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Labour’s review – a good job well done

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, July 17th, 2012 - 42 comments
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I’ve just got my summary report on Labour’s organisational review, emailed to me as a member from President Moira Coatsworth, with a link to the website – things have certainly got better since my day!

On a quick first look, it seems to be a very good job. It is interesting to contrast with National’s review after their 2002 defeat. Labour has gone for more openness, diversity and participation, where National went for corporatisation and centralisation. Labour’s review also comes out in the week before National’s annual conference, described thus by Colin James in today’s ODT (not online):

The country’s leading fearful party meets in conference this weekend. Delegates will be cajoled, cosseted and secreted from controversy. It seems that the more taxpayer money the bigger parties get the less they feel accountable. Their excuse: the media these days will overplay any tiny disturbance and voter perception of disunity is a killer. John Key used this rationale two years ago to put firmly in place a delegate who objected (in a secret session) to hermetic seclusion.

Labour’s review has addressed a number of critical issues. Values are central; they will be brought up to date and incorporated in a policy platform, which moves past the prescriptive process introduced as a reaction to Rogernomics and which will allow for much more open debate at conferences. Member recruitment will be encouraged with a koha facility for young joiners, and increased opportunity for  affiliations from Maori organisations and community groups. Local structures will be freed up from procedural restraints to focus on engagement, debate and campaigning. Training will support a strategic focus for candidates and the 38-member Moderating committee will be replaced by the New Zealand Council plus 3 MPs for list selection.  A Management Committee of the Council including the Caucus leadership will ensure a strong relationship between Party and Caucus, essential for strategic campaigning.

That’s just a taste; there’s lots more, and it’s all on the website. A third feedback round is now under way, with comments invited. Go for it.

42 comments on “Labour’s review – a good job well done”

  1. Carol 1

    Well this looks like progress::

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7293348/Unions-gain-Labour-leader-vote

    Labour has settled on a new way to select its leader, which gives members and affiliates, including unions, a say and puts sitting MPs in a minority.

    Under the current rules, only MPs vote on the leader, but under the proposed rules – due to be signed off at the party’s annual conference in November – MPs will hold 40 per cent of the vote, members 40 per cent and affliates 20 per cent.

    But this is not so great:

    Under the draft rules a leadership selection would be triggered when the position of leader became vacant or when two thirds of the caucus petitioned the party president for one.

    But this seems a little better:

    Otherwise, as a matter of course, a caucus vote on the leader would be taken no later than three months after a general election.

    If a majority at that vote did not endorse the leader, that would trigger the party-wide process to pick a leader.

    Voting will be preferential and concurrent in all cases.

    In the current term the endorsement vote by the caucus would take place in 2013.

    So is there an endorsement vote at the beginning of each year?

    • Pete 1.1

      It means that we as members – I assume you are a member – have our imput into the selection of a leader, but we can’t roll one. And I suppose that makes sense, otherwise you could well have a bunch of cuckoo-like members joing Labour’s ranks in order to sow division and discord. Imagine if a bunch of National surrogates joined Labour 6 months out from the election to shaft whatever leader the party has.

      I’m quite pleased with the outcome of the review.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        No I’m not a member, but I want to see a strong and democratic Labour Party. I’m still mulling over the ramifications of the endorsement votes by caucus. However, your point about imposters skewing the system is a good one.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.2

        ” And I suppose that makes sense, otherwise you could well have a bunch of cuckoo-like members joing Labour’s ranks in order to sow division and discord.”
         
        I’m pretty sure we saw that in the eighties, Pete! Prebble bussed in dozens of token members to rort branch and regional meetings so as to allow the Douglas faction their idealogical coup. The irony of it was that most of the phantom members were working class people who suffered the most from the ACT economic program as it was rolled out.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.2

      “So is there an endorsement vote at the beginning of each year?”
       
      That’s not how I read it, Carol. It would potentially be destabilising to have a yearly vote (think about those bogus ‘Goff to be rolled’ stories we had to put up with for the last 3 years). But an endorsement post-election makes sense, as does giving the caucus the ability to trigger a vote. If any leader lost the trust of two thirds of the caucus, you’d have to think they needed to go.
       
      But the best bit, really, is widening the vote out to party members and unions. What a fantastic opportunity to build party membership that is!

      • Pete 1.2.1

        Don’t forget Labour’s just asking for a koha for new and young members, not a set amount. Which reduces the barrier to membership quite significantly.

      • Carol 1.2.2

        Thanks, TRP. I was puzzled by the mention of an endorsement vote in 2013. But this Herald article clarifies that;

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820222

        The Council has also recommended that current leader David Shearer face his first confidence vote in February next year, the timing which was required under the current rules.

        The changes to the party’s Constitution will be made at the annual conference in November, although they are still subject to possible change.

    • Bunji 1.3

      Not each year, just each term. It used to be standard to do it midway through, now it’ll be at the start.

      Membership causing a contest would have to involve getting the signatures of a lot of members, and how destabilising would it be to have a campaign trying to get all those..? So i think it has to be MPs as the trigger (unless someone has some particularly bright idea as to how members can do it).

    • And lets give Moira Coatsworth a big thank you for the work she has done on the review and leadership selection. A president to be proud of its a pleasure to work with you Moira .

  2. captain hook 2

    now some good policies and Labour will roll this government of carpetbagging non-entities.

    • Populuxe1 2.1

      It should probably also roll a few carpetbagging non-entities of its own.
      I note after David Parker revealed that Labour had no problem with selling telecommunications and electricity generation
      http://www.labour.org.nz/news/robert-walters-finance-breakfast-speech
      he also admits that selling assets drives up power costs.
      http://business.scoop.co.nz/2012/07/17/asset-sales-push-up-energy-costs/
      WTF is going on with Labour?
       

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        WTF is going on with Labour?

        Fucked if I know. They seem to be as completely clueless and disconnected from reality as National these days.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Its actually very easy to understand what is going on with Labour.

          1) The right wing of caucus is the constituency in charge currently.

          2) This consituency believes that ‘actively engaging’ with corporate interests, the professional class and the soft-voting comfortable middle classes is how to win 2014. Policy platforms likely to energise the base and the 1/2 million Labour supporters who didn’t bother to vote in 2011 to turn out is not priority.

          3) Day to day responses to issues are highly driven by regular internal polling. The Greens and NZ1 can repond to issues far more quickly and authentically because they are not waiting for polling results to tell them which way the wind is blowing.

          4) Labour strategy is to not rock the boat with defining policy leadership positions and to manage trends in polling numbers in such a way that victory will occur in 2014.

          5) The support and viewpoints of the membership are both taken too much for granted.

          6) Innate assumptions that a highly free market globalised BAU can continue over the next 10, 20 years with lip service paid to the contrary, but an unwillingness to advocate for serious strategies (beyond say setting aside $50M here and there for this green growth fund or that R&D tax credit etc).

          7) Labour has become very focussed and occupied with the complexity of its internal bureacracy, internal politics and overhead administrative burdens. In other words, much time and energy has to be spent on simply running Rome.

      • Bunji 2.1.2

        Populuxe1 that’s not what David Parker’s speech says, Chris Trotter’s rant aside.

        It’s setting out which sectors are completely stopped from foreign sale. So whether Contact Energy shares owned by foreigners can be sold to foreigners. Whether Vodafone could buy Telstra.

        The whole last election Labour fought on not selling assets. A huge amount of effort from the party and caucus is going into the Citizens Initiated Referundum and other campaigns to stop National’s stupid sales.

        Labour most definitely does have a problem with selling nz-owned telecoms and electricity generation, but it won’t stop foreign investment in those areas.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          Labour most definitely does have a problem with selling nz-owned telecoms and electricity generation, but it won’t stop foreign investment in those areas.

          Seriously, read this sentence and tells me what it even means? Its a statement that only a policy wonk could reconcile.

          So Labour has a problem with selling nz owned power generation, but foreign buyers into that same generation is OK??? With all due respect, wtf? For there to be an investor who buys in, doesn’t there need to be us on the other side selling them the shares?

