Lefties on The Standard

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 6th, 2017 - 72 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Left, Politics, The Standard - Tags: , ,

I had a gratifying experience last month, a late night conversation on twitter about the left and the NZ election and what the Greens are up to. There were maybe half a dozen people in the conversation, and all of them were left wing. The conversation ranged over a number of areas and sub-threads and lasted several hours. At the end I came away feeling buoyed by the debate, that it was not only productive, and gave us food for thought, but that it fed us too. One thing I noticed was that none of us slagged each other off, nor was there a slagging off of our political allies.

We certainly weren’t all in agreement, and the conversation started with us disagreeing on a number of points around Green Party strategy – this was just after the first GP election campaign launch and Metiria Turei had just called Peters out on his racist rhetoric. But it was a conversation free of antagonism and instead explored political issues in depth and offered a chance for people to talk with their allies.

I’ve seen conversations like this on TS. We have a range of views here amongst the left wing commenters, and recently there have been spontaneous outbreaks of troll-free conversation and debate that were also abuse-free and full of considered and in depth comments.

So I’d like to try an experiment. I’d like us to try and have this kind of conversation here, intentionally.

The rules are:

– To comment you have to be left wing.

– No personal attacks at all  (not even if they are hidden in comments with good political points)

– Be kind. If you can’t be kind at least don’t be mean.

– Bear in mind the part of the Policy about not using language or tone that excludes others.

Don’t worry, this isn’t some big change to the culture of TS. I just want to see what is possible. It’s one post, it might be repeated, but the usual Policy rules around robust debate still apply to everything else. If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria, there is always Open Mike.

We can talk about anything that’s relevant to the left or progressives, but I’m going to suggest if we want a starting point we consider how Labour and Green members, supporters and voters can work together to change the government over the next 7 weeks. Otherwise, grab whatever is of interest to you today and bring it to the conversation.

72 comments on “Lefties on The Standard ”

  1. In Invercargill, the Labour Party candidate, Dr Liz Craig, and the Green Party candidate, Rochelle Surrendrun, have attended many events over the past month, together. They share a vehicle, when the meeting is away from the city, such as the farmers’ catchment group hui at Takutai o te Titi marae in Oraka, and are clearly supportive of each other. It’s impressive and I hope, oft repeated throughout the country.

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    I’m not particularly a follower of any party long term. I’d like to see more of a left wing movement beyond parties, where we discuss the kind of society we want to live in, and the kinds of policies that will help bring that about.

    I’d like to see this done with a strong focus on the day-to-day realities of peoples lives and the world we live in.

    First up – social security that really is social security; affordable housing for all (renters and owners); quality public education for all (less tests more focus on content of education); quality public health system for all; a comprehensive social security system, etc.

    • miravox 2.2

      I’d like to see more of a left wing movement beyond parties, where we discuss the kind of society we want to live in, and the kinds of policies that will help bring that about.

      I’d like to see this done with a strong focus on the day-to-day realities of peoples lives and the world we live in.

      Well said Carolyn_nth.

      I agree with your ‘first ups’ too.

      Also on my list is:
      – fair pay and conditions for employed people, including so-called self-employed contractors – especially those that fall into the precariat
      – reduction in gender, ethnic, socio-economic and other inequalities
      – water quality and climate change
      – diversifying economic activity.

      I’m a fan of internationalism rather than globalism and think it is essential that relevant the employment conditions and environmental records of our trading partners be incorporated into our trade agreements) – we need to have concern for our fellow human planet-dwellers.

      I’ve voted Labour for many years, although my first ever vote was for the Values party. I’ve considered Greens, but each election I ended up thinking their message was sucked dry by single issue sensationalism – nor did I have any certainty that they wouldn’t go with National.

      This year I think the Greens have addressed my concerns (although I hope the news media doesn’t get stuck on single mothers ‘choices’ – there are so many people and places that are all deserving of attention and these messages need some air – I say that as a former DPB recipient who stands with Metiria).

      • weka 2.2.1

        I really hope the Greens are able to start talking about other things this week. So much good policy there and they seem to be very mobilised in their campaign.

        • garibaldi

          This is a major part of why they are attacking Metiria personally. They will not discuss Green policy because it is easier to denigrate her than to face a few home truths about poverty in our wealthy country.

