Pagani and Edwards do not understand the working class

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, November 1st, 2023 - 87 comments
Categories: class, class war, Deep stuff, Media, Parliament - Tags: ,

Bryce Edwards has posted this article suggesting that the country needs more working class in Parliament.

At one level I could not agree more.

There are far too many wealthy people in Parliament and most of them are interested only in maintaining and improving their and their fellow wealthy people’s plights.

But I had trouble with the article.  Bryce extensively relied on an article posted by Josie Pagani.  And she was the only commentator he referred to in his piece.

I must admit I have always had some concern at the choice of Pagani as spokesperson for the working class.

For a start Josie’s background appears to be rather middle class.  From the Herald in 2012:

Josie Pagani was raised in a political family and her roots are in Labour but not blue collar Labour. She remembers as a girl meeting her great uncle, Rewi Alley, on one of his returns from China. Her mother, author Elspeth Sandys, was very active in the British Labour Party and Josie joined as a teenager.

“I got very involved in the miners’ strike in England on the picket line. Being radical when I was in my 20s meant having ‘Coal not Dole’ stickers and standing on the picket line. Nowadays … you’re standing outside the mines with a ‘Keep the Coal in the Hole’ sticker.”

Her parents are both New Zealanders but they split when she was aged 4. Her father headed to the US and her mother took her and her brother to a small village in the Cotswolds, Ascott-under-Wychwood.

New Zealand-born actor the late Bruce Purchase became her step-father and worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, in film and in television.

And her support for working class values is less than stellar.

For instance she said this about casualisation of labour contracts at Ports of Auckland during the time that work conditions were under threat:

“[t]alking about the ports. ‘Casualisation’ scares us because it sounds like short hand for bad hours, low pay and no annual leave. It sounds like life in the early industrial revolution pre-unions. In some jobs it is. The only reason we have a 40 hr week and weekends is because unions fought for us. But I’ve spent my political life as a working mum, calling for more flexibility. And flexibility has to work both ways.

This was at a time when the Maritime Union was under siege.  The principle of working class solidarity is a very strong one but one which Pagani clearly did not understand or ascribe to.

The interesting thing is that Bryce’s article had no links.  What was his primary source?

A quick google found this website. It has an interesting array of contributors including:

  • Paula Bennett
  • Act MP Karen Chhour
  • Ray Avery
  • Economist Cameron Bagrie
  • Two with links to the Taxpayers Union including Jordan Williams
  • One with links to the Free Speech Union
  • Two with links to the New Zealand Institute
  • One with links to Groundswell
  • Four with links to the Maxim Institute
  • Bill English’s daughter
  • David Farrar
  • Liam Hehir
  • Employers Federation boss Kirk Hope
  • Sunny Kaushal
  • Former National MP Agnes Lolehi
  • Former National MP Simon O’Connor
  • Sean Plunket
  • Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson who happens to be married to National Party president Peter Goodfellow.

There are a few others, some with a community background, but the overwhelming sense is that this is a website dominated by right wing thinking.  You would think that a self respecting leftie would run a million miles from such a grouping.

Getting back to the essence of Bryce’s article, of course there should be more working class people in Parliament.  Labour’s Pacifica caucus was an example of what can be achieved.  At their height they had a number of people from ordinary backgrounds who were dedicated to serving their communities.

Pagani’s and Edwards’ comments hide the reality that there is a clear class distinction between Labour MPs and National MPs.

Edwards notes in his article:

Josie Pagani has recently pointed out that although only about nine per cent of the general public own more than one house, nearly two-thirds of Parliamentarians do. And while only one in four New Zealanders have a tertiary education degree, in Parliament it’s nine out of ten.

This means that our political system excludes most of the population – those who don’t have capital, great wealth, or aren’t highly educated. So, this large part of society is increasingly feeling disenfranchised. Pagani says: “If a group of people don’t see themselves – or their concerns – represented in their parliament, trust in government declines. Our country gets more divided.”

This crude analysis lacks finesse.

For instance based on information from the last Parliamentary register of pecuniary interests while Labour MPs have interests on average in 1.7 properties this includes interests for some in Maori Land which bolsters the numbers.  About half own either one property only or no property.

The Greens own even fewer properties on average.  The figure for their caucus is 1.2 properties per MP.

By comparison National MPs own an average of 3.4 properties each, double Labour’s number.  Nine National MPs from the last Parliament had interests in five or more properties.  And only six out of 34 of National’s MPs have interests in only one property.

As for Pagani’s comment about Kiwis having a tertiary education degree the figure quoted (90% of the population do not have a tertiary degree) only makes sense if you include everyone including children and the very old.  In 2021 over 60% of kiwis aged between 25 and 64 had a tertiary certificate or diploma or bachelor’s degree or higher.

Her crude analysis suggests that the sons and daughters of the working class who manage to get a degree lack a moral mandate to being there.  For me I would prefer that we have a Parliament with enough lawyers in it so that they can pass and vet coherent laws.

I look forward to the day where Edwards and Pagani say something nice about the Labour Party.  I suspect I may be waiting for a while.

87 comments on “Pagani and Edwards do not understand the working class ”

  1. Barfly 1

    I have absolutely no time for that pair of shills /barf

    • Bearded Git 1.1


    • Patricia Bremner 1.2

      yes lol same. Pair of self important fools.

      • pat 1.2.1

        a pair of self important fools …probably (most high profile commentators are)…however that dosnt necessarily mean their observations are incorrect.

        Labour are undergoing a review of why they were so badly defeated at the election…they would do well to consider all views, though history suggests they likely will latch on to those that are convenient.

        • gsays

          They (Labour) remind me of the Irish rugby team, 17 wins in a row, historic series win here in Aotearoa, Grand Slam, 6 Nations… not a reason to question the team or methods.

          Ardern with record high approval polling, squeaking in 2017 election, unprecedented majority MMP win in 2020. Why question anything?

          Both failed to adequately blood new talent, relied too heavily on too few individuals, didn't change tactics and ultimately got found out by a hungry opposition.

          • Tricledrown

            Labour don't have many capable MP's as there are to many carpet baggers brought/bought in to electorates. 5 senior cabinet members all resigned/sacked who all were out of their depth brought this Labour govt down .from breaking lockdown by the diesel David Clark,Kiri Allen, Michael Wood. Nash etc if Kiri Allen hadn't f'd up then Labour stood a chance

        • Thinker

          If anyone's reading this who has input into the review:

          1. Think post-ww2 Churchill. People were just tired from the war and voted for (any) change. Hence the old saw about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Whichever party had to take NZ through the ramifications of Covid would likely have been out this election.
          2. The incumbent government is at a disadvantage when campaigning because of the potential for the "Why are you saying it's necessary when you've had 6 years to implement it…" challenge. This time, it is the left’s turn to have that advantage.
          3. "Leaders light fires inside people, not underneath them" – I'm not talking about Labour Party leadership, I'm talking about how Labour needs to motivate the general public. This term, there will be many opportunities to call out the government for having promised the earth and then not delivering, thereby presenting a lack of credibility. But, don't rely on people to jump to that conclusion without help. You don't need to appear grumpy. Hipkins was on target in the last Leaders' debate. Start from there and build on it.
          4. People are hungry for a government that will grow the size of the pizza, as opposed to bickering about who should get the biggest slice of the current pizza. Start with a single, overarching policy direction, then develop policies out of that, so people can share "The" vision. This should be a vision that relates to New Zealand's place in the global marketplace, not whether GST off fruit and vegetables are better than tax cuts.
          5. Don't create policy from Focus Groups – Find The Parade, then get in front of it.
          6. For Labour and the Greens, definitely, and possibly Te Pati Maori as well, have your unique selling points, of course, but make sure your core policies align and make sense. In my opinion, for example, the Green’s wealth tax, that seemed to me to be a bit draconian based as it was/is on taxing unearned income. It seemed to me an envy tax and far less logical than a Capital Gains Tax.
          • pat

            You do realise that what you advocate is what every political organisation will be attempting?

            The question for Labour isnt why they lost the election (they were always likely to do so as the economy turned south) but rather why they lost so badly?

            Their base support appears around 25%, and possibly declining….with a changing demographic (self inflicted) as an increasing proportion of voters are born offshore Labour cannot rely on historical affiliation to maintain even that level of support into the future

          • Barfly

            "People are hungry for a government that will grow the size of the pizza, as opposed to bickering about who should get the biggest slice of the current pizza."

            Wealth in NZ

            The top 10% are eating half the f***ing pizza the bottom 50% get the crumbs only so NO

  2. Anne 2

    You are far too kind mickysavage.

    They are a pair of journalistic fraudsters who are only in the commentary game for cash and fame. One talks bullshit and the other prints bullshit spread by others. Both are as shallow as they come and haven't had a single thought-provoking analysis of any merit between them.

    I look forward to the day when they are both exposed for what they are… charlatans.

  3. Zero400 3

    I was raised in poverty. I obtained a degree and had a successful career due entirely to the welfare state subsequently destroyed by the 1984 Labour government and all following governments.

    But of course my generation is retiring from politics, not entering. Younger people with degrees either have private resources or substantial debt.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      I have a similar background. Thanks to the trade union movement and summer work in a factory I managed to get through University with minimal debt that was paid off shortly afterwards.

      My kids each had reasonably significant debt getting through University but a free home and parental support. After they graduated my wife and I offered to effectively pay it off so they could buy houses.

      This was our personal trip through life.

      I am deeply conscious as a child of South Auckland that others have not had as much luck as me.

      The 1980s were a personal embarrassment and although I was fine others were not.

      We should never accept this from Labour politicians. They should stick to the basics, helping people including poor people have meaningful lives.

      • aj 3.1.1

        …. significant debt getting through University but a free home and parental support

        As our two were in tertiary education in other cites, couldn't do the free home. As we were both working, we paid enough that they never had students loans. I never kept count, but the combined 6 years at uni would have cost us $200k in 1996 – 2002 dollars.

        Don't regret a penny of it.

      • theotherpat 3.1.2

        spot on yes

  4. SPC 4

    And ultimately, even if Labour decided to put more working people into Parliament, there’s a big question about whether such people would be ready to embrace a party that long ago abandoned the working class.

    He makes a claim for which there was no supporting evidence in the article. He's peddling a right wing narrative about the Labour Party (WFF tax credits, an ambition for the MW to be a LW and the Fair Pay Agreement Industry Awards, apprenticeships end of the 90 day trials).

    Presumably he sees the former unionist Little as a lawyer – as someone holding a degree and therefore not representative of the working class. The same would apply if an economist of the NZCTU was an MP. The President of the NZCTU speaks at the party's annual conference.

    Maybe he's confusing Labour's timidity on wealth and estate taxation and windfall profit's (and rent increase caps) with policy on workers rights and wages – now that's just inadequate.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Not easy to see any relation between Labour nowadays & the working class, but I have a hunch that self-identifying as working class isn't something that happens much anymore.

    When was the last time social science academics researched the issue? Can't recall any in my lifetime. File it under mythology.

    You could go with patronage, however. Patrons doing trickle-down to help the poor buy stuff to keep themselves alive. Documentation could be provided by social scientists doing a survey asking the poor if Labour govts have helped them and was that patronising. I suspect there'd be a significant difference in measurement.

    • pat 5.1

      "but I have a hunch that self-identifying as working class isn't something that happens much anymore."

      Really…what does someone who gets paid weekly/fortnightly on an hourly basis consider themselves?…an entrepreneur?

