Musings on Mana

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, December 7th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: greens, hone harawira, mana, maori party - Tags: , , , , ,

David Small has been a activist for social justice for a long time. Notably in the 1981 tour and getting raided by the SIS in 1996. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Canterbury, in the US on Fulbright scholarship, and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He offers his views on the Mana party effects on left politics in NZ.

Where to now for progressive electoral politics in Aotearoa?

When Hone Harawira parted ways with the compromised remnants of the Māori Party, some left-leaning activists, political figures and commentators were quick to seize on the possibility of building a political party around him that would advance the interests of Māori as well as the broader left. I was skeptical. I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same. I hoped that Hone would aim to forge ahead with a progressive Māori party that would win the Māori seats and eventually become the natural electoral vehicle of Māori.

I also had a number of concerns about the Māori/left mix that was being touted. For one, it seemed as though it was really serving as a shortcut to get a left-wing party up and running without doing the hard yards of building it from the bottom up. Hone’s seat would give the party a parliamentary presence which might be convenient in the short-term but could ultimately make it unsustainable. The experience of the Alliance showed both the benefits and the pitfalls of parties being dependent on the electorate seat of a single individual.

Bomber Bradbury (who defriended me over this) and others kept quoting electoral arithmetic that “proved” that the Māori/left party idea would produce the numbers to oust National. I always doubted the possibility and even the desirability of a government with Goff as PM. But I was more concerned at the medium/long-term impact such a party might have on the rest of the electoral landscape and in particular on the Greens.

The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat. And they have done so whilst undergoing a total change in leadership. I think their model of dual leadership and the historical accident of not having an electorate seat have contributed to their sustainability. (Labour may have done them a favour by refusing to cut them an inch of slack in the Coromandel all those years ago.) Also, notwithstanding the criticism leveled at the Greens for refusing to rule out a deal with National this year, they remain one of the most progressive Green parties in the world. My worry about the proposed Māori/left party was that it if it had a reasonable showing in November, it could have attracted enough votes from the Greens to pull them under the 5% threshold. I was also concerned that if too many progressive Green members and activists jumped ship to Mana, the Greens could drift to the right.

As it happens, I doubt that Mana took more than a few hundred votes off the Greens. Mana performed quite well in the Māori seats, with Hone holding Te Tai Tokerau, Annette Sykes coming a strong second in Waiariki and Angeline Greensill pushing the Māori Party into third place in Hauraki-Waikato. But the leading Pakeha candidates failed miserably.

Just 402 people or 1.7% of the voters backed John Minto in Manukau East. This was only 22 more than the Conservative Party candidate and half the support of the NZ First candidate. Sue Bradford did even worse in Waitakere coming sixth out of seven candidates with less than 1% support. The Conservative Party candidate got twice as many votes as Sue and even the legalise cannabis guy beat her. I have the greatest respect for John and Sue but, at three and four respectively on the Mana list, it would have been bizarre for them to have been carried into parliament with anything like that level of electorate support.

I think Mana’s future lies in the direction I always hoped Hone would take; building a strong progressive Māori party that can win and hold the Māori seats. And I think the non-Māori left who are interested in electoral politics can lend Mana some support but need to look elsewhere for our own political parties. Help to maintain the Greens as a progressive force. Use the opportunities presented by the rout of Labour to keep it true to its principles. Or start building a new left vehicle that might tap into the sort of inspiration that spawned the Occupy phenomenon and engage the disenfranchised into thinking and acting politically.

Just my two cents. Comments and conversation wanted.

David Small

22 comments on “Musings on Mana”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    This demonstrates the need for parties on the left to sit down and seriously co-ordinate what they are doing and how they are positioning themselves in the electorate.

  2. alex 2

    Broadly I agree that Harawira is not that interested in building a left-wing party, but I think you have missed the point on Bradford. She was going out of her way to not get electorate seats because the broader left plan was to unseat the unpopular Paula Bennett, which meant people had to vote Sepuloni. Furthermore there was absolutely no way the Greens were ever going to slip under 5% this time around, even with a surging Mana party. They play to very different demographics. The real casualty of a strong Mana party could only have been Labour who might have lost their dominance over South Auckland.

