Lest we forget

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, September 4th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: election 2011, energy, privatisation, same old national - Tags:

In the lat-90s, National’s Max Bradford started the privatisation process of energy companies, setting up the SOEs and selling Contact. Electricity prices have risen at two and a half times inflation since then. Now, National wants more privatisation. Have we forgotten why we voted them out in 1999?

– image from Frank M

41 comments on “Lest we forget”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    Some of us remember all the way back to Think Big and how that was going to save us, to the deregulation [Labour] government of the mid-80s and how that was going to save us, to the muddling along years of Jim Bolger, to the scandal-a-week government of Jenny Shipley and to the much-hated government of Helen Clark that was going to save us.

    There has been one consistent theme over the decades. No government does anything for the long term benefit of New Zealanders but they all like to tinker.

    Other things I have come to realise are that most people seem to have difficulty remembering something that happened a month ago and an awful lot don’t care.

    Of course, they’ll all be complaining bitterly when they lose most of what they have a few years from now.

  2. Peter nickle 2

    But I thought this site wants higher power prices so we can leave a smaller carbon footprint?
    What do you want, lower prices and more burnt carbon or vice versa? The message is not clear to me.
    9 years of Labour did what tell me to decrease power prices?

    [this site doesn’t want anything nor is it responsible for Labour. It’s not a choice between more carbon and lower prices. 80% of our power is carbon free already. Eddie]

    [lprent: The Standard doesn’t have an opinion or wants – it is machine. Read the policy about the difference between people and machines. Use that particular stupid tactic again and I will demonstrate what it is like to annoy the person running the machine. ]

    • crashcart 2.1

      Wow great straw man. Of course those higher prices will be to reduce consumption and not to fleece private investors? I am sure the private investors will push for money to be invested in more green power production.

      The RWNJ’s are really getting desperate for excuses as to why this is a good idea.

    • Peter nickle 2.2

      You confuse me with someone who gives a fuck what you think and do on your site.
      You are a complete thick ignaramous who thinks your interlect intellect is greater than reality.
      Enjoy your next few years whinging about the National Govt.

      [lprent: Always nice to find someone so illiterate that they are unable to use their automatic spellchecker on their browser. But hopefully that was just because the gobbets of spittle obscured the word? I fixed it for you. ]

      • Ianupnorth 2.2.1

        Oh, you’re hard!

      • mikesh 2.2.2

        You missed fixing “ignaramous”.

      • McFlock 2.2.3

        His argument’s so powerful he doesn’t need to spell properly. Or take rabies shots.

      • Perhaps Peter is Max. All these years he’s been scouring the internet looking for any mention of his name, increasingly pissed off that he has fallen into the abyss of obscurity. Now, while sipping strained tea laced with his daily laxative at The Retirement Home for Former National  Lapdogs he finds someone has remembered him – but not in a good way.
        After being energized by the old German man with a Chaplin moustache frothing at the mouth next to him (who is in a chatroom arguing against people who blame a failure of leadership for the failure of the invasion of Russia in 1941), Max logs into The Standard under an assumed name to present cogent arguments in support of Max Bradford.

    • ropata 2.3

      @peter nickle, perhaps you’re confused by National spin doctors.
      It’s not a binary choice between low power prices vs. low CO2 emissions, both are possible with energy conserving measures and good infrastructure governance rather than naked profiteering.

      New Zealand’s electrical energy generation, previously state-owned as in most countries, was corporatised, deregulated and partly sold off over the last two decades of the twentieth century, following a model typical in the Western world. However, much of the sector remains under government ownership as state-owned enterprises…

      All of the governments energy assets originally came under the Public Works Department. From 1946, the management of generation and transmission came under a new department, the State Hydro-Electric Department (SHD), later renamed in 1958 as the New Zealand Electricity Department (NZED). The reformist Fourth Labour Government corporatised the department as a State Owned Enterprise in 1987, as the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ), which traded for a period as Electricorp. In 1994, ECNZ’s transmission business was split off as Transpower. In 1996, ECNZ was split again, with a new generation business, Contact Energy, being formed. The Shipley Government privatised Contact Energy in 1999. From 1 April 1999, the remainder of ECNZ was split again, with the major assets formed into three new SOEs (Mighty River Power, Genesis Power and Meridian Energy) and with the minor assets being sold off.

