Newsflash: Parker not secret reptilian shape-shifter

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, July 25th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: david parker, privatisation - Tags:

There’s been some talk around the ‘sphere about a speech where David Parker made comments that some (*cough* Chris ‘the Right’s favourite Leftie’ Trotter *cough*) thought meant he supported asset sales. That obviously caused confusion because Parker and Labour are clearly against asset sales. Now, someone’s taken the innovative step of asking Parker what he meant (spoiler: it’s not what Trotter thought).

——————————————————-

Storm in T-blog? By Len Richards

A Labour stalwart is feeling quite confused and put-upon after querying (in an internal email newsletter) the breakfast speech made on 11 July by Labour Finance spokesperson, David Parker. Parker’s speech revealed an apparent contradiction between the Labour stand against asset sales and the Labour overseas investment policy that allows for the sale of electricity generators. An explanation seemed warranted.

The fact that our Labour stalwart was alerted to the Parker speech by a newspaper column and blog post by a favourite bogey of many Labour MPs, Chris Trotter, did not help his/her case (or standing in the party).

The question posed by the T-man and referred in the internal email newsletter was this:

 “Speaking to a group of corporate head-hunters on 11 July, Mr Parker spelled out the details of Labour’s policy on foreign investment. Concerned to prevent ‘nfrastructure assets with monopoly characteristics’ from being sold to offshore buyers, Labour, in the run-up to last year’s election, drew up a ‘closed list’ – to keep a “bright line” between “what is to be sold and what is not.” Among the infrastructure that was not to be sold was any: electricity line, water storage or irrigation networks; no seaports or airports; and no public hospitals, schools, railway lines or roads.

“Not included in Labour’s ‘closed list’ were telecommunications networks and – amazingly – ‘electricity generators’.

“According to Labour’s policy: ‘While the electricity market is on the cusp of becoming uncompetitive and exhibits monopoly-like characteristics, generation assets are diverse in nature, location and ownership.’

“What this means is that although Labour went into the last general election on a policy of ‘No Asset Sales’; and in spite of the fact that its campaign advertising showed a vast banner, displaying that very message, being draped over a hydro-electricity generating dam; the party was unwilling to include electricity generators on the list of state-owned infrastructure that ‘ought to be run in the New Zealand interest’ – and never be sold to foreigners.

“Am I alone in thinking that Labour’s foreign investment policy fatally compromises its current campaign against asset sales? If the generation of electricity is an activity which properly belongs to the market, and if New Zealand’s electricity generation assets are ‘diverse in nature, location and ownership’ and, therefore, able to be purchased by foreign interests, then I’m at a loss to know why the Labour Party is opposed to their partial privatisation.”

For Mr T. this is evidence that the Labour leadership (and caucus) is moving to the right and that a Shearer-led Labour Party could emulate the stalking-horse Rogernomics strategies of the Lange-led Labour Party of the 1980s.

Our Labour stalwart received a reply from David Parker’s office that managed to evade the central point of confusion and merely stated:

“The comments you refer to were not about this issue, but refer to the rest our policy to tighten up on controls on overseas investment in privately owned rural land and monopoly infrastructure.”

The key point that everybody seems to be missing is that Contact Energy, one of the four major electricity generators, is already totally in private ownership. In case anybody missed it, this happened under National in 1999. Here is the potted history from the Contact Energy website (written in 2007 I assume):

“The New Zealand electricity industry has undergone significant reform in the last 20 years. First, the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) was established in 1987 as a state owned enterprise to operate as a commercial, profit-making organisation. ECNZ was the sole provider of electricity in New Zealand, including generation, transmission and retail. Electricity was distributed through local electricity supply authorities.

“Then, in 1994, Transpower was separated from ECNZ and created as a state owned enterprise. In 1996, ECNZ was split into two more state owned enterprises – ECNZ and Contact Energy – and a wholesale electricity market was established. Another major reform was the privatisation of Contact Energy in 1999.

“The last significant reform was the separation of the lines and energy businesses of the former Electricity Supply Companies and the split of ECNZ into three competing state owned enterprises: Meridian Energy Limited, Genesis Power Limited and Mighty River Power Limited. These reforms were designed to introduce a more dynamic and competitive environment into the generation, distribution and retailing of electricity.”

So where does that leave us with the Parker speech and the somewhat long-bowalley conclusions drawn by Chris Trotter?

The Labour asset-sales policy is “no sales” of existing state-owned assets. The foreign investment policy is no foreign ownership of monopoly infrastructure.

The electricity generator Contact is already privately owned, so it would be subject to Labour’s foreign investment rules. These are designed to put limits on foreign ownership, not private ownership. There is really no contradiction here.