    • gingercrush 2.1

      She didn’t get party votes for Mana either and to be honest the electorate votes she got would have been better had they gone to Sepouloni. In other words Sue Bradford didn’t actually help Sepuloni. Primarily, the problem lies with where you get your votes from. I don’t know why Bradford and Minto or any of the left outside Labour expect the unemployed and low-income to flock to them.

      You show your own ignorance in presuming South Aucklanders would actually vote for Mana. South Auckland were some of Mana’s best areas. Still less than 0.90%. But outside of the Maori electorates their best results were in Northland and Rotorua. Undoubtedly Harawira and Annette Sykes played a part in that.

      I still think if Mana persists on being more than a maori party then they will need capture votes in the urban swing seats where the Greens have done well. Taking a mere 1% from those electorates would be helpful. In addition provincial electorates such as Northland, East Coast, Rotorua, Taupo and Whangarei could be places where they could capture votes.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It is a question about how you can bootstrap a party under MMP, and that is the question that David Small is asking.

        So far we have two moderately successful models that have survived to date and managed to go independent of a reliance on an electorate seat. The Greens and NZ First. 

        In both cases under MMP they used an electorate seat as a centre. The Greens in Coromandel and NZF in Tauranga. In both cases they survived losing that seat but managed to stay above 5%.

        Arguably (as David points out for the Greens) losing the seat was actually beneficial because it forced those parties off the dependence on defending an electorate seat. That appears to have caused several other parties to fail IMHO including Act, Progressives, and United Future. They spend so effort in those seats that they don’t build a constituency.

        Both NZF and the Greens have a nation-wide constituency and therefore a nationwide party organisation. While they had it before, they had to develop that further without a electorate seat. It makes their parties resilient.

        While NZF dropped below 5% in 2008, that is likely to be more because of the cynical campaign waged on NZF by NAct to cause their 4% vote to be redispersed giving National two extra seats in 2008 (see Hager’s excellent “I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head“. They certainly laid the ground work for their predicable (to me anyway) bounceback this last election.

        As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.

         

        • marty mars 2.1.1.1

          “As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.”

          Time is needed and it seems to me that they are working really well on building their voter base – but time is needed as it was for the Greens and NZF. Once people hop on the Mana waka I can’t imagine, barring some disaster, that they would leave. Losing TTT is always there but far too early to be thinking of that IMO – let’s get a few notches on the belt first.

          • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1.1.1

            I understand the point lprent is making, but Mana is already more than parliamentary numbers and strategy which a look at the the Mana FB presence shows. The place is bubbling with (albeit sometimes naive) enthusiasm. And it is cash strapped, it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function. Hone’s re election was needed as a platform and resource to try and help build the base from at this early stage. What do you think other fledgling parties do? Parliamentary rules regarding docking of MPs pay for absence on sitting days are set to be changed i.e. increased, I would argue to give Mana a biff, as Hone as is his style, has said he will be out and about during the year.

            “There is more to a seat in parliament than sitting on your arse”… as the bard Bragg once sang.

            Way too early to give up on TTT just yet. There are Northland/Far North issues a plenty such as mining exploration off Oneroa a Tohe (90 mile Beach) and an unhelpful and some would say racist FNDC led by Mayor Wayne Brown.

            David Small tries to make a case for opportunism from the left involved with Te Mana Movement. Many of the marxists are actually quite diffident about Mana and have offered qualified but respectful support. Don’t forget the history with the likes of John and Sue being part of the 81 tour movement that kept the focus on racism in Aotearoa-our own back yard, once the thugby was over.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function

              When would it not be? Offhand I can’t think of a function in Mt Albert Labour that hasn’t been like that unless you’re paying for the food through a ticket. Money is there for campaigning and I always bring along a lot of change to any party function.

              Way too early to give up on TTT just yet.

              Oh I’d agree – but an analogy with the drugs that keep me alive (and others)….

              Mana activists really need to be aware that having a reliance on the electorate seat is like any drug. It leads to a dependency which when withdrawn causes withdrawal symptoms that may cause death. Even having it causes problems because you have to keep expending effort to keep it fulfilled that you cannot expend on more productive life extending activities.

              • Fair point Lyn – but that dependency comes from having the seat and keeping the seat – I look forward to the day when dependency with the seat is an issue – can’t see it at the moment, although the dependency attitude must always be watched out for.

                And I agree with TM that there are many many issues to be addressed and Mana will be addressing them I hope.

                Lets put it into perspective though – imagine a year or two ago – there was no Mana, no choice and no hope and now we have all three – not just for Māori but for all who value equality as a basic human right. These early years of the Mana Movement will form a nice early chapter in the history of the movement. The legends are being created as we speak.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2

          I think Mana is a bit different from the other 1-seat wonders though, in that Mana has a real shot of taking 2 or 3 electorates once the MP fades.

          That in fact may put them in an even worse position, though: then no one gives you their party vote because it would be “wasted” and so you end up causing an overhang and never get any talented list candidates in.

          • Ari 2.1.1.2.1

            Depends, in some respects it’s actually easier to campaign for electorates, so potentially Mana could make some headway campaigning to get as many electorates as possible.

            There’s also the possibility that the MMP review will bump the threshold down significantly. At 2-4%, Mana could simply refuse to campaign outside TTT and go for the party vote to grow to the point they become a list party, and at the ideal .89-1% threshold, Mana would already be in the position to lose TTT.

    • Ari 2.2

      I don’t think you’re entirely right that Mana and the Greens play to entirely different demographics, as both tend to have support among very progressive Maori or very progressive Pakeha who are interested in politics of strong solidarity. I considered voting for Mana this election, (I gave my party vote to the Greens on the logic that it was far more likely to help an extra MP into parliament there) and I’m usually a Green voter, and I know a lot of people who would usually have voted Green actually DID vote for Mana. I think we just didn’t notice Mana convincing previous Green supporters to vote for them because of the strong surge in the Green Party vote anyway.

      There are of course audiences that Mana will appeal to that the Green Party won’t because of its pragmatic philosophy, and that’s fine, and hopefully will be enough for Mana to start convincing some disenfranchised Labour, former-Labour, or Maori Party voters into the fold.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Key’s precedent with having cabinet ministers like Mr 0.61% Dunne and Mr 1.07% Banks means it should also be acceptable for a Government led by the Left to have Mr 1% Harawira as a cabinet minister ?

    *Percentages based on current prelim figures: http://www.electionresults.org.nz/electionresults_2011/partystatus.html

  4. Richard 4

    “The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat.”

    False. The Greens held Coromandel in 1999-2002. 

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Correct, but the point is that they just barely scraped over the 5% threshold and therefore didn’t need the electorate seat anyway. And I believe they only won it because the previous incumbent left (or everyone was pissed at them) and Labour weren’t standing a strong candidate.

      I believe they’ve been a distant 3rd in Coromandel since.

  5. It is early days yet and Mana have proved that they are are a party where tino rangatiratanga and social justice are the kaupapa. Hone’s war on poverty line was deliberate, even though I don’t like the terminology personally.

    I have posted about a book I just finished reading about Miyamoto Musashi and the lessons from his legend that the Mana Party can follow. Such precepts as “keep you opponents waiting”, “learn other ways than just the sword” and that, as Musashi developed an innovative two sword technique that allowed him to defeat multiple enemies, so the Mana Party can learn to win against multiple opponents with their own innovative techniques. Hone and Mana must stay true to the kaupapa and disregard distractions from the right, centre and left.

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.com/2011/12/discussing-book-and-mana-party.html

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    People often miss out the “Movement” part of Te Mana’s name. And that is the key to its future. Supra parliamentary. That is where left politics must regain traction.

    A number of young people are getting involved at branch and campaign level. Young are a major non voting apolitical sector, so that is a positive. To banish Hone back to some sort of a ‘left’ Māori party is continuing dead end identity politics. Mana is a hybrid, Māori led, weighted toward kaupapa Māori but inclusive of other opressed and exploited peoples in a post colonial country under the thumb of finance capital, with a bankster as PM.

    Mana contributes more of a class analysis than any other party in parliament. The other parties all claim to stand one way or another for “every New Zealander”, the reality of course being something different, Mana does not. Mana Movement may be a six month old aspiration but it is one worth retaining in the environment that ev and AFKTT point out here regularly.

    It may have been better not to stand in the general seats (this time round) on retrospect. The thinking was to try and snag some party vote. Bit tricky when Bennett would not even front up to debates in Waitakere. Mana will likely have more seats at the next election, particularly if the Māori Party attach themselves to the nats again.

    The left, parliamentary and non parliamentary, do need a lot more formal coordination as the fear and loathing has started already with this government before the specials have even been announced.

  7. fatty 7

    I still fail to understand why a party cannot be pro-equality and pro-Maori…to me it makes sense, and nobody has come close to justifying why…surely people realise that capitalism is the new colonialism

  8. randal 8

    faty fool.
    hone is his own man.
    he delivers and he understands the issues.
    identifying undiagnosed nicotine addiction in youth was a masterstroke.
    as long as he concentrates on health and education and votes against asset sales he will be right.

  9. BruceMcF 9

    “I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same.”

    Nor could any single party agenda be the same as the agenda of “the broader left”. That’s why its so hard to organize “the broader left” in the first place, since “the broader left” so rarely fits into a single agenda.

    It seems to me that the musings above skips a step. For the Mana Party, the question is whether a Maori-led progressive party has a long term future as a viable political party. For “the broader left”, the question is what impact a long-term viable Maori-led progressive party would have on “the broader left”. Before thinking about what impact a Maori-led progressive party might have, for good or ill, it bears musing on what the general shape of such a party would be.

    First, if its to be a Maori-led progressive party, rather than an exclusively-Maori progressive party, there has to be some reason for pakeha and Pasifika voters to join a party and a movement that is explicitly Maori-led. And for it to attract Maori-support as a Maori-led progressive party, it has to have a durable commitment to being and remaining Maori led.

    Thinking about it from both sides of that political equation, the Maori seats are the key. As long as the parliamentary party is anchored on the Maori seats, the political dynamics of contesting Maori seats ensures that it remains a Maori-led party. And in terms of what progressive pakeha members of a Maori-led party get out of joining a Maori-led party ~ its the Maori seats, and the promise of not being subject to the threat of electoral wipe-out in the event of vote slipping below the 5% threshold.

    If Maori seats are to be used in that way, it has to be done honestly to be viable over the long haul. Any cynical effort to use the Maori seats as leverage for what is a pakeha-led party behind the scenes would be sniffed out later if not sooner, and result in loss of the Maori seats ~ after all, the charge will be made in any event for a Maori-led party that campaigns for votes outside the Maori electorate, and the only way to stand against the charge over the long haul is for it to be fundamentally untrue..

    From that perspective, I agree that the position of the pakeha candidates on the party list needs some consideration. I wonder about the wisdom of having a party list for what has to be a Maori-led party to have ANY position down the list with a plurality of pakeha MP’s. A “Maori-led party with broader appeal” identity suggests that the first two candidates on the list should be Maori candidates and then from slot 3 on down, no more than one in two non-Maori candidates.

    In the New Zealand electoral system, for the party to be anchored on the Maori seats but not limited to the Maori seats means that it cannot be an “overhang” party. It has to aspire to attract a sufficient party list vote to bring members in from the party list. There are three sides to that. First, it has to win the party list votes of its electorate voters. In other words, it has to convince its electorate voters that it is not an “overhang” party and that a party list vote for the Mana Party is not a wasted party list vote. And second, it has to win split votes in the broader electorate, voting party list for the Mana Party and casting the electorate vote for the preferred LOTE among the serious contenders.

    Which kind of means its general electorate candidates are out there trying to win party list votes. It might even be useful to start out, “I’m not asking you to vote for me. I’m asking you to vote for the Mana Party,”, and then make the case for the Mana Party movement and the specific platform it is putting forward in that particular election.

    Third, it has to win party list votes from the Maori electorate outside of those who cast their electorate vote for the Mana Party candidate. In other words, it should aspire to reverse the current Maori Party split vote pattern, and have a stronger party list vote in the Maori seats than its electorate vote. Which means that the Maori seat candidate needs to find the way to express, one way or another, “I’m asking for your vote. And whether or not you vote for me, I’m asking you to support the Mana Party.”

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    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 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
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    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
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago