MMP campaign heats up

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, February 17th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: class war, electoral systems - Tags: ,

Simon Power has done the right thing and opted for a re-run of the process that chose MMP.

First, a referendum to be held at the time of the 2011 election will ask voters if they want to keep MMP or have a different electoral system. Second, regardless of how they answered the first question, voters are invited to choose a preferred alternative to MMP from FPP, PV, SM, and STV. If a majority vote for change in the first question there will be a run-off between MMP and the most popular alternative in 2014.

The business elite wanted to rush through a shoddy process that was designed to split the pro-proportionality vote between MMP, SM, and STV with the hope that FPP would slip through the middle. It’s heartening that there remains at least one National minister with the integrity to refuse to skew the pitch like that.

It’s also heartening to see that support for MMP is very strong. In all likelihood the campaign for change will fail at the first hurdle. But don’t think that Peter Shirtcliffe and friends won’t be expending vast sums to try to get Kiwis to vote for a return to the elected dictatorship that bought us Muldoon’s Think Big and the Right’s disastrous neoliberal revolution (that made Shirtcliffe and co rich). Fortunately, the grass-roots movement that won us MMP in the first place is reassembling, with old faces and new. With your help, we’re going to beat those rich pricks again and save our democracy.

Let’s not forget why we fought for and won MMP. In 1978 and 1981, the party that won the most seats did not win the most votes, and went on to govern despite more people having supported the other major party. In 1993, the winning party won 0.5% more than the other major party and a majority of people vote against it, yet under FPP it became government. In 1993, 26% of voters supported two parties that between them won just four seats.

Before MMP it was a two-party state. The only long-running third party, Social Credit, succeeded in winning as much as 20.7% of the vote and average 10.6% for 11 elections but won a total of just six seats in that entire time.

The business elite wants to drag us back to those days of unfair elections and weak democracy, when business interests held even more sway than now. We don’t want to return to those days. We want a person’s vote to mean fair representation in Parliament. We want to keep the best electoral system in the world – MMP.

30 comments on “MMP campaign heats up”

  1. BLiP 1

    Hands up everyone who understands STV . . . okay, okay . . . hands up everyone who didn’t vote National Ltdâ„¢ a-n-d understands STV . . . good, that’s cleared up then. You know what to do.

  2. Chris Diack 2

    “Categories: class war, electoral systems”

    This speaks volumns. If you go into a debate about the electoral system with this attitude you risk loosing the support of a majority of New Zealanders for the status quo + some tinkering.

    You guys really have no idea.

    [lprent: The characteristic phrase of a Act troll arises again.
    Do they stamp all of the Act drones out with a stupid set of phrases embedded on their arse so they can stamp it across every comment they make as they arise? So what position will Act be supporting in the referendum? “you guys really have no idea”?
    BTW: It is clear that you haven’t read the about or policy on this site. I’d suggest you do before my moderation hackles rise further. ]

    • Marty G 2.1

      You’re the one who doesn’t see the class issue at the heart of the electoral systems debate.

  3. Chris Diack 3

    Analysis of the electoral system on the basic of class is an echo chamber. I think if the campaign for retaining MMP uses the language of class warfare it will loose.

    I hate to give you a campaigning 101 but surely the message should be tailored to win those who would swing either way: it’s just like FPTP really in that regard.

    Are the class warriors the swing voters? Will the swinging voters be influenced by the language of class warfare?

    As I said you guys seem to have no idea.

    IrishBill: you mean “lose” not “loose”. You Act losers (note the spelling) are just about as thick as you are arrogant and wrong.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Chris,

      you don’t seem to get that The Standard isn’t “the left”. It isn’t “the campaign for retaining MMP” or anything else. And category tags for a blog post don’t mean what you seem to think they mean either.

      As for having ideas and understandings, swing voters, electability and echo chambers and so on. You still involved with ACT?

    • Hey Chris

      How is the Hugh Watt Society? Been in breach of any trusts lately?

  4. Chris Diack 4

    Just look at the poster.

    Most New Zealanders will read the 99 MPs down from 120 and vote for the lesser.

    None of the other electoral systems necessarily involves less MP’s than we have now.

    Why would those supporting MMP even raise that.

    Clueless.

  5. Chris Diack 5

    Dude

    Look at the poster. The claim that 99 MPs is a dictatorship but 120 is not credible. And actually none of the other electoral systems necessarily means less MPs anyway.

    If most NZers get the message that MMP means more pols and every other electoral system means less they will go weak on MMP.

    But more importantly: why even raise this issue. It’s not relevent.

    I love tags they disclose truths. And this tag is mightly unwise.

    And Dude, who just won last time. This time it’s MMPs race to loose.

    Sharpen up your act.

    • Zorr 5.1

      . < — this is the point

      The idea behind the 99 FPP Dictatorship vs 120 MMP Democracy slogan is that any party that won under FPP had the ability to pass any legislation they might desire with very little in the way of checks and balances. Under MMP, every vote (essentially) gets a voice in Parliament and has a representative there able to directly question the ruling party over their policy decisions. Add in to that the fact that no party has achieved >50% of seats since MMP started and it means that concessions have neeeded to be made to coalition partners to retain working relationships.

      As much as I would love to join you in the mud, rolling around and throwing it at each other, I have better uses for my time than educating a moron who can't even engage the most basic of critical analysis skills.

      • Zorr 5.1.1

        Was meant to be

        .

        Fail formatting on my part resulting in it disappearing as java (I think) tags.

    • You know all about democracy don’t you Chris. Been involved in any incorporated societies lately?

    • sukie Damson 5.3

      DUDE, who stole my car?
      A. Bill English.

    • Though I was at primary school at the time after a brief explanation from my (National voting) parents I could work out why MMP was so much better.

      The posters were probably written like that because for the pro-MMP side, going to 120MP’s was seen as a down side of MMP, so the real theme is democracy vs dictatorship.

  6. Chris Diack 6

    lprent:

    1. Not a troll.

    2. I assume all authors of the Standard and the Union movement for whom most appear to work will be supporting the retention of MMP.

    3. The graphic posted appears to suggest that.

    4. The tag on this post in my view is unwise; it suggests a mindest towards to the upcoming referendum campaign that is unlikely to be helpful. But that in the end is up to you guys.

    5. I don’t claim to represent anyone elses view except my own; just in the same way the authors of the Standard claim only to represent their own views.

    6. I support MMP – did so in both previous referendums and I am likely to support it again in the upcoming one.

    7 As for ACT’s view you will have to ask ACT. I suspect there will be a variety of views.

    • lprent 6.1
      • I’ve never even joined a union. There are about 20 authors that write here and I only know of a few who are or have been associated with unions. Your statement is like saying that all Act supporters like rorting trusts.
      • I’ve did not support MMP when it was first put in. I’ve come to enjoy it as producing relatively stable governments where the extremes don’t rule. There will probably be a variety of opinions amongst authors. But I’d guess most would write in support of MMP – I would.
      • Tags and categories are set by the author – it is how they feel it should be categorized. The only thing that moderators would do is to make sure that they don’t get too large and to ensure that posts have some categories and tags. Read the about for how this site operates.
      • Oh you have read the about – so why are you making stupid statements about the operation of this site. Carping on about conspiracy theories about this site on this site is a fast way to annoy moderators – because what we’ve said about this site hasn’t even had a taint or blemish despite all of the dickhead wingnuts jerking themselves off on conspiracy theories. We’ve seen it all before – so we tend to abbreviate their pleasures rapidly.
      • In case you haven’t realised it yet, we’re protective of our authors and don’t like sidetracking off the posts points too far. You need to learn to frame criticisms of posts without triggering moderating reactions.

      Above all, don’t be a pious dork relying on outdated stereotypes – they make you look like something out of the 80’s. The image was from the 80’s as well I seem to remember.

  7. Chris Diack 7

    Zorr

    The fact that you take 100 words and 6 lines to describe the graphic image presented which is supposed to persuade the causal viewer of the image to support of MMP should tell you it’s a dud.

    Actually there is little you need to tell me about electoral systems

  8. Daveo 8

    Chris, like PB said, what you fail to understand is that The Standard isn’t the Campaign for MMP. It’s not “the left”. It’s a bunch of left-wing people sharing their views on issues. If you don’t like the fact one of these authors, Marty, thinks there is a class element to the debate that’s your choice, but don’t think for a second he owes you anything or that he should bother listening to some ACT Party crony whose one claim to fame is trying to steal the Labour Party’s house.

    As for this poster you’re obsessed with? The post here references the fight for MMP, the poster references that campaign. What’s your problem? That you think this post should be written by the Campaign for MMP? That you mistakenly thought it was? That posts referencing previous campaigns shouldn’t use the imagery? Baffling.

    Oh, and I actually know a few of the people who write for The Standard. I think you’ll find you’re wrong about point 1. Careful comrade, don’t want to get yourself banned.

  9. if its broken - fix it 9

    Let’s remove personality driven Electorate seats but not the Electorate as a defined area.

    The voter still has an Electoral vote and a Party vote. Effectively two Party votes, so no changes there. The Electorates and the ‘Buffer List’ totalling 120 MP’s as now

    All Electorate positions are assigned through a Parliamentary ballot.
    simply put; The majority vote of each Electorate selects the total number of seats for that Party. The Party selects and presents their list. The Ballot is formed from the completed tally of 120 majority vote selections. The Electorates are done first. then the buffer is filled out with the remaining ballots. – The ballot draw is perhaps an opportunity for the Governor General to be more involved ? i do not know the legal side to that, no.

    The Maori Electoral seats can be done exactly the same way, and as we often hear calls for, might actually offer opportunity for many more Maori to actively engage. I do realise some Iwi could face many challenges working with Representatives from other Iwi but it is a necessary process for us all in a Democracy. It is one we all should be more concerned with, not only Maori.

    The beauty here is an Electorate’s M.P. may be from a Party that the Electorate did not vote for but the Country did. The M.P. then has the choice of working with the electorate and helping the country, or decide to work for their Party and naysay the opposition. As this may be against the wishes of the Electorate they ultimately risk the party vote at the next Election.

    There is also a more realistic opportunity for communities to create national collectives to function alongside the major parties. Do not ignore the potential from the new Electoral Funding Laws. The Corporates now have many more plays than putting Blue against Red

    I would not be suprised that the minor parties and the independants might just show that more is expected from a Representative Government. The major parties would be forced to admit that most of their differences, aren’t that different.

    The voters are having to consider more than their Electorate, and the assigned MP has to consider the same, as they will generally not be representing their own neighborhood but the Country, which i always thought was an M.P’s job. As this would undoubtedly lead to more coalition governments, the true representative nature of M.M.P. can finally be allowed to function.

    I admit the actual make-up of a government will require some careful inter-party co-operation when there is not a clear majority, but this is not a reason to automatically dismiss the suggested reform of electoral practice. This is what is required when forming a democratic representative government of individuals who would ultimately be responsible to a nation and not an electorate. M.M.P. was supposed to remove F.P.P not just buy it a new outfit.

  10. peteremcc 10

    What Chris said.

    There are many on the right who support MMP.

    Labour and the Greens are using Lefty language to try and keep MMP – wake up guys, the left lost in 2008 and if you try and keep MMP using the same strategy in 2011 (when National and the right will probably do even better) MMPs definitely going down.

    Wake up and start running a real centrist campaign instead of silly crap like:

    “FPP is unfair because minor parties don’t get a say.” – Err… the vast majority of NZ support major parties, so this is an argument against MMP and in Favour of FPP.

    “and save our democracy.” – Many who support MMP still think we should have a vote. Telling those people that having a vote is threatening our democracy is not going to win them to your side.

    “With your help, we’re going to beat those rich pricks again” – yeah, ditto, personal attacks don’t win votes, why would you vote the same way as someone that just called you a rich prick?

    Conclusion

    1) This isn’t a Left/Right election, its an MMP/FPP election, so start campaigning like it.
    2) Even if it was Left/Right, the left is a mess at the moment and would lose, so you’d need a different strategy.

    [Eddie: Don’t come on here and demand people change their analysis to fit your preferred lines. This is a post by one author expressing his personal opinion. That is what The Standard is for. It is not your messaging hub. One more comment like this and you will be banned.]

  11. Chris Diack 11

    Daveo

    Mmmm. I wonder about the wisdom of posting an image from a previous referendum campaign (that overwhelmingly lost) in a post about an uncoming referendum. I wrongly assumed the image belonged to the current campaign.

    In the end, Standard authors can tag their posts as they will – even when that is in my view unhelpful.

    The mindset indicated suggests embattlement not expansiveness.

    • lprent 11.1

      If you’d had as many trolls as we’ve had manking on about the same old crap, you’d recognise the reaction – it is the white cell strategy for dealing with bugs.

      There are particular phrases and behaviours that we look for – which we’ve seen hundreds of times – they are the signatures. Clamp down on them HARD and early before they stop the debate by being idiots. Generally work on the assumption that if they start off by being idiots, then they will continue in the same vein.

      If people come in and express disagreement without making troll like behaviours then we leave them alone.

      You exhibited the phraseology. You found white cells.

      In your case you have a bit of a reputation as well which reduces toleration levels quite a lot.

  12. peteremcc 12

    Eddie, I don’t see how I can demand that you (the royal you – the left in general) guys do anything – I’m not the government and I can’t throw you in prison.

    What i can do is give you advice.

    Normally I wouldn’t care whether you listen, but in this case you risk screwing up my democracy too.

    If you really want to ban me for giving some advice to try and save MMP, then that’s your choice, it is your blog after all.

    Btw, I know that the moderators here like to be strict and always point people to the blog policy.

    I’ll just note that even if I was demanding you do something, that’s not actually against your policy.

    CAPTCHA: STRATEGY

    [Eddie: What you don’t understand is that there is a difference between analysis and campaigning. When you are writing analyis you give your honest and considered opinion about an issue and the forces that are at play. These aren’t always the arguments you would use when trying to win someone from the other side over to your thinking. To do that, you campaign. You find messages that resonate with the public and you stick to them relentlessly.

    Marty’s post was analysis, it was not campaigning. You were telling him to stop giving his honest opinions and instead write some line in keeping with someone else’s campaign messaging. That’s not what this site is about, and we resent being lectured at by people who can’t tell the difference.

  13. Chris Diack 13

    lprent:

    I am not responsible for your behaviour am I or the behaviour of other Standard authors or those who post comments? Each of us chooses how we treat others.

    Eddie:

    You being unfair to peteremcc.

    Analysis or campaigning or perhaps campaigning dressed up as analysis:

    “Fortunately, the grass-roots movement that won us MMP in the first place is reassembling, with old faces and new. With your help, we’re going to beat those rich pricks again and save our democracy.”

    Looks like campaigning to me. The author self declares that he is part of the grass-roots movement for retaining MMP – a movement that excludes rich pricks apparently.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    We want to keep the best electoral system in the world MMP.

    Oh Christ… where do I begin?

    Winston Peters
    Alamein Kopu
    Ron Mark
    Donna Awatere
    Kanwaljit Bakshi
    Peter Brown
    Roger Douglas (Mk II)
    Melissa Lee…

    And that’s just the first few that spring immediately to mind… and I could have thrown in a few dropkicks and ideological loons from the other side of the House but I don’t want to derail the debate.

    The List MP system (because that’s the outcome of MMP, even if it’s laudable aim is proportionality) is a disaster that’s seen the standard of people making decisions that affect the rest of us sink to appalling new lows.

    Yes, the odd mental vacuum or raving looney used to get elected to a safe seat here and there. But the advent of MMP shifted the proportion. It’s also allowed Party leaders and powerbrokers to demand a level of unthinking obedience they could never do if the MP was, first and foremost, accountable to an electorate.

    Sure the alternatives – like STV – are “hard”. But take a look at Electoral Commission surveys on how many people understand whether their party vote or their electorate vote is the more important, for instance. Ask at the pub how many people know what the Sainte-Laguë method is… you’ll probably be asked if you’re a Catholic trying to deter them from using condoms.

    I could go on, but with an assertion like “best system in the world” to argue against, I suspect I’d be wasting my time.

  15. Jenny 15

    The desire for MMP grew from an electorate heartsick at the fact, That at the time, we were getting the same right wing neo-liberal policies foisted on us no matter who we voted for, or what they promised.

    In 1984 Labour came to power with out a whisper that they were planning massive privatisations and job losses for the public sector, and deregulation of the private sector. Roger Douglas convinced working class voters and loyal labour voters that his famous trickle down would eventually benefit them, as well as the immediate beneficiaries, the powerful and the well off.

    Taking Labour on trust, working class voters again voted for a Labour Government in 1987. Workers loyal support for Labour was joined by a massive swing in support for Labour from big business and the rich.

    This support right across the political spectrum delivered Labour a huge majority and a landslide victory, in 1987.

    The support from the wealthy and the privileged for the Labour Government’s neo-liberal monetarist policies, was revealed when the most conservative seat in the country, Epsom (currently held by Rodney Hide), almost went to labour. (The winning margin was reputed to be as small as 6 votes)

    By the 1990 election, working people were heartily sick of the neo-liberal market driven policies, emanating from the Labour controlled beehive, that just seemed to be creating greater hardship and inequality.

    This mood of disillusionment and cynicism of the time was captured by the documentary “Someone else’s country”

    To take advantage of this disillusion the National party opportunistically ran a political campaign to the left of Labour, headlining promises to halt privatisations, reverse the Super Surcharge and reverse moves to user pays in Tertiary education.

    The result was one of the biggest electoral Landslides for any party ever in New Zealand.

    Of course the rest is history, The National Government despite their electoral promises, continued and extended “Rogernomics”, repackaging it as “Ruthanomics”.

    The result on the electorate was marked. Before MMP was introduced, the electorate instead of delivering huge landslides for one or the other of the main parties, quivered in the middle like some great wounded beast, eventually delivering a hung parliament. (a phenomonen witnessed in other western countries where the two main parties were perceived to be following identical conservative policies.)

    From then on the move to MMP was unstoppable, so much so, that against their natural instincts, it was finally introduced under Jim Bolger’s National Government.

    The benefits of MMP have been obvious, no longer are voters having to choose between only two major parties who they feel mightn’t truly represent their interests.

    The effect of these smaller parties on legislation has been obvious.

  16. prism 16

    Changing the voting system, even seriously canvassing the idea. It is a big thing and takes a lot of education, explanation, consideration – all the ations across the nation, then we have a bunch of good old boys who can simply say ‘Oh that was a blip (pardon Blip) and we will have another campaign and ask the country again and maybe we can get to the neat and tidy system we had before that has served us (the smug and comfortable) so well.’ I always wished that I had a copy of their infamous poster which had people with brown paper bags blocking their vision on an orange background, its an historical artifact now.

    MMP isn’t perfect of course, but those that like to find fault with politics will criticise it all the way, and if FPP comes back in they will criticise that. I think they call them the uncommitted, that is they haven’t committed their minds to serious thought across the possibilities available, for decades.

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    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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • 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.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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: ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks 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
    26 mins 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
    1 hour 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
    2 hours 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
    4 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
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