Left wing activism and the humdrum need to maintain jobs and careers

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, October 4th, 2015 - 172 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:


LPrent had a line about many commenters here being time-poor and being in influential positions, and Bill talked about “coordinators”, which got me thinking: can a Progressive be “in the world, but not of the world”?

What kind of person can really be a compromised leftie activist?

See if this rings any bells. You’ll have your own stories on this.

You’re highly qualified. You can’t trust those around you with your politics. Random restructures hit teams around you. If you’re outed, you’ll likely never work in your chosen field again. Your few close friends are allies, others have flamed out like a final Mad Max ride. Your nom-de-plume protects your mortgage.

A few peel off to work in Parliament, others to minor NGOs, some reduced to commenting alone, still more get post-campaign burnout and become melancholic muggles.

The choices narrow for the remainder. Build or find a project in your “spare time” and believe in its ability to inspire; this site is one. Choose union activism to rail valiantly against the rising exploitative tide, and forgo your career arc. Some retreat to the grey economy, rebuke the world, retire from the field early, sending occasional missives on purity.

Others keep their suits on. They find social reform, or governance positions, or built infrastructure projects, on a monumental scale, and push their shoulder in. They make deals. They compromise everything especially themselves. They are strategic brokers, and they are paid for it. One’s function in politics changes as one’s ideals are replaced by instruments.

And it gets harder, the longer you do it, for a Camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Much harder, but not impossible.

172 comments on “Left wing activism and the humdrum need to maintain jobs and careers”

  1. Don't worry. Be happy 1

    Don’t be dense. If you think for a second that Christ meant it was very difficult but not impossible for The Rich to enter Paradise then you know very little about camels or needles.

  2. savenz 2

    Personally think everyone can do their bit. I don’t think you have to hide your political views although scarily in some jobs you do and the pressure is increasing not to talk about any ‘left’ views. When people talk about what is going on, then it shows that actually a lot of people are in agreement. They do not like the current government.

    • Ad 2.1

      Ever been in a job where there were significant limits to your freedom of expression?

      • CR 2.1.1

        I was in a job where there were limits to freedom of expression, association, etc. Not a ‘corporate’ job, but one with a social service-providing NGO, supposedly committed to ‘challenging evil, injustice and oppression’. Oh, and other goals like ‘eradicating poverty’.

        I was passionate, enthusiastic, and achieving results in my work.

        In my view our organisation should have been leading by example – implement the Living Wage, stop using zero hours contracts, provide adequate (at least to the minimum standard) training. We paid minimum wage and kept staff hungry for ‘hours’, and basic training was minimal. It makes me sick to think about it.

        I saw and experienced bullying. Staff being targeted, e.g. Plots to ‘restructure their jobs without officially restructuring’, so the staff would leave voluntarily. Because the staff were Union and church members (breach of human rights). I saw breaches of employment law – e.g. Hiring on temporary contracts and extending those when the period expired – in lieu (illegally) of 90 day trials or to try to deny staff sick leave entitlements and training.

        I spoke up about what I saw as wrong. I don’t regret speaking up for my values and principles. Even if it didn’t change anything.

        My teams’ work was sabotaged because the main ring leader of this ‘axis of evil’ in our organisation didn’t believe there was any ROI on training staff…WTF?? So my staff left, I ended up on stress leave, hired a lawyer and got the best settlement I could prior to mediation.

        I think this is an important topic, thank you for this article, Ad. I don’t know what the solution is. The marginalisation of left wing/progressive voices is something that has happened in a sickening and destructive way in New Zealand, with the help of the mainstream media over the last seven or eight years. It seems to be getting worse not better.

        • Draco T Bastard


        • seeker

          A very valid and important topic that certainly needs airing …thank you Ad. I won’t elaborate, but have experienced a few instances of which you are ‘speaking’ . ( I learned to be very careful about speaking my mind in a couple of staffrooms.)

        • Ad

          Cheers CR.
          Yours is exactly the kind of non-theoretical life example I was hoping for.

          There is astonishing personal cost to resisting, particularly under the current employment law framework, and even if one is a union member.

          I have had a few significant scrapes myself – nothing on your scale. And I took them for every cent I could get.

          • Chris

            “I have had a few significant scrapes myself – nothing on your scale. And I took them for every cent I could get.”

            It’s good you’ve done that. These people need to be severely punished. But sometimes that’s not an option for workers especially when the Employment Relations Tribunal doesn’t usually suppress workers’ names. A lot of NGO workers are highly skilled and can’t see their names splashed around the employment law reports. The community sector in NZ is small and insular enough as it is without shouting from the rooftops someone’s had a scrap with their NGO employer. I think that the Employment Relations Tribunal at least should suppress workers’ names. Then there are people who see even a mediation as too confrontational so don’t bother and let themselves get rolled over big time. Don’t know what to say about this group. Then there’s the larger NGOs that hire lawyers from big firms at the drop of a hat, defend everything to the hilt until either the worker backs down or a result is reached either way even if the employer loses because it sends a message to all other employees “we might be an NGO but don’t mess with us because if you do we’ll go all the way”. Very right wing thinking, really, dressed up in left wing clothes.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        Yes… and fears of computers being checked…

      • Chris 2.1.3

        Working in the community sector can be a mixed bag. Often depends on the personalities of the employers/management. One manager can run a workplace entirely in line with left wing principles of fairness and respect, then their successor comes in and changes the culture of the place overnight. Then there are other corporate NGOs that do nothing except work to justify and preserve their own existence. Often these NGOs are headed by sociopathic and hypocritical bullies and split their time between restructuring the place and bullying and scapegoating individual staff they see as being too skilled at their job so are threats to them personally. The rest of their time is spent licking the government’s arse. The real nasty ones can do all three things at once. Just goes to show you don’t have to be a right winger to be a prick.

        • Ad

          You sound like you’ve been through it.

          Burnout is almost an entirely new post.
          I’ll get on to it. Something about therapeutic communities.

          • Chris

            Wasn’t talking so much about burnout than getting slowly ousted from a large NGO that purports to have left wing values but then when you start doing the work and doing it well they do their darnedest to pull you back into line and if that doesn’t work you’re down the road. The MO is scapegoating and sociopathic bullying. Skilled left wing thinking workers in some NGOs are punished for doing a good job because they’re seen as a threat to what those within the NGO see as their corporate machine. Very strange when you think it happens in left wing NGOs where smoko-room trash-talk about the likes of Key and Bennett and English and Tolley and Brownlee and even right wing Labour gits like King and Goff and Nash is perfectly acceptable but when you start getting up the government’s nose in your day-to-work you become a target in your own organisation. Very strange indeed.

        • Chris

          Although often, I’d add, many of these pricks are in fact right wingers masquerading as left wingers.

        • seeker

          Yes, yes and yes Chris @ 3.11pm……especially the ” bullying and scapegoating individual staff they see as being too skilled at their jobs so are threats to them personally”.
          Can’t stand these faulty and unprofessional perceptions in the mix.

          • Chris

            That’s where you get torn between the importance of the work and the importance of your own happiness. Might start valuing the former but if things don’t improve the latter usually prevails. And who are the real losers? Those the organisation purport to represent. All that group end up with are the sociopathic pricks who used to employ you.

      • Unicus 2.1.4

        The New Zealand workplace has always been used by tin pot management tyrants to exercise their half baked theory’s on how the world should work .

        The bully boy /girl attitude of middle management in New Zealand has contributed more to the failure of our economy than any other element in my experience .

        Brainless bullying is seen by management incompetents as a surrogate for constructive and co-operative interaction in the workplace . The effect on workplace production usually means little more than minimal and grudging effort from employees .

        Expressing personal opinions at work of any kind is a sure invitation for management repression in this country , while political opinions of the “wrong” kind almost inevitably lead a progressive thinker to career marginalization or manipulated dismissal .

