National losing the middle?

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, October 28th, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national, workers' rights - Tags:

In its first term, National was very careful to be incremental – Key hung to the middle, chipping away carefully at workers’ rights without doing anything dramatic.

Having gained the public’s trust by continuing (outside the House) to be a clown they’d like to have a drink with, they went with one big hit with Asset Sales in the second term, but snuck in Charter Schools and started moving more on their hidden right wing agenda (one covered on this site before the 2008 election).

Now, with almost a majority in their third term, and enjoying a weakened opposition from Labour’s fractures, they’ve got bold.

Selling off State Housing wholesale, at the State’s expense is, as John Armstrong says, ideology for ideology’s sake.

It makes less economic sense than Bill English’s claim that council planning is the major cause of inequality, it will deprive the poor of housing, and weaken society’s fabric. It would be one thing to sell the housing to the social sector and build new, but Bill intends to sell to anyone, and take the money and run to keep their lowered taxes for the rich.

They’re seeking to undermine collective bargaining and remove tea breaks, to try and finally destroy the unions who are so vital for workers pay and rights.

All this while they’re still dealing with Dirty Politics, and the revelations of their undermining the media, the fourth estate.

Perhaps this is because they can see that Dirty Politics will undermine them and they need to get through as much as possible in their 3rd term? Move the goalposts and leave the next government with more than it can undo?

Ultimately they know from the likes of One’s Vote Compass that people’s beliefs lie more with the left, so they always have to beguile with false economic competence.

But the economy’s already not doing as well, the deficit is widening, the rock star is running out of puff.

But how can we keep them in check for the next 3 years?

133 comments on “National losing the middle?”

  1. just saying 1

    …without doing anything dramatic

    …That impinged on the immediate and medium-term safety and comfort and freedoms affecting you and yours, Bunji, – I’m sure they didn’t.

    But for a good 25% of us they did. We exist Bunji. Stop erasing us.

    • Bunji 1.1

      I’m not saying they didn’t do damage, but did it in a way that didn’t scare the horses. as it were. They keep working by marginalising (and doing real damage to) some, but leaving the mass undeterred, even as their rights are slowly chipped away at too.

      I’m hardly agin you. No need to get personal.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      35%

      Labour 25% + Greens 10% = 35%

  2. BM 2

    I don’t see the losing the middle bit?

    State housing is not middle
    Unions are not middle.

    • karol 2.1

      Do you really think middle NZ are that callous and uncaring about the declining circumstances of the least well off in NZ?

      Do you really think the declining circumstances in work, housing and daily living of the least well off will not impact negatively on the lives of middle NZ?

      • BM 2.1.1

        Do you really think middle NZ are that callous and uncaring about the declining circumstances of the least well off in NZ?

        People have become a lot more self focused especially with the Americanization of kiwi culture.
        The old socialist ways of doing things died in the 1970s.

        Just thinking about how attitudes have changed I’d say rugby would have played a big part in NZ previous socialist structure.

        Kids got to mix with other kids from all sorts of backgrounds as well as learning the value of team work.

        It certainly is something that is lacking these days

        • Tom Jackson 2.1.1.1

          Well, the Americans have become less so in recent years.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, but they were way out there on the right, moving towards the center is a good thing for the US.

            • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The US is NOT moving to the centre lol! Unless you count tear gassing black citizens and international journalists “the centre.”

              And let’s not get started with the wars of empire, which we are about to join.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.1.2

              is that what makes you self centred and unrelenting in posting un verified information as fact?

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          Having grown up around rugby clubs, in a rugby household back then, it was hardly a “socialist’ culture.

          There was still a lot of dismissiveness of low income workers.

          • BM 2.1.1.2.1

            Certainly there were wealthy clubs and poor clubs.

            But there was also middle clubs where there was a mixture of everything.

            You’d get better off kids mixing with poor kids and therefore better off parents mixing with poorer parents.

            There’s now a complete disconnect to the different layers of society, peoples perceptions are based around what they see in the media which as you know can be far from factual.

            • karol 2.1.1.2.1.1

              True. My father was middle class professional, and we mixed with families of tradesmen, etc. via my father’s sports clubs, including rugby, and with families of school friends and in my neighbourhood.

              But my father was still disparaging about low income factory workers, and had a very capitalist world view.

              It was not socialism. It was more an ethos of mixed welfare state capitalism.

              • Chooky

                well I have to say NZers have different experiences …and maybe the rural sector was different because people depended on each other

                …..both my parents came off farms ( which had been in their famiies for generations )and they went to State schools….and my Father was a good rugby player…. I was never brought up with any feeling of superiority towards workers or racism or sexism….in fact my father worked on the railways and in the freezing works as well as becoming a fisherman…and he worked the farm…both my parents were Labour socialists …in their families were a physicist PhD and teachers and policemen and farmers…i think my experience would be the experience of a lot of old rural NZers…i could never understand snobs…in fact i was brought up to think the snobs and sexists and racists and property developers were uncouth…we largely took people as we found them….recognising that some were not so well off and needed a helping hand…we also recognised that some were the author of their own misfortune….eg booze( today it would be drugs)….and this could happen to both the wealthy and the poor

                …while I was not brought up with sexism or racism or class snobbery consciousness….i recognised it was around…just not in my immediate sphere

                • karol

                  My background, growing up in a mixed class suburb of Auckland, and attending state schools, was very mixed. My parents attitudes often seemed contradictory to me, resulting in endless arguments in my late teens and early 20s.

