Open mike 23/10/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 23rd, 2012 - 61 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

61 comments on “Open mike 23/10/2012”

  1. just saying 1

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    Taonga Giovanni Tiso’s latest blog – enjoy.

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks, js.  Another consquence of the surveillance society.  Young conservatives attempts to emmorialise themselves results in lasting images of sychophancy and dubious ambitions.  Who amongst them will try to bury the images of themselves with ShonKey in years to come?

    • ianmac 1.2

      Now I know what is meant by a Roman Salute. Fascist-nating.

  2. tc 2

    More sloppy errors on RNZ oz section this morning in a piece on their trillion $ super funds.
    Stated it was architected by PM Keating 20 years ago, err no it was Keating as finance minister Hawke was PM and it was 25 years ago in 87.

    • prism 2.1

      I noticed on Radionz news a foreign reporter covering the Italian convictions of scientists was saying that they had been charged with not preventing an earthquake. I thought surely this is put wrongly? But this report from The Washington Post details.
      The defendants were accused of giving “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” about whether small tremors felt by L’Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have been grounds for a warning.
      The 6.3-magnitude temblor killed 308 people in and around the medieval town and forced survivors to live in tent camps for months….

      Prosecutors had sought convictions and four-year sentences during the trial. They argued that the L’Aquila disaster was tantamount to “monumental negligence,” and cited the devastation wrought in 2005 when levees failed to protect New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

      It’s hard to believe that in an educated society, a trial was brought at all and then for the courts, where the highest intelligence should be found, to seriously demonstrate their embarrassing ignorance with this decision is unbelievable. It’s only a step away from blaming the scientists for witchcraft. Italy must be the laughing stock of the educated world.

      • Dv 2.1.1

        They have been jailed

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/7849949/Scientists-jailed-over-quake-warning-failure

        An Italian court has convicted six scientists and a government official of manslaughter and sentenced them to six years in prison for failing to give adequate warning of a deadly quake which destroyed the central city of L’Aquila and killed more than 300 people in 2009.

      • Vicky32 2.1.2

        The defendants were accused of giving “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” about whether small tremors felt by L’Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have been grounds for a warning.

        Grounds for a warning. Instead they gave reasssurance that everything was fine. So, no, not as bad as it seems.

    • alwyn 2.2

      I think that the date of 1992 is a fair one.
      It was in that year, and with Paul Keating as Prime Minister, that the compulsory scheme was first introduced and every employee and employer had to contribute to such a scheme. (There were exceptions based on age and hours worked but it is reasonable to say it became compulsory then).
      Prior to that there was no compulsory system and one’s super money was pretty readily available with no need to preserve it until retirement.

      • tc 2.2.1

        yeah my bad, it’d been around since 87 but Keating made it compulsory in 92 in lieu of unions forgoing a national wage rise so employers had to contribute.

  3. karol 4

    For those who still believe in the impartiality of the BBC.  Apart from the Jimmy Savile disgrace,

    Had the Newsnight film run, the BBC2 programme would have been the first to reveal that Savile was linked to sexual abuse. Instead, earlier this month, an ITV documentary was first to expose Savile – whose teenage victims, the Met police said earlier this week, may number in excess of 200.

    there’s this report on how the BBC distorted and censored evidence to the contrary, and followed the UK government line on destroying the NHS.
     

    In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Amazing how good the BBC still is, despite years of chronic underfunding. And great that its own internal mechanisms exposed their own failings in the Savile affair. The second report you link to is pretty weak evidence for ‘impartiality’, Karol, given that its just an opinion piece about a perceived weakness in the (online only) coverage of a hardly gripping debate about the NHS.

      Despite all the attacks from the right, either via the privately owned media or via the method of deliberate financial straightjacketing by the last 30 years of UK government, the BBC remains the model for impartial and objective reporting. It’s remarkeable that it is still able to be best practice in the worst decade of media dumbing down the world has ever endured.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Is this what you call “just an opinion piece”, TRP?