      If you work for someone else (company or individual) and they determine what you do and how much you are remunerated for that effort then you are working class.

    • Incognito 5.2

      When was the last time social science academics researched the issue? Can't recall any in my lifetime. File it under mythology.

      You seem to know an awful lot about mythology and astrology but also seem unable, or unwilling, to research anything that you know little about. Learn to use Google before your nonsensical display of ignorance and bias.

      Here, for your edification, first hit from Google:

      Feeling working class: affective class identification and its implications for overcoming inequality

      According to a 2016 survey, sixty percent of the United Kingdom’s population identify as working-class (Evans and Mellon Citation2016). Given that just twenty-five percent of the population work in manual labouring occupations, and that forty-seven percent of those in professional and managerial jobs, which would usually be considered middle-class professions, describe themselves as working-class, it is apparent that there is a disjuncture between the measurements social scientists use to determine class position (commonly including those based on occupation, wealth, home postcode and education – see O’Brien Citation2018 for a discussion of measurement methods), and the ‘felt’ experiences of those ‘identifying’ as working-class.

  6. Anker 6
    • Is the Laboir Partynot interested in what went wrong that lead to them losing almost have of the vote of their2020 result?

    you do acknowledge that Pagani and Edwards have a point about more working class people in parliament. Then commenters on this thread go on to discredit these two, rather than engage in some soul searching as to what the party would look like if it was dominated by true working class people

    As a former member of the Labour Party and left winger, I say Pagani and Edwards ideas about more working class in parliament and Labour is a good one.

    I also think Labour would do well to talk to the people for example who voted for NZ first. They are likely the people who didn’t want National and Acts policies for workers, but absolutely were never going to vote Labour this time round or perhaps ever.

    tbh, and I know I run the risk of sounding arrogant here, they would do well to talk to someone like me. Grew up in working class circumstances, mum left dad before there was the DPB. Mother and uncle life members of the party, I have always only ever voted two ticks labour. A party member who worked hard for them and donated.

    didn’t vote labour or the left this time. Probably never will again. Labour might have some interest in finding out why they lost me. Or not

    • gsays 6.1

      Good comment Anker.

      There was a very interesting guest on RNZ yesty arvo, talking about cancel culture from both the left end right.

      There is strong evidence for what he asserts in the comments to this post. Attack the author so you don't have to consider their message.

      I'm no fan of Pagani but her observation about Coal not Dole and Leave the coal in the ground resonates. A local example would be the opposition to the hydro dams built in Muldoon's time and the relatively progressive place, energy wise, they put Aotearoa in nowadays.

      If we were to have more working class in Parliament, we would need to have state funded election campaigns to lessen the need for the individual to fundraise themselves and to level the playing field.8

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        I agree Labour should do some soul searching. However Pagani's and Edwards' contributions feel like the use of right wing gocha arguments rather than a serious discussion about the issue.

        The problem with their message is that the small amount of analysis I did shows that their sweeping conclusions are wrong.

        • tc

          'Sweeping conclusions' is incredibly generous mickey.

          BS and Spin from paid msm opinionators is what that is IMO.

        • Anker

          I didn't read what Pagani or Edwards wrote and therefore can't comment on whether they seem like right wing gotcha arguments. Both I think claim to be left wing….but correct me if I am wrong on this.

          "there sweeping conclusions are wrong" what that there should be more geniune working class people in parliament? I thought you agreed? No matter.

          I think it would be interesting though to consider what sort of party Labour would be in the true working class were Labour MPs……….what would be the pros and cons of this?

          • weka

            Both I think claim to be left wing….but correct me if I am wrong on this.

            Don't think Edwards says his political allegiance, but I don't think he is left wing.

            Pagani says she's left wing but the reason she is persona non grata with left wing people is because she's been politically active in keeping the Overton Window in NZ based in neoliberal centrism. She should have set up a new party holding that position rather than trying to pull Labour further that way, she would have more respect then.

            Left wing has a specific meaning. It doesn't mean voting Labour (eg there are swing voters or apolitical people who vote Labour), nor having liberal values (in NZ liberal values are held across the political spectrum). Left wing is associated with socialism and collective good and has a long history of politics that informs what it is.

            I haven't read Edwards' or Pagani's pieces but based on what micky has said and what I know of the two of them, my guess is they are trying to advocate for working class voices by separating them from the labour movement and leftist politics. This is dangerous from a left pov imo because of the rise of populism, including centrist populism, and the connections between that and rising fascism internationally.

            The problem the left has is that we are so many decades into neoliberalism, and there are many people now who don't have any memory of the time before that. There are still left wing people complaining about Labour and the loss of a working class party, but those that end up dissing the left or voting on the right are not allies of the working class imo. I was raised middle class and have lived a partly underclass life, so maybe take my view with a grain of salt, but as a feminist, there are no good things to be had for women from the right or the continuation of neoliberalism.

            • Sanctuary

              "…She should have set up a new party holding that position…"

              Pagani might be centrist grifter, but she isn't stupid. You know what happens when liberal centrists set up their own party claiming the high ground of common sense anti-politics? This happens

              "…The Independent Group for Change, also known as Change UK, was a British centrist, pro-European Union political party, founded in February 2019 and dissolved ten months later, after all its MPs lost their seats at the 2019 general election…"

              The likes of Pagani and Edwards basically desire a world where they get cushy jobs on government quangos policing the Overton window.

              • weka

                The likes of Pagani and Edwards basically desire a world where they get cushy jobs on government quangos policing the Overton window.


                I'll be bringing 'policing the Overton window' into my lexicon.

        • mike

          Quite right Micky and congratulations on your post.

          The Labour Party does nothing but soul searching. Remember 'Labour Listens'. We soul search because we are a progressive party that delivers evidence based legislation to solve problems people have. All people.

