New Zealand, a great place to be a mum

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, May 12th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: election 2008, families - Tags: ,

We hear an awful lot from the Right about how much New Zealand sucks: ‘crime is up’ they cry (when it’s down), ‘taxes are too high’ (when they’re down), ‘too many dole bludgers’ (when benefit numbers are way, way down), ‘everyone’s leaving for Australia’ (when fewer than 0.7% of people went last year), ‘labour costs are too high’ (you mean wages are up? No wonder Key “would love to see wages drop“).  So, it’s nice to take a break from National’s ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign and be reminded of what a great little country we live in.

Save the Children has released its “State of the World’s Mothers” report. New Zealand was ranked the 4th best place in the world to be a mother, the 2nd best to be a woman, and the twentieth best for children. In each of those metrics, we are well ahead of Australia.

New Zealand ranked highly because it scored well in each of the areas that Save the Children looked at: Lifetime risk of maternal mortality, Percent of women using modern contraception, Female life expectancy at birth, Expected number of years of formal female schooling, Maternity leave benefits, Ratio of estimated female to male earned income, Participation of women in national government, Under-5 mortality rate, Gross pre-primary enrollment ratio, and Gross secondary enrollment ratio.

New Zealand doesn’t perform well in these areas by accident; the results arise from government policy. See how these following policies match with the measures Save the Children looked for: more money for health, subsidised GP visits, free morning-after pill, 20Free childhood education, interest-free student loans, Schools Plus, paid paternal leave, higher minimum wage, lower unemployment, Working for Families, modern apprenticeships, skills training, and gender balance in Labour’s List.

New Zealand is such a good place to be a mother and raise kids because the Government has made a concerted effort to make it so.

47 comments on “New Zealand, a great place to be a mum”

  1. AndrewE 1

    It’s a pretty good place to be a dad as well. 😉

  2. Sam Dixon 2

    Not bad to be a single guy either. At least in Wellington – man drought, plus, I’m charming.

  3. Um, yeah, thanks for that Sam.

    On a side note, this is the ninth annual State of the World’s Mothers report by Save the Children. NZ was only ranked in the last two, and was fourth in both.

  4. lprent 4

    Sam – I’m unsure about the sites policy on advertising? Do you think we should have one?

  5. higherstandard 5

    As they say in the report “most industrialized countries cluster tightly at the top of the Index with the majority of these countries performing well on all indicators”

    To say we are well ahead of Australia is stretching things somewhat all that one can conclude is that it’s generally very preferable to live in a 1st World country compared to a 3rd world country.

  6. big bruv 6

    Violent crime up 42% under Labour….statement of fact!

    While I am here, what have you got to say about the latest Labour lie?, an extra $200 million for a train set.

    [read the post on topic “mythbusting: book value and over the odds“. SP]

  7. big bruv 7

    NZ might be a good place to be an unmarried single mum, they breed it and we end up feeding it.

    [you sure know how to bring things down Bruv. Speaking of which, DPB numbers are down from a peak of 113,000 in 1998 under National to 95,000 today. SP]

  8. Well, they do say that HS, but then you look at the actual measurements they’re basing the ratings on and there are some significant differences

    – years of schooling, pre-school enrollment, secondary enrollment, level of female political participation, maternity leave are all much better.

    – the rest of the measures are the same or virtually the same. the only place Aussie does much better than NZ is in maternal mortality.

    Australia had also slipped a place from this time last year.

  9. mike 9

    phew… thank god steve I was starting to believe all that bad stuff in the news about food prices up, petrol up, unemployment up, hungry kids, strikes, interest rates up, violent crime up, etc, etc but its obviously all a conspiracy.

  10. Phil 10

    Good point HS. I guess it would be a little like saying “A Ferrari is better than an Aston Martin, when they’re both compared to a Daewoo.”

    However, if Sam’s reduced to solicitation on The Standard for a date, even the Daewoo would probably help his cause…

  11. r0b 11

    Note one bit of genuinely bad news in this report (p 31): “Among the Maori of New Zealand,infant mortality rates are more than twice as high as the general population”. That’s something to think about in the long shadow of Orewa.

    Violent crime up 42% under Labour .statement of fact!

    No BB, the reporting of violent crime is up following a successful advertising campaign. We don’t know if the underlying rate of violent crime has changed.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=30&objectid=10501360

    “This is not surprising when we take into account that there has been a huge focus on family violence with publicity and media campaigns designed to reduce tolerance for such offending,” assistant commissioner Grant Nicholls said.

  12. You’re right Mike! I know – why don’t you start a blog and write about all that? Or perhaps address those issues on (the many) threads that are about them? You are a fu*kin bore Mike. No wonder your wife left you.

    [I think there’s all too much talk about people’s relationships on this thread. Please cool it, ‘sod. It’s not called for. SP]

  13. higherstandard 13

    r0b

    Yes Maori statistics are inferior as they probably for all indigenous peoples.

    Not sure what Don Brash’s Orewa speech has to do with that though ?

  14. HS. It hardly indicates Maori are getting privileged treatment, eh?

  15. higherstandard 15

    I think we do bend over backward for Maori in this country in many areas what is clear is that little flows through to positive effects on health or crime statistics.

  16. r0b 16

    That’s an interesting perspective HS. I imagine by “bend over backwards” you mean the treaty settlement process, or did you have something else in mind? And why do you think “little flows through” to health and crime stats? What’s the problem HS?

  17. higherstandard 17

    r0b

    I think we’ll continue to bend over backwards to celebrate the culture and feed the voracious treaty settlements business regardless of whether those activities have impacted health or crime stats to any great degree.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s elsewhere.

  18. So if we are not paying more tax than before, why has the days to “Tax Freedom Day” gone from 140 to 160 under Labour: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/01/06/chart-tax-burden/

  19. r0b 19

    mawg – because of the odd and complicated way it is calculated (seems to be tied up with growth):
    http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/releases/releases-2006/060424taxfreedom.htm

    Meanwhile NZ personal tax is third lowest in the OECD:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

  20. Ben R 20

    “HS. It hardly indicates Maori are getting privileged treatment, eh?”

    Don’t you have to consider the actual treatment people are receiving, rather than their outcomes? If you begin your analysis with outcomes, then you’d say that Asian’s must be getting privileged treatment because they excel academically.

    “I think we do bend over backward for Maori in this country in many areas what is clear is that little flows through to positive effects on health or crime statistics.”

    I’m not sure about that. I think that in terms of treaty settlements those have had a positive effect. I think a major problem is the loss of jobs in areas like forestry & freezing works in the 80’s. That would have been devastating to many communities & the children growing up in those households. You’ve now got many growing up in households where welfare is the norm.

    There’s also the Alan Duff perspective:

    “It’s an educational issue, the commentators are failing to recognise. Since Maori have not opted in large numbers to get a higher education so do the outlooks and attitudes remain unchanged because enlightenment of self and the collective can only come from educated minds. Maori M.P. Dover Samuels had the courage to state publicly that Maoris accept violence. But not the educated. After all, you don’t see Maoris with university degrees beating up anyone. There is a disturbing anger common to far too many Maori that needs to be deeply investigated, like some permanently infected wound, as to its true cause. Groups of marauding teenage Maori girls attack innocent Pakehas for no reason. Maoris dominate in gang numbers and prison inmate numbers. We have the highest number of assaults, almost exclusively own the child murder statistics.” http://www.nzcpr.com/guest22.htm

  21. Ari 21

    I was working on a summary of this while I saw that you posted it. Thanks Steve. It’s nice to see good work like this getting attention, and it makes it clear you’re making good on what you said to Julie. 🙂 I’m especially pleased as a supporter of Save the Children, too- if I recall correctly, I started donating to fight child prostitution in Asia.

    Ben R- Outcomes are important because they’re a result of treatment. There are considerable insidiously invisible negative pressures on Maori and women in our society, and these effect the outcomes we see. Not all treatment of Maori is organised and funded by the government, remember.

  22. mike 22

    Sod – sorry I got you told off twice in one day.
    You might need some stronger pills buddy as you now have me confused with someone else.

  23. Uh huh. “Pills”? Shucks Mike you made a funny. ‘Cos, like, you’re implying I’m crazy but, like, not saying so so you like, leave the reader to make the connection. What a punchline mike, what a gem, with a sharp sense of humour like that I’m sure the ladies will be falling all over you mike, your missus really didn’t realise what kind of a man she was turning her back on, eh?

  24. mike 24

    You can do better RS, making stuff up about other people’s personal life is a little sad don’t you think?.

  25. Tane 25

    Sod, pull your head in. One more outburst and you’re off for a week.

  26. Ben R 26

    “Ben R- Outcomes are important because they’re a result of treatment. There are considerable insidiously invisible negative pressures on Maori and women in our society, and these effect the outcomes we see.”

    That may be the case. My understanding was that it’s a combination of innate abilities & the behavioural expectations of your family & friends:

    “Differences between black and white teen-agers in achievement have variously been attributed to genes or single mothers, but differences vanish when researchers control for the peer group: whether its members value achievement and expect to go to college, or regard academic success as a hopeless dream or sellout to ”white” values.” http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/reviews/980913.13tavrist.html

  27. Scribe 27

    Steve,

    New Zealand’s a great place to be a mum, and as supporting evidence you cite policies explicitly designed to stop women from becoming mums, eg free “morning-after” pill and access to contraception, and policies designed to stop women actually being mothers, like free childcare so that women get back to work, rather than raising kids.

  28. AncientGeek 28

    hs:

    I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s elsewhere.

    It does, but you’re talking about a generational level problem. It takes generations before you see significant effects. All previous approaches had failed dismally. Those approaches had caused massive wastage of money, both Maori and taxpayer, with ever worsening results. You only have to look at the stats for that.

    I’ll explain my take on the process and why I’ve supported it.

    The treaty settlement process was started in the mid-80’s. Apart from the historical basis, it was also intended as a way of building up Maori owned and operated enterprises. It did that by injecting capital in the form of assets and cash where it could only be used in a capital based organization. The latter is built into the legislation.

    The reason it had to be done that way was because of a market failure. It’d proved impossible (for various reasons) to get the lenders to lend against property held in group ownership, and where it was difficult to foreclose on property held as a guarantee.

    That provided a way for Maori Iwi organizations to build their capital base, while providing a training ground for Maori to train their young. Effectively a way for Maori to develop their own professional class in their own way. Merely having to fight to get the settlements would in itself induce a higher degree of professionalism.

    Generationally, this means that there has been a culturally based opportunity ladder. In essence it is the same structure that poor immigrant groups have been using forever via family leverage, but applied to a indigenous culture.

    At the time it was implemented, I expected that the failure rate would be about half of the resultant organizations. I’ve been pleasantly surprised as the failure rate has been pretty low. A few organizations have lost large assets – but retained enough to make it setbacks rather than failures.

    What has been fascinating from a business viewpoint is that most of these organizations show a distinctly different investment pattern to the usual companies we have here. They go for long-return assets, far beyond the usual 5-10 year time horizions. Similarly they use part of the returns to promote their own survival – providing better housing, community based health care, early childhood education, and training for their people.

    It has a long way to go yet. It is just coming up on a single generation. But to my eye it looks like it is going to work, and should show significant results over the next generation. Then I’m expecting a interesting quiet revolution.

    The inherent corporate structure looks uncanningly like the financial structure of the catholic church. Those are bodies that live on capital leverage. It would not surprise me if the Iwi organizations wind up as major investment machines for the rest of the economy over time.

    Now for the usual daft naysayers.

    Remember that the reason this process was required was the deficiencies in our legal and business structures. Maori had and still have sufficient assets in their land to have done this on their own. But it was impossible to realize that asset as collateral to invest in other business, or even to invest in their own land.

    To do so would have required a large scale re jigging of the legal structures. Effectively Maori were deprived of the right to use their private assets in a collective mode, because it would interfere with a different legal mode used by everyone else.

    The settlement process is a cheaper way of achieving the same thing.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    Anyway why did this come up in a discussion on thsi post?

  30. Ari 30

    Ben R- yes, controlling for peer-group isolates individuals who take up education or not because you’re essentially controlling for the largest external influence on their life, which will leave most of their success up to genetic, hormonal, and other largely biological influences on their life. If we give said family and friends a boost up, it increases the quality of life for the next generation. If we give that generation a boost up too, their kids will do even better. “Positive discrimination” is a very powerful tool to provide urgent relief to those who are not socially privileged.

    Scribe- don’t be so obtuse. Contraception doesn’t STOP someone from being a mother. (unless they’re somehow forced to use it) It puts the choice of whether to conceive in the hands of women, rather than leaving it to chance. (and in one case, in the hands of men, too) Many women want motherhood, but also want to delay it so that they can be financially secure first, ensuring that they get a chance at at least a partial career, and that they can deal with any nasty surprises parenthood might pop up.

    I’d say that there should be relatively few cases of straight women who would never need to use some form of contraception or birth control- and the only good one I can think of is women who stay single for a long time.

  31. AncientGeek 31

    Been scratching my head and accentuating the bald patch.

    With all of the stuff Steve stuck in his post, why do I feel it isn’t enough.

    Most of the female friends I have are getting more into the grandmother phase rather than the mother phase. They did have it a lot easier balancing a career with being a mother than my mother did. They still hit glass ceilings, but the ceilings were a lot higher than they used to be.

    So why do they seem to spend so much time talking to their well-trained, bright, talented daughters so much about how to balance all of their opportunities with having a family, and having a career afterwards and during motherhood?

    The risk factors are so high. Fathers do have a tendency to do the shoot and leave trick, typically when the kids are extremely young (they then seem to obsess about access). That causes disruption in any career because even with all of the childcare and school time, it is a struggle for two parents to bring up kids.

    Amongst my professional female friends, almost all of them have shifted their whole professions after having kids. The break was just too long, and if you’re going to have to educate to make yourslf employable anyway, then why not move to a more lucrative career path.

    At least the state has been making an effort to make sure that having kids isn’t a bankrupting experience. Thereby helping to guarantee that there is someone to pay taxes for super in 40 years. You can see that in the slow increase in birth stats recently.

    But mothers still manage to have very long chats with their daughters.

  32. Lyn 32

    AncientGeek – this is SO a problem that women are still facing and I’m thanking you for an intergenerational perspective. I’m not sure what the solution would be – there are so many difficulties inherent in balancing public and private commitments. My mum had her entire working life after having two kids and at the rate I’m going I’ll have my entire working life before, if they ever arrive. Those big gaps in the middle of a career are real earnings killers – as an example, a lawyer friend (male) has zero flexibility to leave work for a time now that he’s a partner in his firm unless he wants to kill his salary and the situation would be no different if he was a woman. Maybe mondo childcare a la Sweden is the best overall solution, but that isn’t going to work for everyone. I’d love to know how bad NZ is compared to other countries in supporting women to do paid work and parent at the same time?

  33. r0b 33

    I’d love to know how bad NZ is compared to other countries in supporting women to do paid work and parent at the same time?

    I only had time for a quick look and didn’t find anything, but this site might be of general interest:
    http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/links_intl.html

  34. Lyn 34

    Thanks for the leg-work. I really should have made my own fingers do the googling. Too sleepy..

  35. r0b 35

    This looks good, though it focuses on work at the “low end” and the alleviation of poverty:
    http://www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php?ProductID=48
    It’s likely that there is some other Unifem publication that will have what you’re looking for. But I’m off, ‘night.

  36. Ari 36

    Lyn- well, if you’re feeling radical, there’s the option of picking a guy who wants to do the daddying full-time, which in most fields means maternity leave to actually physically give birth and recover is a managable obstacle. I can’t think of any good way to address the problem of one parent having to hurt their career permanently in some fashion, but I do strongly reject the assumption that women should be obliged to do so ahead of men.

    Making organised childcare more efficient, accessible, accountable, etc… is another option, too, although not everyone will take it.

  37. vto 37

    Steve said “New Zealand is such a good place to be a mother and raise kids because the Government has made a concerted effort to make it so.”

    Ridiculous. That is a very hollow statement that gives away much of your personal ideology.

    I would have thought New Zealand has got where it has today as a result of many many factors, the main ones being the attitude and philosophies of the settler and following generations, the ‘tyranny’ they were living and had no intention of repeating here, similarly the attitudes and philosophies of the Maori people, our geographically protected and hidden location, etc, etc. These historical factors imho have had a greater effect on the landscape of NZ today than any govt act, or ommission(!), by a factor of about a million.

    Government actions and their contributions follow these other factors. The govt flows from the people.

    You have it all backwards. It is not surprising however – this attitude to govt versus people reflects itself also in this govts approach to taxation. Namely, the health of the govt is of primary importance and the subjects come second. It seems to be a prevailing attitude of the left. It’s backwards.

  38. r0b 38

    So vto, did you actually read the study and the dimensions that it is based on? Or can you tell all this just, you know, instinctively?

  39. vto 39

    Of course I didn’t read it, too busy working. My comment was on Steve’s last statement only. Bit of a silly, excessively broad and hollow statement don’t you agree? I think the vast majority of NZers would agree.

  40. r0b 40

    Not at all. While obviously NZ does so well primarily because it is a “first world country”, the policies of the Labour government over the last 9 years will also have had an impact. Take a look at the dimensions actually used, and compare now with the 1990s.

  41. According to Stats NZ numbers just released mothers are going to have a tough time feeding their kids: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/02/13/766/

  42. Ari 42

    Vto, if you’re going to critique the findings of the study, which is rather comprehensive, then you ought to at least read the highlights. I agree with you that social attitude is really important to some of these changes, but I disagree that New Zealanders have a perfect attitude. We have plenty of room to improve.

    Rob- actually, New Zealand is among the top 50% of the first world countries in all the metrics used in the study except the ones for children. While we’re advantaged because we’re part of the more developed top-tier, we’re not exactly America or Great Britain, so we’ve put in a lot of the work.

  43. vto 43

    Ari, I didn’t critique the findings of the report, just Mr Pierson’s vacuous last sentence.

    I’m sure the report is worthwhile and probably all fine. Don’t know. Simply not enough time for everything. Bloody information age – there’s just too much!! Oh for the old saying “ignorance is bliss” (there you go rOb, there’s another for you to fire back at me sometime ;.) )

  44. r0b 44

    While we’re advantaged because we’re part of the more developed top-tier, we’re not exactly America or Great Britain, so we’ve put in a lot of the work.

    Ari – good point!

    (there you go rOb, there’s another for you to fire back at me sometime ;.)

    Stay back, I’ve got a quote, and I’m not afraid to use it!

  45. Lyn 45

    Ari – I think what I object to is that parenting results in a loss of wages and career track. Most women would prefer to be the primary caregiver I think – that’s why we end up doing it so often and are then disadvantaged as a group (the whys of that choice are a whole other topic). However this accrued disadvantage doesn’t change if you get the dad to do it, it’s just marginally less sexist at a local level. And childcare is also not a full solution for similar reasons. It’s a toughie.

  46. mum 46

    U know all this talk about moaris what would Nz be wit out them,our culture has stood out to the country and that is what attracts foreigners,to come here ,and about crime and violene there are alot of caucasions,*(excuse my spelling,my bad,lol)*here are also just as bad as maoris, it is just that maoris are mentioned more about abuse and violence as for working iv seen alot of maori working hard ,but alot lack in education ,as for the economy it really sucks.
    In alot of ways we should be lucky for what we have here in NZ gee look at africa, and America etc.
    But then i think gee i wana work in aussy u get payed more for working and can live better but also you have alot of chances of dieing easier just because your going to work,an even worse youl never be found.
    but owell thats all i have to say for now as a single mummy of three and on my own.boohoo nh lol:)

  47. As they say in the report “most industrialized countries cluster tightly at the top of the Index with the majority of these countries performing well on all indicators’

    To say we are well ahead of Australia is stretching things somewhat all that one can conclude is that it’s generally very preferable to live in a 1st World country compared to a 3rd world country.
    Quite an interesting read
    Nice blog

    Susan Jaye
    http://www.gppositionsaustralia.com/

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    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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