                  My father wasn’t a snob, was very helpful to all kinds of people, and wasn’t very much into material possessions. He was a member of the local working men’s club where he spent quite a bit of his time. We mixed with a whole variety of people from different backgrounds.

                  Yet, he was pretty right wing in many of his views – was a Muldoonist. He mixed with working class men, but was disparaging of unskilled manual workers, especially Maori and PI people. He mixed with Maori and PI people, but preferred them if they behaved according to his perceived Pakeha standards.

                  I suspect he was like a lot of Kiwis of that time. It wasn’t some left wing paradise, but there was general acceptance of many fairly social liberal views and practices.

                  • Tom Jackson

                    You middle class pseudo lefties are too much, Karol. 😉

                    My dad was a manual labourer and a communist! 🙂

                    • minarch

                      My great grandfather joined the International Brigades in Spain,

                      While my great-grandmother ( and infant grandfather ) stayed home and threw flower pots @ Oswald Mosley !

                  • Chooky

                    @karol…yes i recognise the type….my Father had Maori ancestry and was very proud of it….New Zealand certainly was a mix…and increasingly there was intermarriage between Maori and Pakeha which broke down racism and class snobbery imported from Britain

                    …. there was definitely sexism out there ….women had to be careful where they went at night and who they mixed with as teenagers …there were horrible rapes and murders

                    …but my feeling was that sexism and sexist values sprang directly or indirectly out of Old Testament Christianity….luckily for me NZ was pretty secular and my parents were not very religious …or at least took the fundamentalist Church goers of the times with a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking….liberal New Testament Christian values were accepted as being good and worthy …..my Mother was a fan of Lloyd Geering and Rachel Carson

                    • karol

                      Well, when I look at my family history, it was also a mix of middle and working class, even before my grandparents and great grandparents came to NZ.

                      Two of my Scottish grandparents were from Scottish working class families and very much into egalitarian principles. They moved up into the middle classes after coming to NZ.

                      The other side of my family, back in the UK included a very middle class line, plus a working class line – and that included campaigners for the poor and working people.

                      NZ tended to be colonised by that kind of class mixture.

                    • Chooky

                      agreed

            • Tracey 2.1.1.2.1.2

              next you will tell us cricket was an egalitarian game.

              did you never hear how rugby players and admin spoke of league players

        • Tom Jackson 2.1.1.3

          That’s part of it. Another is cultural fragmentation. Everyone used to watch the same news broadcasts from necessity (there was nothing else on). Increased media variety has caused a small number of people to become hyper-informed compared to, say, 1970, and a larger number of people to become very uninformed about politics and current events.

          Democracy only really works with a single public agora where issues are discussed and defined, and when even those who don’t care have to walk through it on a consistent basis. There is zero prospect of that returning – the internet is a series of echo chambers.

          • BM 2.1.1.3.1

            I completely agree, every one’s doing their own thing now.

            I blame the interwebs .

            Knowledge is bad, ignorance is bliss.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.3.1.1

              no, everyone isnt doing their own thing now. some are and they tend to be white middle and uper classes…

            • minarch 2.1.1.3.1.2

              “Knowledge is bad, ignorance is bliss.”

              straight from the ministry !!

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.4

          EDIT: That’s weird – the whole comment disappeared despite the comment still being here.

          The old socialist ways of doing things died in the 1970s.

          Nope. Through the late 1990s and early 2000s and with them went any hope for our future as capitalism will now destroy everything as it always does.

          [lprent: Don’t ask me. We have been known to hit the wrong button on the odd occasion (trash, unapprove, spam), but we usually say why commentators are finding their comments disappearing (except for first timers).

          Almost all of the time it is a problem on the client side, just like the double and triple bounces are (I finally figured out what has been happening with those). ]

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.4.1

            Oh, I don’t think it had anything to do with you guys. It’s like the server got the request post a comment but didn’t receive the actual comment. So, yeah, does actually sound client side now that I think about it.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        Yes, Karol they are. As long as they have theirs, i.e. still manage to service their mortgage, the payments on the 4 wheel drive for mum and the nice Holden/Ford/Audi/insert your type of car on finance for dad, still manage to go to the doctor and dentist, as long as they can keep up appearances they will not give a flying poo about those that are going to fall off train or have already fallen off.

        In fact, they will bemoan the bad decisions those mothers/fathers took having children they can’t afford, they will claim that having a TV, a car, and a fridge is a sign that the poor ain’t poor – or at least not as poor as the untouchables in India – and as long as the poor still have a phone – on prepaid, a car – without warranty and rego, cause to expensive, and a fridge – albeit empty, they will claim that there is no poverty in this country.