          Since Anker waved their personal qualifications to be a working class paragon I feel I can add mine.

          At 76 I am a product of a brilliant experiment in practical socialism. Franklin and Elenor Roosvelt's New Deal – delivered through our Labour Party lead by your namesake Micky Savage. I grew up, 5 kids in a sturdy state cottage, where Dad loved Mum and brought home only just enough for us to live on. Because of the covenant of the New Deal our parents believed in the promise of a fairer and brighter future and took advantage of the helping hand Labour gave us – wages for wives, state housing, free education into university or trades, and the myriad things progressive working class people like Peter Fraser, et al, delivered.

          We rose into a life of more choices than Mum and Dad had leaving school at 12. In fact we gained the resilience needed to take on anything and everything. As the five of us did in our individual ways. The New Deal gave working families like ours a chance to have a freer, more stimulating, and creative life – we could be whatever we wanted to be.

          Yet we none of us ever forgot the lessons our parents taught us to count our blessings and remain loyal to those who had provided the means to achieve them. The unique chances we were given have always been the basis of our staunch loyalty to the Labour Party. We want for our kids what we had. It worked. Our free lives have allowed us to no long need the helping hand governments can give – as well as to never forget those who need that hand now.

          There are those like John Key who took the chances of the New Deal gave and promptly pulled up the ladder behind them. But none of the thousands who forgot to count their blessings vote for Labour. They've taken the gift they've been given and voted for posher parties. Empty, greedy parties who want only more for themselves and to hell with the others they choose not to know. Sneering, angry, punishing people whose values are based in prejudice.

          The two people you discussed in your post are spouting their lines. They're fakes to say we need more working class in Parliament – they don't believe that at all – its just sloganeering to bolster their master's nastiness. And those like the commenters above who play the holier than thou game and slander their own party using the enemies lines are beneath contempt. Their threats to abandon us we gladly embrace. Beat it.

          Since Helen Clark and Michael Cullen's time. and I know into the future, the Labour Party have and will espouse the values I have – be compassionate to others who need a hand and be humble when you have drunk at the well of equality and freedom.

          I thank Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins and all the other clever working class MP's who have benefitted from progressive governments and not forgotten at whose hand they did. In these last six years we have seen an out-there Labour party driving the values of the New Deal in the most difficult of circumstances, with humour, gumption and intelligence. History will be much kinder to them than these snarky couch-based critics.

          Our Labour Party is full of working class people who know where they came from and who strive now to show the path of enlightenment and freedom to others who want to find it.

          • Anker

            Not sure if you are taking a swipe at me Mike when you say

            "And those like the commenters above who play the holier than thou game and slander their own party using the enemies lines are beneath contempt. Their threats to abandon us we gladly embrace. Beat it."

            I don't think I am slandering Labour. I am merely saying they lost me as a loyal party member and voter. Do you really think people should stay loyal to a political party if they find themselves disagreeing with what the party has done and how it conducts itself? Its a democracy mate and I am entitled to vote for whoever I like.

            I am afraid if you were referring to me Mike "their threats to abandon us we gladly embrace" comes a little too late. I have already resigned from Labour about a year ago and I didn't vote for them.

            It seems some of the people on this post are not really interested in finding out things that contributed to Labour losing the election. Your call

          • Darien Fenton

            Thank you.

          • Louis

            yes Mike, well said, and thank you for sharing that.

        • gsays

          "..their sweeping conclusions are wrong."

          From yr own interpretation of the numbers, 50% of Labour MPs have 'property interests' compared to the (undisputed claim) of 10% of the public.

          It matters not, the property interests of National nor Act, when it's Labour that needs to reconnect with it's constituency.

          As for the education issue, it sounds equally spurious to equate " tertiary certificate or diploma" with a degree.

          I get it, we aren't to approve of the mouthpieces, obvious by the 'guilt by association' (another habit of the left cancel culture) list you provide, unfortunately some of what comes from those orifices rings true-

          "This should involve questions about why the party exists, and who exactly it represents."

          "…parties of the left still promise a lot to the working class, but once in power “they reflect the priorities of the college-educated middle classes – who now run these parties. Ban plastic bags. Subsidies for EVs. Cycleways, ban hate speech”""

          "The original Labour Party was based in the trade union movement, but by the 1980s it was a middle-class party – which is why the Fourth Labour Government was so easily captured by the neoliberal economic reform programme."

          Edit; I say none of this to gloat, I get some are mourning the election loss, I suppose I mourned a few years back.
          I sincerely believe this country needs an old school workers party that can be inclusive, bring most with them. Basically what Labour used to be pre neo liberalism.

      • Anker 6.1.2

        Thanks Gsays. And thanks verymuch for the link. Will listen.

        I am no fan of Pagani either or though she did a good job of moderating the FSU debate on Do some conversations only lead to harm. It was well worth watching.

        I don't have to be a fan of people to read them and consider their point of view.

  7. Ghostwhowalks 7

    National also is no longer just farmers, business owners and the haute bourgeoisie

    Luxon- BCom Corporate manager/salesman

    Willis- BA Dip Journ Party cadre ( never worked in journalism)

    Bishop LLB Party cadre ( never worked as a lawyer)

    Shane Reti MB ChB- medical doctor

    Paul Goldsmith MA author political advisor

    Louise Upston

    Erica Stanford BA ( politics) Journalist TV production-lobbyist

    Matt Doocey BSc Hons MSc MA Psychologist/health Management

    • Anker 7.1

      Ghostwhowalks, with all due respect this was not about who National should have as MPs. It was about the suggestion by two supposedly left commentators that labour should have more true working class MPs.

      • Ghostwhowalks 7.1.1

        Ever noticed why it never comes up how National has strayed from its roots, its only Labour who is concern trolled on this.

