web analytics

Moving away from the politics of fear

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, November 2nd, 2014 - 53 comments
Categories: blogs, labour, Media - Tags: , ,

I’ve been meaning to respond to this post by Bill for a few days. This is the bit that I really disagree with: “there is a defining factor that ought to be considered…vulnerability to attack” (which isn’t from the post itself but from the front page description of it). The whole premise of the post is that a leader should be picked on the basis of who is the smallest target.

His description of the problem is accurate enough:

Whoever is leader, is going to [be] subjected to, and have to contend with, an endless barrage of innuendo and attempted smears from Slater, Farrar and/or others. These attacks will inevitably be picked up and amplified by major newspapers and TV outlets. The hope, as always, will be that any negative image of who-ever is leader gets traction in the mind of the general public and becomes projected onto the party as a whole.

But I object to the notion that any leadership decision should be based on this. For a start, it effectively allows the attackers from the right to determine who leaders from the left should be. It’s pretty much giving power to them and admitting defeat for the left to have any strategy or any ability to back their leaders against such attacks.

That bothers me a lot, because I think there has been too much implementation of policy or refusal to implement policy based on fear of the other side. The biggest example in my mind is the Foreshore and Seabed legislation back in 2005, when the Labour Party effectively allowed the opposition to dictate Labour policy. I believe that harmed the Party more than if they had held their ground and allowed the process through the courts continue. They lost a lot of support from the Maori electorate, as well as from many on the left who saw them as no longer willing to defend basic Labour values and principles.

Politics from a position of fear is never going to be successful. Politics based on conviction and the ability to put forward a sound argument is a much better strategy. It would be heaps better to pick a leader that has skills needed for the job (eg ability to build relationships and connect with people, strong debating & public speaking skills, etc), and simultaneously develop strategy to deal with potential attacks.

And in the meantime, simply ignore what right-wing commentators, bloggers and politicians are saying. The number of times I’ve seen comments along the lines of “well if [right-wing person] is supporting [left-wing candidate], then they are clearly not worth supporting”. Just ignore them, it’s noise and it makes no sense to respond let alone to pay attention when selecting a leader. Judge the candidate on their own actions, beliefs, ability.

Then there is the fact that selection of a leader based on potential attack points reduces the pool of people able to be elected. It’s a good way to keep anyone with any kind of minority identity out of the position, on the basis that they are open to attack because of that identity. It’s a way of enforcing a narrow definition of what makes an electable leader. Funnily enough, those some people who enforce such definitions also pontificate loudly about selection being based on merit. It’s a no-win situation.

Yes, anyone selected is going to be subject to attack. But there’s no point in allowing that to cloud our judgement.

 

Stargazer

53 comments on “Moving away from the politics of fear”

  1. weka 1

    I largely agree. I’m a pragmatic voter and have often made the argument that the GP for instance have made the right moves by becoming more mainstream. But there is a limit and I think the left is in danger of sinking into a fear based hole that it will never get out of. Been thinking about this a bit today as I have been commenting elsewhere on how the GP won’t talk about WINZ and welfare now either, it’s a taboo subject because of the perception of how the media and public will react.

    One of the arguments Bill has made is that Cunliffe failed as leader because he wasn’t tough enough to push back within his own caucus (dealing to the ABCs). I think this probably true, and it’s likely that within the relatively macho culture of the Labour caucus, it needed a macho push back. But I’ve also been watching karol talk about the masculinisation of politics during the Key years, and am reminded of alternatives when you talk about the need for policy from conviction. At this time it looks like we need strength and conviction as much as anything. Too much of our time has been spent reacting to dirty politics etc, and not enough time building foundations we can be proud of to support.

    (of course the problem for Labour is the internal division. Can’t work on conviction while that is going on).

  2. Fuckin’ A, Stargazer.

  3. locus 3

    Leadership in nz is a popularity contest. Popularity is not a measure of the policies or your track record of achievement. It is about whether you can make people feel a bit better, laugh, take their mind off the negative stuff they so often hear from politicians. That there are so many ways to make nz a great place

    If our next labour leader can do all this while reminding people of the benefits to everyone in a kinder more socially equitable world. ?.