        Middle NZ has giving the finger to NZ, and they will only cry when they will loose their “PAID” tea breaks. They will only cry when their mortgage rates go to a point where they can;t afford to pay anymore, at that stage however it will be too late for all.

        the blonde Orate housewife, mother of three, driving a gas guzzling Keeping the wife safe type of Humvee, really believes that the mothers and fathers on the benefit have taken wrong decisions. They should not have kids they can”t afford. They should drive a smaller car. They should not go to eat at MacDo’s. They should not go to Rainbows End for a birthday etc etc. Never does she once realise in her righteousness that she is one accident, one job loss away from being one of those mothers that made a bad decision by having three children that she could never afford on one salary. They are righteous, they are fundamentally opposed to helping people in distress, they are selfish, and that is what they have voted for.

        Time to take of the rose colored glasses Karol. The NZ you dream off only existed because Labour had guts and courage. The current left has neither.

        • vto 2.1.2.1

          jeez that is one hell of a lot of assumptions about some people.

          how do you know they all think that way Sabine?

        • vto 2.1.2.2

          and what does being “blonde” have to do with anything?

          Eh?

          or do you base your opinions on the colour of people’s skin and hair?

          wtf you on about?

        • Tom Jackson 2.1.2.3

          M. Piketty has shown that their situation is becoming more precarious.

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.2.3.1

            Just look at the US. Plenty of the middle class US$40K pa set being made redundant, and having to rejoin the workforce as the minimum wage US$20K pa set. If they can get a job at all.

            This is the new normal of the extractive oligarchic state.

            • Chooky 2.1.2.3.1.1

              @CR….you have to wonder if oligarchies learn anything from history…it is only a matter of time imo before ordinary Americans say enough is enough….and rise up

              • Draco T Bastard

                you have to wonder if oligarchies learn anything from history

                No, they don’t as any reading of history will show. They always, always, destroy the society that they exist in by their greed for money and power.

              • b waghorn

                Can you imagine the carnage when they do rise up with the amount of guns floating round

              • AmaKiwi

                The US has become a fear culture.

                Frightened people strike out in anger.

        • JeevesPOnzi 2.1.2.4

          I have to agree.

          I just have to.

          I see and engage with them all around me. Among friends, acquaintances,their friends, colleagues…. Ignorance is their bliss.

          The difference between the middle class and the poor is little more than some bad luck.

          A car accident- a very sick child- redundancy- a spouse’s affair- or any other derailer-

          Your cashflow stops- Your credit card interest goes through the roof- your mortgage holiday comes to an end- you get a fine for no rego-
          You spend 40 hrs a week looking for work (like its your profession-yes)
          THat’s if you’re not still sick
          You sell the car to pay the most critical debts
          The bank forecloses- sells in a depressed rural market- you end up with $50k to show for 20 years in your home.
          Fair enough- you are now debt free and cash richer than you’ve ever been- if you discount your mental state and the stress you and your family have been through.
          And you start again- in a rental-looking for a job, and again consider that leaving your partner and kids to work in Aussie is a viable option, or getting a bedsit in a NZ city, or holding a Stopsign by the roadside- but you also realise that very soon you’ll be at the end of something magical and entering into something called reality for those less fortunate.

          Unless lady luck happens to deal you an Ace…..

          And only those who have suffered it really believe it.

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.2.4.1

            Many many stories like this. For such people working until 70 or 75 will be the new reality. If they don’t break down first.

            Thanks for lifting the retirement age, Labour.

          • Chooky 2.1.2.4.2

            +100 JeevesPOnzi

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.2.5

          +1 Sabine.
          Sometimes generalisations are quite useful.

      • Malcolm 2.1.3

        I’m with you on this one karol. I always tell people who push the right-wing world view that they need to realise one important thing: It puts a real kink in your day when you have to step over people who are starving in the gutter!

        I’ve worked in Brazil, where the disparity between the haves and the have-nots is pretty dramatic. The place is a really good illustration of what happens when you allow social inequality to get out of control (not that they’ve ever had it there). The last thing I want is for NZ to head down the same path.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.3.1

          Brazil is getting better and will keep doing so as long as the Tucanos don’t grab the presidency again. Aotearoa is getting worse and will keep doing so unless something radical happens, like Mana getting a dozen or more MPs. Or a revolution, but I won’t hold my breath. Aotearoa and Brazil could well have very similar societies 20 years from now.

    • karol 2.2

      By the way, the “middle” referred to in he front page graphic, is not about what you are referring to here.

      “Jokers to the left, clowns to the right, suck in the middle with you”

      • just saying 2.2.1

        Was the “suck” a typo or a joke?

        It’s weird, that song has been going round in my head for days. Because I have managed to get myself stuck with a group in the middle where I don’t belong, and I’m in the process of bailing out.

      • Bunji 2.2.2

        To be fair, I had trouble coming up with a picture for “middle”.