        But feel free to concern troll me instead

        • Anker

          Well this post was about Labour. Of course you are perfectly entitled to bring up National. I was merely commenting on how it might be constructive to try and figure out what went wrong for Labour this time. That's what the post was about.

          Two commentators suggested that Labour needs to become more working class. Agree or disagree about that, argue your point. But what I experience here is people largely not reflecting on that. Instead they try to discredit Edwards and Pagani, or say words to the effect that "National does it too" i.e list the background of the National candidates and argue they strayed from their roots (that maybe the case but it ain't going to tell you much about where Labour went wrong).

          BTW calling me a concern troll is also part of avoiding what the issues are.

          I would suggest everyone listen to the link Gsays put up, an interview with someone who wrote a book about cancel culture and how both the left and the right avoid engaging in debate by using strategies that don't address the arguemnt. IMO this has become a prodominate feature on the left and is part of what drove me away from it. Its not an arguement calling someone a Terf for example, or smearing people as Nazis, when clearly they are not.

  8. Powerman 8

    Blessed be the meek for they will inherit the Earth, two flaws in that statement–the meek don't want to inherit the Earth and the powerful won't let them!

  9. Corey 9

    Pagani and Edward's figures are weird af about education but even on numbers you quoted, 40% of kiwis are not represented by parliament.

    Let's say 60% of kiwis have a tertiary degree, at least a third but likely more will have engineering, design, science and tech degrees. It'd be nice to have more experts on tech and building things in parliament.

    Most of parliament have law degrees the rest have economics or art degrees (pol Sci, coms, history), the amount of people with these degrees in parliament is truly unrepresentative.

    We need lawyers in parliament but they cannot create things, legal advice is plentiful in parliament, we need more people who know how to actually do things. Who know how long a project will take and realistically how much it will cost. Lawyers and economists know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

    If parliament needs lawyers than maybe we should have an upper house that amends laws and fill that with lawyers and the lower house with regular people.

    As for the Labour party and the working class, the Labour party does not understand the working class, it has barely any working class in its ranks inside or outside parliament .

    When called out for not representing the working class Labour party members say "what even is the working class in 2023" or "times have changed"

    It is ignorant to the needs of the working class and when presented with the needs it calls them "unrealistic"

    Outside of an election year it won't be caught dead in a working class pub or hang out and finds the idea of going to one quite disgusting.

    The Labour party doesn't speak like the working class and would have most working class people fired if it ever had a political conversation with working class people on a job site.

    Working class people are economically to the left of Labour but socially, talk a lot more like Winston Peters than Jacinda Ardern or Hipkins.

    The disconnect between Labour and the working class on housing, immigration, race, sexuality, gender, covid, health, education, infrastructure and taxation is so incredible vast now I'm not sure it's repairable.

    The working classes major concern is housing and thinks Labour dropped the ball, it wants low immigration, it's believes in universal programs not targeted bs, it's generally socially conservative, it wants things like capital gains taxes and wealth taxes and wants more money to front line health and education workers unlike Labour who were obsessed with internal bureaucratic restructurings.

    When Labour members speak to working class people and any of the above is mentioned Labour mps awkwardly laugh and shrug, you can't expect a party that doesn't represent any of the social beliefs of the working class and doesn't ever want to accomplish any of the economic or housing concerns or the working class to continue to receive support from the working class.

    If you don't represent a group, that group will go elsewhere, or just not engage at all.

    Without the working class there really is no Labour, or maybe there are enough people in nz with law and arts degrees in nz to get a majority in parliament. Lol

    When people move up in economic and social status they tend to forget, judge and look down on people in their old economic and social status and Labour has very much done this in eyes of working class voters.

  10. Mike the Lefty 10

    What would Pagani and Edwards know about being "working class"?

    They are really just a couple of Blairites or National-lites.

    Why the media keep on accepting Pagani as a spokesperson for Labour I do not know.

    • Ghostwhowalks 10.1

      Ms Pagani is the *left* version of Matthew Hooton, a spin doctor who is just promoting her PR consultants business

      "Born in New Zealand, she has lived in the US and France. She grew up in the United Kingdom and earned her degree at Warwick University. She has a Graduate Certificate in International Law from Victoria University of Wellington and has limited knowledge of German, French and Maori.

      Josie is the daughter of Emory University professor Fraser J Harbutt, and leading New Zealand writer Elspeth Sandys.

  11. Anker 11
    • “We need more people to actually know how to do things”. Corey @ 9.

    yet again Corey completely support what you are saying. This is even more relevant to our local council (Wellington). A 26 year old, now our local MP pushed through $,2600000 on a full cycle way proposal. I read this in the Spinoff where Ms Paul was being celebrated for this achievement. This will likely reduce emissions by how much?.. SFA if you will excuse my language. It is a joke around Wellington how few people use the cycle ways… it’s just not a suitable city for them (Chch yes). Wellington City Council have neglected good adaptation strategies such as fixing our pipes (this has been going on long before Ms Paul’s time (and btw I know she has a fancy degree, but this doesn’t give her wisdom. She is clearly ideologically driven). This lack of attention to pipes makes the effects of CC (probable drought this summer and floods other times) more problematic.

    We don’t need more lawyers in parliament (no objection to lawyers as such), we have Crown Law to advise and check legislation.

    • satty 11.1

      The people who voted for Tamatha Paul re-elected her as councillor and now voted her for MP. So one can only assume she achieved the things she was voted into those positions for, like the cycle network. From what I've seen in my time here in Wellington, since Kerry Prendergast, who was responsible for removal of pedestrianised areas to create more on-street carparks in the city, no mayoral candidate with anti-cycling / anti-public transport plans (or even opinion, like Paul Eagle) was successful.

      I'm still waiting for the car-free CBD plans from the WCC, by the way:

      Stuff – Wellington City Council to explore plan for car-free CBD by 2025

      I am actually surprised how many people cycle in this city, taking into account it's completely unsafe to cycle (or try to cross the street as a pedestrian) with all the car driving idiots in this country. I would not call Wellington unsuitable for cycling since there are e-bikes.

      Especially, since COVID on my street the increase of cyclists is at least 10 fold (starting from a small base though). I would like to see much harsher fines for car drivers for speeding, not giving way etc. incl. long suspensions of their licenses, to make the streets safer. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen any time soon.

      The water pipes in this city are an issue, no doubt. However, they are only one of the issues around water in this city. Another is a huge waste by consumers (the average consumption is higher than Auckland / Christchurch). Both issues could improved with the use of water meters. However, there's a strong opposition, so we wait and wait and wait…

      Back on topic:

      How many people do actually know "how to do things"? I'm not even talking about "running a country".

      Isn't it a world of "outsourcing" where nearly everyone – not just companies – who can afford it, doesn't cook, doesn't grow food, don't clean their place, don't mow their lawn, don't look after their children / pets themselves. For everything in our lives there's an "outsourcing service" nowadays.

      The people actually doing those things hardly have a chance to make a political career, because they're trying to survive on minimum / liveable wage. Labour candidate Ibrahim Omer might be an exception.

      • Anker 11.1.1

        How much lowering of emissions do you think the cycleway will lead to Satty?

        I seriously hope the WCC cancel the car free city centre/Lambton Golden mile re-development. A lot of money I imagine for what? I have two relatives who are elderly/disabled. How do you think a car free centre will work for them? I can tell you it will really effect their ability to experience the inner city. They are not close to a bus or train route.

        I don't have a problem with water meters, but that won't fix the broken pipes.

        • satty

          How much time is left to reduce our pollution / emissions to zero?

          Looking into this article
          Guardian – Climate crisis: carbon emissions budget is now tiny
          the answer is not much more than a decade. Obviously dependent how much risk / destruction mankind is willing to accept.

          I do not think many New Zealanders are interested to lower their emissions (until it's too late) as they are fully addicted to cheap fossil fuel and related pollution. One of the reasons the National (Polluter) Party probably won this election… "the last stand of the polluters".

          However, I do believe we have to offer the best possible way(s) for people to reduce their emissions… you simply have to start somewhere. And as I pointed out people are elected into the council, at least here in Wellington, to do exactly that.

          Coming back to the car-free CBD. The best shops (measured by highest foot-traffic) in Wellington are in an area where there is no on-street parking in front of the shops and all car traffic is through-traffic. I can't think of many shops / businesses where you can enter in any other way than by foot.

          I even argue, that the other side of the road above the shops are significantly less successful, because people simply don't want to cross the road / car-traffic (there are officially 5 parking spots on that side by the way).

          How do your relatives get from their car to the shop?
          Even in shopping malls you're not next to the shop either.

          I lived (and shopped) enough in Europe and non-European countries before coming to NZ to know that pedestrianised areas can and do thrive. Actually, there are so many cities, so many examples, where residents wonder why it took so long.

          The biggest car-related problem for the Wellington CBD is not the workers / shoppers parking to do business in the CBD, but the through-traffic (I always consider it a 16 lane motorway with some high-rise buildings in between). So one reason I am awaiting the car-free CBD plan is to see how this is addressed.

          • Anker

            Replying to how my relatives get on from their car to the shop. The one with the disabled car park sticker will park in disabled parks. But if he wants to shop on the Golden Mile, I pick him up and drop him off as near as I can to the shop.

            The other is o.k. for now but as fewer cars and fewer parks come to the city, they will have problems.

            One of the things that is overlooked is that many Wellingtonians are forgoing town and driving their cars to the Hutt (Queensgate) or the Porirua Mall. Or Kilbirnie. I mean can you really imagine a family with little kids jumping on a train, then a bus to get into town? Or cycling? Come on. The cycleways will be nice for a very small number of people who cycle and the rest will drive their cars elsewhere. The lack of parking in town often sends us to the Eastern Suburbs for meals out, because they have great restaurants there and we are a bit too elderly to cycle after a few wines (lol)

            However out of fairness to myself, I do walk and travel by public transport when I can and I have always done so.

        • Anker

          Somehow I couldn't add the quote from the link above (the Spinoffs article about the three Wellington Central candidates. It didn't allow me to edit and I have no idea why. This is the quote on Tametha Paul and the cycleway

          If there’s one story that sums up Tamatha Paul’s political style, it’s the cycleway vote. It was an incredible piece of gamesmanship that only a handful of local government nerds really appreciated. But its impact will shape the city for years to come.

          "It all happened in the middle of a chaotic, seven-hour meeting where the council set its 10-year budget. Mayor Andy Foster was frantically trying to cut spending, and councillors were arguing and snapping over every little thing.

          The budget would have spent $61 million on cycling. Councillors negotiated to double the budget to $120m, but Paul pushed for more: she demanded a vote on a full city-wide cycling network, at an estimated cost of over $226m."

          My point here is Wellington city council is in serious financial difficulties. Projects to restrenthen public buildings is chewing through the council budget. Doing so will likely save many many lives in Wellington when the big shake comes.

          The $226,000 cycleway pushed through by Tametha……again I ask what impact will that make on CO2 emissions? Has anyone tried to estimate this?? I would say it will achive nothing. Very very few Wellingtonians cycle, even if rates are increasing. Even with electric bikes the city does not particularly suit cycling. Its hilly and has very narrow streets (mostly) which twist and turn). On wet windy days numbers cycling drop dramatically (o.k. that is just my observation, but it makes intuitive sense). Oh and a friend was knocked off her bike on a cycleway because cars pulling out of parking places have to negotiate both the cycleway and the roads. Its tricky

  12. Thinker 12

    I disagree with this post as it stands, but I do agree with what I think it is supposed to mean.