  3. prism 3

    @AFWKTT Pity you can’t work with a shorter name say Know the Truth, much easier to handle. The Think Big projects did build some stuff right here in NZ using NZ labour etc and did build infrastructure.

    • joe90 3.1

      Yup, Think Big wasn’t all bad, the tripling of my wages when I scored a job at Motonui allowed me the luxury of paying my way out of my 17-23% home loan interest rates.

  4. I had given up hope that people would ever mention the name of that odious man again.
    Let alone remember that he was behind taking SOE’s returning some $280 million per year in 1990/91 dollars into the absolute balls-up of an industry today.
    Why has he escaped the “radar of blame” when he boldly promised us cheaper power from the implementation of free market ideology?
    Not only was he ideologically wrong but he was incompetent in its execution. What he created wasn’t a free market but a dog’s breakfast (sorry dogs!) collection of private companies, monopolies, SOE’s, virtual monoplies that has not produced any evidence of cheaper power being in our future. Just the opposite.
    I can only assume that Labour thought it too much of a fragmented and complicated a mess that it would have been too expensive to clean up and would have involved some re-nationalisation of former state assets.
    Certain Gerry “I’m-sorry-but-I-cant-protect-the-equity-in-your-home-after-all” Brownlee has done sweet FA to fix it all.
    I had dealings with Maxy Boy when he was representing the Bankers Association and the impression he left me with was that I saw his sojourn in politics as more of the same – brown-nosing those who had power and could think for themselves, never having an original thought of his own, and way out of his depth as a minister.
    Maybe I had him wrong – but I have always been surprised that his reputation remained intact and I still curse him every time I get a power bill.
    Imagine a small country at the bottom of the south pacific that uses the green technology that it’s grandfather’s built to provide electricity to it’s people and especially it’s industry and transport in the formula of
    cost + R&D and future development + return to government = retail price.
    No more no less. All state owned as a public good.
    Industry with cheap energy – electrification of public transport and freight.
    Grandmothers aren’t discovered dead of hypothermia in their snuggle sacks when the power company calls to cut off their power.
    As Jim Anderton in the very beginning “Who are the going to complete against? The candle makers!”

    • Lindsey 4.1

      Yes, so did I. He was always an arrogant prick.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      …brown-nosing those who had power and could think for themselves, never having an original thought of his own, and way out of his depth as a minister.

      That describes National to a tee. Watch them. They always kowtow to authority figures and whine when people don’t do what the authority figures tell them to do without question. Pure Right Wing Authoritarian.

      Works with Act, the “liberal” party, as well.

    • millsy 4.3

      Sure is a dog breakfast. Really.

      It seems to be that the best place to introduce competition into the system would be the generation side, not the retail side.

  5. millsy 5

    The power industry is a crock.

    Since 2006 I have been working for a company that reads the power and gas meters on behalf of the major power companies (in the office — I work on getting the data out to the meter readers from the companies and the reads from the reader, back to the companies), and while our company has a good reputation, and all the workers give their best and work hard, and we have some brilliant people doing brilliant things, I just cannot help but think that the way things are set up its all a great big bloated mess. with all sorts of people clipping the ticket on the way through. I really don’t see anything wrong with the local network companies handling the billing, etc.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6


    ‘Think Big’ got NZ’s finances so far out of kilter the incoming [Labour] government had to devalue overnight to prevent the economy collapsing. Plant originally costed at $800 million ended up costing $2,000 million because there were so many ‘cock-ups’ and so much wastage.

    But, as anyone who knows anything about international finance knows, ‘the game’ is to get communitiies and nations into as much debt as possible.

    When ‘Think Big was being promoted there were promises of downstream industries and tens of thousands of long term jobs, none of which eventuated.

    And the Think Big projects squandered precious fossil fuel resources in processes that were 50% efficient.

    For instance, it would have been a lot cheaper and a lot more efficient to GIVE EVERY MOTORIST IN NZ a CNG conversion kit than build Motunui. But that woud not have provided short term contracts and long term profits to global corporations. Nor would it have provided huge ‘back-handers’ to people liike Bill Birch.

    I use ‘AFEW’ because so few people do know the truth or bother to work it out.