        Although Key is certainly a joker on the right, and some of the Labour caucus have been clowns… (although they’re not really to the left of me…)

  3. karol 3

    And this from RNZ Morning Report this morning about the increasing numbers of people in Auckland living in caravan parks because they have nowhere else they can afford to live.

    Penny Hulse puts the responsibility ultimately at the government’s door. She says Auckland Council have been doing what they can and are monitoring the situation closely. But the last local government amendment bill removed social welfare from council responsibility.

    The mention of Wiltshire Village at the bottom of the RNZ article is odd. It’s a retirement village. So while it’s not desirable for elderly people to be homeless, it has nothing to do with housing for the young families that are currently living in camping grounds.

    • hoom 3.1

      Its a very important point that National has messed with the Local Govt Act making clear that Local Councils are not supposed to be providing housing for poor people.

      Especially in context of Blinglishes’ bogus blame of Councils.

      Was quite impressed with the guy from I forget which organisation but one of the private providers who the Govt is trying to dump this stuff on, basically was not impressed & wishing that Govt would actually step up to the plate.

    • boldsirbrian 3.2

      The war over the provision of social housing continues throughout New Zealand. Government abdicating responsibility, and Local City and Regional Councils also considering abdicating responsibility.

      Auckland City does have an appalling record on the provision of social housing. And the need for more is both evident from the Morning Report, and from any rudimentary analysis of demographics over the coming decades.

      But the current battle over social housing is now being fought in Hamilton.
      Right now. This week.
      What happens in Hamilton will likely have ramifications for the rest of New Zealand. A small council of right wing nutters will influence New Zealand policy in more ways than their tiny brains can understand.

      Make no mistake. Housing is the main issue that should be concerning parties of the left. Housing is the main problem affecting the growth of poverty. It overshadows other issues such as living wages, lack of jobs etc, that are also extremely important.

      In ALL areas of New Zealand, there is an urgent need to grow the stock of available social housing including pensioner housing.

      The Hamilton City Council is currently doing (or has already done) secret deals to sell their entire stock of Pensioner homes.

      344 units currently undervalued at an average of only $70000 each. And that they intend to sell with a discount! Rumoured values are that they will sell them all at an average price of $35000 to $40000! The council, just really do not want to have anything to do with the poor (They are also passing legislation to get rid of the homeless being visible in the Central City)

      The Council is totally heartless and without compassion. And throwing away millions of dollars simply to get quick money to fund the Mayor’s legacy project of beautifying the Waikato River, is just simply adding insult to injury.

      The recipients of this gift will be “worthy” organisations such as the Catholic St Vincent de Paul group and the Baptist Church wanting to work with Habitat for Humanity. These organisations do NOT have the interest of those needing social housing. If they did have they would buy additional units now to add to the stock. That they are only purchasing them now is simply because the Right Wing council is effectively encouraging them to buy.

      What hope is there for social housing when the Government and City Council are putting up their hands saying “Not Us”. And other social housing providers (such as St Vincent de Paul and Habitat” will now put up their hands and say they are already doing a lot.
      But they will have done nothing to help with the growing need for housing.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Rally against the sale of Pensioner housing;
      Thursday 30 October Midday,
      Garden Place, Hamilton

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      .

      • karol 3.2.1

        It sounds like Hamilton has a right wing council that is doing the government’s bidding.

        Any council that tries to go against that will have a battle with Key’s government on their hands.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          It sounds like Hamilton has a right wing council that is doing the government’s bidding.

          I’d say that any right-wing council is an extension of the National Party.

          • tc 3.2.1.1.1

            Hamilton got plenty of help from incumbent Nat MP’s (McIndoe etc) during the recent council / WDC elections.

            These councillors are also refusing to state which way they voted on a contentious sale of public land with an existing community facility on it.

            Transparency when it suits them and don’t get on the wrong side of Hardaker……sound familiar ?

            • Skinny 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Mayoress Hardarker had a reputation as a nutcase by fellow Tron lawyers before she conned the public into voting her in. She needs to be kicked to the gutter for this latest attack on the poor.

              The activist base in Hamilton need to plan their campaign to rid the city of this evil woman, and roll a few of the self serving Councilors too that back her. Nic Marryatt (son of the former Christchurch CEO) is running a great campaign fighting these right wing mongrels.

              Well done Nic it’s been a while since we had a beer together. If your in my neck of the woods up north cobber do stop by. Ya Green mates are always welcome at my place too.

            • The Al1en 3.2.1.1.1.2

              “These councillors are also refusing to state which way they voted on a contentious sale of public land with an existing community facility on it.”

              Which land is this?

              • Skinny

                All too much of a cosy arrangement between the Mayoress and her flunkies with no transparency. Be the same Councilors who tried to reduce rates for city retail landlords, as it transpired some of these ‘same Councilors’ had conflicts of interest, having reasonable portfolio’s of retail building ownership.

      • KJS0ne 3.2.2

        I knew it, I knew they’d sell those state houses for penny’s on the dollar to their mates. This is a play straight out of Yeltsen era Russian Federation.