        The fact is New Zealanders have been conditioned to behave with compliance and timidity in the workplace ever since the employment contracts act removed their meager trade union power-base during Muldoons dictatorship .

        Kiwis are happy to live with the delusion that they are a brave forthright people willing to steadfastly defend their “way of life” – the fact is in the workplace at least we have become as spineless and self obsessed as the worst of our species anywhere .

    • keepLeft 2.2

      The solution is simple. As part of the revolution against capitalism tax business out of business so that everything is run by the people through the mechanisms of the State. That way we can say whatever we like while at the same time protecting the revolution from subversives aiming to undermine it.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    It was because he was in the habit of speaking of these subjects that his fellow workmen came to the conclusion that there was probably something wrong with his mind.

    Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. h/t to Ad & Bill.

    • Ad 3.1

      These days there are plenty of employment contacts – even in the public service – where you are required to sign “Conflict of Interest” registers, together with limits on the kind of entity you can belong to, whether you or your spouse can take part in campaign activity in any part of your life, and very wide definitions of “repetitional interests” in the employment contract itself.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      I’ve got another bad cold at present so my concentration span isn’t up to reading it all in one hit, but I can see why The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists was such a hugely influential work. And while conditions have improved over the one hundred years since 1910 for those in the developed world; there remains many humans still not far removed from these conditions.

      And while the material circumstances may have improved, the political and ethical ones have barely budged since Noonan’s day. Recall the abuse and vilification heaped on “Dr Weakling” who had the temerity to oppose the gross corruption of the Town Council.

      For me it was reading George Orwells Down and Out in Paris and London that was probably the most formative read for me personally – but Noonan’s work must have powerfully influenced millions.


      • Ad 3.2.1

        I think The Matrix better expresses my sentiment here.

        The growth of industries since WW2 requiring massive and highly refined technical disciplines, has led to a professional class who by and large are not the entrepreneur, but are in fact permanent instruments within massive corporate and bureaucratic machines.

        These people I would characterize as having at least one University degree, want the trappings of a middle class life, and want to do good in the world as well.

        if they are younger than I am, they will be less and less tied to party activist loyalty, less likely to vote, but quite likely to join in on an activist adventure they feel passionate about.

        If they are my age or older, their heroes will probably people like Erin Brockovich and Geoffrey Wygand.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Permanent instruments.

          To clarify, you mean people who do odious jobs and can be (they perceive) easily replaced? A manager who is tasked with selling collateralised debt options, for example…?

          • Ad

            Sorry I missed this comment earlier.

            Yes. Bankers are part of those instruments. You would be surprised at the number of partners, principals, and even fund managers who simply can’t stomach this kind of government.

            They write great cheques. They just don’t come out of the closet very often.

            There are of course dangers to extracting political donations from billionaires, as the left here have found out at very high political cost.

  4. b waghorn 4

    Wouldn’t being a true through and through leftie and being career driven be mutually exclusive.

    • Ad 4.1

      I would argue not.
      Why do you think so?

      • weka 4.1.1

        Isn’t the point of the post (or one of them) that if you are a leftie and you stay in the system you get compromised. I have great admiration for people that choose to stay, because the work there is hard and they often give up parts of themselves (look at MPs).

        edit, sorry just realised, is this your post Ad?

        • Ad

          Yes that’s the point. It’s my post – apparently I have to use a longer name for some file name reason.

          It’s hard to name the degrees of pressure that are forced upon you because we live in a supposedly tolerant society.
          Nevertheless they are real and it’s really easy to lose faith.

          • weka

            It’s an important post. I think we are at the point where as a society we’re losing so much integrity and for the most part people aren’t paying attention. Or they see it happening piecemeal but don’t see how damaging the changes are.

            I seem to remember economists in the late 80s early 90s having a hard time because they spoke out against Rogernomics. They faced real threats to their careers and so many just shut up.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I seem to remember economists in the late 80s early 90s having a hard time because they spoke out against Rogernomics. They faced real threats to their careers and so many just shut up.

              Such economists still face real threats to their careers. I suspect that there’d be no way that people who didn’t support the status quo would get a job as an economist at a bank.

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata

            I agree, Ad. It is also difficult to “come out” politically when you live in an area that is very Tory-leaning. Small business owners with progressive views who live and operate in the area are reluctant to be seen campaigning for fear of loss of clients. There seems to be a real nastiness in the type of abuse handed out by some right wingers. I can recall teachers who protested against bulk funding back in the 90s when some schools were trialling the system* being intimidated by officious RW School Board members.

            * (BF schools getting paid more so that the “trial” would give a positive result- like the current charter school trials)

            • Ad

              I am sure National parliamentary staff will look at this post on Monday morning and confirm that their tactics over a decade have worked. That the anxiety now extends to where you live, is sad.

              If small business owners are increasingly reluctant to show their political flag, then there is a similar force of shame, anxiety and denial in operation across wider strata than the professional insider class. That points to a deeper problem. Maybe I’ll try a separate post on that one.

              God, if only you could hear how the elected members of the Orakei Local Board actually speak about other human beings.

            • Tracey

              and in a country where people can throw around epithets such as looney, communist, and so on the describe people who do no more than view the world differently from them. I include Hooton, Wayne Mapp (former Minister and Law Commissioner), Hosking, Henry and so on…

      • b waghorn 4.1.2

        If you’re career is working to further the lefts cause then there would be no need to be silent, so if you’re staying silent to further you’re career then its probably all about the pursuit of money/power like a good little capitalist.

        • Ad

          The result of that kind of willful blindness is that you get fired.
          Which is fine if you’re either born to wealth, or don’t give a shit where you are working.

          I am neither.
          And there are quite a number like me.

          • b waghorn

            How can someone class them self as a activist if they are not willing to risk loss of something be money ,position or freedom.
            I class Sue Bradford as a activist

            • lprent

              Sure they can. A will towards self-martyrdom is being a one direction suicidal tendency, and inherently self-defeating. It may give a glorious immolation for a cause, but it doesn’t do much for it in reality. It is purely self-indulgent. Sheer bloody minded persistence is what gives results in a series of battles.

              From what I have seen of Sue Bradford, she doesn’t show any tendency towards making futile guestures. Certainly her history doesn’t show that either. She always comes back to do the next round. And she raised her kids as well. She never risked what was crucial to being able to both of those things.

              • b waghorn

                “”Someone who’s actively involved in a protest or a political or social cause can be called an activist. Demonstrations, strikes, and sit-ins are all ways that an activist might work toward the change she believes in. The root word of activist is the Latin actus, “a doing, a driving force, or an impulse.” Someone who acts on what she believes is an activist.””
                That’s a definition of activist from a site called vocabulary, so what I’m trying to grasp is this thinking that you can be a silent/anonymous activist.

                • Ad

                  Your own definition does not include risk.
                  So it’s not a necessary condition to “activist”.

                  There are plenty of creative ways.

      • b waghorn 4.1.3

        I m getting sent to spam when I try to reply to you’re question but not for this ?

        [lprent: Let them through now. I don’t know why either. ]

        • Ad

          Sorry I am not remotely technical.

          • Grindlebottom

            Jesus Waghorn I wish you’d learn the difference between your (belonging to you) and you’re (you are). It’s bloody distracting seeing the error constantly repeated.

            • b waghorn

              Sorry I do try ,between auto correct and the fact I’m running some pretty beat up grey matter, shit does happen.

              • BM

                Don’t worry about it bud.

                Non university, work with your hands sort of people are treated rather poorly within the left political scene.

                The irony is not lost on me that these are the sort of people the left is supposed to represent yet treat them like shit when they try to engage and get involved.

                Goes a long in explaining way the left is failing so badly.