    Most people take whatever nonsense they are presented with by governments, politicians, political parties, local government, global corporations, economists etc. and accept it as truth.

    • prism 6.1

      @Affktt You’re right but I think you are too critical. The Motonui thing was surely a genuine attempt to provide for our future fuel when things were looking bad for supplies from the traditional sources. It was not efficient as obtaining petrol from these sources but meant we couldn’t be cut off drastically.

      As for jobs, there is always a big hoo-ha about what opportunities building infrastructure will provide, but when it’s finished so are those jobs. But useful infrastructure supports increased business activity through the extra amenities of better transport conditions etc. so there should still be extra jobs if the amenity has been properly sited and planned.

      And wasn’t one of the reasons for the economy being fragile that there had been a long period of high inflation and yet a drop in employment and business activity, and also wasn’t our currency over-valued. That combined with Muldoon’s failure to officially hand over the reins of finance immediately to the new government allowed time for capital flight before decisive moves to devalue could be made by the new Labour government.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        And wasn’t one of the reasons for the economy being fragile that there had been a long period of high inflation and yet a drop in employment and business activity,…

        Stagflation hit every single developed country in the late 1960s/70s as, from what I can make out, the markets became saturated and the governments went on a spending binge financed by borrowing to maintain employment and consumption. Even now the biggest complaint about the economy around the world is how consumption isn’t increasing. It’s the Crisis of Capitalism that Marx predicted and the response throughout the world is to use up even more of the limited resources that the world has to prop up profits and the delusional Fractional Reserve Banking system exactly as I predicted (specifically I said that profit driven free-market capitalism will use up all resources as fast as possible resulting in catastrophic collapse of the economy, the environment and that such a result is inevitable no matter what restraints that we manage to put on it).

        The sale of state assets is also a response to the Crisis of Capitalism which we saw in the 1980s/90 and again now as it puts natural monopolies into private hands forcing people to over pay for what is an essential service/good while also removing community restraints over the use of the resources that the natural monopoly uses allowing those resources to over exploited. Selling the state assets is nothing more than a transfer of the communities wealth to the rich.

        …and also wasn’t our currency over-valued.

        Yes it was specifically due to the 3rd National governments borrowing and Muldoon refused to reduce the value. Muldoon’s refusal to hand over the reigns of power probably resulted in an even bigger loss to NZ but Labour had already hinted that they would lower the value after the election and so many people had speculated into the NZ$ just before the election resulting in about $700m being transferred from NZ to the speculators. Big Business did very very well out of the policies of the 4th Labour government and Roger Douglas – the workers and the community got shafted.

        • prism

          Thanks for comment. Meaty reading (I’m not a vegetarian.)

          Labour had already hinted that they would lower the value after the election and so many people had speculated into the NZ$ just before the election resulting in about $700m being transferred from NZ to the speculators.

          Was it a mistake then for Labour to have discussed this sensitive matter of devaluation before the election? Knowing that it is irresistible for many with the know-how of the financial world to speculate to our detriment.

    • mik e 6.2

      The Clyde dam was supposed to cost $450 million it cost $2.5 billion Incis was supposed to cost $10 million it never worked and cost $120 million National gets away with ripping off New Zealand by the billion yet when labour is in power they are not aloud to be openly gay{as opposed to nationals closeted type there aloud ] speed help raise funds for a charity with out the main stream media taking them apart

  7. Jonathan W 7

    I find this cartoon extremely offensive. Using a phrase commemorating the memory and sacrifice of those who served their country for a cheap political point is truly pathetic.

    • lprent 7.1

      As an ex-soldier I don’t find it offensive. In fact, it sounds pretty much why the phrase was used in the first place as a response to the ode of remembrance. But I could go and ask my slightly deaf gunner (El Alamein) great uncle mike , the few other remaining WW2 servicemen left in the family, other vets, or the ones currently serving if they’d find it offensive. But I suspect that they’d find your attitude pretty damn silly.

      Sounds to me to be more like you just don’t like the cartoon.

      • mik e 7.1.1

        JW This is politics not war even though they are both dirty business. Complain to Tremain his wife is an act member.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, hence, Lest We Forget.

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      I find this cartoon extremely offensive. Using a phrase commemorating the memory and sacrifice of those who served their country for a cheap political point is truly pathetic.