          It’s setting out which sectors are completely stopped from foreign sale. So whether Contact Energy shares owned by foreigners can be sold to foreigners.

          If this is true its actually a huge step to the left for Labour.

          Stopping foreign investors who already own an asset from seeking any other foreign buyer for their shares. They would have to sell to NZers or to the NZ government only.

          It is the first step on the path to nationalising some of these assets.

          Is this what Labour intends.

  3. Olwyn 3

    I take it that with the endorsement vote, a simple majority either confirms the leader or triggers a leadership vote, whereas a two thirds majority from the caucus would be needed to trigger a vote outside of the formal occasions for doing so. Is that right? One would assume that over time, the new rules will bring about more continuity between members and caucus, so that if the majority of members were unhappy with the direction caucus was taking, the latter would be pressed to take note.

    I am not knowledgeable enough, however, to grasp what the shift from prescription to values will mean on a practical level. It sounds like something that will demand good faith on all sides.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    For rather large generalisations this all sounds fine and promising. What will truly count, however, is when they are boiled down to specifics (eg whose values and what values?) It is still a waiting game. Hope for anything other than Utopia!

  5. BillODrees 5

    1. Shearer won the Leadership vote last November on a simple majority vote. The count was very close.

    2. Shearer said the selection process was inadequate and needed to be changed. What a courageous decent strong guy, we all said.

    3. Shearer changes the rule to a 2/3rds majority vote to remove him. What type of guy does that, we all say. 

     

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      ‘cept this isn’t Shearer’s review. If you’d stopped at two, you’d have been mint, Bill.

      • BillODrees 5.1.1

        @TRP
        David Shearer has missed the one opportunity he had to legitimize his leadership by getting unequivocal broad based membership and party support.
        David Shearer did not have the support oF the membership after the Leadership Roadshow but narrowly won the Caucus vote. He himself and then Moira acknowledged that the process needed to have more legitimacy. That was an explicit and inherent acknowledgement that he needed to get clear and explicit membership endorsement.
        He has chosen not to give the membership an opportunity to endorse him.

        A sign of weakness.  Not the behaviour of a courageous leader. 

        • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1

          This far from a sign of weakness, and again, you miss the point. This is not Shearer’s review; it’s ours. I am totally in favour of the leader having a set term to do his stuff. It works in sport, it works in business, it works in unions, too. Sackings should only occur for genuine failure, not because the msm slavishly follows Crosby/Textor’s lines and works to undermine Labour’s leaders. The higher bar for caucus to initiate a spill is excellent and will stop dreamers, dimwits and wannabees from stirring the pot.
           
          In Goff’s case, he’d be Prime Minister today if it wasn’t for a 3 year campaign suggesting he was going to be rolled any minute, combined with the last month of the election’s line that the outcome ws a done deal, so if you don’t like National, don’t bother voting.
           
          I wanted Cunliffe as leader.We got Shearer, who turns out to be pretty good anyway and Cunliffe continues to do great work as part of the caucus team. Now we have a serious response to the call from the membership for organisational renewal and Moira and her team have delivered. I was at a branch meeting last night and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The conference later this year is going to be a terrific occasion and for the first time in yonks, I’m actually keen to go!

          • Olwyn 5.1.1.1.1

            This is the bit I don’t understand: will the endorsement vote in February require 67% to bring about a leadership vote, or will a simple majority do it? I do understand that you cannot roll a leader without the 67% support, and think that is a good thing. But I am not sure whether an endorsement vote counts as that, or even whether the new rules will apply to it in this instance.

            One further thing: I think that the leadership review after a lost election should be within six months, not three. The lay of the land is not apparent immediately after an election, and good policy direction depends on having a reasonably clear idea of what you are up against.

            • Bunji 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Endorsement votes are on a simple majority.