                Also explains why so many traditional left voters end up voting right.

                • Grindlebottom

                  Yeah well, I’m a non university sort of person. I’m not claiming any educational superiority. I find his comments worth reading but the “your” thing is jarring. It’s up to Waggers whether he wants to do something about it or tell me stuff off.

                • b waghorn

                  I’m fine with it part ,of why I hang out here is to add a working class touch and if it improves my spelling that’s cool.
                  And as for voting for the right as long as they put put up shit like brash and key and keep rubbish like collins in a job hell will freeze over first.

  5. weka 5

    It might be time for people to give up their personal needs around careers. It can be a political act to stay in the system intentionally and work there (because we need good people in there). But I have to wonder if we are past the time now where personaly desire is a valid reason (even while it’s understandable). I think about this in AGW contexts where people are trapped into Western lives of career/mortgage and the susbsequent behaviours that support teh systems that cause CC, and the beviours that are preventing us from truly changing. At the least if one wants to keep doing that then maybe there is an onus to dedicate to the bigger picture work. Is there any such thing as a personal career anymore given the huge changes about to happen?

    • Ad 5.1

      So just spell out the consequences for both democracy and for political activism specifically if they did “give up their personal needs around careers”.

      • weka 5.1.1

        It frees people up to take actions they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

        • Ad

          “Some retreat to the grey economy, rebuke the world, retire from the field early, sending occasional missives on purity.”

          I did anticipate this kind of point.

          By and large the world will not change course from the colossal waste and war that it is on. The best you will get – if that – is mild improvement before this kind of civilization declines.

          Maybe the kind of insider I am describing is just feathering the bed of the apocalypse. So the pure response is to rebuke the world, live outside of it, and rail against it like a prophet of old.

          But this isn’t the kind of person I am describing here. They are going to stay doing what they are doing. And I would suggest that if they lost their remaining political activist core, quite a lot would be lost.

          • weka

            Not sure we are on the same tack here.

            The radical edge of climate change movements are calling for people to withdraw their participation in the structures that are creating CC (esp the global economy). I think there is a real dilemma for people choosing to stay in the system where their personal needs are compromising their ability to be activist eg they have a mortgage therefore they have to keep the career going therefore they can’t speak out. However, is it really true that they can’t manage the mortgage without career momentum? How much of that is actually about things like personal desire to work well in one’s field or not lose the large amount of effort/sacrifice that went into getting this far? Big fuzzy line there.

            What I’m suggesting is that we all look at what we can give up personally, because pretty soon we’re going to be forced to and what use then mortgages and careers? This doesn’t mean going grey and it doesn’t mean walking away. I’m talking about the people that choose to stay inside the system and what the means in terms of activism.

            • Ad

              Which kinds of career paths were you thinking of?

              I can imagine professional life getting a bit harder depending on the reliance of the industry on fossil fuels for example.

              • weka

                eg for climate change activism, any career that involves flying to conferences a lot.

                Working for a university that refuses to divest from carbon.

                Being a scientist in an organisation that is pursuing pro-CC tech (fracking, diary, coal etc).

                Working in a govt department that is developping a ridiculously low emissions target.

                What happens with the inevitible comflict between career and activism?

                • Ad

                  What happens to the inevitable conflict between career and activism?
                  One of a few paths:

                  – Stuff politics and go for the money, at least until your mid-fifties
                  – Stuff the money and do something lower-paid, lower ambition, and keep your time and effort for as much activism as you want. And forego owning a house for good.
                  – Some variant in the middle.

                  By and large, the further up you go in any industry, the harder it is to retain good conscience. Conscience changes into simply being good at operating a series of instruments that alter programmes, funding flows, and governance structures.

                  There are a very tiny few exceptions of those who get near the top, and the attacks on them are astonishing to watch.

  6. Anne 6

    You’re highly qualified. You can’t trust those around you with your politics. Random restructures hit teams around you. If you’re outed, you’ll likely never work in your chosen field again.

    To one degree or another that is precisely why many people left of centre have no choice but to use pseudonyms. If you are a right wing cheer-leader the opposite is true. It pays to write/comment under your own name. You will be rewarded. If you are on the political left you stand the risk of being subjected to malice, lies and other nasty behaviours. Members of your family can also be ‘at risk’.

    It angers me when righties and their ignorant counterparts in the MSM slam people with pseudonyms. They spout righteous drivel with impunity because they know they are safe. It angers me more when one or two Labour politicians have joined in the chorus of condemnation in the past, because they are talking from the security of their parliamentary status and should know better!

    • Ad 6.1

      “Your nom-de-plume protects your mortgage.”

      This is where the democratic corrosion from Dirty Politics really starts to hit. Those people who trawl through other sites’ databases just to see who is a supporter of whom, whose statements can be attributed to bias that then rules them out of ever been taken seriously by the media (unless you are Hooten and the whole string of righties), essentially forms a low cloud of fear.

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        THIS ^^^^^

        Since moving from self employment to an employee I have noticed how some of my behaviours over time have changed…

    • RedLogix 6.2


      Absolutely. I’ve never worked in a situation where I felt it wise to even talk about politics, much less ‘out’ myself.

      It is absolutely one of the covert control mechanisms embedded in most workplaces, an effective prohibition on ever talking about salaries, politics, workplace bullying and so on. Increasingly the only things that are talked about are sport, the weather and workplace gossip. The intent is to keep worker powerless.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        This is as I suspected.

        Sorry to sound like Morpheus out of The Matrix, but it means those kinds of people really are out there.

        What I am pointing to is their latent power.

        Such insiders have massive institutional knowledge, are paid like professional people, have immense industry networks, and are often in charge of projects or programmes that have real effects in the world.
        – Industry specific knowledge is vital for policy formation
        – Paid professionals have the capacity to be donors (a growing left problem)
        – Networks have specific political power into specific Ministries
        – And programmes and projects can become part of policy direction as well

        Political movements of the left need to nurture this kind of person.

        • weka

          What would be the ways in which that nurturance could happen?

          • Ad

            Not sure. Few answers.
            It’s hard and getting harder.

            In many ways it’s far easier and safer to give political expression through an NGO like Forest and Bird, than to stay within a leftie political party.

            • weka

              I reckon some really clear instructions on how to protect oneself online would help. Tech stuff but written for a lay person.

              • Mrs Brillo

                Good point, Weka. I would use those.

                I maintain a grab-bag of different nicks for different websites, but am aware our computers themselves may be traceable by someone who really, really wants to pinpoint us. Never really got to grips with anonymisers – can someone help?

        • trendy lefty

          Why is belonging to and being active in your union not an option?

          • Ad

            I can expand a little on the sentence: “Choose union activism to rail valiantly against the rising exploitative tide, and forgo your career arc.”

            Union staff are not well paid. It’s really hard to shift to the commercial world if you have been a full time union staff member. Some shift to consultancy work after a good stint. By and large union staff are there because they believe in the union cause and union activism itself: to protect and promote workers. Very few choose becoming a union staff member from the beginning of their career.

            Choosing union work as a career is what I was talking about, not whether you become a union member. Fully agree that union membership is generally positive in the workplace.

            • Lindsey

              Yes, there was a time, and maybe still is, where there was Union work which meant you did not have to hide your politics. I was lucky – I worked in the Public Service in the 1970’s and was active in the PSA. I went to work for a Union in the early 80’s and had the best part of 20 years organising. That paid off the the mortgage (bought cheap) so when the late 90’s happened and I was on the job market with “Union” and “Queer” all over my CV, I had a bit of freeboard. I had a job in 3 months -went back to the Public Service – and stood as #56 (or thereabouts) on Labour’s List in 1990. After a while I decided to retrain -went back to Uni and had 4 years part time to do a Masters in Planning. Now I work for the Council, I am a bit af a token leftie but I will always say the stuff that no-one else dares to. Council employed me with the same stuff on the CV plus 6 years on a Community Board. It was not the same City that I had been an elected person in, and I made it clear that I was not still active on the local front but was active in my electorate. I was the only Queer in the office for a while, but now there are 3 of us. I have managed and although the environment under Muldoon was pretty toxic, with the organised dirty politics of today I would not want to be doing it again.