The question that could be asked is; should energy generation be deemed too important to the economy and the environment to allow any form of private ownership of it, whether that be locally-based or foreign (is there difference in a globalised world?).

The re-nationalisation of all privatised energy generation infrastructure and the removal of the clumsy and artificial market mechanisms currently in place in the sector is a move that would have wide support amongst New Zealanders.

This is not (yet) Labour policy.

It is up to Labour members and affiliates to push for such a policy if they want to see it enacted by a Labour-led government.

The current democratic reforms of the Labour Party organisational structure and policy-setting mechanisms will make adoption and fulfilment of policies like this more likely.

——————————————————

I think the lesson here is that Trotter is the Matthew Hooton of the Left. You can’t take anything they say at face value, you have to go and check the primary sources to see if they’re misrepresenting things. – Eddie

49 comments on “Newsflash: Parker not secret reptilian shape-shifter”

  1. Bunji 1

    As Josie Pagani puts it (from the other side of the eternal Trotter-Pagani war):

    The ‘list’ in question refers to:

    “…the discretion of the Minister to consent to the sale to an overseas purchaser of any interest of 25% or more in infrastructure where that purchase is worth $10 million or more and the infrastructure has monopoly characteristics.”

    What Parker was saying is that, in a context where Labour is proposing to introduce stringent new restrictions on overseas investment, he would not stop Vodafone from buying TelstraClear. He wouldn’t stop the already privately owned Contact Energy from attracting overseas investment.

    This is nothing to do with asset sales which the Labour party opposes one hundred per cent; it is about the limits of Labour’s tight overseas investment rules.

  2. quartz 2

    Since when did the Standard become the mouthpiece for the right of the Labour party? You should be ashamed.

    • grumpy 2.1

      As an outsider, I thought “The Standard” reflected a huge range of leftish views that, at times, and depending on the topic, could be described as left, right, centrist. In fact the same contributor often flits about these camps depending on the subject.

      You are being unrealistic in your criticism.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        I was going to moderate that, but grumpy beat me to it. Most people here have a vast range of opinions. There is no faith of the left that people have to follow religiously with unthinking stupidity. Most of us prefer to use our brains.

  3. grumpy 3

    …explaining is losing………

    • felix 3.1

      That sounds like a snappy catchphrase, but what does it mean?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        It means that he’s confused by the explanation and is now hiding under his “blanky”.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        It means if you take longer to refute someone elses point than they spent making it, you’ve lost the debate because people (the public / the media) don’t have a long attention span.

        Eg, if Key fires off a ‘witty’ 1-liner and it takes Phil Goff 20 seconds to explain why he’s wrong, Phil loses.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          thanks for the clarity Lanth.

        • Bunji 3.1.2.2

          And with that explanation you’ve apparently lost Lanth…

          It’s another Duncan Garner ‘truism’ that just ain’t actually true.

          When Labour came out and explained the CGT, did they lose? Or was it actually taken up as not so bad after all – no longer the “third rail” policy it was seen as?

          I think Labour bought into “explaining is losing” too much at the last election. Some of their policies needed releasing earlier so that they could be explained and understood – and the arguments won.

          • grumpy 3.1.2.2.1

            I think the problem is that the initial release should have contained enough information to win the argument.

            Any second attempt make people think you hadn’t thought it through the first time.

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.2.2.1.1

              The initial release DID win the argument, everyone not deeply embedded in the National Party, (and even some that are) admit that NOT having a CGT is unrealistic.

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.3

        It means first impressions last.

        If a Labour or Green MP makes a statement that is open to interpretation, the media will always convey it the most controversial way.

        Therefore that MP is left explaining himself because of the media’s idiotic reporting. The explanation is lost to the media because they will always refer back to their original misinterpretation therefore keeping the slanted story alive.

        To avoid this they need to make clearer definitive statements to begin with. Parker especially because all he ever says is empty generalisations.

        • grumpy 3.1.3.1

          Exactly……now explain that to Felix…..

          • Deano 3.1.3.1.1

            you do realise that Felix was winding you up by asking you to explain “explaining is losing” eh?

            I love that Lanthe jumped right in and explained.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    I don’t pay much attention to Chris Trotter or Josie Pagani or Matthew Hooton, or any other self-important commentator or blogger. I doubt many voters do.

    But they do pay (some) attention to Labour’s leader and finance spokesman. They’re the ones who are responsible for communicating the party’s position … clearly, strongly, effectively.

    They aren’t very good at it. That’s the real problem.

    • tc 4.1

      +1 Rather than choose a clear new direction that along with the greens would see the Nat’s decimated in 2014 Labour caucus chose the muddle through with Shearer/Robertson and ineffective yes men like Parker with backstabbing has beens like Mallard etc offering cover.

      I wonder if Shearer has the balls to change Parker for Cunliffe who showed in the election last year he’s got English/Key by the bollocks with the numbers and the short soundbites that were clear and cutting.

      This Labour parliamentary team looks more like a bunch of seat warming sycophants than the people who can resurrect NZ from the interests Key and cohorts want to sell us out to. So much material has been offered up by the Nats yet Shearer looks happy to just go with the flow with a team that lacks passion and freshness.

      That flow is going towards becoming a minor party unless they wake up and do something which seems beyond them. Nice guy though DS is politics is a contact sport and the Nats have Labour where they want it…..ineffective with MrNice Guy out front.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The question that could be asked is; should energy generation be deemed too important to the economy and the environment to allow any form of private ownership of it, whether that be locally-based or foreign (is there difference in a globalised world?).

    Even though a good question it’s not the one that needs to be asked first. The one that needs to be asked first is: Is power generation across multiple generation techniques more efficient in an artificial market where information is restricted to separate companies or as a state monopoly that can make decisions on the full information? The state monopoly is, of course, more efficient as it allows a more dynamic control of the grid.

    One thing should be noted: The efficiency that a state monopoly in power generation enjoys is a physical efficiency which no amount of bureaucracy will improve – no matter how competitive.

    • grumpy 5.1

      A state monopoly in “generation” is meaningless without a similar monopoly in transmission and distribution.

      Of course total vertical integration right through to selling the energy would also help.

      Strangely, I could support this. We would be almost back to the old model which was State generation and transmission with Local Authority distribution and retail.

      To have so many generators, lines and retail companies in a country the size of a medium European city is insanity.

      • felix 5.1.1

        Yep that’s the crux of it for me too grumpy.

        There was never a good reason for these “companies” to be turned into “companies” at all. No need for “SOEs” or any other artificially separated frankenstein bullshit either.

        • grumpy 5.1.1.1

          As one involved in the industry at the time of the “reforms”, I am aware of some of the background manipulation.

          You are 100% correct felix (not often I can say that 🙂

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        To have so many generators, lines and retail companies in a country the size of a medium European city is insanity.

        You’re actually getting that wrong. First, the country is actually quite a lot bigger than a medium European city and secondly the population, which is what you actually mean, doesn’t matter either. The single dynamic grid (power generation and distribution) is what makes the state monopoly more efficient and thus would do so in Europe as well. As I said, it’s a physical efficiency which no amount of bureaucracy (read: Market) can improve. In fact, increasing the the number of actors in the market actually decreases efficiency thus increasing costs.

        • grumpy 5.1.2.1

          …should have clarified…..

          In terms of area and length of transmission you are right but in terms of the number of suckers (customers) to pay for all this duplication, I think I am……..

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.1

            In that respect you’re correct but the duplication is still less efficient than a state monopoly which is why I said that the population doesn’t matter either.

        • grumpy 5.1.2.2

          It is the ability of the NZ energy companies to own both generation and retail that makes our market so much more “interesting”.

  6. DH 6

    This is a lame attempt at spin, a lot of words to say nothing.

    “The Labour asset-sales policy is “no sales” of existing state-owned assets. The foreign investment policy is no foreign ownership of monopoly infrastructure.”

    If they’re not going to sell any assets then there’s no need to legislate who can or can’t own them. The first statement makes the second superfluous.

    “The electricity generator Contact is already privately owned, so it would be subject to Labour’s foreign investment rules. These are designed to put limits on foreign ownership, not private ownership. There is really no contradiction here.”

    Contact is already majority foreign owned, how are they going to limit ownership of monopoly assets that have already been sold and which are now foreign controlled? Buy them back, force the owners to sell…?

    All I see here is a personal attack on Chris Trotter.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Contact is already majority foreign owned, how are they going to limit ownership of monopoly assets that have already been sold and which are now foreign controlled? Buy them back, force the owners to sell…?

      Is Labour going to tell foreign Contact shareholders that the only people they will be able to sell their shares to are NZers and the NZ Govt? This is going to collapse the price of Contact shares and make it cheap for the Government to nationalise.

      I don’t believe this is what Parker meant, but if it is, he is more Left than anyone else I know in caucus.

  7. PunditX 7

    Blair used the same tactic on the rubber chicken circuit in the run up to the 97 election. One message for business and another for the party faithful. We all know that ended in tears..

    • alex 7.1

      I was just thinking that. This does seem to be a rather obvious case of tailoring the message. Is it any wonder people are listening to Parker and crying Bullshit?

  8. AmaKiwi 8

     
    Incompetent party leadership.
     
    Inexcusable.

  9. Bored 9

    Sorry Eddie, your contention that Trotter is the Hooten of the Left is just a load of total bollocks. The Right wing of the Labour Party, those mealy mouthed “centrists” actually resemble National (Lite). And Trotter quite correctly has called time on them. Parker is another of a long line of careerist middle of the road types, a Dunne in the making. Whilst he occupies centre stage in Labour you can forget any support from the Left, which plays directly into Nationals hands. Perhaps the Left prefer National to Labour pretending to be National.

  10. Bored 10

    Saw comment above about Pagani versus Trotter, non event. Pagani….just another National in drag person. Another reason not to vote Labour.

  11. Fortran 11

    Parker is an sadly an illterate Opposition Finance spokesman. He lacks real business experience to compete with Blinglish – at least he has worked in Treasury as a job, so he has an understanding from whence they come.
    At least Cunliffe has more real business experience, on a broader scale including in the international forum. As we are completely tied up in the world finance market such experience would be more useful to counteract the Nats.
    Parker’s financial experience is Dunedin only.
    Shearer should ignore Robertson and bite the bullet and bring in Cunliffe to the Finance role asap.

    • joe90 11.1

      Looking at Bill’s bio it seems he gained a double so he’d have been at university for at least five years graduating in 1984. He started at treasury in 1987 and gained his seat in 1990.

      So the reality is that he’s had perhaps three years running the family farm and another three as a public servant so when and where did he gain his real business experience?.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        English is a career public servant through and through. Newspaper rounds you had as a kid don’t really count as ‘private sector work’ in this game.

    • Bunji 11.2

      A2 milk’s a lot more successful than Bill’s family farm…

      And Dunedin’s a bigger town than Dipton…

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      Fortran you dipshit, Parker was a partner at a major law firm. English is a career sucker of the tax payers teat.

      Which do you prefer.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    If Chris Trotter is the “Right’s favourite Lefty”, why would he be accusing Labour of right-wing tactics? That makes no logical sense. This post reeks of arse-covering agitprop. The current rule in Labour is very much of the Blairite “Third Way” stripe and we all know how that ended up.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      No one in the Labour caucus is permitted to propose or discuss economic solutions outside of the permitted neoliberal free market framework.

      That’s how sad it has become.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

     
    I have a personal preference between Shearer and Cunliffe.  But the first rule of politics is “Win.”  The second rule of politics is . . . “Win,” etc.
     
    Neither Cunliffe nor Shearer as PM would be remotely as bad as the Nats winning another term.  I want the strongest possible Labour candidate.  IMO Shearer has to prove himself NOW or step aside and let Cunliffe have a shot.
     
    I have nothing personally against Phil Goff.  I was there and congratulated him at his first LEC meeting when he became leader and I was there on the night he conceded the 2011 election.  My anger with Phil is for not stepping aside in late 2009 and early 2010 when it was clear he was not going to beat Key. 
     
    My anger is with the caucus for not getting Phil out and replacing him so we had a stronger candidate for 2011.  We would have a Labour-Green government today if we had had a stronger candidate.  If Shearer can demonstrate superior vote winning skills in the next few months, I’ll back him.  If he can’t, I want us to try to win with Cunliffe.  If Shearer doesn’t have the skills but stays leader, I am not going to waste my time waiting for the caucus to act.  I’ll join and work for the Greens.
     
     
     
     

  14. AmaKiwi 14

     
    I have a personal preference between Shearer and Cunliffe.  But the first rule of politics is “Win.”  The second rule of politics is . . . “Win,” etc.
     
    Neither Cunliffe nor Shearer as PM would be remotely as bad as the Nats winning another term.  I want the strongest possible Labour candidate.  IMO Shearer has to prove himself NOW or step aside and let Cunliffe have a shot.
     
    I have nothing personally against Phil Goff.  I was there congratulating him at his first LEC meeting when he became leader.  I was there on the night he conceded the 2011 election.  My anger with Phil is for not stepping aside in late 2009 and early 2010 when it was clear he was not going to beat Key. 
     
    My anger is with the caucus for not getting Phil out and replacing him so we had a stronger candidate for 2011.  We would have a Labour-Green government today if we had had a stronger candidate.  If Shearer can demonstrate superior vote winning skills in the next few months, I’ll back him.  If he can’t, I want us to try to win with Cunliffe.  If Shearer doesn’t have the skills but stays leader, I am not going to waste my time waiting for the caucus to act.  I’ll join and work for the Greens.
     
     
     
     

  15. QoT 15

    Dammit, then he goes and ruins all your hard work, Len.

    Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

    “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said.

    Source.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    9 hours ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    10 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    18 hours ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    19 hours ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    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
    6 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

No feed items found.