hegemony of neoliberal economics makes leftwing economics appear Utopian. Therein lies another danger for Labour if they chase the central vote…the more Labour embrace neoliberism, the more normalised it becomes, the more extreme Mana and the Greens become, the more ‘dangerously radical’ a coalition with Mana+Greens appears, the more centist voters will avoid Labour.
          Labour has been heading down this road for a while and we think it will lead us somewhere…time to pull a u-turn.

        • Naturesong

          If you have a look at the Greens Policies, they’re pretty firmly Social Democratic.
          I’d like them to be more Green than they are, but I also accept that they need to appeal to a wide range of people to have a voice.
          I have hopes that one day the New Zealand population will realize that the economy is a subset of the environment, rather than the current thinking that the environment is simply another overhead to be costed or ignored.

        • bad12

          Ha ha ha, you see a Green Party that is closer to National then Labour, best you get your eyes tested,

          But while i am having a giggle do you want to explain the why of your assertion…

        • Fortran


  13. shorts 13

    Labour has the policies – needs to articulate them a little better

    But the thing that could ensure victory – solid job creation ideas/schemes – the hands on govt thing I can see gaining traction if instead of “we will grow jobs” type speeches there were concrete plans, costed etc – plus there is no shame or reason why the govt cannot be the employer (chch rebuild, fixing up the infrastructure in the regions – road etc left to fall apart currently)

    And a voice of hope, not pie in the sky stuff but solid practical hope

  14. Blue 14

    You speak as if ‘Labour moving to the left’ means that Labour is a centre-left party and people are trying to move it hard left.

    Labour at the moment is actually a centre-right party, and people are trying to move it back to its natural home.

    The popularity of KiwiBuild shows that Kiwis still want what a real centre-left party can offer – using the power of the state to achieve things that the market can’t.

    That’s what I predict will appeal to non-voters, who of late have seen two similar big parties being all hands-off, tinkering around the edges, ‘the market will provide’ – and they think ‘so what is the fucking point of government if they don’t DO anything?’

    Oh yeah, and getting a leader people can connect with would help. So would getting a competent team who don’t spend all their time stabbing each other in the back and get their message out there.

  15. Pete 15

    Don’t forget Christchurch. The city swung heavily towards National and the need for certainty in difficult times. They’re now getting fed up with the government – in respect of the schools, the rebuild and the Environment Canterbury shenanigans. The “let’s build houses” mantra will resonate there too (and with the construction industry, who will want to keep busy as the rebuild winds down there).

    Keep an eye on the local body elections down there this year too.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 15.1

      Pete 15
      Brownlee has delayed a meeting in Christchurch so he can question long-term plans and finance for them. I wonder if he is heavying them – because he can.

  16. TheContrarian 16

    I also agree that moving further to left won’t help. Labour needs to capture the moderates (of which there are many) that could vote either National or Labour depending on who they feel more comfortable with at the time.

    You’re right in that more hammering of National is required. Labour just seems so invisible at the moment.

    • CV - Real Labour 16.1

      But “Moderates” are only interested in BAU.

      • TheContrarian 16.1.1


        Not an acronym I am familiar with

        • felixviper

          Business As Usual. Either that or Being A Unicorn.

        • CV - Real Labour

          Ahhh, sorry. Business As Usual.

          • TheContrarian

            I thought it described my cooking – Basted And Under-cooked.

            Anyway – I consider myself a centrist/moderate or whatever you (as many of my friends and family are too) and Business as Usual doesn’t cut it for me.

            Those moderates are the ones who can swing from National to Labour and back again. Just look at Nationals miserable performance when Bill English ran for PM – those moderates who voted National last year are the same ones who deserted the National party back then.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Business As Usual is a phrase commenting on the heading of the Titanic, not which shift of officers is on duty.

  17. Has anyone wondered why there is no strong opposition by labour against the nact
    govt’s policies? that is because nowadays labour can’t argue against them strongly,
    because they stand by what the nacts say and promote.
    It would be personally hypocritical of each and every caucus member to stand up
    and put up concerted effort to shoot the nacts down,they just can’t bring themselves do it.
    Pretending to give a continental,is just not acceptable.
    I don’t think people are wanting ‘hard left’ policies,as mooted by some,but a recognition
    for the core labour voter,with policies that include everyone, fairness in some policies
    also would help, a demonstration of the current labour thinking pattern was the housing
    policy,fine with those with the coin, no good for the ones who need a coin.

    • CV - Real Labour 17.1

      And more than that, there is a historical change in process VV.

      It started with the GFC, has progressed on to a resource constrained debt driven depression + sovereign debt distress, and in the next 5 years will enter a more serious phase of energy depletion, ongoing financial collapse, mixed in with increasingly severe climate events.

      The way our political parties are playing around now assumes the pretend normality of Business As Usual where tinkering around to buy a bit more time is all that is needed. So at this rate we are going to drive face first as a country into these troubles.

      • Shudder,oh dear CV

        • CV - Real Labour

          Notice how economic growth was going to return in 2013/2014? Then 2014/2015? Now it’s 2015/2016?

          Regardless of whether Labour or National take power in 2014, expect that growth forecast to be pushed out to at least 2016/2017.

          By then, even the sheeple are going to notice that something is not quite right, just as the truck finally pulls up at the works.

