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

    • 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. 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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    Buzz from the Beehive The biggest buzz we bring you from the Beehive today is that the government’s official website is up and going after being out of action for more than a week. The latest press statement came  from  Education Minister  Eric Stanford, who seized on the 2022 PISA ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Failed again
    There was another ETS auction this morning. and like all the other ones this year, it failed to clear - meaning that 23 million tons of carbon (15 million ordinary units plus 8 million in the cost containment reserve) went up in smoke. Or rather, they didn't. Being unsold at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    5 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    5 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    5 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    5 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    6 days ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    6 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    1 week ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    2 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    2 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    3 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    4 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    5 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    5 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago

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