      Hey braniac those who served and sacrificed for NZ didn’t do so in order for NZ to be sold off bit by bit to foreigners.

      You see, selling this country out is what is truly pathetic and disrespectful.

      Your pretence of false sentimentality has no idea of the NZ ideals that those old soldiers actually fought and died for.

  8. ropata 8

    Which is worse?
    a) selling off assets built by our parents and grandparents and liquidating our childrens’ future
    b) a satirical cartoon

  9. hoom 9

    Why can’t Labour put out a policy for a real solution to the Electricity Market problem?
    Minimal tinkering that they did in power is no solution.

    Pretty much everyone out there is hankering for some kind of big change that will reverse the endless price increases, phoney ‘competition’ & market gaming that currently plague the market.

    My suggestion:
    -Rejoin the 3 SoEs and transmission company.
    -Mandate the new entity to generate & distribute wholesale electricity with these priorities:
    1: Reliability (no more artificial crises)
    2: Clean sustainable generation (because we can & should)
    3: Energy efficiency & minimal cost to the consumer (better insulation, more efficient appliances = less demand = less need for new expensive generation & lines = lower costs)
    4: Neutral or minimal profit (current profits to Government is nice but you could call it tax by stealth & far too much of the revenue is funnelled into Executive/Accountant/Marketing bank balances)
    -Return retail to regional Line trusts.
    -Contact will have to compete across the existing market system against that.
    (Being a privately owned company that is inherently drastically more efficient than state owned companies they shouldn’t have any issue becoming the dominant player right??? I mean after 15 years there can hardly be more than a few % of consumers left who have not switched to the naturally more efficient Contact)
    -Offer to buy Contact shares at some low-ball price if shareholders are unhappy about it.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Agree with #4. Natural monopolies such as telecommunications/power should be state owned and have close to zero profit. Actually making a profit in such a position is just taxing by a different name.

      Return retail to regional Line trusts.

      There should be no such thing as retail or, to be more precise, everyone should pay the same charges. Use a block charge system to encourage people to use less. Smaller blocks cost less than larger ones (basic supply and demand) and going over the amount signed up for costs a huge amount.

      Offer to buy Contact shares at some low-ball price if shareholders are unhappy about it.

      Just tell them that they’ve had their fun and that they now have to hand it back – no compensation.

      • hoom 9.1.1

        Well a regional monopoly trust would not really be retail but I meant remove the current Retail market.
        I don’t think we are quite at compulsory Nationalisation somehow, hell selling off these assets hell or high water is giving Nats 60% polling.
        By forcing the private enterprise to compete we get an actual market.
        Rather than just sit on their 1/4 of the 4 way artificial market they will either actually try to beat price of the bigger player = win for citizens, or their shareholders will want out through ‘normal free market forces’.
        A standing low-ball offer would just make that way out more attractive.

        • mik e

          Show me large companies that compete in NZ. There are Monopolies duopolies oligarchies colluders in pricing there is no real competition its a figment of your imagination.

  10. hoom 10

    Motonui has been a great success.
    Not as originally planned but under its privatised name Methanex & reworked to produce Methanol.
    They took great advantage of fixed price contracts to gobble up 80% of Maui gas for dirt cheap.
    Now they even get Carbon Credits for it too!

  11. Tom Gould 11

    Anyone noticed how Max has taken down his website content bragging on the benefits of electricity market dergulation and privatisation, especially the old stuff about how much power charges would fall as a result?

    • Max Bradford 11.1

      No he hasn’t. It’s still there at http://www.maxbradford.co.nz. And by the way, power prices did fall from 1999 to 2000 or thereabouts, when they exploded under Labour’s policies….power prices went up by 72 percent far in excess of inflation, from 2000 to 2008 when they were tossed out of office. Labour’s policies were the cause of the power price rises, not the creation of an electricty market.

      If you want to find out the facts, send me your email address and I’ll send them to you.

      [lprent: Looks legitimate. ]

      • “If you want to find out the facts, send me your email address and I’ll send them to you.”

        Why not post the details here, so we can all look at them. If the data is accurate and from an impeccable, non-partisan source, wouldn’t you be very keen to make them public?

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  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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