      • geoff 17.1.2

        That sort of thing could never happen to Hobbiton, CV!

        • CV - Real Labour


          A few more Hollywood movie productions and I’m sure we’ll all be sorted.

      • Scintilla 17.1.3

        This headline caught my eye – could be “trillions” worth of oil under Coober Pedy in the great aussie outback. Needs to be fracked of course and could make Aussie self-sufficient in oil if it’s accessible. Interesting reading the comments section, what our cuzzies over the ditch think of it.

  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 18

    I understand that the delay before WW2 was declared, from appeasement talks by Neville Chamberlain actually gained Britain some time to make war preparations that were gravely needed for defence and survival. I wonder if anything at all has been gained here by the abject servitude of our politicians to big business and the ready dollar so pollies can keep BAU?

  19. Rosie 19

    Point 3 “Turn out the vote – the non voting block is huge….”

    If we can for just a moment put Parties, their policies, what they represent and how they brand themselves, aside and consider the non voting block. Its this group that that is one of the greatest blocks to success for the Left in NZ. As you say Mr Robins “motivate just a fraction of them to vote left and we win”.

    As I mentioned yesterday on Open Mike its this group that we need to educate and motivate and its a really big task.
    So what does the leftie individual do? Just for starters, talk to your friends and talk to your families. Talk to your workmates, if you’re lucky enough to have workmates. Ask them why they don’t vote. What would encourage them to vote? What would they like to see change, and what changes would benefit them in their lives? (Most folks are more interested in what benefits them personally. Some couldn’t care less about the environment or social well being). I often hear the response that they feel disconnected from “all that government stuff” and that all parties are the same. So folks need to know how govt works every day in their lives: from all that GST they have to pay on everything despite the fact that they earn a fifth of the wage of another yet have to pay the same rate of consumer tax – to what would happen if you have an accident and need to go to hospital, but there is no public hospital to go, only private ones. Just examples, but folks need to be jolted out of this belief that they don’t play a part in democracy, and that they are powerless to influence outcomes. Voting is only a start but it the most basic and important one.

    If your social and work network all think like you then think about what you can do to reach non voters and open up a discussion? For instance, some time ago on the Standard the Drinking Liberally group announced they were starting up again in Hamilton. A social leftie group such as this would be a good platform in which to discuss the challenge of turning non voters into voters, and formulating strategy – if one was more inclined towards doing something more than having a chat and drink that is. (which sounds like a perfectly acceptable past time in itself) What ever happened to that group anyway – are they up and running?

    If you’re like me and are in the depressing situation of being surounded by non voters and Nat Party voters you have your work cut out for you. Either way, we have to work collectively and individually to engage the massive non voting block. Apart from the examples given above I don’t know how to go about it but I think its worth discussing ideas around it. Its too important to ignore.

    • bad12 19.1

      Hers 2 little suggestions that would probably get the interest of many in the registered but did not vote category,

      A policy of providing ALL New Zealand citizens with affordable accommodation at 25% of income within 10 years, (for those with an income of less than $40,000 annually),

      A policy of Government provision of 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit…

      • Rosie 19.1.1

        Hi Bad12. Good ideas. I wonder though, how do you get policy announcements to reach the ears of the non voter? Of all the non voters I know, (and alot of the Nat voters incidentially) they don’t watch any TV news, they don’t read papers or online news. The young ones of voting age I know, whose young lives and futures are so shaped by policy think voting is pointless. These non voters, of all ages, are so distanced from their role in democracy that before they can be hooked by policy they need to be engaged and motivated.

        Secondly, can I just ask for clarification around your first idea of providing accom at 25% of income. Is it all NZers as you first mention or is it “those with an income of less than $40,000”?

        Also, in your second idea around govt provision of work for 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit. What about those who are unemployed but are not entitled to any form of benefit?

        • bad12

          Oh believe me the non-vote bloc does not just include the ‘switched off politics young’ and you would be surprised how fast a Government policy that will effect any particular cohort of people in society will spread through that cohort even if in the main they don’t watch the TV news or read newspapers,

          The first part of my accommodation for all at 25% of income for all would obviously be for those who could not buy a home, obviously proposing that Governments should pay peoples mortgages for them would be pretty outrageous, $40,000 would seem to be a ballpark figure where although a willing and able worker in the economy it would be near impossible in today’s economy for such a person to purchase property,

          I haven’t given serious thought to your second query befor, presumably you are speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse that earns enough to support both partners…

          • Rosie

            Hi bad12. Thanks for that and thanks incidentially for the conversation we had on Open Mike a few weeks back re Charles Chauvels allegience or not to DS. I gather from that conversation around your (changing) political party memberships and voluteer work that you have seen the outcomes of election time policy announcements and therefore have a view of how those non voters can be swayed. Maybe your experience and observations can overcome my doubt of the ability of policy to affect voters. I do hope so.

            I mention non voters not only as the young people that I know but those who are most affected by the current govt policy who are friends and family and they are often renters, home owners, low and middle income earners and parents. Its the indifference/disillusionment of these folks that is such a problem. This is why I was having a wee rave about it. Their non participation in the most basic and important of our democratic process, voting for the govt of their choice affects not just them but all of us.