    One of the biggest negative changes in recent politics has been the shift to celebrity politicians and we could perhaps see a bunch of "working class" politicians in that they visibly represent but may or may not actually do so, in principle.

    Politics is about representation. It shouldn't matter about the nature of a person but rather the extent to which they represent me.

    For example, there are a number of gay politicians. I am not gay. However, I would vote for a gay politician who stood to represent the needs of people like me (say, of the left) but not vote for a gay politician who doesn't (say, a gay politician who stands for such things as zero-hour contracts, a low-wage economy, for example).

    Charles Dickens wasn't poor but it is hard to think of a person who championed working class rights.

    The Lever Brothers, of Sunlight Soap, we're very wealthy and not of working class, but their model village of Port Sunlight was developed as an example of how low-wage housing provided by employers could enhance the lives of factory workers and is now a world heritage site.

    Conversely, there are what are called "Chardonnay-sippling Socialists", a term to describe (among others) the kind of trade unionist who purports to represent workers but instead devote their time to meeting with the upper glasses and passing on the desires of the wealthy, wrapped up in terms designed to mislead workers into thinking their needs are well-protected. Those who remember NZ in the decade or so after 1984 will recall a time when such people abounded.

  13. Tiger Mountain 13

    I have scanned Bryces work for years and he is basically a “recycler” or aggregator of others written and graphic work. He has long had it in for NZ Labour above all else, and represents thwarted academia.

    Josie represents the middle class admin and managerial sector and also seems to have scores to settle with Labour anytime she opens her mouth. They are both paid to advance the right wing agenda, but do it in a not so obvious way as open righties like Hosking and Hooton.

    There will be more working class people in Parliament (already are some in Greens and TPM) when NZ Labour gives the party back to ordinary members rather than maintaining an effective Caucus veto, and Leader’s “Captain’s Call” veto power. Mr Edwards sentiments are a false flag.

  14. adam 14

    Problem even here is that working class voices don't raise up.

    As we are crude, angry and piss of moderators. Hell most of us are struggling just to get through the day worrying about the medical bills, the rent, food, and all the other bills.

    Working class folks just can't be fucked because it's all liberal shitfuckery at the end of the day. Liberalism has turned working class people into something worse than serfs.

    This shit is fast turning into something worse than feudalism.

    • mike 14.1

      Not liberalism Adam – Neo-liberalism.

      Quite the opposite.

      • adam 14.1.1


        • SPC

          In the beginning there was the enlightenment and thus the dawn of liberalism, then it branched into neo-liberalism (man shall serve the economic power of those with capital) and modern liberalism (and man shall be, well good until he is told that is not good enough by woman).

          • adam

            Dancing on the head of a pin.

            Liberalism is the ideology of the west, it has many guises from Marxism to Fascism. If classical, neo, modern, or what ever – it's still horse shit to the interests, needs and desires of working people.

            In it's current guise, it is worse than feudalism. In this current form of liberalism we are not even wage slaves. We are little more than peons for the new lords and masters. A class of people to bully, lie too, and eventually consume.

            • pat

              When you are comfortable within the system you have the luxury of semantics….therein lies the problem.

              Until you are no longer

              • adam

                Far from comfortable mate. Hard watching kids kill themselves in droves. Families fall apart. And the constant suffering of the poor and those falling off the cliff.

                Semantics are the games of philosophers without a foot in the real world, ah pat.

            • SPC

              No modern liberalism is very much part of social democratic thought, with an aspect of political or constitutional liberalism – thus does not drift towards either Marxism or fascism.

              You are misusing the word liberalism merely to vent at those not of the working class.

              Sure the “liberal” middle class can vote for the upper half – Randolph Churchill made the observation in the 19th C that giving the working class the vote would create a new party and the Liberals/Whigs then become Tories.

              Then again those social democratic liberal middle class who say no to the right, then get dismissed as the managerial class of the status quo (and either accused of enabling right wing drift or blocking the move to a more egalitarian society).

              • adam

                Whose misusing a word, not me. I'm not having a go at anything but the dominate ideology of the west. One which is not working for working people.

                Your devotion to liberalism is not my problem. Nor is the delusion that social democracy is still a possibility within how our economy is now structured.

                Slavery beyond wage slavery is the new normal. Peons all, even the so called middle class.

    • Incognito 14.2

      As we are crude, angry and piss of moderators. [sic]

      You’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

      • roblogic 14.2.1

        "moderates" perhaps, i.e the prof managerial class, find the crude protests of the working class icky

        • Incognito

          Those kinds of generalisations and stereotypes won’t help us and only serve to reinforce bias and division. This is the opposite of what we need and what some here try to achieve, the Author of the OP included, if I may be so bold.

          • roblogic

            Nah it's fair to point out that class war exists, even if the MSM prefers to wallpaper over the vast injustices of our society

            • Incognito

              Sure, class struggle and class war have not ceased to exist although the details have changed – the operative word is inequity, socio-economically & politically that is socialised, institutionalised, and baked into our systems, IMHO. I wasn’t referring to MSM and perhaps both Adam and you are deflecting & diverting without even realising.

          • adam

            Unity under liberalism is the problem, and I'm not seeing anyone here now, offering anything different. One did, and he left to walk away from everything. Because unity with people who want unity strictly on their terms (liberalism), is not unity at all. It's just another form of brutality and control. Which working people are just so fucking use too.

    • Anker 14.3

      I hear you Adam

  15. pat 15

    "In 2021 over 60% of kiwis aged between 25 and 64 had a tertiary certificate or diploma or bachelor’s degree or higher."

    "More New Zealanders have also gained tertiary education qualifications. The proportion of 25 to 64-year-olds with a tertiary education qualification has increased from 54 percent in 2001 to 65 percent in 2021. All of this growth has been at bachelors degree level or higher, which has more than doubled from 13 percent in 2001 to 36 percent in 2021."