        To avoid receiving a stock BBC response – ‘we covered the issue thoroughly with 146 articles including both critics and those in favour’ – considerable time has been spent researching the BBC’s coverage from 1 May 2010, just before the Coalition took office, to 1 April 2012, shortly after the bill was passed. Due to the difficulties of searching within radio and broadcast material without substantial time and resources, the focus has been primarily, but not exclusively, the output of BBC Online, both news and analysis (blogs have been excluded, though their material appears similarly limited).

         
        An in my experience, BBC radio and TV have similar kinds of pro-government bias.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1

          Yes, that’s an opinion piece, Karol, backed up by what the author indicates, in your quote, is understandably limited reseach. In order to prove that the BBC lacks impartiality, they’d have to find proof positive of partiality toward the other position, not merely a lack of BBC coverage of the NHS debate in a style the author approves of.

          The BBC is huge, it employs thousands of reporters and researchers and the vast majority do amazing work in line with the BBC’s commitment to journalistic excellence. The occasional awful mistake, such as the Savile case, does not indicate impartiality. Bear in mind that most other British media don’t give a flying one about impartiality and, in fact, are proud of their partizan politics. It’s The Sun Wot Won It!, remember.

          • karol 4.1.1.1.1

            TRP, all research of media will have it’s limitations.  But the amount of articles looked at, take this beyond and “opinion” piece.  In your characterisation there’s very little, including a lot of peer reviewd articles, that would not be “opinion” pieces.
             
            Total objectivity is never achievable – a mirage.  And I prefer an author indicates the positions they are coming from.  While UK newspapers all do that, the Beeb particularly aims for impartiality. And a lot of people accpet that it s. But, particularly in recent years it has become far more partisan, following the government line.  And there is enough evidence in the linked report to show that.

          • Urban Rascal 4.1.1.1.2

            You don’t have to look far through medialens archives to find references and articles on the fall of the BBC’s impartiality going back to the early days of the Iraq war. There is enough evidence on that site alone that should shake the confidence of anyone who thinks they are always impartial. Their part in the NHS situation is pretty well covered over there also.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        TRP said:

        Amazing how good the BBC still is, despite years of chronic underfunding. And great that its own internal mechanisms exposed their own failings in the Savile affair.

        Hey TRP, can you please give us your defence of the Catholic Church’s treatment and cover up of sexual abuse cases next.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.2

      The Jimmy Savile case is an example of how sexual abuse by people who are “popular” is systemically covered up. 200 victims….all unavenged because he is now dead. At least they FINALLY get some acknowledgement and his name is dragged through public mud.

      Rapist scum.

      • uke 4.2.1

        Such celebrity rape cases are indeed disturbing. But the Savile case would be par for the course in a country like NZ, where there is an appallingly low conviction rate for sexual crimes generally. As this 2009 article notes:
         
        “Only 13 per cent of sexual violation cases reported to police end in a conviction, the first study of its kind in New Zealand has found…. [while] a separate survey in 2006 found that only 9 per cent of all sexual offences were reported to the police, making the conviction rate even lower.
         
        If there was only a 13% conviction rate with any other category of serious criminal cases, there would a public outcry and commission of inquiry.

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      it is all most “monomythical”; la la la la

    • karol 5.2

      And a more detailed report on it:

      The Chicago Plan was suggested in the early 1930s by leading US economists as a means of escaping the Great Depression. It is named after the university of its chief proponent, Henry Simons, but was best summarised by Irving Fisher, a Yale economist, in 1936. …

      The key features of the plan are the requirement of banks to put up 100 per cent reserve backing for deposits, at the same time stripping the banks of their ability to create money out of thin air.

      And this:

      Solon, the Athenian leader implemented the original Chicago Plan/New Deal in 599 BC to relieve farmers in hock to oligarchs enjoying private coinage. He forgave debts, returned lands seized by creditors, and set floor-prices for commodities (like Franklin Roosevelt), and fuelled the money supply with state-issued “debt-free” coinage.
      The ancient Romans studied Solon’s reforms and 150 years later copied his ideas and created their own fiat money system under Lex Aternia in 454 BC.
      Fiat currencies have been around since man began trading.  The Spartans banned gold coins and replaced them with iron disks with little intrinsic value.  In early Rome bronze tablets were favoured.  Their worth was determined by law, much like the dollar, euro or pound today.

       

       

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Yep, even the big guys are starting to realise that the present method is bunk and that we need a new system.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Quoting article:

      To do this on a permanent basis in peace-time would be to change in the nature of western capitalism. “People wouldn’t be able to get money from banks. There would be huge damage to the efficiency of the economy,” he said.

      Bollocks. There’d be an increase in efficiency as the cost of interest (est. at 50% of all costs) would pretty much disappear over night.

      Arguably, it would smother freedom and enthrone a Leviathan state. It might be even more irksome in the long run than rule by bankers.

      Done properly it would increase democracy and thus freedom.

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.1

        Watch out for the introduction of a new global currency – IMF drawing rights, or a variation thereof. The powers that be are preparing for the possibility that their currently USD denominated wealth might not be worth very much in a few years time.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_drawing_rights

        • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1.1

          Global currency won’t work as the Euro is presently proving.

          • Colonial Viper 5.4.1.1.1

            Sure, but do you see any signs that a small problem like “not working” is stopping them from trying it on anyways? 😈

        • Rogue Trooper 5.4.1.2

          Yet, that is something my fellows and I were just discussing last night actually, and, I have been reading signs of it today (o.k; it was in the real world media) 🙂

  4. BLiP 6

    .

    First they came for . . .

    . . . Leah-Lynn Plante, a thin, tattooed woman who volunteers at a bookstore that specializes in anarchist literature, shivered in her underwear in the backyard as a SWAT team hauled out computers, clothing, books and artwork — looking, the agents said, for evidence of who participated in this year’s May Day demonstrations in Seattle that saw smashed windows at banks and clashes with the police.

    What bothered Plante was that they weren’t just looking for sticks and black masks. The FBI search warrant also listed “anarchist” and “anti-government” literature and material among items to be seized.

    “It was like something out of George Orwell’s ‘1984.’ It was absolutely horrendous,” Plante, 24, said shortly before she was taken into custody Oct. 10 for failing to testify before a federal grand jury in Seattle about her friends in the anarchist movement . . .

    • Rogue Trooper 6.1

      Now that is Interesting; the thought of greater dissemination had crossed my mind ( maybe u read it)
      however,
      monastics have always played a role in the preservation of the written thought (The Name of The Rose) and nowadays I prefer that type of cell (gonna be a caravan actual-factual) ala Sister Wendy.
      There sure have been some great comments on these threads over the labour weekend.
      Bless You All

  5. ianmac 7

    At the end of Bryan Gould’s piece today was a bit rather interesting to me :

    …….a little-noticed remark made by the Prime Minister in a television interview earlier this year in which he said that “any tax sucks money out of the economy. There’s a limited amount of money in the economy. So when you put up a new tax, or you tax people more, then it sucks that money out”. Let us put to one side the dubious assertion that “there’s a limited amount of money in the economy”; the really interesting part of Mr Key’s brief foray into economic theory is his apparent belief that money raised through taxation and spent on public purposes is somehow no longer part of, or of any value to, the economy.

    If it is “sucked out” of the economy, where does he think it goes – into the stratosphere? And are all those elements that are critical to our living standards and that are paid for out of taxation of no economic value? If that is his belief, perhaps his emphasis on cutting public spending becomes easier to comprehend, if not to support.

    So the superior Economist PM uses this reasoning? Really!!
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10842195

    • muzza 7.1

      ian, the tax (paye) we pay mostly services the foreign (unaudited) debt, so that sucking out Key refers, is in fact true.

      Reads like a rare moment of honesty from key!

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Interest costs made up $4.3B or 4.6% of total government expenses in the year to 30th June 2012. So the tax we pay does not “mostly service the foreign debt”.

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun12/017.htm

        • muzza 7.1.1.1

          I’ve posted previously comments which prove your comment to be incorrect. Treasury don’t know, or don’t pretend to know squat, and are continually wrong in their forecasting, so the figures produced, are to be considered the same low quality!

          Ill put it up again later!