            Finally. Yes, I was speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse who is earning so is therefore not entitled to receive any form of benefit. The thing is one income (unless its a massive one) doesn’t cover a households expenses these days. It did in the past but not now. I don’t want to bore you with my experiences of being without an income for over 18 months, except to say there must be thousands in the same boat, with any savings having been bled out due to paying bills. What about all the single people as well who have lost their jobs through the recession or if you’re a govt employee, throught the short sightedness of that govt employer and you couldn’t get a benefit because you had savings. You might have been half way to saving for a deposit on a house, and then its all gone. Just a thought. The F’d up-ed-ness of our country is so deep and on so many levels (economic, social and environmental and all shades of those) that its hard to find a place to begin.
            At risk of sounding hopelessly naive, I would hope that the solution would be in the populations’ will to participate in voting, just as a starting point.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    A lot of valid stuff here about the underlying issues, but we can’t ignore a pretty fundamental part of Labour’s problem. The people.

    I’m a social democrat. I’m not “hard left”. I’d like a Labour/Green gov’t, but I accept that electoral artithmetic and entrenched power on the Right can mean we may have to settle for gradual gains rather than the New Jerusalem.

    None of that turns me off voting Labour. What turns me off is … the Labour MPs who benefit from the vote. Not a hypothetical, liberal-social democratic-centre-left Labour party. But the actual Labour party. Or rather, the Labour caucus.

    I really don’t like them very much. Why would I? They don’t speak for me, about me, or to me. They are the personification of Mallardism. It is all about them and their turf. They love their private club, they want to keep it, and I’m not in it.

    Policies and strategies won’t change that, because they can be torn up on a whim – they are as deep as the latest poll. What makes a difference is believing that the people espousing the policies and strategies actually give a damn.

    Fire in the belly. Not to keep their jobs (like Shearer at the Conference) but to change the world – at least, our little bit of it.

    The saddest part of Labour today is not just the Old Guard, but discovering that the New are no different. Hipkins, Robertson, Adern and co are all very capable politicians, but they could be capable in the service of socialism, or centrism, or centre-right Blairism, or anything …

    And Shearer is just as shallow, minus the capable.

    I have no idea what motivates these people. A book they once read, a speech they once heard, a faith, a philosophy, a life experience, a … what? I know they want power, so they want my vote. Other than that, I have nothing except a vague hope that they stand for something Labour-ish, and a suspicion that they would stand for something else if it got them on the Treasury benches.

    Labour (“social democratic”) ideas and values are worth voting for. The people representing them in Parliament are not. Sorry.

    • Socialist Paddy 20.1

      Well said sir.

      • Tim 20.1.1

        Aye! That about sums it to a T – as I said when engaging with some twerp who is under the misapprehension that he’s god’s gift to humanity – Labour Party ‘scene queens’.
        I’ve no doubt that’ll cause many (including some poster called Fanboy or FanClub or something similar) to assume some disaffected old-fart is commenting, until you realise it encompasses an entire extended family (and friends) across all demographics (age-wise, economic “class’-wise, and by whatever other measure).
        See you in the summer time Labour – you actually had decades to hold true to principle. For me, it ain’t gonna happen and there are alternatives – admittedly not perfect, but a damn sight better than what’s on offer.
        What’s sad for me is that several people that I once held a certain amount of respect for (and I include the likes of Annetted King in that), have been captured.
        The arrogance of them is phenomenal! I’m picking that Trev was a good teacher tho’

    • Bill 20.2

      I know they want power, so they want my vote

      And that’s unfortunately the be all and end all for the majority of the Labour caucus. And it’s why Labour will tank at this coming election. Grow the left? Castrate the power of caucus and its ability to go on its merry way regardless. Unfortunately, that option’s now in the rear view mirror. And…Shearer on radio (from a link provided on ‘ts’ this morning) is reiterating that he doesn’t read blogs and pays no attention to what ‘non-representative’ bloggers are writing.

      Labour is fucked.

      And that means that in a couple of years time, and whether or not Labour lead the government, that I’m fucked, and that thousands of people in a position either parallel to mine or comparable to mine are also fucked.

      • billbrowne 20.2.1

        Yeah and they’ll be fucked under a do nothing Labour govt.

        I mean people expect to be fucked over by the NATZ it’s just part of the cycle, but if you’re gonna get the same from Labour why go to the trouble of voting for them at all?

        • Colonial Weka

          It’s not really any trouble though, is it? Half an hour on a Saturday, once ever three years. Anyone who can’t seen any difference between life under NACT and life under Labour, esp for those at the bottom, really isn’t paying much attention or thinking very well.

          • billbrowne

            Yeah, but if you can’t really see a difference between the two – and at the moment you have to look pretty hard to see it you can either:

            Flip a coin
            Vote for the other lot because it’s time we had a change
            Go to the pub instead (mmm beer)

            • Colonial Weka

              bill, if someone who is looking can’t see the difference then they are willfully blind.

              CV, agreed. People who would otherwise vote on the left but choose not to vote are in effect endorsing a NACT govt.

          • CV - Real Labour

            The problem is where people have consciously decided not to vote, as opposed to a random “got busy, meant to but didn’t get around to it”.

            • billbrowne

              Well, I can’t use my electorate vote – cause that would be for Hipkins and I want him to lose.