    • les 3.1

      Thats the reality…if Richie Macaw or Dan Carter said they would stand for Labour as leader,they would probably romp home.

      • stargazer 3.1.1

        because the right & the media would suddenly not attack them, not delve into any aspects of their pasts, not pick on every little thing they said, not run focus groups to tease out potential negatives in the minds of voters? see, if you think it’s just a popularity contest & the one who is least likely to be attacked will win, you’re really not understanding how politics works. neither of richie mccaw or dan carter are perfect, nor do they have any experience with politics & that would show pretty fast. selecting a leader through internal party processes is about a whole lot more than perceived popularity.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.2

        And what did Labour do about it? Nothing! Why had no one apparently anticipated what to do if McCaw and Carter make pro-government statements in the middle of the freaking four-nations tournament?? Everyone knows McCaw loves tha Nats, why wasn’t that covered in pre-election planning? The rugby championship timetable was published month ago!

        People like Jerome Kaino support Labour. My counter strategy would have been to have him tweet in support of Labour, then plant a story in the media of unease in the All Black camp at the politicisation of the jersey.

        Just having Tew and Hanson denying it would have been enough to get people arguing about the wisdom of the All Black captain supporting National so obviously, rather than just allowing McCaw to influence how people vote.

  4. Bill 4

    The whole premise of the post is that a leader should be picked on the basis of who is the smallest target.

    Bollocks. The entire post was basically a thought experiment based on the supposition (if that’s the correct term) that if the four contenders were perceived as equal to one another in every other respect,then…

    Now see, I thought there was a bit of a give-away on that front given the title of the post, and the last sentence of the post. But hey…

    • stargazer 4.1

      and yet you talk about a “defining factor”. regardless, i just think it should be the least of considerations.

      and even if it was a thought experiment on your part, it isn’t on part of a lot of people. they are genuinely treating attacks from the opposition & media as a major consideration, and that kind of thinking would start ruling out a whole lot of good people.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Horizon Poll on the Labour leadership also had a similar question re vulnerability to attack on its survey, which I completed yesterday.

      • Bill 4.1.2

        and yet you talk about a “defining factor”

        Uh-huh, but not without qualification… that qualification being a perception that no other differences exist…

        Now, other people may be treating possible attack politics as a major consideration and elevating that over and above all other considerations. But I don’t, and didn’t write a post from that angle. On that front you set up a straw man to launch an otherwise reasonable argument.

        Anyway, whatever and what not, it’s a tad ironic that you argue, ostensibly in response to my post or its supposed premise, that it’s a good way to keep anyone with any kind of minority identity out of the position when Nanaia Mahuta herself ticks a fair few ‘minority identity’ boxes.

        • stargazer 4.1.2.1

          well, as a couple of people have indicated, they didn’t quite understand what you were trying to get at with your post, and i don’t really get the point of your qualification either. but i’d really rather not rehash that here as weka did a really good job of trying to get clarification on your post.

          also, with your last comment, i think you’re missing the point. yes, nanaia is ticking those boxes, and there are people who are painting her as unelectable because of that. it then comes down what criteria people are using to make their decisions on the leadership election, and i’m saying that attacks from the right & the media shouldn’t be part of the criteria.

          • Bill 4.1.2.1.1

            and i don’t really get the point of your qualification either

            Sometimes, it’s useful to artificially isolate something from other factors to get a clearer view of what your looking at, what its dynamics are, what its efficacy might be in given situations…there’s nothing more to it than that.

  5. Great post stargazer, and I got the same impression from Bill’s post: too much credence given to media manipulation. There is value in gauging public sentiment (like Curia does), but Labour first needs to believe in its mission and figure out how to work together. It must stand strongly for Kiwi values of fairness and justice, else what is the point?

    The NZ voter is not impressed by political point scoring and infighting, could care less about policy, but it seems that personalities and culture are of great prurient interest, and the media have gleefully turned serious political news into big-brother reality-drama. A good leader would constantly remind the media of the real issues and try to keep out of “gotcha”-style reporting.