    • Chooky 3.3

      +100 yes good that radionz is looking at this issue finally….a pity they didnt hammer it before the Election

  4. les 4

    at least Key has warned his team about ‘arrogance’ in this 3rd term,so thats a relief.

  5. just saying 5

    I think we owe the New Zealand Labour Party a big slow-handed clap for handing the wealthy and the National Party as their representatives, the state housing estate on a plate – basted and garnished.

    When it repeatedly refused to talk about state housing, for six fucking years. When it decided to propose supporting those most in need via a trickle-down scheme in which they would subsidise the children of the comfortable middle-class into brand-spanking new houses to start their portfolios with. When it decided that some sections of the population were acceptable collateral damage in propping-up the tender sensibilities of the “middle”……

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +11111

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.2

      $400,000 houses are affordable homes, don’t you know.

      The question which needs to be constantly asked now: is Labour a solution, or the impediment to a solution.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        Labour has been an impediment to a solution for the last thirty years. I had some hope that DC would correct that but the present leadership contest has dashed that hope.

    • Chooky 5.3

      when i was a kid , even the poorest of poor families ie those with too many children and a drunken father and a mother addicted to drugs (most unusual at the time) had a good solid State house to live in and a good solid high quality local State School to go to….so there was equality of sorts

      ( and I might add i knew kids from well off farming families who had an alcoholic parent ..but who went to private schools..i dont think they were any more successful than the working class kids…and in some cases far less so …because the addictions continued)

      …. quality State housing and State education should be available and an absolute minimum for every New Zealand child…this should be a bottom line for a self respecting Labour Party

      (….and imo it is/was a disgrace the Labour Party was not willing to work in ith the Mana/Int Party)

      • philj 5.3.1

        Chook, good comment. Housing, edukashun, and food. Basics, but we need more than bread alone.

  6. Sabine 6

    It should be pointed out ad nauseam and until kingdom comes, that the only reason National has state houses to sell – ie. assets, is because previous Labour Governments have build them.

    Can anyone of our resident Blue Shirts point us to an asset that was build under a National Government that could be sold to increase the coffers of the state and keep the tax cuts for the rich?

    Anyone?

    • wekarawshark 6.1

      I was going to say the Clyde dam, but it’s already been sold. How about other Think Big projects?

    • Bob 6.2

      Let’s start with:
      Methanol plant at Waitara
      Ammonia/urea plant at Kapuni
      Synthetic-petrol plant at Motunui
      Expansion of the Marsden Point Oil Refinery
      Expansion of the New Zealand Steel plant at Glenbrook
      A third reduction line at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter
      The Clyde Dam.

      Now, let’s spin this question around, are you saying you would you prefer one million dollar 3 bedroom state house, to three $333K, 3 bedroom state houses?
      Are you saying needy families should miss out because we would have to sell one house to build three, because that would be classed as Asset Sales, and asset sales are bad in all circumstances?

      Now I admit Bill English sounds very cagey on the details around this, but if these sales mean an overall increase in State Houses, this is surely a good thing isn’t it?

      • tc 6.2.1

        look forward to your answers on behalf of Bill there Bob……anytime suits.

        based on their existing track record of dwelling creation don’t hold your breath.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2

        if these sales mean an overall increase in State Houses,

        [citation needed]

        English isn’t “cagey on the details”: he’s lying, or if I’m to be charitable, delusional. Destroying the village to save the village is the kind of trite cak that only ever appeals to ideologues, enablers or dupes. Smash the weak to test an idea…

        Which is Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English? Troughing little career chancer? Machiavellian tool of the wealthy? True believer?

        A nasty piece of work? Or a scared silly right wing brain well out of its depth?

        • RedBaronCV 6.2.2.1

          No english needs to pocket the cash. The Nacts have borrowed $80billion and keeping it at the same rate for the next three years means he has to borrow around $40b . So unless he wants a credit downgrade he has to pocket state house cash topped up by ACC and the Cullen fund investing solely in Govt bonds.

          Nact are leaving behind a hell of a fiscal mess.

      • Ad 6.2.3

        If… then surely?

        Sucker.

  7. Wairua 7

    I reckon this individualistic computer culture is part of the problem – isolating people while fostering the illusion of community.

    • Molly 7.2

      While overdependence of such forms of communication might have that result – TBH, reading and sometimes commenting on places like The Standard, has kept me sane over the last few years.

    • Chooky 7.3

      +100 Waiua…computer and media culture…the new opiate of the people!…..the trouble is how to organise people to take action against this John Key Nact selling off of State houses

      @ yes Molly…agreed also! I also find rt and the Keiser Report very good for getting an international perspective on what is happening here in microcosm down under

  8. KJS0ne 8

    Isn’t it a bit close to an election where National almost won an absolute majority to be saying they’re losing ground among the very people who handed them another 3 years?