    • mary_a 2.3

      Here here Carolyn_nth (2)

    • Craig H 2.4


      We need actual social security following job loss which pays enough to keep one’s standard of living (to a point) in the short term (I suggest 1 year) while searching for new work. No need for demeaning appointments with a case manager every 5 minutes, or arcane forms and requirements that make it overly difficult to access the payments.

      This is separate from the standard unemployment benefit, which would kick in after that first year, or for people who are leaving school or tertiary study etc who need something to prop them up while they look for work.

      Something that ensures that people who have exhausted sick leave are not left struggling on leave without pay for any length of time, particularly for longer term illnesses or operations/medical procedures with a longer recovery time.

      Set the working week to 37.5 hours over 5 days and legislate for overtime rates of time and a half after that so that businesses don’t just overwork their current staff, and are actually forced to think about their staffing needs and plans. Also set a timetable to reduce 37.5 hours to 30 hours over 4 days.

      • KJT 2.4.1

        We have a model already in ACC.

        Basically you are talking, i think, about bringing unemployment and sickness under the ACC model. Social mutual insurance. Which was the original intent of ACC. Before it was stuffed up by following a private sector business model.

        Mutual insurance is the state all welfare should follow. We all pay in when we can. And we all get paid out, no arguments, when we need it.

        Instead of the current punitive model, where being sick, or out of work, is treated as a personal failing.

        When someone is injured, we don’t ask how. We just support them until they are recovered. It costs a lot less then any other model.

        Why are the sick or unemployed treated so harshly?

        • Craig H

          Yes, the ACC model was basically what I had in mind. Also, it would be nice if ACC wasn’t so difficult, so could add that to the list.

          • KJT

            Needs to be returned to the PAYGO model as well.

            The fully, paid in advance, was foisted on ACC so it could be privatised.

        • Chris

          “Social mutual insurance. Which was the original intent of ACC. Before it was stuffed up by following a private sector business model.”

          ACC is another area in need of a practice/culture overhaul, together with some legislative fixes to repair the damage done by the corporation’s obsession with litigation. Ardern et al should say they’ll do this.

      • Geoff 2.4.2

        Good ideas.

  3. Ed 3

    The biggest challenge must be to find ways to get messages about policy out so that the conversation is about those matters.
    I don’t know exactly how they did it, but Corbyn’s UK Party managed to make the election about policy.

    This challenge is so hard because the last thing the media appear to want to talk about is policy.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      “I don’t know exactly how they did it, but Corbyn’s UK Party managed to make the election about policy.”

      I think they did it by being open and bold about their policy – and most importantly – having policy that was fundamentally different to their opponents and to the previous policy of Blairite Labour.

      Imagine if the NZ Greens and/or Labour announced:

      – Minimum wage to increase to the living wage in three equal annual steps in the first term in power. With the first step happening immediately after the election. [The current Green Party policy goes part way with this – but will not reach the living wage as written]

      – Overhaul of tenancy legislation, removing the right to evict at will, with strong rent control (i.e. the German model). Openly state that this is to make rental accommodation about housing rather than capital gain.

      – Wealth tax

      – Financial Transactions Tax

      – Completely free education with cancellation of all existing student debt

      I think you would find there was suddenly A LOT of discussion about policy – even in our media!

      • Cricklewood 3.1.1

        I think it worked because regardless of what you thought about Corbyn he was authentic with a genuine belief and track record behind his ideas and polices. To the point where he had oft voted against the Blair govt. It was refreshing.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          True – a conviction politician with a long and principled history.

        • newsense

          It also worked because of Blair. And Harriet Harman and the abstention on welfare levels.

          Whatever we think of Clark, Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and Little I think all of them would have made better PM’s than Blair eventually became and Harriet Harman would have.

          Labour were afraid of themselves.

          Labour has second guessed itself here, but not quite to the same extent as it did under and post-Blair.

          All the Labour leaders have careers that prove their dedication to their constituents and compassionate causes.

          I think also Corbyn is Rod Donald era Greens, which was refreshing during an era when we were all told how slickness, focus groups and messaging was the main point of things. I can’t think of a Labour MP who would compare to Corbyn.

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        I’m really hopeful about the minimum wage progressing to the living wage if we get a labgrn(&/NZ1) govt this time. And general improvements for beneficiaries and the underemployed.

      • Geoff 3.1.3

        I like your ideas .

  4. 44 south 4

    I’m totally over labels of any kind.
    I gave “big Norm” my first vote in 1972 and voted Labour, Values and early Greens ever since.
    I wouldn’t vote Greens today unless you put a to my head,any more than I would vote National.
    Today I’m a doomer and a prepper and wasn’t going to vote any more. Maybe the new leadership of Labour will change that.
    The DOW is at 22000; that tells me we are months, maybe weeks away from the greatest collapse and depression the world has ever seen. I trust no political party to cope with that.
    We are clearly in the midst of climate chaos and it’s only going to get worse. No amount of “relentless possitvity” will prepare us for that.
    The politician who has the balls to give the “I have nothing to offer you but blood sweat and tears” gets my vote. Problem is they get nobody else’s it seems.

    • Ad 4.1

      Are there lots of doomers and preppers in New Zealand?

      • gsays 4.1.1

        I think, ad, that there are lots of people hugely influenced by the doomer/prepper mindset.
        My experience upon learning about fractional reserve banking, the deliberate actions that bought about the ’30s depression, deliberate acts that started WW1, WW2, Vietnam etc shifted me to the doomer headspace.
        After nearly a year of running around ala chicken little, ‘the sky’s falling’ I shifted to the little red hen attitude (gentle prepper).
        ” who will help me plant this seed?” gardening, helping youth, building resilience at home and in my communities.
        Far more attractive.

        Having said that I would not use either word to describe myself.

    • garibaldi 4.2

      Those halcyon days of Norm Kirk are gone 44south, and this current Labour Party wouldn’t come within a bulls roar of them. I am sorry you can’t vote Green anymore but they are far closer in policy to Kirk’s govt than Labour is.

    • “I’m totally over labels of any kind…I’m a doomer and a prepper…”

      • 44 south 4.3.1

        The post was about political labels Robert. Despite my”left” background I find myself agreeing with most of what Stephen Franks says when I hear him on”The Panel”; for example.
        We’re complicated beings. I favour drug law reform and am strongly pro gun for eg.
        Consider the doomer and prepper tags as shorthand for “we’re at peak everything and I’m putting my faith in growing food and living simply”, rather than politics.
        Tapping on smartphone screens is not my forte.

    • Lara 4.4

      “The DOW is at 22000; that tells me we are months, maybe weeks away from the greatest collapse and depression the world has ever seen.”

      I’ll just address this one aspect of your comment because this is my area of expertise.

      While I do tend to agree with you that the markets will turn (actually, of that we can be 100% certain, change is the certainty) I will disagree with you on the timing here. And this is why.

      Historically prior to a major market high, turn from bull market to bear market, there will be at least 4-6 months of divergence between market breadth and price. ATM there is zero divergence.

      There will also be at least a year or more of apparent selectivity in market strength, in terms of deterioration first in small caps, then mid caps, finally in large caps. ATM there is zero, all small mid and large caps are all making new highs.

      In short, while I expect this bull market will end and the next bear market will be very ugly indeed, I think it may still be at least a year away and possibly up to three. My money literally is on it happening within then next five years.

      Why is this important?

      When the financial markets turn to a big bear market, the economy usually follows. Think of what happened prior to the Great Depression (the stock market crash of October 1927), the NZ recession after our October 1987 stock market crash, and the Global Financial Crisis (preceded by a stock market crash, the turn happened again October in 2007).

      If we see another big stock market crash then our economy would probably end up in recession, or depression.

      But not yet I think.

      And how does this tie into politics?

      I’ve noticed (this is anecdotal, and has some examples that contradict it) that often (not always) when the economy and stock markets are doing well that the populace has less desire for change, elections tend to see the status quo remain. When the economy and stock markets are not doing well the population tend to want a change of the guard. And so if that is the case this election in NZ then National may well win a fourth term 🙁

      • ropata 4.4.1

        Yipes so we have to live in this QE economic bubble fantasy land for 5 more years?
        We must be getting close to peak globalisation and peak capitalism. I like what Prof

        Richard Wolff said about socialism: it is capitalism’s shadow, it is empowering workers, just like the emancipation of the slaves in US history.

        One day history will judge us harshly for this evil system that enriches a tiny few and impoverishes the majority of the world


  5. Disinterested lurker 5

    So control the media, turn it off and/or criticise it. Parties and citizens can always keep asking questions about change. How can it occur? Who can do it? How? What will change look like on a farm, in a city, the office? How do we change xxx? Why do we need to change yyy? How will it be better for you, me, auntie toma? On it goes till replies have to be answers, then we have dialogue.

    • Chris 5.1

      But that alone hasn’t got us anywhere. Just look at what follows when right wingers say “we need to have the conversation”.

  6. greywarshark 6

    I would like to see a bunch of people look at how NZ can adopt a new economic model. I don’t see how it can be done but maybe there could be a way plotted out. It would likely be based on the one discussed in the link below. It might have to be conducted off-line because it won’t be popular with those heavily invested in profiting from our present shower of a system.


    • Nic the NZer 6.1

      This could be relevant to NZ’s relentless export first narrative.

      “And I’m going to take one minute only on trade. Let me talk about what the real wealth of Italy is. Think of it as your pile of stuff. That’s your real wealth. Goods and services. Everything from potato chips to healthcare. Goods and services. That’s your real wealth. So your real wealth is everything you can produce when everybody’s working. That’s how you get the most real wealth. Plus whatever you import adds to your pile of stuff. Whatever you export subtracts from your pile of real stuff. Now I did not say that exports don’t help the exporters. Yeah, it helps those people. But it is a subtraction of real wealth from the entire economy. The exports are your cost of imports.”

      • Phil 6.1.1

        Plus whatever you import adds to your pile of stuff. Whatever you export subtracts from your pile of real stuff. Now I did not say that exports don’t help the exporters. Yeah, it helps those people. But it is a subtraction of real wealth from the entire economy. The exports are your cost of imports.”

        That is almost as terrible a misunderstanding of exports and imports as Rick Perry’s line about ‘supply creates demand’.

        • Nic the NZer

          Is it just. Care to explain how exporting the Milk and keeping the cowshit in out waterways is such a good deal for NZ?

          Just BTW Rick Perrys bold statement is behind most of the arguments for why economies should be export lead. You should feel qualified to reply when you can explain the role Says Law (what Perry said) plays in making David Ricardo’s arguments about comparative advantage work in his theory.

          Then and only then could you possibly hope to put a case for export first development without basing it on a theory which assumes what Perry claimed is a given fact.

  7. weka 7

    I just commented elsewhere about James Shaw unequivocally backing Turei on Q and A this morning. Then that he looked tired. Little before his resignation looked exhausted. This is macho politics, and it’s wrong that we run things so the process is so hard on people. I want politicians to be well and healthy, not burnout and stressed. These are people who have to make serious level decisions that affect lots of people, why do we expect them to operate under such duress?

    • Ad 7.1

      He said today “He’s really worried about her.”
      In particular that she is receiving a lot of invective about her social welfare confessions.

      She’s not going to get any more sympathy with that statement – because Green supporters are giving her all they can.

      And he’s not signalling he expects the negativity to end.

      So as a statement it’s a pretty tough evaluation of his own co-leader.
      Particularly during an election.

      • weka 7.1.1

        He said today “He’s really worried about her.”

        Who is ‘he’ in the quotation, and where did Shaw say that? Not really following you there.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        She has held a mirror to a particularly nasty and judgemental part of NZ society.

        As well as exposing our treatment of the poor.

        She will never be forgiven, by some, for that. But they will never vote for the Greens, anyway.

        • Draco T Bastard

          She has held a mirror to a particularly nasty and judgemental part of NZ society.

          And shown them up as the hateful arseholes they are.

          She will never be forgiven, by some, for that. But they will never vote for the Greens, anyway.

          Yep, those types of people like believing that they’re super-people who are incredibly kind and worthy. Being called out on their BS really upsets them.

      • garibaldi 7.1.3

        The negativity will be endless Ad. It is up to intelligent people to rise above all the crap going down. The right will not give an inch on this, they can smell blood because of their relentless hypocrisy and will push and push for Meteria’s scalp.

    • KJT 7.2

      Pakeha expect our leaders to be loud, aggressive, judgemental and ruthless.

      There is another type of leadership that facilitates and helps people to do better.
      Despite the fact that business studies and research show that facilitative leadership is more effective, we still promote and vote for the loudmouths.

      Māori understand this better. Watch the man up front with the stick shut up quick, when the Aunties on the back bench start rolling their eyes.

      In business, if you want anything done, you ignore the guy in the flash suit, staring out the window of the corner office. You go see the person, usually a woman, that everything flows around.
      In a workshop, you look for the quiet old guy on the lathe. The one that the guy in the suit is going to ask to quote your job, anyway.

      • weka 7.2.1


        • KJT

          I wrote this some time ago. But still relevant, i think.

          Corporatism and Neo-Liberalism
          Tuesday, 25 January 2011
          6:17 a.m.
          One of the corollaries or supporting ideologies behind Neo-Liberalism is the cult of Management.