  6. Lindsey 6

    If the politics of fear does not work why does Fox News pump it out on a daily basis? The USA right wing spends $$$ billions on keeping Americans fearful, if one scare does not work they just move on to another.

      • The Al1en 6.1.1

        I don’t think anyone is underestimating the media scaremongering or arguing against there being a culture of fear, just that the opposition parties shouldn’t let themselves be defined by it.

        And as for fox news, didn’t stop the democrats selecting a black man to run as president and it hasn’t stopped the electorate from voting him in twice.

        • Chooky 6.1.1.1

          +100 The Allen…and good thoughtful post by Stargazer

          Choosing a leader who is the least vulnerable or the smallest target , (given all other things being equal) can mean many things…and many are not negative or running scared

          …”vulnerability to attack”… is not necessarily giving in to fear of what the John Key dirty politics PR spinners can do to wreck havoc on the leader…it can also be a positive evaluation of that leader’s competence and charisma… in the face of the right wing media onslaught

          What ever you think of him , Winston Peters is a case in point and he is also one of the most aggressive and effective attackers of John Key and Nact policies…

          Peters has sustained attack after attack ….almost as if he has been shark bait ….but he parries it aggressively and turns it back on the attackers…he refuses to back down and either outright denies the accusations, or explains them and makes the accuser look stupid…he has been downed but he is never out

          …In the end it just serves to make Winston a very popular politician…because he shows the corrupt corporate media up for what it is

          This is what is needed in a Leader and in a Party….not running scared!!!… but turning the corrupt media back on itself and exposing it to the public for what it is

          (and you dont necessarily have to be a Winston Peters to do this….you might be a Mahatma Gandhi follower …the main thing is to expose the media up for what it is)

  7. just saying 7

    Good to see you posting here, Stargazer.

    I agree with you about the politics of fear and the enervating effect this has had on (most particularly) the parliamentary left – always cowering, simpering and reacting, terrified of not being popular.

    I was a bit bewildered by Bill’s post, and really wasn’t sure what he was trying to say. Subsequent questioning from Weka didn’t make it any clearer to me.
    Kow-towing isn’t usually his stance, and I couldn’t figure out why he thought the media might be less relentless in attacking Mahuta, and why that should be a major consideration anyway…

    I do understand the need to acknowledge the corruption we are up against, but I would have thought pandering to it would be the worst possible response. I’d prefer rage, but maybe that’s just not politic.

  8. I can’t speak for Bill but I thought the point of that post was that Nanaia Mahuta was not so much a small target for attack but she was such an obvious one (a Maori woman) that it would be just too ‘tricky’ for the media to run criticisms that weren’t really well-based on evidence.

    That is, attempted ‘dog whistles’ would come across as perfectly audible, plain old-fashioned whistles of a very distasteful kind.

    I’m not sure that is the case but that’s what I took to be the point.

    It’s possible that the opposite would ensue. All criticisms would be viable under the accusation that “I suppose I’ll be called a racist misogynist by the far left but Mahuta is just …”

    On the current post I agree that fear (and other aversive emotions) are counter-productive. They narrow the attentional focus (in order to deal with an immediate threat, in evolutionary terms) and rely upon current skills, knowledge, etc. to respond.

    Positive emotions, by contrast, provide for a more open, environment-scanning approach and therefore tend to increase skills, knowledge and be more creative overall. But they tend to emerge in ‘safe’ environments, for obvious reasons. Courage is required to treat a threatening environment as if it is a ‘safe’ one.

    (It’s the ‘broaden and build‘ theory of positive emotions, if you want a name.)

    • just saying 8.1

      (and other aversive emotions)

      And anger? (genuine question).
      Can we afford to leave anger out? It has a negative side, but it is an emotion of action.
      It can build solidarity and unity of pupose.
      It has been massively suppressed in the wider Labour movement for many years. Maybe as a symptom of Labour becoming more and more middle-class.

      • Puddleglum 8.1.1

        Hi just saying,

        That’s a very good question.

        I think anger goes with a sense of injustice. And I can’t see how the two can be separated without eviscerating any urgency around the sense of injustice.