    • KJS0ne 8.1

      Not that I disagree with anything that’s been said in the post, I think the Nat’s media machine and Labour still being scattered as ashes in the wind means exactly what was said, that National do not need to continue the pretense of being a party of the middle class. Historically political parties do not usually make a fourth term (even if the law permits it) so the third term is where you put into place all your really unpopular legislation that benefits your core constituency (the 5% and the corporations.) But we’re a long ways off all those self-deluded middle class folks who think they benefit from a National government actually turning their back on it.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.2

      Yep – its almost laughable or self delusional to say that the NATs are losing ground electorally.

    • Tracey 8.3

      absolute majority…

      a couple of banks say a record breaking majority

    • McFlock 8.4

      ye-es, but it’s also worthwhile to point out that the nats came almost as close to losing the election as they did to gaining an absolute majority.

      But the next three years are going to mean an awful lot of suffering for many people, sadly. The problem is how to get those people voting, rather than dropping out.

  9. PFJ 9

    If you go back to a speech by Key in 2007, can’t find the link right now but he said the policy was to sell state houses to the occupiers. If he were to stick to that it would have a spectacular effect in bringing people out of poverty and into the property owning class
    in a very short time. The money was to have been reinvested in new stock. Instead we have English planning to sell at market rates to anyone which will immediately leave the occupiers out in the cold literaly, and English will have billions to spend with nothing to show for the spend afterwards.

    • karol 9.1

      John Key’s speech to the National Party conference 2007:

      Unlike Labour, National has a concrete plan for making housing more affordable. It has four parts to it:

      Ensuring people are in a better financial position to afford a house.

      Freeing up the supply of land.

      Dealing with the compliance issues that drive up building costs, and

      Allowing state house tenants to buy the houses they live in.
      […]
      No 4. We will allow Housing New Zealand tenants who want to purchase the house they live in, to do so. Under National, they can own the place they call home. We will reinvest the proceeds straight back into replacement houses for those desperately needy families on the waiting list.

      It’s a win-win for everyone. The state housing stock is maintained, some families get to experience home ownership for the first time, and the most vulnerable in our communities get to move off the waiting list into affordable housing.

      Thanks for the tip to look for this.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        but the bit he forgot to mention was he will sell them to tenants at market value…

        remember when mums and dads could buy shares first… and then the market. same scam

    • Murray Rawshark 9.2

      A Russian family I know bought their state house in the 90s, so they were being sold well before 2007. They only managed to do it because they arranged the sale of half the property before they’d bought it. This sale paid their deposit and a bit more. The value soon went up enough that they were able to buy a flat in Epsom so their daughter could go to some flash school. Starting as refugees, they did OK financially out of our welfare state. Now they live in Germany and still hold the properties, which have obviously increased heaps in value.

      • Molly 9.2.1

        Friends of mine purchased their state home in Meadowbank in the 90’s with a 10% incentive to do so ($25K for the $250 purchase).

        They managed to meet the criteria, as one was self employed, and houses were empty because of market rents.

  10. Ian H 10

    National’s argument is that they’ll continue to assist with housing but don’t see why the government needs to actually own the bricks and mortar in order to do it. Housing can be provided via rent assistance etc. Of course the danger with rent assistance programs is that they can easily become a welfare program for landlords. But that is a much more nuanced argument than presented in the article.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      And this is what happens when that’s tried.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.2

      Housing can be provided via landlord assistance etc.

      Fixed it for you. What’s “nuanced” about private greed? It’s private greed.

      You recognise that its just a way of funneling public monies into private property portfolios. It’s the National Party way, after all.

  11. Ad 11

    Opposition through parliament is finished for this term. Over. Rally all you like.

    Bunji’s question is accurate.

    So let me give you a story. When Mayor John Banks sold off most of Auckland Council’s public housing, there was an uproar, but nothing anyone could do. Until that point, Auckland Council had the ability to really lead social housing across the city. None of the post-1989 Auckland Councils came anywhere near.

    The Minister of Ponsonby Baptist, Mike Riddell, went to a Council meeting and made a massive speech about th callous cruelty of what they were doing, where it would send the mentally ill and disenfranchised, and threw a large handful of 50c pieces on the Mayors desk.

    After that, Mike went back to his church and informed them that they were going to start buying these houses. They formed the Community of Refuge Trust. They subsidised mentally ill people in managed houses, and subsidised families as well. There’s a film Mike wrote about it called The Insatiable Moon.

    Now, 15 years later, they own over 120 units, and a going into partnership in south Auckland for far more. They are one of the most significant housing NGOs.

    Become your own activism. Forget parties and parliament for a while – it will achieve nothing for you or parliament. Take three years and form your own thing.

  12. Tania 12

    Sometimes I think if the left cant be bothered to vote we deserve what we get

  13. coaster 13

    National are a centre right party with a pm who is trying to appear centrist, and has done it very well. At some point the message fails, as they always do with a falsehood. Then nz will look to the left, people havnt changed, they still have needs and wants, and the majority have a conscience and feel bad for hurting others. People want a fair go.

    national has had slow incremental change, just like when chip packet contents went down, but the bag size changed and the price changed.

    eventually everyone noticed.

    national isnt loosing the middle, there message is failing, albeit slowly

    • Ian H 13.1

      National are a centre right party with a pm who is trying to appear centrist, and has done it very well. At some point the message fails, as they always do with a falsehood. Then nz will look to the left,

      Centrists go for the party closest to the center. If National drifts to the right then yes, centrists will look at what the left has to offer. But if, when they take that look, all they can see is a Labour party way out there and miles from the center, then why would they think for even a minute about switching. The further left Labour goes, the easier it is for National to drift right and bring the center with them .

      • miravox 13.1.1

        Pick your centre. Germany and Austria are by definition centrist with both having grand coalitions of their versions of National and Labour. Both countries are way to the left of the New Zealand right-wing government with it’s hard right tack on Act party.

        • Ian H 13.1.1.1

          Yep, the centre of German and Austrian politics is further to the left. And the centre of US politics is further to the right. So? The centre of NZ politics is where it is and it isn’t going to change very fast. It is rooted in fairly stable things like our culture and history the way Kiwis look at the world. New Zealanders are not suddenly going to turn into Germans or Austrians dragging the centre of our politics to the left. Nor are they going to suddenly turn into Americans shifting our politics to the right.

          I hope this isn’t the hook you are hanging your hopes for the future of the Labour party on. The centre of politics shifts only slowly. If Labour wants to reclaim the centre then it needs to move to where the centre is. Sitting out there on the hard left waiting for the centre to move to where the Labour party is would be a pretty dumb thing to do.

  14. fisiani 14

    National is a centre right party. From my observations close up 80% centre and 20% slightly right. Virtually all would be Democrats in the USA. The last sentence is not mine. It was uttered by Thomas Friedman the Pulitzer prize winner who visited NZ in 2012. So many posters here are deluded about what constitutes the Right. A few skinhead nutters in Christchurch and members of the Libertarian Party.
    Labour and the Greens are fighting for 600.000 votes on the Left and National are garnering 1,000,000 .
    If Labour want to win then they have stop crying wolf over tea breaks and become more like National.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Cabinet papers saying this legislation will help employers cut wages. Economists pointing out that wage stagnation , not innovation, accounts for the profits garnered by wingnut dogma.

      Shall they stop mentioning facts too, on your planet?

    • KJT 14.2

      Which just shows how thoroughly right wing, moneyed interests, have bought US politics.

      US politicians should wear sponsors T shirts to show who has paid them. Just like our National party.

    • KJT 14.3

      The bloke who said this.

      “must sacrifice some degree of economic sovereignty to global institutions (such as capital markets and multinational corporations), a situation he has termed the “golden straitjacket”.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman

      FIFY

    • Draco T Bastard 14.4

      I’ll put it this way for you:

      Reality —————————-Labour———completely fucken delusional————National

  15. Ad 15

    The US is no useful benchmark of NZ politics.
    It is not our origin, and under MMP it is not our political destination.
    Spectrums of extremism as Fisiani applies are irrelevant.

    Consider that NZ, even compared to Australia, has a really high percentage of very, very activist governments since Seddon. Only Holyoake’s last PM term stands out as a bit plodding.

    Whatever the reasons for it, governments here come in with strong intent to operate all levers at their disposal, do so with force upon the structures, and retreat only once they’ve exhausted us.

    We’ve always been observed as a set of political experiments, by foreign observers and Cabinets alike. We’re politically very unusual. We are our own political culture.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      That’s all a bit Hari Seldon isn’t it? I’m unconvinced that there’s anything uniquely New Zealand in the way right wing dogma degrades reality.

      • Ad 15.1.1

        In the end what is the point of comparing our political economy to others?

        All we can deal with is our own agency, our own structure, our own crowds and power.

        Hari Seldon is your default for the melancholic left because he gets to be the visier for history, like the Angelus in Walter Benjamin. The left hasn’t been able to either forecast crisis or, when it happens, use it well, for nearly 50 years.

        The left have the will to make change, but must be effective at it even when there is no crisis. Currently there’s no effective avenue for doing this on a national level.

        • les 15.1.1.1

          perhaps you could be so kind to tell us about the defining policies the NZ National Party have introduced that have made a difference to the standard of living in NZ.Not bribes like Muldoons super.Real change that has made a positive difference.

          • Ad 15.1.1.1.1

            Pretty pathetic if you could interpret that comment as supporting one party or the other. Start developing some interpretive skill.

            But since you asked, try this:
            – National has generated more national parks and conservation parks than Labour, either numerically or in hectares
            – National introduced MMP
            – National reformed Auckland – and yes it works better
            – National formed most of the electricity infrastructure, including the reticulation network
            – National forged a series of relationships with major New Zealand industrialist and pastoralist families, and helped grow many of them into powerful multinationals

            Don’t have to like all of it, but trying to demonize National into being devoid of care or policy virtue is just tame.