          The idea that individual shareholders, managers or directors are the main contributors to the success of a corporation, and thence the economy. And deserve the greatest share of the rewards. The jobs and income of all other employees and State servants is a generous charitable gift from these people.

          Except, maybe in the case of genuine entrepreneurs, we all know this is not true.

          Many corporations and State or private enterprises run despite management, not because of them. In fact the constant parade of new brooms trying to make a name for themselves, with rapid changes and cost cutting, cause competent staff to resign and demoralise the rest.

          How many times, within a company, when you want the person who get things done. You ignore the suits staring out the windows in the corner offices and talk to the person, usually a women, who actually does things. Normally someone several pay grades below the suits.
          Or when you are ordering something. The bright well dressed manager calls some wizened old guy from the shop floor to ask if it can be done.

          The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers and employees have proven to be the least functional.

          The star managers paid in millions have proven to be much less effective than, lesser paid, experienced promotions from within the organisation.
          “companies that exclusively promote CEOs from within outperform companies that recruit CEOs from outside the company.”
          Pasted from

          “Outsiders are typically good at rapid cost-cutting and divestment, but over time, those opportunities tend to dry up.”


          Highly paid directors have led many corporations into oblivion.
          Enron, SCF, Hanover and many others.

          The highest paid of all, financial managers, destroy at least 7 times as much wealth as they create.
          Which makes their real worth, to society, somewhere south of a cleaner.

          We are so bamboozled by the cult of management we made one of those prime Minister.

          At the same time corporations decry the decreasing loyalty of other employees while they reduce the pay and responsibility they show towards them.

          This all comes from the Neo-Liberal idea that those who work for others are somehow being charitably given jobs.
          The fact is all the overpaid managers, greedy directors and parasitic shareholders could not even live, let alone have fortunes without the efforts of cleaners, technicians, plumbers, lath hands, secretaries and rubbish collectors.

          People who do productive work more than earn their pay.

          They contribute much more in relation to their income than those at the top.

          Unions and , once upon a time, Labour helped the rest of us towards getting our fair share of the wealth we produce.

          Past time Labour decided they are not national lite and repudiated the entire Neo-Liberal canon of faith. They should not be just another vehicle, like National, to transfer wealth to corporate parasites.

          Stop the waffle (Thanks QOT) and shooting themselves in the foot and come out strongly for New Zealanders.

          Then they may get back the votes of ordinary people.

  8. I have been a Socialist after reading the Grapes of Wrath at 12yrs old I’m now 86 and still believe in the equability of man . Although the NZ Labour Party is not truly Socialist its the only party Socialists can belong too. So it up to us LP members to keep our Party as far left as we can.We need to padres our messages to the unemployed ,the underpaid and the disadvantaged in society. Our members need to visit W.I.NZ talk to the clients ,start to encourage union membership .Families must tell their children why they need trade unions . Unfortunately I am riddled with arthritis and am not active any more but I do write regular ‘Letters to the Editor ” which is still a good way to get our message across.
    In conclusion I am hoping ,and I believe will ,that Jacinda will enable Labour to win the election but we all need to work towards that victory.
    Get out and vote Labour and get your eligible children out to the polls

    • JanM 8.1

      I agree with you about the Labour Party. It is far better to be in the building working for change than to be outside throwing stones at the windows. There is nothing to be achieved that way except more angst.

  9. Dspare 9

    During the 2015 Northland byelection, did Winston Peters vote for himself? I seem to recall that he used a family members place as enrollment residence at the time, with a promise to move to the region from Auckland if he won. Googling has given me too many results to sift through and the most relevant so far are ACT press releases (thus lacking credibility):

    Mr Peters, who is not able to vote for himself unless he changes his place of residence from St Mary’s Bay, Auckland, to Northland.


    However, I seem to recall something similar from a halfremembered 3News piece at the time. If this is a similar case of someone having an electoral address differing from their residence for purpose of voting for a preferred candidate, will Labour also be insisting that; Peters like Turei will be barred from any ministerial position?
    The above is from a comment that I made over on TDB; just thought I’d re-ask the question here, as the different group of people might have access to different information sources. Always felt that it is a shame that there is such antagonism between TS & TDB as they are quite different fora, but I guess that comes with people being passionate about their opinions.

    Another thing I’m currently intrigued by is; the imminant MANA policy announcements on Tuesday. I had been thinking that the party (if not the movement) was dead in the water, for this election at least. However, with Davis being required to take the second Labour list position as part of the deputy leader role, Harawira’s chances at reclaiming te Tai Tokerau seat have got a whole lot better in the last week (especially given the agreement with the Māori party). He certainly won’t be a minister either, but a MANA presence in parliament will make the Green’s policies seem less extreme by comparison – and so more likely to be implemented.


    • weka 9.1

      You should enrol at whichever address you call ‘home’. But people have all sorts of different living arrangements, which can mean living in different places at different times. If that’s the case for you – e.g. if you work or study in one city, but return to another for weekends or holidays, it’s your choice which place feels most like home.


    • weka 9.2

      Hoping that Mana doesn’t do any more dick moves like the racist executing Chinese P dealer thing.

      I keep meaning to crunch the numbers to see what difference HH would make for the left in terms of forming govt.

      • Dspare 9.2.1

        If NZF are involved, then Harawira will almost certainly not be part of any government; left or right (nor Flavell, or any other Māori party MP). If the numbers are tight, single MP parties may have a chance to negotiate over support for individual votes in return for reciprocal movement in the governmental policies though.

        I don’t think we have to worry too much about the execution of Chinese ampetamine dealers:

        This morning I was on The NATION and I said that we should take the importation of “P” more seriously by introducing legislation to either (1) jail Chinese convicted of importing P or the chemicals to make it, for life, or (2) send them back to China with a life ban on their ever returning to this country, or as a last resort (3) execute the bastards for the damage that they are wreaking on our society.

        Naturally the media are only interested sensationalising the “Harawira wants to execute Chinese Drug Dealers” line and now the story’s gone viral.

        So here’s a little backgrounder to explain where I’m coming from …

        When I first went to parliament I wanted to stop tobacco from killing Maori people. I said then that I’d like to put all the Big Tobacco Executives up against the wall and shoot them…


        More a case of someone expressing themselves rashly on a topic they are passionate about (admittedly with an element of playing to those who don’t think too much about consequences), rather than a determined plan he was set up to implement.

        Yes (to your above quote at 8.1), even if Peters had used a family member’s address for enrollment, that doesn’t seem to have violated the regulations. But then neither did Turei’s actions (in her interview with Campbell there was strangely wonderful bit where he expresses confusion at how she used an unconventional enrollment residence to vote for a friend rather than herself in that election).

        I’m mainly asking for the information to include in a letter to the editor (following Macskasy’s lead). There is quite enough selective reporting to point to in the difference in how English and Key’s unconventional enrollment residences were treated by the media in comparison to Turei’s. But then the memory of the Northland election started niggling and now I’m distracted from my original purpose.

      • greywarshark 9.2.2

        Why not ask swordfish weka? He/she has it at fingertips usually.

  10. gsays 10

    Great initiative weka, so far everyone is behaving themselves.

    I want to drop the 1080 bomb somewhere and here seems like a spot to do it.
    I am opposed to the use of 1080 be a use it is the cruelest way for any critter to die and it is indiscriminate.
    The only way it is justified is within an economic context. That is it.

    The only party to be unequivocal about 1080 is nz1st.

    Sorry, gotta go now and be away from fone for a while.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1

      Only NzF? That’s disappointing especially when there are other alternatives (despite claims to the contrary).

      Weka – this is sooo much more enjoyable to read. Thank you x

      • gsays 10.1.1

        Nzf are the only ones to be vocal.
        Greens on backbenchers mumbled about 1080 amongst other measures…
        Prosser (for some reason I don’t like him), was strident against it’s use and had alternative strategies.

    • exkiwiforces 10.3

      For 1080 to truly work properly it has to followed up with a trapping, shooting and monitoring/ research program to get its full value for money and if it doesn’t happen you are pissing money down the toilet. It’s not the quick fix solution that National think it is and if anyone remembers the old pest broads they were using a four point plan as stated above. That’s the only way to control pests and eradicate them.

  11. Kureki te Heki 11

    It seems to me we need to step back a whole lot. Not saying we need to go back to the middle ages, but we do need to be more self sufficient, and need to look after those in our immediate communities more.
    Neighbourhood vegetable gardens would be a start.
    If your neighbour is struggling, help them out however you can, Install solar and wind power where possible to reduce costs.
    Why did society stop caring for society ?
    I believe it’s not up to the state to look after our communities, it’s up to us, and we need to do better.
    Labour voter 1984 – 2005, can’t vote for the Greens, they are too far left for me, and they seem to have put the environment second.
    Undecided voter at this time, thanks for the comments everyone.

    • 44 south 11.1

      “it seems to me we have to step back a whole lot”
      Totally! And that is the problem, nobody will. They want their fun, they are summer time hippies.
      Someone recently quoted the proverb ” it is te tangata,te tangata,te tangata”.
      I am calling BS on that.
      It is always te whenua,te whenua.te whenua!
      Without the land we are nothing.
      The Greens would do well to remember that.

      • gsays 11.1.1

        Hi 44, a great definition of sustainable that I heard recently was the land being in better condition than it was last year.

        To me that is pre middle ages, borderline stone age.

      • Kureki te Heki 11.1.2

        Dead right 44 South.
        When we ruin this land, we can’t swap it for another one, it’s the only one we have.
        Time we had a government that recognised this, and after a few elections not voting i’m still looking for a party to vote for.
        Looking after each other and our environment must come first and I’m yet to see a party that’s offering this.
        Very disappointed with Metiria Turei, who was probably living better than the working poor who were paying their taxes to provide her benefit and other entitlements.
        But at the end of the day, she never should have been put in that position just to support her baby. We need to do better.

      • KJT 11.1.3

        It is delusional to think that, in a democracy, we can look after the land without looking after the people.

        Or. Do you expect the poor to bear the costs of being more environmentally sustainable? The two go together.

  12. JC 12


    Great piece on the Wireless this arvo for those that may have missed it .

    Positive ups to Helen Clark. She talks, and walks the word Sustainability!! And totally Understands it’s real significance! And through UNDP has provided an assessment of the Big Issues, CC, (and others….) …But has addressed with recipes/Plans to maybe deal with that future, …longer term!

    She “concludes that a huge focus on youth issues is needed by developing countries. They could, she says, reap a big demographic reward from this large section of their populations, but only if they invest in young people. “If that doesn’t happen, we’re not looking at a dividend, we’re looking at a nightmare.”

    While much of that could be seen as negative, She ,and UNDP have taken a leap, identified the picture, and taken steps to address! To provide sustainability, not just the next election cycle…but a future here on Gaia. Sustainably!
    kia kaha

  13. mosa 13

    Great idea Weka this format- post for left wing debate for those who are genuine in their desire to articulate ideas that are inclusive and are going to work for a better life and a better country than what we have now.

    Watching the documentary ” my year with Helen ” at the Royal Theater here in Christchurch today reminded me how good Helen was and is and such a contrast to the current and former leadership we have had since 2008.

    It has ignited my belief that the months and years ahead will be better when we return to an inclusive progressive government that only the left can deliver and watching Jacinda in Auckland today English and National are looking and sounding tired.

    It’s time !!

  14. KJT 14

    I would like to see Labour/Greens running with the idea of a UBI for children.

    We had one in the past. Obviously it was affordable.

    The UBI for old people, super, has proved to be an affordable and effective way of removing poverty in the elderly. Less than 4% in poverty.

    As soon as it is universal, it becomes Tory proof, as we have seen with super.

    Of course we will have the usual opposition, from those who may have to give up one of their 3 biennial overseas holidays, to pay for it.

  15. Just watch out for the Dirty Tricks Brigade ” they will be working overtime now.Just remember how they rubbished Bill Rowling ,how they absolutely destroyed Colin Moyle (a shameful part of NZ history).
    Then we had the disgraceful Dancing Cassocks) which I always believed was paid for by the far Right organization “The Democratic Union).I have no doubt that they will attack the Left by denigrating the Greens and we have already seen an attack on the Green leadership.
    Be prepared to defend our members and leaders because one will be overlooked by the Nat’s hunger for power regardless of who they are
    and regardless of who they damage .They are ruthless for power lets not forget .

  16. I wonder how P Bennett was able to manage University expenses and care for her self when according to her she was only on a benefit.Was someone helping her out ?Perhaps a lodger or two.

  17. exkiwiforces 17

    Growing up with grandparents in Nelson during 70’s, I was taken to just about every Labour Party meeting in the Nelson area and the story goes that I always was listening in to what’s being said and a few comments as which impress a elder statesman/ MPs in the Labour Party. As I got older I was educated in our families work class history and ideals/ beliefs behind the Labour movement.

    I believe in a good firm social policy that allows any person whoever they are to get step in up ladder and if they fell on hard times act as safety net so can one day they can get back on ladder to greater and better things. What I can’t stand are those that rort the system whatever your background is and it’s not lifestyle choice either.

    I may come across as someone who is hard on crime, but’s that only because they may not want helping hand too get out of crime and become a better person in the community.

    I may come across a right wing nut on defence issues, that is because I’ve been to places that no human should see, even as a Peacekeeper. There will be times you’ll be able to get round the table to sort it out with a good old good hand shake at the end, but there will times where lethal force has to be use to maintain peace/ human rights abuse as fewer countries now no longer upholding the mutual understanding of international law. We must prepare for the worst and hope for the best which the job of upholding international law is slowly becoming harder where you allow for climate change etc.

    I’m a nationalist that means our people come first regardless of race or colour or sexuality or gender because we are one of this great country and the values that we stand for.

    I’m someone who believes in the Commonwealth of nations, where it can and should be use as form of trade base on basic values of human rights, mentoring other countries within the commonwealth to good governance, human rights etc to allow them to succeed, common aid and defence relations.

    International Aid should only be given to within the Commonwealth nations only or where the NZDF are operating as peacekeepers under a UN mandate.

    The free market is a racket that’s almost worst than war, only the privileged few make money. Government should maintain a essential services to keep the private industry honest and step in when need too for example CHCH earthquake insurance racket and rebuild should not be left to the free market.
    Government and private industry should work together in research and invest into the future of NZ and train up our youth or reskill those within the workforce to make NZ a more successful, efficient, resilient country.

    Yes I’m a lefty, but to some I may not sound like one and for those here that disagree with my comments.I’ve posted a enough of my family’s history here already on the Standard as to where I stand. I always will be a working class kid from the Hornby and my roots are steep in old working class values such as big Norm Kirk, Ernest Bevan, Frank Henry Sherman, my grandparents and those before them.

  18. KJT 18

    This from Minotaur in the Guardian. A comment on a Di Ancona piece. Given recent events i can only assume many, self called, lefties, in New Zealand actually agree with the British Tories’.
    “Their view is that anyone who is poor is at fault for being poor and the best way to treat them is to make them poorer and “incentivise” them to work by doing so”.

    16h ago

    Here’s a new idea for the Tories: Why not ask a simple question every time you propose a course of action: Is this morally just?
    When Mr d’Ancona uses phrases such as “the strain on the NHS and crumbling infrastructure” surely he should ask why they are in such a parlous state in the fifth richest country in the world? Anything to do with er Tory policies? The fact is the Tories, cheered on by Mr d’Ancona, instituted 1930’s economic policies based on nostrums long discredited by Keynes.
    There is a view that somehow if only the Tories understood how much damage they were inflicting on the poorest and weakest in society they would somehow desist; I take the view that they are moral scumbags who know exactly what they are doing. Their view is that anyone who is poor is at fault for being poor and the best way to treat them is to make them poorer and “incentivise” them to work by doing so.
    This of course is the exact opposite of the way they treat themselves and their chums, who must always be given shedloads more money to add to the piles they already have, in order to encourage them to work. There are huge numbers of Tory MP’s who who worship at the altar of the divine Margaret while thinking she was far too soft and left-wing for their tastes. They don’t want to take Britain back to the 1950’s (when social security meant what it said) but to the 1850’s when the state scarcely existed.
    They loathe every single piece of progressive legislation that has ever passed: particularly they hate the NHS, council housing, any employment legislation, the Health and Safety Act, the Human Rights Act, Freedom of Information Act, etc. These are not people who need new ideas, they have all the ideas they want thank you. They are our political equivalent of the Taliban.
    After the war and the development of “Butskellism” there was a feeling that, with the exception of a few economic loonies like Enoch Powell, these people had been largely extirpated from mainstream politics. Now they are the mainstream. Even under Thatcher we didn’t have food banks.
    However, not only do Tories not see food banks as anything to be nationally ashamed of, they are the precise expression of their ideas that poverty can be dealt with best not by the “state” but “charity.” But just remember, in order to go to a food bank you must first be given a piece of paper allowing you to do so. In order to receive that paper you have to prove your poverty and dire need, in other words undergo a “means test.”
    This is exactly the same as the processes that people had to undergo to receive Poor Law assistance. Given that I suspect it unlikely Mr d’Ancona will ever need the services of a food bank I doubt that one of the “new ideas” he will suggest to the Tories is that food banks are a moral outrage”.

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