        When I think about my own anger at how people are treated in this world it is one half of the motivation for why I want to do something about the injustice I see. The other half I’d like to think comes from compassion, or at least an inbuilt sense of obligation to do something to help those who suffer from an injustice.

        But when it comes to how I respond politically, I wouldn’t want the anger always to determine the direction or form of that response. It gives me the energy but doesn’t usually give me a clear enough ‘steer’ on how best to counter the injustice. Anger tells me what needs to end but not, in anywhere near the same clarity, what needs to begin.

        So I guess I’d say that, in politics and political movements, anger can give the energy but it needs something else – hope, optimism, compassion, human dignity – to produce something better than the current unjust situation. It has to draw on, or be harnessed to, something creative.

        I think you might be right about anger being downplayed as the labour movement has become more middle class.

        I see that as being linked to what I’d call the ‘liberalisation’ of the left – that is, the left – including the labour movement – becoming more an expression of liberalism than anything more radical.

        The two are distinguished by a different degree of urgency and clarity over purpose. For me, the phrase ‘middle class liberal’ is reserved for those who believe that, while things can be improved, one shouldn’t move too hastily in case more harm than good follows. It’s therefore important to weigh things up carefully, etc., etc..

        That’s fair enough but only if you assume that the present situation isn’t that bad and, therefore, is not a reason for too much anger.

        But when you or those you love have, and still are, experiencing real hardship there’s no room for that kind of ‘softly, softly’ incrementalist approach to change.

        The need is urgent – and that’s where the sense of anger comes from when no change occurs.

        Righteous anger (not its caricature) needs to make a comeback.

        (It’s interesting that anger has a very visible place on the right – anger at government getting in the way of business; anger at ‘bludgers’ wasting hard-earned tax dollars; anger at environmentalists getting in the way of growth; anger at Maori wanting special ‘privileges’, etc.. That anger has been very well harnessed.)

        • just saying 8.1.1.1

          Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
          By coincidence, there is a relevant post on “From the Left’ this morning:
          http://ontheleftnz.com/2014/11/04/where-anger-ends-and-change-begins/

          I find the blog ironic because it talks at length about the problem of the left getting bogged down in anger and the need to move on but the “solution” (from the title – “where change begins”) sounds pretty flimsy and “aspirational” to me:

          I want to push for change, but I want to do so in a way that inspires people to do the same. This frustration, this feeling of uncertainty and dread for the future, does not have to be the mark of the left-wing blogosphere. We can be constructive instead of destructive, and we can do so without bitter rambling and convolution. I’m on the left because I’m angry, but I’m On the Left because that’s not all I want to be.

          Because sure, of course we want to effect positive change, of course we want to use our energies for creative rather than destructive ends, but maybe we can’t just decide to put aside our anger until it has led to the urgency and clarity of purpose that those situations from which it arises, rightly demand.

          I have a picture in my head from when I was in the Alliance during the first MMP election campaign. We were struggling hard to get the attention we needed to talk about the changes we believed in. And one day the Greens came into town and it was like a parade with balloons and food and music and all these laid-back beautiful people in costumes. And I thought ‘maybe that’s we should be doing?’ And then I thought about what we were actually saying and who and what we were campaigning most passionately for and the people we were, and the whole idea of us being like the Greens seemed like a (very funny) travesty.

          I know when people talk about taking a positive creative approach they are not necessarily talking about creating a party atmosphere to draw the punters in. Problem is, I don’t really have any idea what it does mean and I fear increasing violence is inevitable as more people have less and less to lose.

  9. Ad 9

    This is so naive from Stargazer it beggars belief.

    Cunliffe was brought down by a massive negative campaign from the media – fuelled by a number of sources but to the same end. Does it need saying that National are now in power because of this? New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.

    The power of the negative is a political necessity. Formed well, as Elias Canetti explains in Crowds and Power, fear emerges from crisis as the energy towards inevitable change. The skill and luck of politics is to manufacture crisis and fear towards your ends.

    However the left have no alternative but to be negative. There was no revival of a left language following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1988, or the Asian Financial Crisis, or the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8. We can only negate.