          • muzza 7.1.1.1.1

            International assets and liabilities New Zealand’s international assets ($m) New Zealand’s international liabilities ($m) New Zealand’s net international investment position ($m)
            International equity 65,127 65,072 55
            International debt 113,667 253,882 -140,215
            Total assets/Total liabilities/Net IIP 178,794 – 318,954 -140,160

            Source: Statistics New Zealand, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: June 2011 quarter

            http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ParlSupport/ResearchPapers/3/4/6/00PlibCIP121-New-Zealand-s-International-Investment-Position.htm

            “New Zealand government official stats show $318 billion NZ originated private institution credit money. They then treat as assets and deduct what has been invested overseas and come up with what they call Net International Investment Position which appears much less alarming despite that money competting to find profit in an international financial system where the international debt is also unrepayable from the day its born.
            Even if the foreign investments from NZ where able to be repatriated in quick time they would come back to only the wealthiest few who control them and not benefit wider society as implied. Just more smoke and mirrors;

            $318 billion debt based money supply at annual interest rate of 7% equals $22 odd billion interest repayment that is essentially rent upon a revolving line of credit that circulates as our money supply.
            Given most of that interest finds its way back to the same largest owners of larger international banks who own largest stake holdings in Australian banks who own NZ banks, it puts to shame the 1.3 billion they give back in tax and shout from the roof tops as being so beneficial to the prosperity of the nation”

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      The angle Key is coming from is that the government is, on average, ‘less efficient’ at spending money than private individuals are. For example, the government may give tax money to beneficiaries who don’t need it (eg, rich people scamming the system with trusts), or build white elephant motorways that aren’t needed. Obviously private individuals make bad decisions too, like buying McDonald’s for tea 5 days in a row, but on average, governments are supposed to spend money ‘less efficiently’ than private individuals.

      • muzza 7.2.1

        There’s a limited amount of money in the economy.

        Why there is a limited amount of money? – Because 97% enters the economy as debt controlled by banking cartel, so the more money that comes into the system, the more goes back out in interest payments, mostly to the same players.

        Raising taxes which, will end up paying back ever higher amounts of interest (for more monetary supply), sucks money from the economy, and will not come back in by govt spending, because they borrow/tax to cover that spending, which means more/higher interest next year = higher taxes and/or less spending, or yet more borrowing, either way = more money sucked out the economy, one way or another!

        The "sovereign" government can produce interest free money to build schools, hospitals etc and fund them, while tweaking the tax system to control inflation – NO need for foreign borrowing, and the taxes including any inefficient spending, can loop right back into NZ inc!

        Key was being honest, as under the current borrowing (funding) methods, taxes suck money out!

        Govt inefficiency should by your explanation, put more money into the economy, but currently thats not how it works!

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.2

        but on average, governments are supposed to spend money ‘less efficiently’ than private individuals.

        Thanks for repeating meaningless neolib bullshit transplanted into NZ from the US elections.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Actually, what sucks money out of the economy is profit. Profit accumulates and, as it accumulates, it attracts interest which exponentially increases the rate of accumulation. The present method of off-setting that accumulation is by the private banks printing ever more debt based money which also bears interest. The natural result of this exponential accumulation is an economy that is frozen by debt and a society with ever increasing amounts of poverty.

      Exactly as we seen in every recession throughout all recorded history.

  6. Red Rosa 8

    This from yesterday’s Open Mike. Good questions. Can we expect answers?

    ” Are all police allowed to lie under oath in any hearing?

    And are they allowed indemnity from investigation and prosecution if they are caught out?

    Or is the power to lie under oath with indemnity only permitted for senior police in exceptional, or politically charged cases?

    In a thinly veiled threat, the Police Association have backed Chief Inspector Grant Wormald, demanding that he must not be investigated for committing perjury in the Kim Dotcom hearing.

    With this sort of open (and secret) support, it is little wonder that Chief Inspector Grant Wormald has now been proven to be no stranger to giving false testimony under oath in another hearing.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/7845990/Dotcom-raid-officer-headed-bike-gang-probe

    • ianmac 8.1

      It does appear RR that “they think” that the means is justified if it does good. But what a slippery slope that is! Perhaps CI Wormald will retire and therefore be beyond reach, but then will reappear in some well paid sinecure.

      • Red Rosa 8.1.1

        A well considered forensic question to the Minister of Police would seem to be overdue on this one.

    • vto 8.2

      Well it just proves what most people already know – in these sorts of circumstances (being in the target range of the police) you just cannot trust them. They will lie and cheat to get what they want.

    • muzza 8.3

      What does under oath, actually mean in legal speak, that will assist in understanding selective consequence such as possible “purgery charges”

      Whats a courtroom represent anyway, and why would being under oath, carry any more or less of a difference for someone to lie, than outside a court room….someone, anyone, as it should be pretty straight forward to explain, but its not is it!

  7. muzza 10

    Syria rebels pessimistic on ceasefire plan

    Syrian rebels cast doubt on Monday on prospects for a temporary truce aimed at stemming bloodshed in the 19-month-old conflict, saying it was not clear how an informal ceasefire this week could be implemented.

    Notice how the article title ensures that anyone who only reads headlines, or the first paragraph, gets the impression that the rebels are the “trusted entity”, because they get to cast the judgement, as they are “righteous”

    But neither Syria’s army nor the rebels have shown signs of easing off as Eid nears. More than 200 people were killed on Sunday in fighting and bombardments including 60 soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    Then a little further down you get the above, which tell the reader neither side are “easing off”

    Yet more propaganda from Reuters, who are owned by AP – Never an explantion in the NZ press on who the rebels really are, even though, abroad in the UK, and even US media articles attempt to clarify some of the complexities..

    No such effort in NZ though, keep em nice and dumb, eh bro!

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Maybe Jenny can shed some light on all the different countries that the Syrian rebel fighters and assorted anti-Assad jihadists come from.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.2

      into Jordan and Lebanon now

    • Pascal's bookie 10.3

      Syrian rebels cast doubt on Monday on prospects for a temporary truce aimed at stemming bloodshed in the 19-month-old conflict, saying it was not clear how an informal ceasefire this week could be implemented

      Notice how the article title ensures that anyone who only reads headlines, or the first paragraph, gets the impression that the rebels are the “trusted entity”, because they get to cast the judgement, as they are “righteous”

      Didn’t notice that at all. Didn’t get that impression either, frankly, it’s a fucking stretch muzz.

      That is straight reporting. There was a proposed ceasefire. One of the parties to the conflict (the rebels) said they can’t see how it would work. That statement by the rebels casts doubt on the prospects for the ceasefire.

      It sure as shit doesn’t give the rebels a righteous tinge, they are saying a ceasefire can fuck right off, that’s not normally the way you propagandise in favour of someone. And it’s just a falt out fact that the rebels get to cast judgement on the ceasefire. They are a party to the conflict, ffs. their judgement on it, stands. the media, you, the UN, nor anybody else gets to gainsay a party to a cinflict on whether or not they are going to keep fighting.

      That passage is just straight reporting, every word of it justifiable. The piece is not a feature, which is why it doesn;t give you a whole bunch of background on who the players are. That is not what it is for. Reuters is a wire service, they report updates to ongoing stories for dailies.

      And the theory is usually that they are owned by the Rothschilds, not AP. Is this AP idea new less jewy meme the shadow people have come up with, or is it just something your gut told you?

  8. karol 11

    This looks like a worthwhile meeting to attend in the Auckland area:
     

    What:  Public meeting as part of the 26 for Babies campaign, supporting Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks.

     
    Tonight 7pm – interesting line-up.

    Michele A’Court in the chair
    Jacquie Brown – famous from such things as Keep Calm and Carry On
    Sue Moroney MP – Labour
    Jan Logie MP – Greens
    Marama Davidson – Te Wharepora Hou
    Professor Tim Hazeldine – Economist

     

  9. Te Reo Putake 12

    Headline of the Day: Whale makes human-like sounds.
     
    Now, if only they could teach him to stop making shit up…

  10. Rogue Trooper 13

    To The powers that be,
    a psalm ( cameron has proverbs, Now Thats Ironic ! )

    “God presides in the great assembly;
    he gives judgement among the “gods”:

    How long will you defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?

    Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
    maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

    Rescue the weak and needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    They know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;

    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    I said, You are “gods”
    you are all sons of the Most High.

    But you will die like mere men;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

    Rise up O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.

    # 82

    on a lighter note,

    Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But,
    their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

    2 Cor 3: 12-

    God Bless The Unions and their Members

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  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    3 weeks ago