              • Ad

                You’re exactly the kind of person I was thinking about.

                You’ve been through the mill, fought the good fight.

                And now at Auckland Council you exist in an almost permanent state of restructure.
                – City Transformation to be merged.
                – Housing Office to be merged.
                – Consents under permanent reform.
                – Auckland Development Company making its own big gravitational force.

                And all existing within a monopoly across the entire region, so if you get on the outer with management, either move regions or move careers. That is real if indirect democratic suppression.

                Yet at the same time, planners know they have to stay in there, retaining each little planning policy goal as a win for the whole of the region, as well as for neighborhoods and communities.

                There’s pressure for you. Amazed you are hanging in in there. Good stuff.

                • Lindsey

                  I am a Land use Planner so I write reports about new houses and garages. Also, us “Operational” staff only get the technology changed every 5 minutes, rather than the offices and the job descriptions.

        • Gavin

          Ad, you’re spot on about donors, the Labour Party needs some serious funding initiatives, as there is a strong linear correlation between the amount of cash National spends in the three months prior to an election, and the percentage party vote they get. Our correlation has changed after Crosby-Textor was employed in 2004, now Labour needs to spend more than National for each vote.

          Your main post is also correct, it’s even a bit tough being a business owner and also a Labour activist, as there you have to consider what your customers (and some staff) think. Somehow, the whole Labour brand needs a massive boost.

          • Ad

            What I am opening up is the potential of the service industries to be a potential donor class. They need of course to be approached very carefully. Some require bundlers, trusts, and creative ways of contributing through others. The risks for the left in the professional class are far higher than those supporting National, whether they are in power or not.

            I’m not convinced that Labour will win the next election – by branding or otherwise. Rather, 2017 is for National to lose.

            • Gavin

              National’s polling results are getting shakier, and if the Left will just stick up for a sensible coalition of Labour-Greens (NZFirst) for the next two years, with demonstrated ability to work together for the good of the country, we’ll do fine. It would help a lot if National’s electoral funding drops back considerably, and if Labour’s is boosted. Labour needs lots of drip-feed support from many people (a heavily expanded VFL campaign), and that would be a powerful recommendation for office.

              Most of the voting public are well aware that we are in a strong cycle of ‘three terms in, three terms out’. That should be reinforced too. Or are we happy to wait another five years for power?

              • Ad

                I sure hope you are right. This government has got to be the laziest and luckiest I have ever seen.

                Not much seems to dent them.

                Labour will get a lot more donors going out if they begin to look like a real alternative government, and they can only do that when they show real and consistent cooperation with the Greens and New Zealand First.

                Personally VFL is not for me. I prefer to donate in good sized lumps, precisely as a reward for good behavior, close to the election.

                2008-2020 is not worth imagining. Too hard on the brain.

  7. maui 7

    I’m getting more and more sceptical that protesting can produce change. Even if there were 10 times as many people protesting tpp, wouldn’t it just be passed anyway? Don’t we need to be improving our communities, interconnecting people at that level as best we can while leaving a more irrelevant top down government to do its own thing. They would then fall over by themselves.

    • Ad 7.1

      The people I am describing in this post would be very very cautious about protesting on the street because of the breadth of surveillance powers that the state now has. People now get files for pretty light reasons.

      Your real point is: what is the most effective way to change the world around you?

      Some choose to stay inside their industries trying that standard trope of “reforming from within”.

      Others stay inside and donate where they can.

      Others have massive activist “hobbies” outside of work.

      There’s no one answer. I’m just describing a set of quandaries.

    • weka 7.2

      To my mind, both are critical. Protest does work and NZ has a good history of success on this. Remember sometimes it’s the indirect effect that makes the difference.

      Working locally is incredibly important but it will be less effective if the top level control is left to its own devices. The TPP is a classic example.

    • RedLogix 7.3

      Yes I agree.

      The last protest I took part in were the huge world-wide rallies against GW Bush’s catastrophic blunder to invade Iraq. Tens of millions of people – and it made not a jot of difference.

      And that fact that events have proven us 100% right – could never be acknowledged.

      The last protest that made a difference locally was the one against mining in National Parks – and I’d think the outcome was more due to the results of Farrar’s daily polling than any amount of traffic we held up.

      • Ad 7.3.1

        That is a deathly quandary all by itself.

        Far safer to stick to a specific activist issue. Whether one is effective or not is moot.

        But the big remaining power to change things lies in general elections, which means focusing your energy into political parties….

        …who by and large are unsafe, bullying, risky places full of very very difficult people.

        • maui

          I find elections are becoming more redundant, we do after all have a third of NZ choosing not to participate and vote at all. Assuming that number is increasing too. The whole process is more corrupted nowadays when you think of how money is involved and the media. It might be the traditional way we get change, but I don’t think we should be having total faith in them as a change making process.

          • Ad

            Agreed we should not have total faith in Parliament’s ability to change The System much.

            Also agree on the attractiveness of smaller-scale activisms, because you can make a more forceful difference.

            Here’s the thing though. The only way to change whole national policies for anything is with whole changes of government. Decline in democratic participation’s not a reason to give up on it.

            • Chris

              “The only way to change whole national policies for anything is with whole changes of government. Decline in democratic participation’s not a reason to give up on it.”

              Yes, but change doesn’t happen when the government’s replaced with the next bunch that’s too scared to do anything. That’s what’s been happening here since the Bolger/Shipley/Richardson years. Helen Clark was generally a disgrace.

              • Ad

                The changes that occurred to New Zealand under Helen Clark’s three terms are as large as you will get at any point in New Zealand under MMP.

      • weka 7.3.2

        “and it made not a jot of difference.”

        There’s no way to know that. How many people who took part in those protests went on to more radical activism because of the lack of response from governments? Tens of millions of peple marching is hugely influential for all sorts of reasons even if it doesn’t change the thing that was being protested on the day.

        How much of the result that Farrar got in his polling was a consequence of prior activism? I would see much of political change in NZ happens because protestors make issues visible and it gets less active people thinking and then power holders start taking notice. I think that’s far more common than direct effect.

        • RedLogix

          I can accept there is a real indirect effect to protest weka, and a worthwhile one at that.

          But maybe there are just other, more effective ways to achieve it. I think that is what Ad is exploring here.

          • Ad

            Plus, to be really honest, I want it all.

            I want a big screen tv, I want equity, I want my conscience happy, I want hessian nappies, I want to do good for the world, I want my eggs organic, I want a better world, I want three big dogs, I want both a simple life and a complex life, I want a retirement house in Wanaka, I want a career, I want both selfishness and altruism.

            It doesn’t work. Does it?

            • RedLogix

              It can work Ad.

              The only legitimate purpose for wealth is to invest it in yourself, your family and the community around you. A balance of both selfishness and altruism.

            • RedLogix

              It can work Ad.

              The only legitimate purpose for wealth is to invest it in yourself, your family and the community around you. A balance of both selfishness and altruism.

            • marty mars

              “It doesn’t work. Does it?”

              No imo it doesn’t work – and I appreciate your honesty on that.

            • Bill

              Not only doesn’t it work, but it ought not to work if I’m understanding it correctly. Capitalism with a human face, as it were? Individual ambition and consumerism before all else but with happy consequences? I mean, you <could get what you’ve listed bar the happy conscience, but I take it that was a part of what the post was about.

              A wee bit of envisaging then (not what the post is about, I know)

              But what about if we had access to that big screen TV and all whatever other stuff (whatever it may be) – so, not necessarily individually attained or owned?

              So okay, we now have the community as the economic unit as opposed to the individual. The community – ie, the individuals – determine what they will provide back to themselves through the community. The community engages with the present day market economy where necessary. So now we have equity, organic eggs, hessian nappies, perhaps a far bigger and better (say) tv than what you or I could ever have afforded as individuals…

              You want to be selfish in that situation? Fine. I don’t expect you’d be rewarded in any way for being selfish though, so why bother? And you want to shift from you current community to one in Wanaka at some point? All things being equal, not a problem. (I’m sure there’d be plenty of communities in Wanaka with big screen TVs 😉 )

              • Draco T Bastard

                So okay, we now have the community as the economic unit as opposed to the individual.

                You mean like this?

                The reality is that the community is the economic unit and not the individual. This truth upsets some people.

              • Ad

                Hope you all recognized I was being provocative with my greed list.

                As for communal ownership of stuff, well, Mondragon in Spain is your best living example of a whole community that seeks to do that. New Zealand’s Ohu thing was gone inside two electoral terms. Beeville are still there as of course is Gloriavale, plus little breakout ‘intentional communities’ around the Northland and Nelson hinterland.

                It just hasn’t caught on generally, and won’t.

                • Bill

                  I wasn’t taking the ‘greed list’ too seriously or at face value, if that’s what you mean.

                  Mondragon is no kind of example of what I’m referring to by the way.
                  See, last I heard, every job there existed to provide individuals an opportunity to generate an individual income that can be used to pay off their individual mortgage or whatever and otherwise generally used to indulge in their individualistic consumerism.

                  • Ad

                    Then it’s beginning to sound more like Thomas More’s “Utopia.

                    • Bill

                      Then I lived in Thomas more’s “Utopia”.

                      Oh – except I didn’t. I lived in a really existing place where we didn’t interact with the market as individuals: where the community was the economic actor/unit – where we all had access to the type of thing you mentioned in your initial comment but didn’t necessarily have individual ownership of those things (the houses, the vehicles, the consumer and domestic wares of the time)…

                • don’t you want it all ad?

          • maui

            this is the kind of alternative protest that Im talking about:

            • Ad

              There’s room for a few to undergo that kind of essentially religious conversion. Everyone’s entitled to their own obscure magazine niche.

              But David Holmgren isn’t a surgeon, an engineer, an accountant, a banker, a designer, a lawyer, a politician, or any of the other professional class of people who sustain most of the large engines of the economy. Maybe one or two such individual get to upchuck it all – go gardening, join the Hare Krishnas’, crew the Sea Shepherd – but they aren’t the point of the post.

              The question of the post is: how do you deal with wanting to change the world when you choose to stay on the inside?

              • Bill

                The question of the post is: how do you deal with wanting to change the world when you choose to stay on the inside?

                Okay. To be straight to the point and maybe even just a wee bit harsh – you don’t. What you do is avoid dealing with the situation because the choices are too narrow; those things will never catch on etc

                Then what you do is you bed down in your hypocrisy as comfortably as you can and, maybe, occasionally shed a little ‘woe is unto me’ tear at the unfairness of it all.

                • weka

                  I think there is another option. You choose to stay in and resist. You do so consciously knowing that you will most likely be compromised, but you also know that you can use your skills and politics to slow down things getting worse. If the people of conscience leave the system it just hands it more fully to the sociopaths and the selfish.

                  It’s also possible that good things can be done on limit scales. Would we have MMP, or the RMA, or such without good people in the system?

                  But, yeah, I agree with the convo upthread. You can’t have it all Ad. The system is so bad, hurts so many people and damages so much of the planet, that I don’t think there is any way to be in there with good politics unless you are staying for political reasons (that was kind of my point above about giving up the personal).

                  • Bill

                    This is only a semi-formed notion – more of a sign post (I think)…so if it doesn’t seem to make complete sense that’s okay.

                    But analogously. Could a religious person staying within the teachings of (say) Christianity ever hope to find ‘the truth’ of (say) Buddha?

                    And if Christianity was a ruling complex of systems and institutions – that yes, were subject to all types of reform – then could the privileged Christian (the priest or whatever) ever hope to achieve any change that would result in anything other than an expression of Christianity and ‘its truths’?

                    • weka

                      I guess it would depend on the person. I certainly think it’s possible for a Christian to understand Buddha, so I don’t think being part of the system inherently disables one from awareness or understanding. To what extent people get coopted by the system they are in is a different story. A sense of belonging is pretty fundamental to human needs, and there’s a conflict there where the system you are working in needs changing but can’t change and how you manage that internally.

                      And as you say, privilege complicates things (privilege begets privilege).

                      However I don’t think that fundamental change of a system is the only worthy goal for the individual working within the system. Slowing down the damage the system does while change happens in other ways is worthy. Monkey wrenching likewise.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      The usefulness of the religious analogy is maybe a bit limited. For example, the reforming zeal of the current pope Francis is an urgent reaction to the problem of droves of young people leaving the catholic church because of the priest scandals and out of date dogmatic approach to homosexuality, abortion, birth control etc. They’ve been out of step with contemporary catholics’ concepts of what’s right and wrong in how people should be treated. The church’s teachings on abortion and certainly on birth control have commonly been ignored in many Western countries for decades.

                      The point is, people have just opted out of that system because it’s been impossible to change it from within and it now conflicts with their views and expectations. So, now, suddenly, it’s changing, trying to become more relevant in people’s lives. The pope is speaking out about poverty, globalism, the environment, climate change, the need to accept homosexuality. All good stuff and exactly what Christianity is supposed to be about.

                      But gone are the days when positive changes could be brought about in workplaces and societies by employees doing the same thing and just leaving or walking off the job. People are too isolated and dependent on their incomes for survival. So the only way I see it being possible to achieve major change is through the electoral process.

                      I’m still waiting to see how societies are going to effect change to the current predominant neoliberal and globalist dominance. It’s gotta be coming. Somehow.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “a surgeon, an engineer, an accountant, a banker, a designer, a lawyer, a politician, or any of the other professional class of people who sustain most of the large engines of the economy.

                The question of the post is: how do you deal with wanting to change the world when you choose to stay on the inside?”

                Firstly, you can at least try to be a decent human being. Being fair and honest in your dealings with everyone. Being empathetic. Taking a genuine interest in the lives of others. Treating people with respect.

                The plebs notice these things….and a little goes a long way.

                Secondly, ensure your professional organisations hold all members to a high standard of accountability. Lawyers, medical professionals, engineers…do I have to list the cock ups made by people in these “highly trained” careers who have committed appalling errors who are seldom censured properly for gross failings? They often have name suppression…so who can we, the plebs, really trust?

                For those working for the Government or NGOs (and really, who can tell the difference these days?)…

                From my own experiences with the Ministry of Health: Disability Support Services, various government funded disability and carer advocacy organisations and disability services contracted providers…
                you only have your comfortable jobs because people with disabilities exist in our communities.

                And you have failed them.

                There may well be ‘lefties’ working in these jobs, though you could have fooled me (and many others).

                Some of you sidled up to me at various meetings and spoke in sotto voices about how you understood, and if it were left up to you etc.

                Actually…a surprising number sidled up…to the point where I asked if they or the organisation they worked for had written to the Minister, made a submission, spoken about this issue at their regular professional get together?

                Because the government was, at best, misrepresenting the situation.

                At worst, lying.

                And you guys knew that.

                And you stood back and stayed silent when the rights of significantly disabled people (you know…really vulnerable citizens) were kicked into touch.

                You sat behind your desks while you or your colleagues drafted one of the most malicious pieces of legislation and subsequent policy documents in recent NZ legislative history.

                Shame on you…and if any closet leftie reading this was involved in the Public Health and Disability Amendment Act(2) and the Funded Family Care Policy….I hope you sleep well, and your precious career arc and income keep you warm in your bed.

                Shame on you.

                • RedLogix

                  And that is right on target Rosemary. That’s the real-life consequence of trying to have a social conscience, while working for an organisation that by design has none.

                  It is shameful.

            • RedLogix

              As it happens – by fairly weird coincidence – we drove right past Holmgren’s place this afternoon.

              We plan on visiting on one of his Open Days this spring, and it might make the subject of a good post. Thanks for the inspiration.

              • maui

                Hah, cool, I’ll happily chip in on such a post. I would be slightly jealous that you’re visiting his place! I’ve learnt a lot about permaculture in the last few weeks (when I see a good idea I want to find out more). Around Wellington more and more community projects based around organic gardening appear to be coming into fruition. Obviously to most people it doesn’t appear relevant to them, but maybe we’re not so far away from a time when we’re going to need a concept like permaculture more than it needs us.

                • weka

                  I agree maui. It’s the permaculture and other sustainability experts that have spent the last 40 years figuring out to grow food without fossil fuels (and more recently, in a changing climate). We are going to be hugely indebted to them.

  8. DH 8

    I’m left half wondering what the message is. The writer seems to be saying if you want to pursue a lofty career you’ll end up needing to compromise your principles.

    I’m not sure that’s true, certainly it’s easier to go with the flow but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make it your own way.

    • Ad 8.1

      Got an example?

      • DH 8.1.1

        Example of what?

        • Ad

          Can you give an example of where it was possible to “pursue a lofty career” and “make it for own way”?

          • Chris

            There are examples but so few opportunities your point is made. I’m thinking about self employed researchers and policy people writing good reports that these days never see the light of day. That work getting ignored may very well take its toll on the worker/writer’s sense of self-worth but it’s still important work and work that’s not necessarily compromised by the terms of the contract (although I imagine it sometimes might be). Another example is being employed by a respectable NGO that does good work that’s respected because it’s a respected NGO and that has good values that aren’t compromised by things like government funding or contracts and that’s not scared to stick it to decision-makers and the government and so is able to do good work because it doesn’t feel it’s compromised by reliance on any sort of connection to government. Again I’d imagine not too many opportunities there, either.

          • DH

            “Can you give an example of where it was possible to “pursue a lofty career” and “make it for own way”?”

            Try starting with Ed Hillary and working your way down.

            • Chris

              Yeah, that’s what Paula “anyone can do it” Bennett says, too. The right wing view of the world, everywhere you look’s a level playing field, and where everyone’s the same so nobody needs to look after their pesky neighbour. Good example.

              • DH

                That’s bollocks mate. The point about Hillary was he could have made oodles of cash for himself out of endorsements & the likes and he chose not to. He didn’t use his stature to enrich himself he used it to help others, and he succeeded in that.

                I daresay Bennett wouldn’t have a clue why people liked Hillary.

                • Chris

                  That’s not my point. Nor is it answering the question. Hillary was someone who did something lofty that resonated with people and and a result he became a kind of a hero. He wasn’t political. This isn’t to denigrate what he did, but he wasn’t your average person so putting him up as someone who ‘pursued a lofty career yet made it their own way’ doesn’t cut it. And I don’t think he would’ve had the opportunity to make oodles of cash from endorsements, either. The world wasn’t like that during his time.

                  • DH

                    What are you rabbitting on about?

                    Ad asked for an example of someone who pursued a lofty career and made his own way so I gave him one. They don’t come much loftier than big Ed. There is no more to it.

                    “And I don’t think he would’ve had the opportunity to make oodles of cash from endorsements, either. The world wasn’t like that during his time.”

                    You have to be kidding.

    • Tracey 8.2

      How many people never compromise their principles. Never drop their ethics.

      To put it another way, how many times a day do you stop and consider your decision-making from an ethical perspective? My guess is most people don’t. That doesnt mean they are not compromising principles, it means they are ignorant of the compromising.

      • DH 8.2.1

        “How many people never compromise their principles. Never drop their ethics.”

        I think the last person who did that ended up nailed to a cross for being so perfect.

        Personally I think the best we mortals can do is continually strive to maintain a reasonable balance between looking out for ourselves and looking out for others. We can pursue a career and still do that IMO, although it can often be a lot harder.

        • Ad

          It’s not enough.

        • Tracey

          Pretty sure he was nailed to the cross because he spoke against the authority of the day rather than for being perfect.

          • Grindlebottom

            He was actually done in for blasphemy. The Sanhedrin convicted him of claiming to be the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. (According to the gospels, at his trial he never actually said that he was, but when they put it to him that he’d claimed to be he never unequivocally denied it.)

  9. RedLogix 9

    Why Facebook in particular BM?

    • BM 9.1

      Face book represent middle NZ.
      Protest marches seem to predominantly represent lefty extremists.

      Politicians don’t listen to lefty extremists but they do listen to middle NZ.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        middle new zealand don’t listen to protesters but they do listen to right wing politicians.The former challenge their world view the later provide comfort by reinforcing it.

        Fixed it for youl

        • srylands

          and who are these “right wing politicians” in New Zealand? There are no such people in the New Zealand Parliament.

          [lprent: Argue your religious fanaticism in OpenMike. ]

          • Tracey

            oh good slylands has still got the same record playing


            Yes, yes Slylands, you are right, there are no nazi politicians in NZ so everyone is from the Left

          • Paul

            You don’t, as ever, know what you’re talking about.

            Most politicians are right wingers and some factions of the National Party are extreme right libertarians.
            The Labour Party of 2015 compared to the Labour Party of 1970 is a right wing neoliberal group and the National Party is well right of Muldoon and Holyoake’s Party.
            The only left wing party in parliament are the Greens and Shaw is rapidly driving them to the right.

            Google the Overton window.

            • Chris

              Most of current Labour is right of Muldoon and Holyoake. And Mana was a conservative traditional Labour. Hilarious when you think of how the likes of Hooton get away with calling the Greens radical left.

          • Ad

            Engage with the actual post.
            Step up, or step off.

          • Stuart Munro

            Lizards count as people too! (at least while this lot are in power)

      • Mike the Savage One 9.1.2

        Facebook is one of the biggest parts of the problem. Facebook is a prime data gathering business, selling coded data to advertisers, and they do use it to offer advertising to producers and service providers, all dealing with the basic likes and preferences people may have.

        Network information is gathered, so do Google and others, if you use any Google service, you are likely to have consented to (maybe not even being aware of the meanings in the terms and conditions) them gathering data on other things you open on your smart phone or computer besides of Google, they may harvest even all your contacts and so forth.

        This they pass on (encoded) to businesses using them for advertising, for great profits, and so people get targeted with advertised products and services, not even aware why the particular ads show up on their computer.

        There may be other products and services available, maybe better and cheaper, but as advertising on the internet (and with that elsewhere) is now dictated by who pays the most for most data of use, we get more monopoly and oligopoly formation in the markets we live in.

        Facebook play their part in it, so do many others. If that is the future, the “middle class” using Facebook, setting the agenda for tomorrow, then you are basically telling us that dumbing down and narrowing down availability of information, due to “mainstream trends”, is the way for the future.

        I pity people using Facebook every day, as they are assisting the forces that manipulate them and society, in perfecting mass control by mass manipulation. I especially pity “activist” using Facebook, as government security agencies have means to tap into Facebook traffic, to find out all about who you connect with, which may be useful for police and SIS and the government of the day, to know, where stuff is happening that they may deem a “challenge” to the existing status quo.

        And the US government has agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others, to offer them some data, if that may be of types indicating some “concerns” for security and so forth. We have only limited info about what that entails.

        But BM just loves all this, I guess.

  10. Bill 10

    If you’re highly qualified, then I’m assuming you’re reaping the rewards of privilege that come with applying those qualifications to a career. And your political leanings can be left – either authentically of as a consequence of guilt.

    Regardless, whether you then ‘pull back’ and work for a government or an NGO, you are still going to be a part and parcel of the systemic oppression we labour under. (Btw, for the sake of simplicity, I’m deliberately leaving any cultural roots of oppression aside – ie, sexism, racism etc)

    Running off and ‘living in the woods’ might work on a personal/individual level, but leaves the institutions and structures that underpin that systemic oppression in tact.

    So, my take. Either never bite on the bait that promises privilege, high income etc, or if you already have, get off the hook by cashing it all in and shifting your perspective of ‘wealth’ from being something personal to being something rooted in community.

    If you don’t or can’t do either of the above, then you’re reduced to trying to ‘do the right thing’ (eg – sponsor a child, vote left, buy a lightbulb…) while propping up, in a quite fundamental and essential way, the very things that are acting against our (your) better instincts.

    One other ‘out’ – and perhaps the most workable…

    When an intelligent reform is on the cards, support it. But also always put your shoulder to the wheel that is trying to roll beyond mere reform.

    • Ad 10.1

      Your first option of foregoing privilege, also foregoes any reform of The System.

      There’s a standard middle-age attractiveness to your second proposal – cash up and get out. Anyone with reasonable equity in an Auckland house can think, “then he’ll settle down, in some quite little town, and forget about everything”. You don’t have to be left, right, or politically active at all to do that. You don’t have to to anything at all except leave.

      I would put it to you that those who stay have more options that buy a lightbulb.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Forgoing privilege doesn’t mean becoming non-active. As you write in the post, it could mean deciding to channel your talents through, for example, the union movement. (That’s not free from the dilemma sketched out in the final para below)

        Cashing up to get out in the way you’ve interpreted it, is basically early retirement, and that’s very different to what I actually said. It would be absolutely necessary to re-examine concepts of wealth, acquisition and where it should rightfully accrue. Like I said – it has to become communal rather than individual if the cashing up is to be anything beyond a self- serving case of ‘early retirement’.

        Of course, ‘doing the right thing’ can be much more than ‘buying a lightbulb. The point is that whatever you do in that case will always, by the nature of the action, be inadequate and embroiled or wrapped around in hypocrisy to boot. (eg – I’ll give 10% of my earnings to ‘good causes’ while earning my crust supporting the economic system that creates the very problem I’m throwing my 10% at)

        • Ad

          That is why your binary setup of “Either never bite on the bait that promises privilege … or … cashing it all in and shifting your perspective of ‘wealth’ from being something personal to being something rooted in community” is too limiting to work.

          The post itself is addressing those who stay “inside”.
          Not those in small NGOs, not those who are union staff, not those who are shareholder class, not the manual laborers. It’s a really specific group.

          • Bill

            NGOs and unions etc are no more to the ‘outside’ than shareholders or manual labourers… or the undefined professional you’re seeking to focus on. They are all very much ‘inside’, in my book. I guess then, that I just can’t see the distinction you’re making.

            And if the road out is seen as ‘too limiting’, then fine – continue to endlessly wrestle with the contradictions that exist between thought and action.

            • Ad

              Fair enough.
              If you see no difference between union activism and working for a corporation or large bureaucracy, you’re not going to understand this post at all.

              • Bill

                Hmm.No, I understand it…where you were trying to go. But since all those things are bound within the same system, and in their various unique or peculiar ways perpetuate that system…

    • RedLogix 10.2

      either authentically of as a consequence of guilt

      Or conscience Bill. This old ‘middle-class guilt’ meme is well past it’s used by date.

      But in one sense you are right, maybe the only route to reform leads through the vale of sackcloth and ashes. But what then is the goal? Surely not a state of permanently virtuous poverty? As you say, that just leaves the systemic oppression intact.

      The problem with poverty is that while it may be ethically pure, it’s also materially powerless. For instance this very website is run mostly off the ‘non-poverty’ condition and ‘privilege’ of one or two people.

      Absolutely the answer lies in the notion of community – but getting beyond the mouthing of that word is something we’ve struggled with.

      • Bill 10.2.1

        I’m aware of a few rather successful middle class types who vote left. Some of them are really not very pleasant individuals while some are involved in really quite dubious earning activities. Are they voting (say) Labour to salve their conscience? That’s my suspicion, but sure, I could be wrong.

        To poverty. Not pursuing privilege does not equate with embracing poverty.

        To reform. It’s never going to be enough. As I wrote above, reform ought to be supported, but it is never an end or a solution. eg – support workers rights…H&S increased wages and conditions etc, – but never lose sight of the fact that the whole environment where work is located is inherently inequitable and must be rolled away and always articulate that to the degree it can be at any point in time and always work towards that or with that in mind.

        Community. Yes, it’s an arse. The whole notion of ‘individual advancement’ that’s become the norm over time sits in direct contradiction to notions of community. As I said, we (individually and collectively) need to re-appraise what wealth means and where it should reside. Far too few people do that. Even fewer act on it.

        • Ad

          The question you could refine is how much change of the world is one prepared to make happen?

          The post naturally focuses on a much narrower standpoint.

          There are many who view reformers as hopelessly compromised. Reform by definite is never going to be enough. It’s a process not an end state.

          But – religious success stories aside – it’s the compromised and the reformers who are most likely to change anything for good.

          • Bill

            Reform isn’t hopelessly compromised. However, when it’s touted as a “this is the end of the road” solution, it’s simply hopeless insofar as it becomes a part of the problem – ie, a roadblock to changing things for the better.

            • Puddleglum

              I tried to find the very first comment I made on The Standard (I think back in 2008) but wasn’t successful.

              It was basically a fulmination against ‘Liberals’ and their ‘reform agenda’ in response to Paul Walker describing himself as not particularly political but probably a ‘Classical Liberal’.

              I responded by asking just which kind of liberal he might be and then went on to lambast, amongst other liberal targets, the 19th Century UK Liberal Party that dragged its heels on just about every progressive cause coming out of the general (working class) population and, by being the ‘official liberals/progressives’, thus managed to delay real progress by, in some cases, decades. (The almost unforgivable conservatism and timidity of William Wilberforce in his ever-so-cautious ‘the time is not right’ refrain regarding abolition was an early example of the priority of career over principle. In fact, he possibly only took it up for political career advantage.)

              As I recall you responded to that comment and said words to the effect that you ‘had to have a wee smile’ when you read it. 🙂

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    I still think that protesting in the street has a value. Those who are able to take to the streets are representing others as well as themselves in putting out their views. It gives those who are unable to protest, a confidence in knowing that they are not alone in their views. It has been a pity that there hasn’t been more coordination of advertising of splinter groups on events on the big issues, like TPPA and Climate change/Oil drilling to get out larger numbers. It also helps to educate others. Many more people are now aware of TPPA than in the earlier years.
    The Standard provides a great forum for disseminating and learning about issues. No wonder Slater wanted to find out names and nobble people who contribute to this site.
    Thanks again to LPrent. Even if you live in a largely Tory community, you can still be a participant in the Standard community forum and therefore not feel so isolated.

    • Ad 11.1

      One of the best things about a street protest is that it has a real world effect on the morale of the participants. They see again who are their con-spirited friends. You get good gossip. You get therapy from shouting. You realize again you’re part of something that exists in real life, not just in the media.

      • Lindsey 11.1.1

        One of the best things about Tory governments is the oppotunities it provides for healthy outdoor excercise in excellent company.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Or maybe run guerilla warfare campaigns in these entities?
    Who was the bloke that said you swim among them invisible…

    Reach out and support your fellow workers (I’ve seen even some very senior managers back down when confronted with the passive glare of most of the staff – “Who’s going to load the trucks” running through their heads).

    Frame good changes in language that is understood or meets managerial selfish goals – or gives good managers a chance to do something better. “That solar power makes us look good marketing wise”
    Yes I know it’s not the complete answer but lots of small changes can make for much bigger outcomes.

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    “The left”, as it once was, with “activists” holding street protests and some community meetings, they are almost dead. I have witnessed it over the years. Some are of course committed, stick to the faith, to activism, to outspokenness, and keep on fighting, and running appeals and do more, but they are just on the margins, I fear.

    Most people I see and hear are not that interested in politics at all anymore, they tend to either be pragmatic about what benefits them in their lives, and what not, and what they deem to “make sense”. Any ideological ideas seem to get no traction anymore.

    We can debate about the causes, and I think many of us know them, and may well be right. But the challenge is – how to proceed and how to communicate and act in future.

    The way things are, and are heading, is not at all promising, it is very disturbing to any critical, observant and alert mind. We face the world being controlled by corporations, and business players and organisations of various size and form, and it is mostly fully commercially focused, and uses highly sophisticated communication and other technology. “Privacy” in the traditional sense hardly exists now, with the wide use of smart phones, the internet and what else there is. Data is harvested en masse, supposedly in ways that do not disclose our full identity, just our behaviour and what we like or dislike, who we communicate with, and what we buy or sell.

    This will lead to a society where business using all this technology and information, in cooperation with state administrations, will be able to manipulate and control what is shared, promoted, sold and produced to meet all market demand, so to say, and with the increasingly commercially focused media, that will apply to all information also, including politically relevant information.

    So there is an enormous challenge for a progressive movement to create an alternative counter weight to this, to connect with “the community” of humans, and perhaps re-establish more autonomous, less manipulated societies.

    It cannot be acceptable that people are isolated, because at their work places or on the streets, and in the cafes, they cannot speak their minds anymore, as most are following some vague “mass norm” of thinking and behaviour, based on mass manipulation through a combination of business, commerce and “media”, largely simply creating endless consumerism.

    One alternative to this new society we have may be a new “shock approach”, by creating autonomous alternative cells or groups, who do simply dare to choose to stick up for themselves, to stand out and stand up, and not conform, and even attack the “new norms” that I observe. History is full of examples of how new “trends” or movements started, from such behaviour.

    And it is a new MOVEMENT of sorts, that “the left” may need, based on certain philosophy and sets of sound ideas, that are just attractive and convincing. It is ideas that change the world, ideas and philosophies that can form from them.

    That is more than my two cents worth on this.

    • Ad 13.1

      Give an example of how this shock approach would work.

      So far, “Who Dares, Gets Fired”.

      • Mike the Savage One 13.1.1

        Yes, generally the vast majority of people are meek, tend to bow their head down and so forth. So you suggest it is ok to do that, as that is what the rest of the “herd” does? I think it is very impressive and also “shockingly” honest and refreshing for many people, when they come across a person who talks straight and does not BS around. It will not go down with all, and certainly not the ones who dislike your views, but the people on the left or elsewhere in history, who became respected leaders or key operators, they were the ones that stood up for principles, no matter what.

        Taking clear positions and being principled, and also leading by example, and not buckling to rotten compromises, that “shocks” some people.

        The challenge you are talking about is being a mercenary, dependent on income, and the whole discussion is bizarre. You are trying to find answers, that the past had already delivered. “United we stand, divided we fall”, was once the slogan and principle.

        As people have let themselves be manipulated into lone fighters, and willing careerists, that is why we have this status quo and why this post was written, I guess. Ok, having a family, a mortgage and so binds people to obligations and responsibilities, and as a person who has chosen to rather go without much, I may have that little bit of an advantage to simply ignore much BS around me, and simply stand for what I think and say and do. Of course it ruffles feathers, but then I was not born and bred here, which may be the very little bit of difference.

        Have a nice evening, reading and reflecting on the many answers, some of which are refreshing and interesting, others are sadly just damned depressing. No wonder “the left” is not having many answers, having lost many principles, that were perhaps kept in the past.

        P.S.: And I was at least once fired for speaking my mind, but afterwards, I was rather glad I left the rotten employers, and there are usually alternatives, certainly for the particular kind of persons that this post tries to address.

  14. trendy lefty 14

    Interesting that most of my posts got deleted. No idea why.

    [Can’t see them although a couple were stuck in spam – MS]

    [r0b: lprent moved a whole thread to open mike]

  15. John Shears 15

    What an inspiring post and with a great lack of the usual snipers and smarties. Thank you Ad for the concept and all that have contributed.
    To thine own self be true.

    • weka 15.1

      I also found it a very thought-provoking post, thanks Ad.

    • Ad 15.2

      Cheers team.
      I think we can keep stepping up for the good stuff.

        • Mike the Savage One

          You found a useful resource, that is definitely a model to use, and having got that far, one needs to focus on some core or key issues, that have real potential, to attract interest, sympathy and support in the medium to long term. Labour leaders and MPs and members may bother reading that and a few other books, and then rethink their usual swaying and walking and talking all over the place.

          What all this requires is a firm commitment, faith and a lot of hard work, which I fear fewer and fewer are prepared to bother with. It is easier to use your smart phone or table and push a few icons or buttons. But that does achieve next to nothing, as the use of Facebook and other new forums proves. It has to happen in the real world too, in flesh and blood, face to face, in sweat and tears.

  16. Penny Bright 16

    What works for me is being self-funded, fiercely independent and working on an ‘issue by issue’ basis.

    My funding can’t be cut off if I speak out – because I don’t get any.

    ( My funding is based on flatmate income, based upon owning a freehold home.)

    Working full-time means I can be very effective, and decide each day how best to spend my time – ‘blowing the whistle until my eyeballs bleed’ (as it were 😉

    A full and exciting life!

    Recommend it.

    Penny Bright

    • Ad 16.1

      Lots of different ways to achieve good things for the world other than your approach.

      Plus, if the whole thing is predicated on the income from one flatmate, I’d try not to lose my house.

  17. Brutus Iscariot 17

    How does all this relate to the rather basic and extremely powerful instinct to improve the lot of your spouse and offspring?

    I have yet to see that addressed.

    • Ad 17.1

      That’s a whole different post altogether.

      One of the huge weaknesses in New Zealand leftie discourse is that thing called “the family”. I think the left like it when the state can intervene, show its instruments, wedge public policy in to private lives.

      The left seem to like “the family” better when it’s framed as part of a broader discourse; “whanau” or “it takes a village” or “community”.

      Your question won’t be answered by the post I wrote, but it’s a really good one.
      This post was framing personal ambition with conscience and activism.

      Closer to the election I promise I will have a crack at your question, because to me the “interests of my family” is at the heart of how to get more votes than the left have got for the last three elections.

  18. feijoa 18

    I work, I raise a family, pay a mortgage and all that.
    I do small things, which may not be enough in some peoples eyes. I catch the bus / I make compost / I recycle / I garden / read the standard/ try to inform myself- which takes a bit of effort may I say with such a right wing media/ I do the odd march/ sign petitions/ have some community activities I do ( not enough), and at work I try the occasional small prod- gun ownership being a recent topic, / I always vote/ talk about issues with my children/ plus various other things.
    Hopefully it counts, and hopefully the full on activists know there are others out there doing their small bit.
    I think when there is more of a groundswell to end this crappy system, there will be lots of people ready. It’s how to build that groundswell is the challenge. More people reading the standard!!!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 hours ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    2 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    3 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    3 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    4 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    4 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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