    Optimism – even when paired with crisis as when Barack Obama entered office – can engender even worse backlash. Cue US midterms when the super-zealot right get in, Obama’s poll ratings.

    There is of course no magic formula for winning politics. But mere lack of respect for the negative is a sure fire way to entrenched failure.

    • stargazer 9.1

      as to your first point, the problem was that there wasn’t a strong enough strategy to deal with those attacks, nor was there a sense of the whole caucus coming out strongly to defend the leader. there were a lot of issues around the media strategy in this campaign but i’m not prepared to go into that here.

      the fact is that any leader chosen is going to be subjected to that machine. the response should be around how we fight back against that strategy, not cave into it.

      i agree that there is a place for negative politics, but again, that can be done from a position of strength. so, for example, in 2005, the targetted mail strategy was really effective because the messaging was shocking and strong eg “eviction notice” sent to state house tenants. it’s about a pro-active approach, rather than one that effectively concedes defeat to the other side by accepting their framing and tactics. what i see in your comments is a pretty defeatist attitude, and that really isn’t the only option.

    • weka 9.2

      “New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.”

      That would have to be one of the more disingenuous comments I’ve seen made since the election. If there’s one stand out thing about this election, it’s that there are complex, multiple factors involved.

      ‘New Zealanders’ didn’t do anything collectively. Some voted left, some voted right, some didn’t vote at all. Of those that voted right, what evidence do you have thaty they agree that the politics of fear is successful (as opposed to the politics of greed)? Or that they have a hive mind?

      As far as I can see stargazer was talking about fear within the left, and that we shouldn’t be letting that dictate our policies and actions. Pretty sure your response is to something else entirely.

    • miravox 9.3

      DC survived the negative campaigning and right wing attacks.

      He was bought down by his caucus colleagues.

  10. Jenny Kirk 10

    Interesting discussion – I had a similar discussion with a couple of Maori friends a while back. They both (a man, and a woman – professional people, well versed in working in the general “Pakeha” world) thought it was too risky for Nanaia personally to be Labour Leader because of what they perceived would be a non-stop stream of personal attacks on her.

    I thought that personal attacks on a brown woman would create such outrage among the wider public to such an extent it would backfire on the “attackers”.

    StarGazer has good points : but can we afford to ignore such potential “attacks” as just media noise when it has been shown to have such detrimental effects on people’s thinking.

    On the other hand, if whoever is Labour Leader can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the anonymous sniping and back-stabbing that’s been the main focus of certain MPs – and the only criticism comes from outside of Labour – then maybe we can ignore potential “attacks”.

    So the real question is : can whoever is Labour’s next Leader make the caucus into a unified and cohesive force for the good of us all ?

    • Karen 10.1

      If the caucus is united then they can all counter attacks on their leader. Call it out as homophobia, racism, sexism, or union bashing and respond to media pushing these lines by questioning their motives in promoting hate based statements.

      I, like Stargazer, think the Labour Party is too timid when it comes to backing policies that they know to be beneficial to NZ, but which are seen as challenging to some sectors of the population influenced by talkback radio. It seems Labour are too frightened of a backlash to have policies that would tackle poverty effectively.

      • Chooky 10.1.1

        +100 Karen and stargazer

        ….and this discussion is timely because it looks as if there is now going to be a concerted attack on the Greens ( imo the Greens have to get their act together and be prepared to support their own and counter attack )

        On the Nine- to- noon ‘Hooton PR Spin show’…..Hooton brought up homeopathy for another beat up saying there is a nut fringe in the Green Party ( no opposition from Ryan or Williams)…there was no mention that around the world homeopathy is considered important in medicine eg Germany and India

        ….Hooton also said the Greens are going nowhere unless they join forces with Nactional ( again no opposition from Ryan or Williams )

        …in fact this would be a kiss of death for the Greens to join forces with a John Key Nact Party which supports and is beholden to the corporates… (the right wing spin rumours of such, a week before the Election is the reason why the Greens lost about 5% and a possible 5 extra MPs on Election Day)

        Williams joined in on the Green beatup and said the Greens wont survive unless they become part of a government…people will forget about them and wont vote for them ( no opposition from Ryan or Hooton or mention that the Greens are at record popularity in the polls subsequent to the Election)

        Bullshit to both Williams and Hooton…the Greens are increasingly relevant with an environmental crisis looming and global warming ( and Hooton knows it)

        ….the Green brand image is hugely important and attractive to those who value the environment (which is increasingly under threat from frackers and other corporates eg pollution and draining of rivers and waterways )

        …If the Greens go to the right with Nactional they destroy their brand image for most of their supporters….and also have it at risk of being taken over by the right wing and the corporates ! ( Hooton knows this too)

        The Greens should let the Nact voters come to them…not vice versa …they certainly should not succumb to attacks by the right wing

    • stargazer 10.2

      jenny, i’m definitely not saying that we ignore such attacks, but that we prepare a strategy to counter them. that’s what the leadership team would need to do and what the caucus and party would need to implement. and what i’m also saying is that we don’t let those attacks define our actions or our policies. that just gives too much power to the attackers & ends up with our side giving away too much of our own political agenda.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    I do agree with you Stargazer, and Karen – I’m just not sure how successful such a strategy would be if the Labour caucus is NOT united. That is the first thing that has to happen – and it has to be a genuine unity – and I’m not sure if that is achieveable with some of the current MPs.
    I also agree Labour has become too timid on beneficial policies. I was dismayed when the Labour Govt drew back on the phrase “closing the gap” – for instance. This was a dramatic slogan and could have been worked on to make NZers aware, and angry, that their country had become so unequal – as has now started to happen. Likewise with raising taxes on the wealthier incomes and other policies.

  12. Anne 12

    All sides are making valid points.

    Ad is right when he says :

    Cunliffe was brought down by a massive negative campaign from the media – fuelled by a number of sources but to the same end. Does it need saying that National are now in power because of this? New Zealanders made a clear judgement about the success of the politics of fear: they agree.

    Sad to think voters agreed… but that is what happened.

    stargazer is right when when she says:

    … the problem was that there wasn’t a strong enough strategy to deal with those attacks, nor was there a sense of the whole caucus coming out strongly to defend the leader.

    If anything stargazer has understated. We know there has been an element in caucus who were collaborating with the negative campaign on Cunliffe and destabilising him in the process.

    Jenny Kirk is spot on when she says:

    … if whoever is Labour Leader can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the anonymous sniping and back-stabbing that’s been the main focus of certain MPs…. then maybe we can ignore potential outside attacking.

    (paraphrased)

    And therein lies the problem. All the candidates bring something positive to the leadership but the one that counts at this point in time is the one who can pull the rogue caucus members together and stop the back-stabbing…

    That will require someone with considerable strength and authority.

    • Karen 12.1

      I agree, Anne.
      Choosing the best leader is a dilemma, as all four have both strengths and weaknesses, but unless the rogue members of caucus are brought into line it won’t matter who is leader, or what the policies are.

      I went to the meeting with Andrew Little yesterday and he seems to have a really good handle on the problems with caucus unity and believes he can sort them out.
      Basically he said there were 32 people working individually and very little teamwork, and this was a similar situation within the EPMU when he took over.
      His politics are probably more conservative than I would want, but if there’s no unity we’re stuck with the Nacts.

      At the moment I want Andrew as leader, all candidates with front bench positions making best use of their talents, and Nanaia as deputy. I see Grant as a future leader. However, I am leaving my final decision until the end of the hustings.

  13. shorts 13

    there have been a lot of attacks that have seen recent Labour leaders fail in the public eye – the worst IMO were from stories seeded by members of the parties own caucus

    You can’t expect a leader to be seen to be strong if their own party refuses to be loyal and support them

  14. Sanctuary 14

    I read in the comments the other day that people had be rung up by curia and probed on their views on the contenders in the Labour leadership contest. You can guarantee the point of the polling is to find what the public like least about the contenders. This is the sort of research that allows a millionaire money man from Parnell to appear to be the everyman – John Key has sophisticated polling telling him exactly where to attack his opponents in a way that will get heads nodding. In other words, Key doesn’t just know what the public are thinking, he knows exactly what to say to manipulate them into being told what they should think.

    In terms of having to consider how you deal with that sort of attack you don’t need to throw five and six figure sums at Curia to guess along what lines the attacks might take depending on who wins the leadership outcome. For example, it should have been obvious to Labour the moment Farrar’s polling had picked up that the public had some questions about Cunliffe’s honesty, because that was the moment that everyone in National started using the term “tricky”. Once the attack line was sorted, and polling confirmed it’s resonance, then the two-tier attack strategy swung into action. To be brutally honest, after that Cunliffe never had a chance. Serious questions need to be asked of Labour’s experienced political operators that they not only failed to predict the attacks on Cunliffe, but that they appeared to be such helpless victims in the face of it.

    I guess that, for now at least, the two tier strategy of the government has been blunted. But for heavens sake, it doesn’t matter who wins the Labour leadership. The party strategists should be able to use their common sense and work out the government’s attack lines and come up with an offensive counter-play PR strategy that can run from NOW. How hard is that to do for a bunch of professional politicians?

    • stargazer 14.1

      “But for heavens sake, it doesn’t matter who wins the Labour leadership. The party strategists should be able to use their common sense and work out the government’s attack lines and come up with an offensive counter-play PR strategy that can run from NOW. How hard is that to do for a bunch of professional politicians?”

      well said.

    • les 14.2

      what you say is dead right.So thinking of the 4 candidates who is the best one to be ‘smear proof’,only one I can see.Cunnliffe contributed too,terrible gaffes,seized on by the Natz and the compliant media.Like it or not simplicity,buzz words,is what the general public absorb.

  15. Tracey 15

    stargazer

    I dont disagree.

    I believe we are entitled to know HOW each candidates proposes to counter such tactics.

    • stargazer 15.1

      sure, but that’s a different issue. what are their proposed media & PR strategies, who will be on their comms team, how will they improve the speed & effectiveness of response (which would include reframing and moving the conversation to talking about progressive issues) – all of these are important factors in terms of leadership skills and ability. and i’d really want to know this from the candidates: if you think you have these skills, why didn’t you use them during the campaign? and if you did, examples please.

      • Tracey 15.1.1

        do you know if anyone has asked and What the answers are? my sense is its a taboo topic.

        • stargazer 15.1.1.1

          i’ve not been to a hustings meeting yet. will put the question in & see if it gets through.

          • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1

            cool.here I asked mahuta. she suggested they need to get amongst the people to get their message out face to face to counter dp.

            skinny was going to put it to little and report back. to my knowledge skinny hasnt posted the response yet.

  16. Peter 16

    With all due respect the main tool of selling, especially in politics is FUD – Fear , Uncertainty & Doubt. Mr. Key is one of the experts!

    • stargazer 16.1

      not always. obama did pretty well with hope & a “yes we can” message. he might not be a successful president but that campaign was pretty successful.

    • Chooky 16.2

      Re “main tool of selling”…. agreed Peter…. but only as the right wing use it…you only have to watch ‘House of Cards ‘ to see this in operation!

      ….Really the Left Parties ALL have to come up to speed on countering the slippery right wing PR ops using ” Fear , Uncertainty & Doubt”

      …PR operatives like Hooton masterfully create problems where there are none eg recently for the Greens

      …otherwise the Left Parties are sitting ducks in open season! … (and then dead ducks and cooked ducks)

      Countering personal attacks from the right wing is one issue….putting forward your own Left message in a positive way and sticking to it and not getting derailed ( into infighting or exhaustion and acquiescence ) is another issue

      The Left need media training!

  17. Dont worry. Be happy 17

    The politics of fear?….the politics of smear more like.

  18. Murray Rawshark 19

    The person who has the best policies and a plan to nullify the ABC influence should be chosen. You don’t combat aggression by giving in to it and wearing adult nappies. We need to fight back far more effectively and not let sociopaths frame the debate.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 hours ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    9 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    10 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    20 hours ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    21 hours ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    20 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago