Insurance Council goes Galt

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, November 3rd, 2013 - 62 comments
Categories: business, Economy - Tags: ,

Well that didn’t take long. The Insurance Council has come out attacking Labour for KiwiAssure. Which is odd really, given the claim that there’s already a competitive market. You’d have thought they would welcome a new member to the industry. Wouldn’t you?

Or alternatively, they’ve been making big money at the expense of all of us while the government turns a blind-eye, and now they’re panicking about the rort coming to an end.

Of course the Chief Executive of the Insurance Council, Tim Grafton, was also the Director of Strategy for Jenny Shipley, Chief Advisor to Bill English, and a Senior Advisor to Bill Birch. Which goes to show how permeable the line between the National Party and big business really is.

Ol’ Tory Grafton’s release makes for great reading though, aside from lacking any internal consistency (the “bad old days” theme of the title and first line isn’t addressed anywhere else in the release), I really enjoyed Grafton’s Atlas Shrugged* moment:

the last thing anyone should be doing is trying to drive away insurance capital,

What are they going to do? Pack up they’re bags and leave? Oh! No! Who would overcharge us for insurance then???

*HatTip: IB

62 comments on “Insurance Council goes Galt”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    ICNZ- The goose that lays the Galten beg.

  2. tricledrown 2

    Insurance companies are like the mafia using stand over and scare tactics to get money out of people for protection.
    But when it comes time to provide the protection they will

    use every tactic to get out of paying.
    This connection to shipley is worrying I would expect that these insurance companies will crank up the ChCh rebuilf to make National look good.

  3. Macro 3

    But these people know about insurance – unlike you and me – so therefore they are obviously right, and we don’t know what we are talking about… Even though NZ has been the prime example of State funded and administered Health, Accident, Earthquake, Working Income, and Personal Belongings Insurance for decades

  4. newsense 4

    “It makes absolutely no sense to have three State-owned insurers – EQC, ACC and now KiwiAssure.”

    Gosh and here’s me thinking the only thing propping up the government books was ACC. If we have two successful state insurers why wouldn’t a third be a good idea?

    For those of us too young to remember, what was the history of State Insurance, before it became State insurance?

    • alwyn 4.1

      Very briefly the old State Insurance Company could be summed up as
      1. Cheap rates
      2. Would insure anybody
      Unfortunately it also was
      1. Very, very hard to get anything out of if you made a claim.
      2. Quite unhelpful and rude to its customers.
      I had a number of friends who, when young, insured with State. One had his car stolen and it was never recovered. Even after nearly a year the company wasn’t paying out for a total loss on the grounds that the vehicle might still be found! That seemed to me to be an excuse that ran out after about a month, but not to still claim it after a year.
      He did finally get his money but their behaviour was appalling.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        1. Very, very hard to get anything out of if you made a claim.

        The one time I made a claim it took less than a week. I actually had to return the check because the stolen item was recovered.

        2. Quite unhelpful and rude to its customers.

        That happens everywhere and the worst I’ve ever got has been from the private sector – especially banks. IME, it’s the abusive customers that don’t get helped, i.e, they’re their own worse enemy.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        Well of course ACC is not what was intended by its architect either – having been neutered and fucked around with over the years by those with a neo-liberal approach to all and everything.

        They went for ACC, then the insurance companies – de-mutualisation et al >>> value for ‘shareholders’ and bugger all for customers.

        I imagine Labour intend implementing their policies with better oversight than has occurred in the past.

        Perhaps, since the Commerce Commission as been so bloody useless (enabling the rise of the duopoly and protecting corporate interests over those of the ‘consumer’ and ‘taxpayer’), Labour might have to provide them with some “GUIDLINES” (hint hint)

  5. Populuxe1 5

    It’s hardly surprising – look at what the insurance companies are doing in the US in response to Obamacare

  6. newsense 6

    Also if the foreign owned insurers are such good value and good insurers then they will keep their customers ahead of any government scheme surely?

  7. KJT 7

    Just like the “competitive” banking industry suddenly found they did not have to charge as high a set of fees to make money, when Kiwibank started, the insurance industry are terrified they may actually have to become competitive.

    Time we got rid of the rort that is the private finance industry altogether. If they were really as efficient and competitive, as they claim, they would not be so scared of State competition.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The reality is that private companies can’t compete with government in efficiency or costs.

      • TheContrarian 7.1.1

        Private health is far more efficient than the public health system. Don’t get me wrong, I love NZ’s public health system but private is easily more efficient in many areas.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Ah, no it’s not. You get lack of waiting lines in the private sector not from them being more efficient but because so many can’t afford them. The public hospital system is inundated whereas the private system isn’t.

          Compare them side by side and you will find that the private system is less efficient. They have more expenses (advertising, profits) and they don’t reach the full population. The last time I read (admittedly a while ago) a comparison between the US and NZ was that the US cost US$6000 per capita and only reached 5/6ths of the populace compared to NZ US$2000 per capita while reaching close to the full population.

          No, the private system is not any more efficient. It, quite simply, can’t be.

          • TheContrarian 7.1.1.1.1

            Well having spent a long time working in the public sector I was frequently frustrated by the bureaucracy, lack of innovation and inability to chart my own course without having to ask 6 different people and waiting weeks to get answer. Moving to private I really noticed how much more efficient it was.

            “No, the private system is not any more efficient. It, quite simply, can’t be.”

            Yes it can.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s a symptom if it being publicly funded. My uncle tells similar stories about Telecom before it was privatised in terms of having to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy trying to justify to get things done (where this can be as simple as asking for new stationary that is required to do your job), that in a private environment the barriers largely don’t exist.

              I guess this means in a private environment resources can be ‘wasted’ compared to a public, but I’d have to think that the over-the-top gatekeeping going on in a public system probably outweighs the cost of the waste in the private system.

              • TheContrarian

                You just need to watch the first episode of Revolution (in the side bar) to get an idea of how inefficient the govt. can be.

                I’ll give you a more recent example after eating my dinner…

                • TheContrarian

                  I worked for a large govt department a few years back. They had a problem in which they were overpaying their staff, sometimes in large chunks.

                  There were two reasons for this:
                  *outdated and poorly utilised software
                  *A central payroll but decentralised HR

                  Firstly the software was not fit for use. It ran on a Monday – Sunday timescale but pay ran on a Wednesday to Wednesday. Also the paylips it produced were extremely difficult to understand
                  Secondly if someone working in Christchurch was receiving a particular allowance on top of their salary, say $40 p/week for using their own car as opposed to one provided by the department, and they changed to a car provided they’d put a slip into the HR department to cease the allowance. HR sometimes sat on that slip for up to a year, all this time payroll was still paying the $40 allowance not knowing it should be ceased. I was hired to get the money back and I knew what the problem was however no one wanted to deal with the systemic problem but rather clean up the aftermath. Anytime I wanted to make a change it would take ages because it had to go through several people, several departments and I would get the answer back to just carry on from someone who obvoiously hadn’t read what I had suggested. After 2 years I finally had some movement but then had my contract terminated because they just wanted to go back to how things were happening before.

                  What a complete waste of resources. Firstly the overpayments but secondly hiring me to fix it, paying the salary to me but taking none of the recommendations and continuing to make the same errors knowing that it could be fixed but no incentive to do so. A private company would have long gone bust.

                  • KJT

                    I can tell many similar stories about the private sector. And for some reason they don’t go bust, and they keep paying the managers who make the stuff-ups even more millions.

                    Badly managed is badly managed, whether it is public or private.

                    The silly idea that any MBA can manage in any industry, whether they know anything about it or not has a lot to do with it.

                  • Craig Glen Eden

                    Two words “Nova Pay”

              • Draco T Bastard

                My uncle tells similar stories about Telecom before it was privatised in terms of having to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy…

                And yet I never had such a problem.

                Anecdotes != truth.

            • greywarbler 7.1.1.1.1.2

              The C
              Did you ever read the Brit book written on the start of reorganisation of their public service ‘Your Disobedient Servant?’
              Author Leslie Chapman 1978

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.3

              Well having spent a long time working in the public private sector I was frequently frustrated by the bureaucracy, lack of innovation and inability to chart my own course without having to ask 6 different people and waiting weeks to get answer.

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.2

            Comparing US healthcare to NZ healthcare to judge private vs public is pretty pointless, because the systems are just so different in terms of treatments offered and population dynamics etc. You’d be better off comparing private hospitals in NZ to public hospitals in NZ.

            Anyway, private hospitals in NZ simply don’t do the same range of services as public hospitals. For example all emergency surgery and admissions are taken care of by the public service. It’s only things like scheduled exams and surgeries that are done in private.

            • TheContrarian 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Agreed – bad example

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Comparing US healthcare to NZ healthcare to judge private vs public is pretty pointless, because the systems are just so different in terms of treatments offered and population dynamics etc.

              Nope and the reasons for that is that a large chunk of the cost of running the US health care system is advertising, another large chunk goes into excessive CEO and upper management pay rates, ~10% into profits and then there’s a fairly large chunk that goes into not paying out claims. They’ve actually ended up with more bureaucracy. There’s a reason why ObamaCare has that a minimum of 80% premiums gets spent on actually providing health services. After all that, their outputs aren’t any better than ours.

              I was, quite simply, comparing a highly inefficient system (US health care) with a highly efficient one (NZ health care).

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                Don’t forget shareholder dividends. Lots of shareholder dividends for lots of large, wealthy institutional investors.

        • miravox 7.1.1.2

          “Private health is far more efficient than the public health system”

          I’m thinking you have a pretty narrow definition of efficiency there.
          the U.S. spends more on health than any other country, has quality that is no better and has the most unequal access in the developed world.

        • KJT 7.1.1.3

          Another comedian.

          The US private system costs hugely more than any public one for much less coverage and worse average health care.

          Having worked for both private and Government organisations I can say that stultifying bureaucracy and poor management are endemic in the private sector, and State enterprises, run like a business.
          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/government-should-be-run-like-business.html

          Especially as we hugely reward managers who know nothing about the business, apart from cost cutting, asset stripping and screwing staff.

          • newsense 7.1.1.3.1

            I really dislike this- it’s public so it must be less efficient thing. A well run service with enforced targets and accountable people will be efficient either way.

            A crap company will be a crap company, public or private.

            Govt. can be inefficient, it can be efficient. Private companies can be efficient, they can also criminally neglect to invest, aim to confuse to essentially defraud as a business strategy etc etc…

            Certainly the arguments given for private companies about competition frequently seem to be a crock of crap…

          • Tim 7.1.1.3.2

            “Having worked for both private and Government organisations I can say that stultifying bureaucracy and poor management are endemic in the private sector, and State enterprises, run like a business.”

            EXACTERY

            I recall people moaning about bureaucracy in the old Ministry of Works; lazy buggers leaning on shovels; all the usual. Then you realise what they actually achieved, and contrast it with the bloody FultonHogan/Chorus/subcontractor/subcontractor/self-employed approach – a Warehouse type “everyone gets a bargain/everyone clips the ticket”.

            Vogel Computer Centre was run on extremely tight reins and supported a number of departments. Moving on to the banking sector from there (Databank and trading banks) was a bloody eye opener in terms of inefficiency, waste, needless bureaucracy, difficulties in getting decisions made, troughing, management being wined and dined by salesmen – then making technical decisions for which they weren’t qualified ….. the list goes on.

            Government Departments run on corporate lines are the problem – often run as highly paid CEO’s feifdoms. That’s what the 1980’s brought us all.
            The old public service might have been ripe for ridicule, but post-Douglas et al I think I’d rather have walk shorts, socks and sandals!

            • greywarbler 7.1.1.3.2.1

              Tim
              You mention fiefdoms. That causes me concern too.

              There is the Transport one where there is a huge budget for them to spend however they like, providing they can produce apparently irrefutable stats to back their ideas. And they are so sure they are right. Consultation is about perhaps leaving a memorial tree on the blitzkreig road they are planning.

              Government, seems to hand over its authority completely to the administrators. ‘I can’t do anything it’s an operational matter.’ Or the plan has been researched and consulted on for years, it’s time to move on it. A road to hell, nice and straight and fast. I’m not saying that they are all wrong but they have too much autonomy.

        • QoT 7.1.1.4

          private is easily more efficient in many areas.

          Only because our public system carries the bulk of healthcare. It’s really easy to deliver fast and effective services when other organisations are picking up the bulk/the difficult cases/backing up your shit when things go wrong.

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.4.1

            Funny how this fairly obvious point never surfaces when right-wingers are discussing how much more “efficient” private health care is. Make private hospitals open emergency departments and deal with everything affecting all comers and see how much better the service they provide is then…

          • Funny 7.1.1.4.2

            Spot on

  8. Will@Welly 8

    The neo-liberal culture is suddenly confounded by a dilemma not of its own making. A political party wanting to set up an insurance agency to compete with other businesses on the free market.
    Suddenly the “level playing field” isn’t so level any more. How friggin’ sad. Instead of ripping off Kiwis, the insurance companies might have to pull finger and do something pro-active ,

  9. Venezia 9

    This news about a state owned and run insurance company is great news indeed especially to those of us in Christchurch who have borne the brunt of the dishonest international corporate versions. I will be one of the first to sign up when KiwiAssure gets up and running.

  10. Tracey 10

    Nosense

    acc is not an insurance company. Thank you.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Well, it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a pay-go system but the stupid 5th Labour led government turned it into a fully funded insurance system. Since then it’s gone to hell.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    @ Zetetic

    You asked, “What are they (insurance companies) going to do?”

    Answer: Pour money into defeating Cunliffe / Labour.

    Entrenched campaign financing limits are essential or we will end with the American system: “the best government money can buy.”

  12. muzza 12

    Banking and finance includes insurance, and in many instances are the same banks that have been annihilating all in their tracks, are the underwriters and owners of the insurance industry.

    Which is about all that needs to be known about the insurance industry, so of course they will be seeking to defend their stranglehold in this pacific island nation.

  13. insider 13

    Kiwi bank already offers a full suite of home insurance and personal and life. Why is Cunliffe needing to reinvent what already exists? Isn’t the scandal that kiwibank is not already offering what he says his new scheme will offer?

    • felix 13.1

      Perhaps you won’t vote Labour after all then.

    • IrishBill 13.2

      Most of Kiwibank’s insurance offerings are third-party contracted by private sector insurers.

      • Psycho Milt 13.2.1

        Exactly. Just like the private sector banks’ insurance offerings – funny thing, banks aren’t insurance companies…

      • insider 13.2.2

        “We’ve teamed up with Kiwi Insurance Limited (a related company of Kiwibank) and TOWER Insurance Limited” So a mix of its own insurance and that of tower, a nz company.

        So Cunliffe is going to kill off this because…?

        Note that Cunliffeyeahsure will be reselling overseas backed insurance.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2.1

          Note that Cunliffeyeahsure will be reselling overseas backed insurance.

          I hope not as that would be a really stupid idea as the Chch fiasco has already proved.

          • the pigman 13.2.2.1.1

            Yeah I suppose it is likely to use existing reinsurers, although clearly not that much detail is available at this stage.

            However, as for insurers of the affected Christchurch homes blaming their reinsurers (which I’m sure they do), it’s total bullshit. The insurers should be honouring their obligations and sorting out the disputes with their reinsurers separately, and hypothetically speaking, you’d certainly expect KiwiAssure to do so in order to avoid that situation.

            • Colonial Viper 13.2.2.1.1.1

              The NZ Govt will use some re-insurers, but it can also largely self insure. There is no reason for KiwiBank to offer third party insurance products once this is all set up.

        • SpaceMonkey 13.2.2.2

          The Government is big enough to self-insure.

      • Lanthanide 13.2.3

        IIRC a figure someone (Labour MP, Parker maybe? Cunliffe?) said was 98% of the insurance sector is owned by foreign corporates.

    • PleaseThinkOfThePuppies 13.3

      Banks simply resell someone else’s product, they do not provide their own insurance services.

      When I was with ASB (customer for over 20 years, never got crap from them so moved to Kiwibank as soon as it started), my Life and Car insurance were all from someone else.

      Talking of crap service, was a Meridian customer for over 8 years and it was only once i cancelled my contract with them to go with the local power co that they rang up offering me a mediocre rebate (cancelled due to them being on the block).

      Hint to all biz out there, its easier to keep customers than gain new ones.

  14. QoT 14

    drive away insurance capital

    This may be a completely obtuse comment, as I know sweet fuck-all about the insurance industry, but:

    Isn’t a good proportion of the insurance industry’s capital our capital? It’s not like they stick a whole lot of their own money into a term deposit and let us use it to rebuild houses and buy new cars for free.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Insurance companies have big big pots of money. Premiums really make up their profit stream; the underlying capital acts like an endowment that keeps them in business. I believe there’s also regulatory requirements around how much money they need to have on hand etc.

      • felix 14.1.1

        If that’s the case it’s just more reason for publicly owned alternatives without the dead weight loss that the “profit” represents.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 14.1.2

        Insurance companies have big big pots of money.

        The NZ govt has big pots of money.

        And unlike insurance companies, the NZ govt can always issue more money if required, so it is always a safer, cheaper underwriter.

        • SpaceMonkey 14.1.2.1

          “And unlike insuarnce companies, the NZ govt can always issue more money if required”

          Not quite… not under the current financial system. Banks create currency. But the NZ Govt can borrow money a lot more easily than most…

          • Tat Loo (CV) 14.1.2.1.1

            Do you know of any entity in the world apart from the NZ Government which can legally print a $100 note?

            If required the Reserve Bank can credit the Government’s accounts as required.

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    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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