              And so far Labour hasn’t earned my party vote so they’re not getting it.

              • Colonial Weka

                Fine, but it’s not like you don’t have some choices about who to vote for.

                You can give your electorate vote to the GP candidate. That sends a message to Labour. Although you do realise that if Hipkins loses, then NACT get another electoral seat?

          • Bill

            I guess I’m not paying much attention or thinking very well then. Or maybe I am, and am fully cognisant of the fact that Labour really are only Labour by name now. And they have tied up traditional expectations of labour to an extent that it poses problems for the Greens and Mana.

            My only hope under a Labour led government would be enough pressure being applied by the Greens and/or Mana. But then, this current pile of shit drops are probably more inclined to attempt hobbling the Greens and Mana between now and the election in the hope they can go with Winston Peters and The Hair and such like, while leaving the Greens and Mana on the cross benches or supplying confidence only.

            • Colonial Weka

              Bill, all of that is true. But in terms of people bothering to vote, can you honestly say that having another term or two of NACT would be the lesser of evils?

              btw, my frustration at the moment is watching so much discussion on ts about what Labour should or shouldn’t do. I don’t even know what that means. It’s not like the caucus are going to do anything different than they’ve been doing, and it’s not like they’re going to listen to anyone else. So that leaves the membership. Maybe the LP activists here need some time to come to terms with the leadership outcome, but at some point the hand wringing has to stop. In this sense I kind of agree with bad12 – except I don’t think the negativity is counter-productive, I think it’s unproductive. Activists need something to do that is going to go somewhere, and I can’t see that as being supportive of a Shearer-led Labour party. So what are the other choices here?

              • Bill

                Personally I’d like to see more Green and Mana input here. To be honest Labour politicians popping over to drop a disengenious comment here or there is just annoying b/s. I’d far rather what I imagine would be some actual engagement from either Mana or Green mps.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Labour will absolutely need the Greens. Let’s assume a best case scenario for a Labour General Election result of 35%

              They’ll have to find another 14% from smaller parties, assuming a 49% target to form the Govt., once wasted votes are taken into account.

              NZF + UF will be able to deliver to Labour 8% equivalent, combined. That leaves Labour short 6%.

              But the Green Party could certainly deliver 14% to Labour alone, if they go strongly. To hit the 14% equivalent contribution, the Green Party in negotiations should form a lockstep negotiating coalition with Mana & Maori. In other words, Greens/Mana/Maori negotiate with Labour as a single block.

              This is a high risk strategy for the Greens (as it opens them to National attacks of being extreme Left) but the pay off with these polling numbers is this: you cut the centrist/right wing Dunne out of the equation. You take the King Maker card away from Winston. You fuck National’s options. And for the Greens: you get a strong arm at the portfolio negotiating table because Labour cannot play NZF, Mana/Maori or UF off against you.

              Oh yeah, one other minor bonus: the 6th Labour Government won’t be steering right, whether it wants to or not.

              • Bill

                So the question becomes not so much ‘How to grow the left’ as ‘how the fuck might the left deal with Labour’.

                Which is a far more sensible question. Bar some remarkable mea culpas and step change, Labour are done. Finished. But they’ll ride the 100 year old tradition they don’t adhere to any more in a dishonest grab at power, no? Leaving the left to do – what?

        • CV - Real Labour

          They didn’t last time. Will they in 2014?

      • just saying 20.2.2

        Me too. I’m probably in a comfier spot than you right now Bill, but with hundreds of thousands of others, we’re in the same boat.

        And I’ve been have exactly this conversation with others too. Desperately trying to find a way out, but knowing all too well that life will just become more and more untenable. And not in some far off time when most people will be in the same boat. Fucked and blamed for being so.

        People wonder why we are angry. Pathologise our anger.
        What would be truly pathological would be accepting a status quo that is hell-bent on destroying us.

    • Colonial Weka 20.3

      “I have no idea what motivates these people.”

      Dave Kennedy posted a couple of days ago about the differences between the Greens and Labour.

      “The Green Party’s principles are philosophical overviews that provide guidance to the party’s operations as well as policy development. The Green Party also has vision statements, value statements, mission statements, success criteria and long term goals for internal operations as well as the work of the party and this means the party is very clear about its direction. As an institution the Green Party functions using contemporary management models that many successful organisations and businesses use. The inclusive, consensus approach to developing all of these principles and statements generally ensures that both the parliamentary caucus and the membership sing from the same song sheet.

      Labour’s principles appear reasonable and do cover similar themes to the Greens, but they read more like a list of human rights rather than a blue print for governance. What does “Democratic Socialist” really mean? Even Wikipedia struggles to define the term, and states “…groups of scholars have radically different definitions”. I also can’t find anything on the Labour Party website that clearly describes its political philosophy or broad priorities and the Party relies on its leadership to articulate and define what these are. This puts a huge weight onto the shoulders of David Shearer who is expected to provide the vision that the rest of the Party will follow. When the likes of David Cunliffe attempts to fill the void with a vision of his own, it is seen as a leadership challenge. Despite the size of the Labour Party it relies too heavily on the abilities of its leadership rather than a widely understood political philosophy and established policy and the National Party are easily able to exploit this weakness.”

      The whole thing is worth the read –

    • Gobsmacked, well said +1

    • Rhinocrates 20.5

      That’s good, honest and clear, Gobsmacked.

      Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

      Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you have a speech problem (Churchill and Claudius were stammerers, and most of us have probably seen The King’s Speech ), if faced with an awkward question for which you do not have a rehearsed answer, then you talk about your principles. Clark could do that but Shearer can’t because they’re vague and unconsidered at best or he thinks that such things don’t have gravitas or whatever.

      (I’ve just had a daydream of someone training Shearer to say “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck. Bugger, bugger, buggedy, buggedy, fuck, fuck, arse, balls, balls, fuckety, shit … and tits.”)

      Probably-fictitious anecdotes about roof painting beneficiaries and salt-of-the-earth types in Napier pubs mean nothing. They’re earnest attempts to appear to be someone who empathises with the working class, whom I suppose the ABC crew imagines wears cloth caps and braces and speak in rhyming slang or use “Opp North” accents and say “Ee, baa goom!” and “Ecky thoomp!”

      Someone please tell the man the difference between an anecdote and a parable. Hint: anecdotes are bullshit, while parables actually mean something and their meaning is clear – there’s no dog-whistling so high-pitched that it threatens to break all of the glass in my flat.

      But it’s not just Shearer.

      The whole fucking front bench/Politburo; the has-beens, the superannuated Rogernomes, the technocrats and their Mini-Mes are just as bad. Now it’s robotic repetitions of how we all have to be unified, we have policy, we’re – oh I love this – “holding the government to account”, but there’s no substance.

      Competence, substance, consistency and above all, representation.

      Oh shit, I just realised that I’m using the wrong language. I’ll try again… translations are added for normal human beings.

      Labour needs to embed core brand values in the market’s perception and manage that brand.

      It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)

      (In English that would mean making people aware that you have a fundamentally different and superior character)

      Everyone has to be on-message.

      (And in English again, that means we don’t want sideshows like Su’a William Sio spending time campaigning for homophobia when he’s meant to be employment spokesperson or Shane Jones being the Member for Sealord or Trevor Mallard being alive and above ground)

      Build persistent personal brand identification

      (Show some loyalty and maybe you’ll get some in return.)

      Become media-friendly

      (Don’t be total fuckups in front of cameras)

      In-tune with media cycles.

      (Be ready with a release within twenty minutes of an inquiry, like the Greens, and not two days late).

      Be cyber-savvy

      (Wax cylinders, pony expresses and even valve wireless sets and mimeographs are history. Pigeons are an urban pest, not cutting-ege communications. The Internet is not simply a means of replicating these things. Realise this and cope with it. Propagating boob jokes (Trevor!) doesn’t count.)

      Synergise social media platforms.

      (Translation: girls at primary school talk to people, have facebook accounts and cell phones… maybe we should talk to people, and keep the dialogue going, not just blither patronisingly at them from behind an autocue)

      Viral blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

      (Say things that will carry, propagate – and in the way you want them to.)

      Incentivise collaborative structures

      (Don’t shit on your potential coalition partners.)

      Our focus groups-BANG!!!

      (Sound of a gunshot, abruptly curtailing some egregious nonsense)

      In order to maximise market penetration we must synergies our customer base through meme-linking, which is best facilitated by embedding a narrative through selective icon-propagation via social media platforms…

      (Horribly, I could translate this into English, but I refuse to do so)

      Maximise brand identity.

      (Wilkins, someone just mentioned something called a “soul”? Could your research unit google that for me? Yes, a “soul”, but I don’t think it has anything to do with shoes. Yes, they were quite clear about that and indeed, when I looked puzzled, they spelled it out to me: S-O-U-L)

      • CV - Real Labour 20.5.1

        Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

        I gotta say you nailed it yourself, right here:

        It’s not a speech disorder, or even a cognitive disorder. It’s a moral disorder.

      • Tim 20.5.2

        “It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)”

        Yep, except it’s the tool of the tool. I mean SDLC once meant Synchronous Data Link Control, until some pratt popped up and stole the acronym and made it “Systems Development Life-Cycle” ffs! He/she did so no doubt when pushing some bullshit project akin to NovoPay.

        Acronyms are the language of the bullshit artist.
        Still (even in here) we’re only capable of talking about political engagement in terms of different “brands”. (Which – incidentally, is the reason the once-held respect for the likes of Annie died when she forgot a few principles in favour of -shit! I can’t use the descriptor – but my daughter is one – a [shhhhhhh F.H] -and I’m actually proud of her for it). Really – it was at that point as a professional politician supposedly committed to a cause that she should have resigned!

    • Murray Olsen 20.6

      That pretty much sums them up for me, Gobsmacked. No fire in their bellies, no passion to change the world. Heads so far up their own orifices they think playing stupid games around points of order and speaker appointments are worthwhile pursuits. Nothing people. Just apparatchiks who seem to have chosen their party by accident rather than conviction.

  21. Murray Olsen 21

    There is a huge difference between someone who won’t get out to vote Labour because they don’t think it will be different enough from NAct to bother, and someone who won’t get out to vote Mana or Greens because they don’t think they can get into power. The fact that Mana and the Greens do not get a huge percentage of the vote cannot be used to claim that Labour would not get more people out with a bit more of a left vision.

  22. Skinny 22

    I think I’ll pop up to Waitangi and critique Shearer & co. A sticky question here and there. A bit of a serve to Shearer for asking for my ph number so he could call to gauge my opinion to his idea’s. Talks cheap DS.

  23. GeoffC 23

    Labour’s dilemma in positioning within the electorate is primarily of identity.
    It straddles different groups within he electorate namely the left block social democrats, the marginalised voters who look to labour for saviour type social policy and the wide wide middle who are view equality as meritocracy opportunity.

    Labour faces the rise or capture of the party by the Liberal sect, the supporters of neo lib steady as she goes and a mishmash of other identifiers.
    Unlike the Tories who have one clear ideology, just different shades, a captured or imbedded societal modern construct founded on materialism and individualism labour is simply lost confused and weakened by the need to reposition So as to capture the middle.
    This is the easy path…the harder path is to, in a meaningful and real manner, reorganise, reenergise and utilise the community.
    Rob talks about the left block and labour being of the centre left but what does this mean in actual empirical values of the voter and electorate makeup in modern terms.
    The middle is wide and moving…previous labour promises we’re to buy votes by locking in individual identifying policies such as student loans WFF…this time around labour must swing rightwards and pander to the centre to gain the engaged voter middle.
    My advise after looking at social democratic movements in Europe etc is this is not just a battle for the plush cushy seats or govt power but a war for the betterment of all new zea landers.
    Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.

  24. xtasy 24

    Wow, this thread is “overwhelming” to me, I did not read and post on it, due to other priorities. But it is a great incentive to take the inclusive approach and to share the positives that come out of it. Surely, what we presently get from Labour cannot be it as the whole solution (if at all).

    Keep it up, I agree with most, I am stressed out, I will be back with hopefully some new info on benefit and health related issues soon.

    Never stop considering a totally new, inclusive, more wide spread, leftist party, that could replace the Labour Party we still have, that has disappointed too many. Surely, there are alternative ideas and plans, it just needs to have the right people get together and start a new movement. It will be a total success, given the total disillusionment with politics and most parties at present. I am DEAD SERIOUS about all this.

  25. BeeDee 25

    “…a war for the betterment of all new zea landers….Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.”

    The “war” for betterment is already being fought and our main opponents are the NZers favouring the global corporations who are buying up the land, who need the expanded roading system to get resources out of our country, disregard environmental protection, who would like to change our labour laws much further than they have already, overstep our intellectual property laws, keep financial regulations which favour their investments here, etc.

    Any party wanting to govern for the betterment of NZ citizens has to walk a tightrope between the desire for a better life for all NZers and that enormous pressure from outside factors Or else… or else some sort of chaos will be created to keep our expectations very low. Impoverishing citizens to the point where they think voting will not change anything is such a strategy.

    The protests against the TPPA is one obvious example of the ongoing fight NZers are engaged in. Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA? Labour is against the sale of publicly owned assets – and is against the borrowing by the present government to fund the “roads of national significance” . I’ll remain a Labour Party member.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA?

      Nope. AFAIK Goff and Parker are both strong proponents of the TPPA.

      • Te Reo Putake 25.1.1

        Correct, CV. And it’s already been acknowleged by Labour that buying back the stolen assets from overseas investors may not be possible under the TPPA, because of onerous penalty clauses. That and the empty coffers we’ll find after the election which will make buying them back even more difficult.

        • Colonial Viper

          Just warn potential foreign buyers now that their investments will be at risk if they proceed.

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    Hopefully finally over his obsession with raised crossings, the Herald’s Bernard Orsman has found something to actually be outraged at. Auckland ratepayers are subsidising the cost of towing, storing and releasing cars across the city to the tune of $15 million over five years. Under a quirk in the law, ...
    2 days ago
  • When 'going for growth' actually means saying no to new social homes
    TL;DR: These six things stood out to me over the last day in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy, as of 7:06 am on Thursday, April 11:The Government has refused a community housing provider’s plea for funding to help build 42 apartments in Hamilton because it said a $100 million fund was used ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
    As the public sector redundancies rolled on, with the Department of Conservation saying yesterday it was cutting 130 positions, a Select Committee got an insight into the complexities and challenges of cutting the Government’s workforce. Immigration New Zealand chiefs along with their Minister, Erica Stanford, appeared before Parliament’s Education and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:06 pm on Wednesday, April 10
    TL;DR: Six substacks that stood out to me in the last day:Explaining is winning for journalists wanting to regain trust, writes is his excellent substack. from highlights Aotearoa-NZ’s greenwashing problem in this weekly substack. writes about salt via his substack titled: The Second Soul, Part I ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • EGU2024 – Picking and chosing sessions to attend virtually
    This year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) will take place as a fully hybrid conference in both Vienna and online from April 15 to 19. I decided to join the event virtually this year for the full week and I've already picked several sessions I plan to ...
    3 days ago
  • But here's my point about the large irony in what Luxon is saying
    Grim old week in the media business, eh? And it’s only Wednesday, to rework an old upbeat line of poor old Neil Roberts.One of the larger dark ironies of it all has been the line the Prime Minister is serving up to anyone asking him about the sorry state of ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Govt gives farmers something to talk about (regarding environmental issues) at those woolshed meetin...
    Buzz from the Beehive Hard on the heels of three rurally oriented ministers launching the first of their woolshed meetings, the government brought good news to farmers on the environmental front. First, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced an additional $18 million is being committed to reduce agricultural emissions. Not all ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Climate change violates human rights
    That's the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights today: Weak government climate policies violate fundamental human rights, the European court of human rights has ruled. In a landmark decision on one of three major climate cases, the first such rulings by an international court, the ECHR raised ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Which govt departments have grown the most?
    David Farrar writes –  There has been a 34% increase over six years in the size of the public service, in terms of EFTS. But not all agencies have grown by the same proportion. Here are the 10 with the largest relative increases between 2017 and ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    Bryce Edwards writes  –  The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Something Important: The Curious Death of the School Strike 4 Climate Movement.
    The Hope That Failed: The Christchurch Mosque Massacres, Covid-19, deep political disillusionment, and the jealous cruelty of the intersectionists: all had a part to play in causing School Strike 4 Climate’s bright bubble of hope and passion to burst. But, while it floated above us, it was something that mattered. Something ...
    3 days ago
  • Cow Farts and Cancer Sticks.
    What do you do if you’re a new government minister and the science is in. All of the evidence and facts are clear, but they’re not to your liking? They’re inconsistent with your policy positions and/or your spending priorities.Well, first off you could just stand back and watch as the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's day. First up is James Shaw's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Right to Sustainable Environment) Amendment Bill, which does exactly what it says on the label. Despite solid backing in international law and from lawyers and NGOs, National will likely vote it down out of pure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 'pick 'n' mix' at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10
    Luxon in 2021 as a new MP, before his rise to PM and subsequent plummeting popularity. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the 10 things that stood out for me from me reading over the last day, as at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10:Must read: Tova O’Brien describes ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What’s happening with Airport to Botany
    One of the few public transport projects the current government have said they support is the Airport to Botany project (A2B) and it’s one we haven’t covered in a while so worth looking at where things are at. A business case for the project was completed in 2021 before being ...
    3 days ago
  • Bishop more popular than Luxon in Curia poll
    Count the Chrises: Chris Bishop (2nd from right) is moving up in the popularity polls. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: These six things stood out to me over the last day in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy, as of 7:06 am on Wednesday, April 10:The National/ACT/NZ First coalition Government’s opinion poll ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Silmarillion Fan Poetry: A Collection (2022-2024)
    It’s been some time since I properly exercised my poetic muscles. Prose-writing has been where it’s at for me, these past few years. Well, to get back into practice, I thought I’d write the occasional bit of jocular fan poetry, based off Tolkien’s Silmarillion… with this post being a collection ...
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is not causing global warming
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want to “avoid the news”. But who ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Dead on target
    My targets for today are: 1 newsletter sent out by 4.30pm 800 words of copy delivered to a client by COB, as we say in the world of BAU1 dinner served by sunset GST returnSo far so good. Longer-term targets are: Get some website copy finished before I get on a plane on Saturday ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The PM sets nine policy targets- and in case you missed the truancy one, Seymour has provided some...
    Buzz from the Beehive Targets and travel were a theme in the latest flow of ministerial announcements. The PM announced a raft of targets (“nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders”) along with plans to head for Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines. His Deputy and Foreign ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Unwelcome advice
    Yesterday He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission released two key pieces of advice, on the 2036-40 emissions budget and the 2050 target. Both are statutorily required as part of the Zero Carbon Act budgeting / planning process, and both have a round of public consultation before being finalised and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • In a structural deficit, the only real tax cut is a spending cut
    Eric Crampton writes –  This week’s column in the Stuff papers. A snippet: Tabarrok warned that America had two political parties – “the Tax and Spenders and the No-Tax and Spenders” – and neither was fiscally conservative. In the two decades after Tabarrok’s warning, the federal government ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • A Return to Kindness?
    New Zealanders are a pretty fair minded bunch. By and large we like to give people a go.Ian Foster, for example, had a terrible record as a head rugby coach. Like not even good, and did we let that bother us? Yeah, but also Nah. Because we went ahead and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    Geoffrey Miller writes –  This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Back to the future, with a 2032 deadline
    Aiming to look visionary and focused, Luxon has announced nine targets to improve measures for education, health, crime and climate emissions - but the reality is only one target is well above pre-Covid levels. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Why Rod Carr is optimistic farmers can beat climate change
    The future of farming went on the line yesterday when the Climate Change Commission presented its first review of New Zealand’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. The Commission said New Zealand’s target was unlikely to be consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Grifters, Bigots & Booling With the Dawgs
    Hi,I hope you had a good weekend. I was mostly in bed with the worst flu of my life.Today I’m emerging on the other side — and looking forward to what I can catch of the total solar eclipse rippling across parts of America today.Whilst hacking through a cough, I’ve ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Goldsmith spots a cost-saver in his Justice domain – let’s further erode our right (under Magna ...
    Bob Edlin writes – Chapter 39 of the Magna Carta (from memory) includes the guarantee that no free man may suffer punishment without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This was a measure which the barons forced on England’s King John to delegate part of his judicial authority ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Is Global Warming Speeding Up?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Thanks to climate change, 2023 has shattered heat records, and 2024 is continuing where last year left off. With this devastating ...
    5 days ago
  • Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister!
    Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister! She is going to talk to Jack on the TV!It's hard to watch Jack on the TV without thinking to yourself:How can anyone be that good-looking,and also be even brainier than they are good-looking?Talk about lucky!But also, Jack works for the TV news. So ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • There’s gold – or rather, energy without carbon – in that rock, but Jones reminds us of the Tr...
    Buzz from the Beehive Oh, dear.  One News tells us an ownership spat is brewing between Māori and the Crown as New Zealand uses more renewable energy sources. No, not water or the shoreline.  Ownership of another resource has come into the reckoning. The One News report explained that 99% of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Bad faith from National
    One of the weird features of the Zero Carbon Act was its split-gas targets, which separated methane, produced overwhelmingly by farmers, from carbon dioxide produced by the rest of us. This lower target for methane was another effective subsidy to the dairy industry, and was the result of a compromise ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Israel’s murderous use of AI in Gaza
    This may seem like a dumb question– but how come Israel has managed to kill at least 33,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children? Of course, saturation aerial bombing and artillery shelling of densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will do that. So will the targeting of children by IDF ...
    Gordon CampbellBy ScoopEditor
    5 days ago
  • Total Eclipse of the Mind.
    All that you touch And all that you seeAll that you taste All you feelAnd all that you love And all that you hateAll you distrust All you saveEarly tomorrow morning as the sun is rising in Aotearoa many people across North America, from Mexico to Canada, will be losing ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • So why do that degree… here?
    A report – and discussion – from the university front line… Mike Grimshaw writes – I have been involved in numerous curriculum and degree reviews over the decades and in all of them the question always skirted around is: “If you had to leave now with ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The hunt is on for an asterix for farm emissions
    The Government is setting up its own experts group to review the goalposts for farmers to reduce methane emissions. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy as of 9:06 am on Monday, April 8 are:The Government is setting up ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, Japan and the Philippines. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to April 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to April 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is scheduled to hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4 pm today. The Climate Commission will publish advice to the Government this evening.Parliament is sitting from Question Time at 2pm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, March 31, 2024 thru Sat, April 6, 2024. Story of the week Proxy measurement via Facebook "engagement" suggests a widely welcoming audience for Prof. Andrew Dessler's The Climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Their Money or Your Life.
    Brooke van Velden appeared this morning on Q&A, presumably paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. The robotic one had come in an 80s pink, shoulder-padded jacket, much favoured by the likes of Thatcher or Hosking. She also brought the spirit of Margaret, seemingly occupying her previously vacant soul compartment.Jack asked for ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Truth pulls its boots on
    It's a lot easier to pull off a lie if people don't know much about what you're lying about.Sometimes, watching Christopher Luxon, you get the impression he doesn't know all that much about it, either.​​ That's the charitable interpretation. The other is that he knows full well.He was on the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Those of a certain vintage in this country will recognise that as a paraphrasing of the much celebrated Paul Holmes sign-off from his nightly current affairs show, yes, he of the “cheekie darkie” comment infamy (that one aimed at then-UN Chief Kofi Annan, and if unfamiliar with what followed in ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Are You Missing Kindness Yet?
    In my last newsletter I asked how is Luxon this out of touch? Many of you, quite wisely, don’t do the Twitter thing so I thought I’d share a few of the comments from the cross section of humanity that you encounter there.The comment from Clandesdiner@boglyboohoo, not sure if that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How NZ and Taiwan differ in disaster preparedness
    Peter Dunne writes –  Taiwan and New Zealand are two small island states with much in common. Both are vibrant, independent democracies, living in the shadow of an overbearing neighbour. (Admittedly, Taiwan’s overbearing neighbour has far more aggressive tendencies than our at-times overbearing neighbour!) There is a strong ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Bryce Edwards writes – Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Nearly a month of it
    Hello! There has not been an omnibus for about three weeks because covid and bereavement got in the way.Here’s what you may have missed if you’re not a daily reader.Life’s Little Victories - I think I’ve dodged COVIDTwo Bar Blues - I haven’t Relentlessly Negative - Things seem to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coastal court action flies under the radar
    Graham Adams says NZ’s coastline may end up under iwi control. Former Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson is known for his forthright and sometimes combative language. In 2022, in discussing opposition to co-governance, he referred to “the sour right” and “the KKK brigade”. Last week, in ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Does a Fiscal Debt Target Make Sense?
    Do we treat the government finances with the common sense that household’s manage theirs?It is a commonly held view that we should treat the government as if it is a prudent household. We don’t when it comes to its debt. Currently the government says it wants to constrain its net ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely connected with. As Oceans and Fisheries ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Spite destroys success
    The clean car discount was a real policy success in pushing electrification of transport. It worked so well that EV adoption was running five years ahead of the Climate Commission's targets, giving us a real shot at decarbonising light transport. National killed it out of pure spite. And as expected, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    15 hours ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    16 hours ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    19 hours ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    19 hours ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    20 hours ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    21 hours ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    1 day ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    1 day ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    2 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    3 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    3 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    3 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    3 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    4 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    4 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    4 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    5 days ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    5 days ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    5 days ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    6 days ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    7 days ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    7 days ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
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  • Education should be prioritised ahead of protesting
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