    Your link

    Lawyers huh…gotta love em.

    Labour would be better served by more working class and fewer lawyers.

  16. pat 16

    It may be worth considering the following…

    There are around 17,000 lawyers with practicing certificates in NZ…or 0.003% of the population.

    There are usually 120 MPs in Parliament.

    If Parliament were truly representative there would be 1/3 of an MP from the legal profession in any given Parliament.

    • alwyn 16.1

      "1/3 of an MP from the legal profession".

      That sounds about right. Instead we have what Tom Paxton sang about in the mid 1980's. One Million Lawyers and Other Disasters.

  17. Incognito 17

    @ Micky, thanks for the Post. It’s probably no coincidence that I’d started researching the representation of the working class in Parliament before your Post appeared. I might park the idea of writing one of my own for now but it is a good and important topic for broad & deep discussion.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      You should put it up. Labour is having a deep discussion right now about what happened in the election and this issue is one of the important issues for us to understand.

      • Incognito 17.1.1

        Agreed! I should, which means I must get my A into G except that I’m bogged down with work (which is a poor excuse). I promise you that I’ll make an effort this weekend.

      • weka 17.1.2

        I'd love to see some ongoing discussion on TS about the political issues for working class people.

    • Dennis Frank 17.2

      Yeah go for it. Regardless that class consciousness seems to be playing a tacit role in Aotearoa, we do have a global common-interest basis for reformulation of the 19th century framing we inherited.

      Inasmuch as govts tack towards the middle, a contemporary framing of how the middle gets differentiated from above & below would be useful and globally relevant.

  18. Anker 18

    If Labour had working class people predominating in the party and as their MPs I don't think the party would resemble anything like it does now. Just my opinion

    • weka 18.1

      it wouldn't look the same, true. But the thing is, working class people vote. And along with people of other classes, they've consistently voted for neoliberalism for 40 years. Often right wing governments too. That's why Labour are the way they are. The idea that working class people would be more progressive than other classes doesn't bear examination. Which is what adam is talking about imo.

      There are people who believe that somehow a working class party would save the day. I don't believe this, although I do think working class people would do better under neoliberalism if Labour had more working class people in its ranks, or if there were a political party based around contemporary working class issues, and I do think we would have more chance of ending neoliberalism.

      But I suspect that most want something closer to the status quo, as does Edwards and Pagani. Which means many people being kept in poverty and everyone else turning a blind eye.

      • SPC 18.1.1

        Murray Horn ex Treasury wrote back in 1998 that the neo-liberal reforms would last a generation – could or would not be undone by an elected government.

        The time may refer to the passing of the baby boomers – who would largely be a property owning generation.

        With a low top rate of tax and no tax on CG or the estate, there would emerge a class divide – inequality – that the future generations would wonder at.

        What sort of New Zealand we want to be in 2040 is more than a Tiriti issue.

        • weka

          what was his rationale for his believe that neoliberalism couldn't/wouldn't be undone by an elected government?

          Agree about futurecasting NZ in 2040. Climate change is the thing most likely to unravel neoliberalism. We still have some choices about what comes after that, but they won't last forever.

          • SPC

            He was at Treasury during the labour and welfare reforms of the 1990's (and while Brash was at the RB). There was the "certainty" of those of an ideological conformity and also confidence that government had gone through a generational change (academia was already training people for this new order, without much critical challenge).

            He saw that as generational change and not something that could be undone very quickly, even if that was the political will of an elected government (he was right in a way, Labour's tenuous ECA reforms of 1999 was met with the winter of discontent even though it was in the manifesto).

            However it is not as if the neo-liberal case was without critique.

            A critical examination of the triumph of neo-liberalism by 2000. It might be seen as too narrow a focus to be allowed to dominate the political landscape aka government.

            Political Deficits:
            The Dawn of Neoliberal Rationality and the Eclipse of Critical Theory
            By William Andrew Callison (A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy)

            His conclusion

            Accounting for our political deficits requires historical examination, careful conceptualization, and democratic contestation of neoliberalism’s far-right mutations, which are now targeting all but the narrowest forms of commonality, democracy, and solidarity. Instead of harnessing critique to the subsumption or rationalization of politics, a critical theory responsive tothis predicament would do well to pursue more expansive visions of the political than those inherited by the twenty-first century.


  19. Darien Fenton 19

    Who was it who said "they walked to the polls to vote us in and drove to the polls to vote us out?"

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    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    3 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    4 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Pharmac Fiasco
    If you don’t understand how things work you make foolish mistakes. To explain how the government got into its cancer drugs muddle, we need to explain first how New Zealand’s pharmaceutical purchasing system works. There is a parallel between Pharmac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Government sets ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    9 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    1 day ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    1 day ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    1 day ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    1 day ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    1 day ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    2 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    2 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    2 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    2 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    3 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    3 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    3 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    4 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    4 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
    Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Thursday 4 July 2024    Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau Celebrate the rising of Matariki Celebrate the rising of the lord of the skies Celebrate the rising ...
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
    A trip to Australia next week to meet mining sector operators and investors will signal New Zealand is once again open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The visit is also an opportunity to build relationships with Australian state and federal counterparts and learn from their experiences as New ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
    New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners is set to grow further with 20 scholarships awarded for groups to gain education experiences across Asia and Latin America, Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Penny Simmonds says. Of the 20 scholarships, 12 have been awarded to groups travelling for study ...
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed progress on Northwest Rapid Transit, as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirms next steps on the preferred option, a busway alongside State Highway 16 from Brigham Creek to Auckland City Centre. “The Government is committed to a rapid transit system that will support urban development, ...
    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
    Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.  “The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction ...
    1 week ago

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