              • Olwyn

                Thanks Bunji

                • Colonial Viper

                  This February’s vote remains a simple majority. But it is the last one at that level and it changes after that to 67%. Held within 3 months of each election AFAIK.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Not so, CV. The February vote will be the last under the current rules. Future 3 months post election endorsements will still have the 50% plus 1 formula, as I read it. The 67% mark only applies to caucus sponsored spills, not the post election endorsement. I expect this aspect will probably get a lot of discussion at conference, because it’s important to get it right.
                     
                    Regarding a caucus revolt, if I was an unpopular leader, I would take the hint if more than half my colleagues wanted me gone, so it wouldn’t need 67% to end my inglorious reign!

                    Edit, from the mail out: “As a matter of course, no later than three months after the date of a General Election there will be a Parliamentary Caucus vote to endorse the Party Leader or initiate a leadership election process, with endorsement of the Party Leader requiring support of 50% plus 1.”

          • the pink postman 5.1.1.1.2

            Well said Te Reo .The Cambridge Branch put in a membership election remit in the 1980s and every year since .It now looks as this is now under Moira Coatsworth going to happen, This will make the Labour Party the most democratic party in Aotearoa Im proud of that fact. So now perhaps all the Tory critics who regulary soil our left wing Standard will now piss off and go and annoy their own useless lot . I subscibe to the Standard because I enjoy sensible debate from genuine people of the Left not to hear the continuous harping of Right Wing groaners ,

            • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Cheers, Postie, you’re an inspiration to us all. You may not be delivering the mail anymore, but you’re still delivering the truth!

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      Not my party, so I haven’t been following the nitty gritty, but what the hey right…

      I assume that 2/3 majority vote Bill’o is talking about is something along the lines of; ‘It would take a 2/3 vote of the parliamentary caucus to remove a leader’ ?

      If that’s not what he’s talking about then I obviously withdraw the following, but if it is, then…

      What in the name of all living crawly things and them what eat them would it take to please the self sanctified bloody party membership of the Labour Party??

      There is no bloody use whatsoever, none at all, in having a parliamentary leader that doesn’t have the support of her/his caucus. Recipe for fucking fail.

      If the membership is that far out of kilter with the caucus that they can’t stand the leader the caucus wants, then it’s candidate selction that’s the problem, not the leaders ballot. seriously.

      And that rule? A rule that says it takes 2/3 of caucus to remove a leader? Who benefits from that? Not the fucking caucus that’s for sure.

      What that rule does is prevents, for an example plucked out of the air, an Anyone But Cunliffe faction removing Cunliffe should he get elected by the broader party over the heads of a simple caucus majority. And people are bitching about this?

      Isn’t that what y’all have been crying about for lo these many months?

      You don’t know when you’ve bloody won.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    The caucus still dictates to the members.  We all knew for 2 years beforehand that Phil Goff could not win but the caucus did not replace him. I worked hard and gave generously to the party.  Never again.  These new rules still leave the members powerless to remove a failing leader.  Either the members can initiate removal of the leader or I walk.

  7. QoT 7

    One simply hates to be picky, but you’ve got to be worried about any organisation which has to spell out “our actions will be in line with our values”. What else are they going to be in line with? And if you have to have a review to realise this, what were they in line with before? And what exactly are they?

    (Sorry, sorry, it’s just like so many bland organisational Mission Statements: “We will provide good customer service.” Unlike all those companies who want to provide bad customer service.)

  8. hush minx 8

    So some members this on the whole things look good with the review – others are deeply suspicous. Mmmm this sounds like a time for some clear communication from the party leadership over what exactly this means. It feels as if there’s some facets of how it’s all to work missing from the explanations to date – for example, if a leadership vote due to happen in 2013 which was a straight numbers game. but now takes 2/3 of caucus to trigger hasn’t the whole thing gone backwards in terms of accountability and process?

    • Carol 8.1

      Not entirely. I just read Claire Trevett’s piece in today’s Herald, headlining that the proposed new Labour system will make it harder to remove (or “dump” as stated in the headline) a leader.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10820356

      Changes to the way the Labour Party elects its leader will make it much harder to mount a coup and effectively guarantees a leader’s job is safe in between elections barring a major caucus revolt.

      Now it struck me that, whatever the downsides to this for members, this is really bad news for the NAct and right wing MSM PR & black ops machine. During the last term, I wasn’t that keen on Goff as leader. however, once he was chosen I felt probably it was best to let him show what he could do.

      But NAct was onto his a*se from the get-go, calling him “Phil-in” etc. If it’s harder to remove the leader, that makes it harder for the right wing black ops brigade to keep calling for his/her removal. Although, I guess if the leader is performing poorly the black ops folk will just keep bleating on about Labour’s system that makes it hard to dump the leader mid-term.

      Better to get a high quality leader in the first place. The current problem with Labour seems to be that the right wing is calling the shots. So, the leadership issue is the tip of the ice-berg, and the problems very deep-seated.

      • Blue 8.1.1

        After reading Claire’s article I can’t help but think it’s a mistake to let the media’s piss poor behaviour dictate Labour’s organisational review.

        I can see why Labour wants to make it harder to dump the leader in light of the stupid reporting around Phil Goff last term. But that won’t fix the problem. There was never a realistic prospect of Phil being rolled and yet the media kept at it like a dog with a bone anyway.

        They’ll still run the toxic ‘leadership in trouble’ stories – it will only add more spice to add that even though the party is supposedly unhappy they can’t get rid of the leader because of the draconian rules around dumping one.

        Labour are only playing right into their hands.

  9. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 9

    Hi Hush Mink. Hopefully this is a short lived dinconnection from reality. There is the Conference in three months to fix these drafting glitches. If you are a member you have the same voting power as Mike Smith and Putake. Discuss and work with your branch and LEC. Enroll new party members. Get in the ear of your area rep, MP or list person . This problem us fixable. Keep the faith.

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Democracy:  A system of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people.
      Today’s Herald: The people of South Auckland can’t stop street prostitution.  Only Parliament can.  NZ is a parliamentary dictatorship.  I can’t think of any other country where local government is so powerless they cannot act on such a basic local issue as street prostitution.
      Bowalley Road highlights how dictatorial Labour Party decision making is.  With the overwhelming majority of Labour party members opposed to asset sales, Shearer, Parker, and the caucus have a retreat and decide the party’s new policy is, “It’s OK to sell power generation plants.”
      It’s time to bring democracy to the party and then the country.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Today’s Herald: The people of South Auckland can’t stop street prostitution.

        So street prostitutes aren’t some times people of South Auckland as well?

        Do you think that people are serious about stopping street prostitution or are they simply interested in moving the street prostitution away from their own backyard?

        • QoT 9.1.1.1

          Read my mind, CV. (Danger: self-promoting link ahead) Apparently the problem is an evil cabal of Hamilton transvestites. Seriously.

          AmaKiwi: it might just be that the reason Parliament left local government “powerless” to “act” on street sex work is precisely because they knew every local authority would immediately do their best to re-criminalise it again.

          • AmaKiwi 9.1.1.1.1

            Reply to QoT from AmaKiwi:  It is irrelevant whether or not local bodies would have re-criminalized prostitution in their own communities.  Democracy means the PEOPLE decide.  In a democracy if you want to change a law you convince the majority of the voters to agree with you and decide by referendum.  In our elected dictatorship corporations make big donations to get MP’s to approve projects so the corporations can get rich on our tax dollars.
             

            • QoT 9.1.1.1.1.1

              WTF do corporate political donations have to do with decriminalised sex work? You also haven’t answered CV’s question, by the way.

              And frankly, on the issue of sex work “the people” tend to be massive fucking hypocrites. Clue: there wouldn’t be so many Scary Sex Workers in South Auckland if “the people” of South Auckland chose to stop paying for sex. They just want to have their cake and pretend it’s not there, and screw whoever gets endangered in the process.

        • millsy 9.1.1.2

          They are just a bunch of filthy god botherers who want to stick their noses into the sex lives of consenting adults.

          As for Labour, when they start working on presenting a genuine alternative to the bi-partisan neo-liberal consensus, then I might think about becoming a member or registered supporter.

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  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    4 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    4 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
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