            • les 15.1.1.1.1.1

              you are not a comedian are you?Of your 5 ‘points’ ..1-what does ‘generated’ mean?2-any regrets?>3)says who?4)Max Bradford..!4)..5)like?Pathetic if that is all you can muster for the decades of power they have enjoyed.

              • Ad

                Just once even try to step up to the plate.
                All the weeping just keeps you on the bench.
                Pathetic.

                • McFlock

                  So what do you think holyoake or even muldoon would think of the last half dozen years? Outstanding success for the country, or a travesty of economic mismanagement and deplorably unethical behaviour?

            • Ergo Robertina 15.1.1.1.1.2

              ‘– National formed most of the electricity infrastructure, including the reticulation network’

              By the time the National Party formed in 1936, most urban areas were connected to the electricity grid and were reticulated, and had been for quite some years.
              http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/energy-supply-and-use/page-5

            • les 15.1.1.1.1.3

              a liitle more context… Bill Birch, then a senior National Cabinet Minister, had said MMP would be “a catastrophic disaster for democracy”, and Ruth Richardson, former Minister of Finance in Jim Bolger’s government said MMP “would bring economic ruin”. Peter Shirtcliffe, chairman of Telecom New Zealand at the time and leader of the CBG, said MMP “would bring chaos”.[5]

              typical spin.

    • just saying 15.2

      What levers did the Clark government operate?
      Seemed to be mostly a holding pattern from where I was standing.

      • blue leopard 15.2.1

        I think context is quite important. The Clark government was operating when neo-liberalism was very strong. To achieve a holding pattern is a reasonable achievement in those conditions, however I think they did make small inroads into the narrative, aswell, so that is even better.

        Just from my memory of the Clark government: they managed to stop always catering to the ‘business roundtable’. They didn’t join that illegal war. They raised the minimum wage substantially throughout their tenure (not, perhaps enough to keep up with soaring costs, but more than any other government had for a long time), they took interest off student loans, achieved the lowest level of joblessness for decades, paid back a hell of a lot of government debt, they set up channel 7 TV, and introduced support for low waged people (WFF). All these things were achieved despite the same-old arguments being screeched by National & their business cronies. All these things created better conditions in New Zealand for many and helped the country get through the GFC too i.e. set up positive conditions for the future.

        I also liked the way Clark supported the arts. I do still wonder whether Clark’s attitudes toward the arts created the basis for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and other major film achievements becoming a reality.

        • blue leopard 15.2.1.1

          p.s. they started closing the wealth disparity gap, largely due to WFF.

          http://closertogether.org.nz/nzs-income-inequality-problem/

          • Ad 15.2.1.1.1

            And goes right into the GINI coefficient and the public health long range stats.

          • Ergo Robertina 15.2.1.1.2

            Several years ago when Grant Robertson was health spokesman, he said of Lab5 that it made progress on reducing income inequality, but did not address asset inequality.

            • Ad 15.2.1.1.2.1

              The deep Spirit Level, beginning its hard downhill acceleration

            • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1.1.2.2

              Lab5 slowed down the growth of income inequality but it was a bullshit, fragile, 2 dimensional and temporary change.

              Mainly it was fueled by massively increasing private debt to push money into circulation thus reducing unemployment. Mixed with rapid increases in the minimum wage. But that’s all circumstantial, not structural. Change the circumstances and income inequality starts rocketing again.

              I say 2 dimensional – because ‘net worth inequality’ really shot up during the Clark years. You owned a couple of houses in 1996 or 1997? You had your retirement made by the end of the Clark years. If you weren’t a home owner – sorry. You got left behind as a lifelong renter.

      • Ad 15.2.2

        Where exactly were you standing?

        Within thirty seconds I can give you massive interventions:

        – Kiwisaver
        – Kiwibank
        – Hobsonville
        – Treaty Settlements
        – Working for Families
        – China Free Trade Deal
        – Rugby World Cup secured
        – Lord of the Rings secured
        – Rolling back corporatisation of health
        – The Growth and Innovation Framework
        – Defence procurement for the Navy and Army greater than Vietnam War

        Not saying its Das Capital made manifest, but these are not the list of a managerial government.

        • blue leopard 15.2.2.1

          That is much better than my list. 🙂

          • Chooky 15.2.2.1.1

            +100 blue leopard and Ad

            yes I have very little patience for those that bag Helen Clark…her Labour Governments were way preferable to what we have now!

            ….and she did not take us into that illegal war in Iraq…she had principles and guts!

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.2.2

          Good list. All done with a happy capitalist market driven framework though.

          Notice for instance how Kiwi Bank hasn’t been effective in slowing down billion dollar Aussie banking profits.

          And how re-equipping the NZ Defence forces was a boon for…overseas based military industrial complex.

          Or how WFF helps subsidise employers who pay less than the living wage.

          Rugby World Cup secured / Americas Cup secured / Lord of the Rings secured. How socialist it is to help large corporate enterprises make even more money!

          China Free Trade deal. Yeah. Labour thumbs up free trade. Major achievement. Dairy farmers say thank you.

  16. fisiani 16

    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/34565

    Really losing the middle………

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  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago