Spin-busting: ‘Labour has no policy, either’

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, September 9th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: john key, national, spin - Tags:

John Key is running a line that first emerged in the rightwing blogs a few months ago: ‘Labour doesn’t have any policy, either’. It was a moron’s line when it was on the blogs and Key has only taken it up in a desperate attempt to divert from National’s policy leaks. 

It’s meant to be a response to the criticism that National’s ‘policies’ are no more than vague one-page bullet points. But it just doesn’t stack up. Labour has spent the last nine years enacting policies. In just the last week it passed the Biofuels Act, the Police Act, the Kiwisaver amendments, the right to breast-feeding and meal breaks at work, and major legislation to tidy up the real estate industry. This week the Emissions Trading Scheme, which has been described as the most fundamental change to our economy since the 1980s, will pass. Moreover, Labour has an election manifesto to be released. Last election, it stretched to over 200 pages.

No-one doubts what Labour stands for. Whereas no-one can say for sure what National stands for from one day to the next. Ask five people what National would do in government and you’ll get five different answers because National has a policy of strategic vacuousness.

Consider the audacity of Key running a ‘Labour has no policy line’. He has to believe that no interviewer is going to call him out on it. He has to be confident that in a few weeks when Labour’s manifesto comes out no-one is going to remember. And he has to assume that his audience, that’s you, is ignorant enough to fall for it.

45 comments on “Spin-busting: ‘Labour has no policy, either’ ”

  1. Bill 1

    Splitting hairs here. But if JK says Labour have no policy either, then he is readily admitting that the Nats have none.

    And since Labour have not released an election manifesto…okay, he is making a point. Not a very honest one mind insofar as he is claiming a lack of policy as opposed to the lack of a released manifesto.

    No big deal. If Labour release a 200 page manifesto and the Nats are stuck with bullet points, then hey.

  2. Strings 2

    There is no doubt what Labor’s policies of the past are, the issue is what will they do in the next three years!

    We didn’t know about the purchase of Air NZ, or KiwiRail, or the blocking of the Auckland Airport sale, or so many other ‘policies’ of the Labour government of the last 9 years, so it would be good if they were to put up a policy platform for this election that we could vote for (or not as may be our wont).

    This is the issue that needs to be addressed please.

    [not every action a government takes over a three year year term can be in a mantifesto. Events come up that cannot be predicted. That’s why it’s so important to know what a party stands for and know you can trust them. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also important to have a detailed manifesto. The buyback of rail was in the Labour manifesto. SP]

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    Strings, of those things listed, are you surprised that Labour did them? (Just quietly, the negotiations with Toll had been going on for about six years and I assumed it was common knowledge, you’re saying otherwise?)

    Because Key is (as Tracy Watkins fawns on a daily basis) portraying himself as a moderate, sensible centrist. Kind of like a bland version of Dunne, if such a thing were possible. This is a radical shift from 2005, so anything National has ever said it would do, any old manifesto, and track record – we can’t believe that it’s what they’d do, because they’re saying they have changed.

    But wait – if they’ve changed, then why only a few bullet point ‘policies’, they’re nowhere near enough to let us know what National has changed into. So, have they really changed? They say so, but how can we tell? Is there cause to believe this is a ploy to get power by appealing to the centre? Someone talking about ‘Labour-Plus punters’ seemed to hint at it.

    They can’t prove it with policy either, so I ask why. The only conclusion is they haven’t really gotten anything new – it’s looking more and more like lip service. I’d have to assume under National that we’d see a new Employment Contracts Act, wholesale sale of State assets, work on civilian nuclear technology and allowing military nuclear visits, means testing for superannuitants (and putting the age another 5 years), benefit cuts, health and education cuts, privatisation of education and health… Who knows what you’ll get?

  4. yl 4

    Strings,

    Labour did have in there policy the opportunity for the buy back of Kiwirail – it is just that transport was not a key election issue last election.

    “Increase funding for public transport, rail network maintenance and development, travel demand management initiatives, regional economic development roading and walking and cycling and encourage links between cycling and public transport”

    http://www.labour.org.nz/policy/transport_(2005).html

  5. burt 5

    No-one doubts what Labour stands for.

    I don’t know what Labour stands for?

    I use to think I knew what Labour stood for when I use to vote for them but now I don’t know. Looking at the situation these days I think Labour stands for secret donations from big business, secret trusts, covering up alledged corrupt/illegal behaviour, tilting the playing field with absurd EFA, stripping my wallet with the ETS and of course more public spending driving inflation and recession.

    How close was that?

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    Burt, in all honesty it was very weak. I suppose I could try and rebut it by saying that as opposed to the first three points you made, they stand for due process as opposed to a right-wing lynch-mob style of governance, and that there’s no evidence of the next, even though most commentors agree action was necessary in not flawlessly executed, and that making people pay for their own rampant consumption and pollution is hardly something I wouldn’t expect from a Labour government, but I don’t think you’re expecting a response to such a comment, right?

    (Did not address the last point, as I can’t fathom how more spending drives recession, there’s no dispaly of knowledge of cause and effect in that statement. That is not the cause of inflation either, not close.)

  7. burt. “I don’t know what Labour stands for?”

    We use question marks at the end of questions. “I don’t know” is a statement of ones ignorance, not a question.

    Burt, explain how more public spending can be ‘driving recession’. How does more economic activity, ceteras paribas, decrease economic activity acording to burt-onomics?

  8. burt 9

    You guys are doing a good job of proving my point. What do Labour stand for

    We have the highest inflation we have had for years and we have also been in a recession Don’t ask me how it works because it makes no sense to me either. I’m just calling the way it is under Labour. Public spending driving inflation undermining consumer purchasing power and business outputs shrinking this is life under Labour.

  9. yl 10

    Another week, another leak, another document ‘accidentally’ left at the cafe’

    Any guesses on the line used to get out of this one?

    I think,

    Nicky Hager is going to be Gerry Brownlie in a fat suit (cause we never seem to see them in the same room at the same time)

  10. burt. we have high inflation because we have an economy that has been running at full steam for eight years and has reached the limits of its capacity, that’s a situation where inflation is high. It’s also a situation where further growth is difficult in the short term. Then you add the fact that the international economy is unergoing a massive series of shocks – record oil prices, record food prices, and the credit crunch, which are both inflationary and make production much more expensive and you’ve got the conditions for ‘stag-flation’ – low or negative growth with higher than normal inflation.

    It’s got nothing to do with government spending.

    As you freely admit that you yourself don’t understand economics at this level (your understanding appears to be at the level of – ‘sumthin’ happen’ must be the gummit’s fault’) perhaps you shouldn’t be so certain that your conclusions are correct.

  11. forgetaboutthelastone 12

    Perhaps it will be the same as it was with the secret tapings:

    The first one was nothing too much to worry about – “fair cop”. The second one came and National got busy attacking Labour for playing dirty tricks. Maybe JK will spread some more rubbish over his lawn. Accusations of Labour spying on National?

  12. Matthew Pilott 13

    Don’t ask me how it works because it makes no sense to me either. I’m just calling the way it is under Labour.

    Burt, if I were to look at some police statistics, I’d assume there were perhaps a hundred homicides last year, and several thousand acts of sexual violence. But wait- same as with National back in 1998! I can see why you don’t like the big parties, according to your logic you must think they both stand for rape and murder. Because thus is life on earth.

    Just one quick point, any chance that what is happening could be worse if public spending was cut? Say, there might be an retraction in the economy, and people would have less to spend, and business output would shrink further?
    I guess that if you want to make such an assertion without knowledge of how something works there’s little point in asking that question.

  13. Felix 14

    Do you have anything else to do burt?

    I only ask out of genuine concern for your well-being – hanging around here seems to make you so miserable.

    I don’t think I’ve come across someone with a more negative outlook than yours, burt, and I think it’s time for you to take some personal responsibility for your situation.

    It’s not up to the government to make you happy, burt, it’s all up to you.

  14. Matthew Pilott 15

    Don’t you guys know anything? Environment policy is “bundled” with the one for Research, Science and Technology. Same document, Mallard is just toying with the media. And besides, it’s an Australian document. And it’s not a National document. And someone stole it. It’s a dirty tricks campaign. And it’s a ploy to get more attention. And all of the above. And none. Simultaneously.

  15. forgetaboutthelastone 16

    How likely is it that Maurice Williamson is the leakage? They have tried their hardest to shut him up since he told us about the $50 road tolls.

  16. Crank 17

    A leak of this size and regularity starts to appear less like a leak and more like theft.

    Mallard already has a record of assault and infidelity, he only needs stealing to make it a full house.

  17. exexpat 18

    Steve,
    You’ve just listed a whole bunch of policies that Labour has enacted, which is what labour stood for during the last three years. To be honest the police act is something that I would say was a major social democratic policy achievement while the biofuels and ETS aren’t things that warm the cockles of my heart either.

    I want to know what labour stands for if they were to be elected during the next three years and all you’ve said is that there will be a 200 page manifesto released soon. It better have some inspiring stuff because as a core supporter I’m most interested in how you are going to reduce inequality in this country, the bread and butter of a social democratic party.

  18. burt 19

    I like this thread. I state what is going on in the economy and I get bagged for not having every answer to it. Meanwhile the “prudent’ managers of the economy for the last 9 years are nothing to do with it.

    Matthew Pilott takes the “distraction of the week’ award spinning off to Police stats and Felix adds nothing but denigration of me

    So I’ve taken the whack over pointing out that we have high inflation and a recession and I guess it’s all my fault because if nobody mentions it then we can pretend it’s not happening. Meanwhile the issues of covering the ass of Winston, condoning the situation where secret trusts have been used to prop up the Labour-led govt etc is completely ignored.

    Sorry about the high inflation and the recession guys, I didn’t stop to think when I mentioned it that it was all my fault and Labour were blameless.

    What do Labour stand for apart from looking after the Labour parties best interest to the detriment of openness, accountability, transparency and the highest ethical standards we use to expect from parliament ?

    Owen Glenn might help explain what Labour stand for later today, that should be interesting.

  19. toad 20

    Labour has plenty of policy. Problem is, it is National’s policy! Trevor Mallard has just announced that he will be releasing National’s Research, Science and Technology policy today.

  20. r0b 21

    I’m most interested in how you are going to reduce inequality in this country, the bread and butter of a social democratic party.

    Steve isn’t a member of the Labour Party, so you can’t ask him how “you” are going to do it.

    I am a member. I look forward to Labour’s manifesto in due course, and in the mean time I’m very proud of the progress Labour led governments have made, and the first signs of reductions in inequality appearing…
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2823

  21. Felix 22

    No burt, you get bagged because you’re a miserable bastard who does nothing but complain.

    Take some responsibility for yourself for a change – the world doesn’t owe you anything.

  22. burt 23

    Felix

    Do you have anything else to do burt? Well not really. I’m in a holding pattern at the moment. Once the election is done and dusted I can make up my mind what to do.

    Either; Buy some more real-estate, upgrade the car, look at employing another person in the business OR shut down the business, pay out the redundancies, sell existing real-estate, sell the car(s) and arrange the packers/movers. If Labour end up winning then I look forward to paying international departure tax as my final financial contribution to the Labour-led government administration.

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    Burt, I’m not blaming you for not having answers to some economic problems, I’m blaming you for thinking that they are what Labour stands for. The police example was something else that is going on, and is a perfect equivalent to your economic example – it’s an example of crime that is happening, and by your logic, must be something Labour stands for. It’s not a distraction, it merely points out the absurdity of claiming that whatever is going on is what Labour stands for.

    r0b noted that the gap between rich and poor is closing. Labour have also raised the minimum wage, put in universal subsidies for Primary healthcare, free early childhood education, increased health spending, reduced our foreign debt to a very respectable and manageable level, started a universally accessible and hugely sucessful national retirement savings programme, increased the power of collective bargaining, and implemented a foreign relations policy that has seen relationships with our allies warm significantly, whilst being independent enough to avoid being trapped in what are generaly seen as unjuust international conflicts, yet being involved in some good multilateral peacekeeping activities in areas of interest for New Zealand. Perhaps you should look at that stuff when you want to know what Labour stands for – it is what they have done, more than what has happened to New Zealand during their time in power.

    Barking up the wrong tree, methinks. You’re also not being bagged for not having the answers to a problem, but being bagged for not understanding the problem in the first place – not an insignificant difference. And acting like such a victim – no one blames you for the economy but yourself. For someone I’d assume likes the personal responsibility theme, it’s an odd angle to pursue.

  24. yl 25

    and where will you go Burt…

  25. djp 26

    You get my sympathy vote burt. Felix seems to echoing the moochers line from some sort of Randian story.

  26. Felix 27

    Randian story or burt-esque re-run?

  27. exexpat… i’m not Labour, so there’s no point demanding from me that labour have more social democratic policy. i’m sure they will have more policy in tht regard, and if you don’t think it goes far enough, you should vote for a more social democratic party, like the Greens.

    No party is perfect, you vote for the best vehicle for your values. if you’re about social democracy your best options are labour or greens.. a vote for national would be vote directly against your stated values.

  28. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left 29

    Crank
    That makes no sense at all!
    If he wants a “Full House” he will need two assaults and 3 infidelities or vice versa.
    If theft is added to assault and infidelity then all he’s likely to have is a shitty hand
    Do yourself a favour and don’t visit a casino with a full wallet

  29. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left 30

    “I like this thread. I state what is going on in the economy and I get bagged for not having every answer to it.”

    Wrong Burt, you got bagged for not having ANY answer to your own statement

  30. burt 31

    SSaSttL

    So are you saying that we don’t currently have high inflation? Are you saying we are not the only OECD country in recession? Did I misread the claims that Labour have been prudent managers of our economy?

    I don’t quite see how I’m expected to answer that? Perhaps I missed the point where good things in the economy are what Labour stands for and bad things are not Labour’s fault.

    “No-one doubts what Labour stands for…” – I don’t know what they satnd for – how is that me not having any answer to my own statement? My own statement is that I don’t have an answer…. Thanks for confirming that what I wrote is what I wrote….

  31. r0b 32

    Are you saying we are not the only OECD country in recession?

    More Burtonomics (which is a polite way of saying Burt, don’t talk bollocks).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_crisis_of_2008

  32. Janet 33

    I was just looking at the disability issues portfolio on the Beehive website for a work related reason and found there is a huge amount of disability policy there. Not a headline policy area but of huge significance for a lot of people in NZ. Such a lot has happened since the NZ Disability Strategy in 2001 and just last week the way cleared for the ratification of the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities with the passing of the Disability Bill which makes all NZ legislation compliant – and with the release of the Select Committee report last week now a huge amount more work to do in this area. So lots and lots of policy in this portfolio.

  33. Anita 34

    Janet,

    Have you looked at the Greens policy? They’ve also done a lot of work on it. UF too.

    My understanding is that a select committee has been looking quite hard at disability issues, so every party has the opportunity to have a really well thought through disability policy.

  34. Janet 35

    I agree and some parties have well-thought out disability policies. But not sure about National. The original post was the Nat P assertion that Labour doesn’t have any policies and I was pointing out an area where there is lots.

  35. Anita 36

    Janet,

    I can’t find a National Party policy on disability. It wouldn’t be hard to have one and I would like to think that they would always have had one, rather than needing to build one from nothing for the election.

  36. Swampy 37

    “The buyback of rail was in the Labour manifesto. SP”

    No it most certainly was not. There has never been any suggestion that Labour would buy back the railway operations until it became public knowledge that they had put a deal on the table offering to buy out Toll Rail.

  37. Swampy 38

    “Matthew Pilott
    September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Strings, of those things listed, are you surprised that Labour did them? (Just quietly, the negotiations with Toll had been going on for about six years and I assumed it was common knowledge, you’re saying otherwise?)”

    Negotiations with Toll Rail were to agree on an Access Charge for Toll to pay for the use of the rail tracks. There was absolutely no intimation of the Government renationalising rail operations until sometime last year when it was then widely rumoured that such an option was proposed.

  38. Swampy 39

    “yl
    September 9, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Strings,

    Labour did have in there policy the opportunity for the buy back of Kiwirail – it is just that transport was not a key election issue last election.

    “Increase funding for public transport, rail network maintenance and development, travel demand management initiatives, regional economic development roading and walking and cycling and encourage links between cycling and public transport’

    Let us make clear there are two different things here:

    1. The rail network – sold back in 2001 by Toll.
    2. Rail operations – owned by Toll until this year.

    Quite clearly the above manifesto policy statement applies to 1 only. Labour has falsely implied they could not develop the rail network without owning rail operations, but the fact is that quite simply, they were unwilling to.

  39. Swampy 40

    “burt. we have high inflation because we have an economy that has been running at full steam for eight years and has reached the limits of its capacity, that’s a situation where inflation is high. It’s also a situation where further growth is difficult in the short term. Then you add the fact that the international economy is unergoing a massive series of shocks – record oil prices, record food prices, and the credit crunch, which are both inflationary and make production much more expensive and you’ve got the conditions for ‘stag-flation’ – low or negative growth with higher than normal inflation.

    It’s got nothing to do with government spending.”

    What is inflation? Everyone knows it is an increase in the amount of money in the economy. The government is pumping a lot of money into the economy.

  40. Strings 41

    SP
    >
    >> Events come up that cannot be predicted. That’s why it’s so important to know what a party stands for and know you can trust them. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also important to have a detailed manifesto.

    Clearly there are situations in which events overtake plans – that’s one reason I have a career :-). However, some things are a little too vague at times. For instance, ‘increase funding for . . . . rail’ doesn’t come across to me as ‘spend a billion or two on rail’.

    Much sadder from my perspective is the trust issue! What I saw on the news last night and the ‘transcripts’ of yesterday’s “Privileges Committee” meeting leaves me gobsmacked on the trust front. If I was a big financial supporter of a political party I would like to think I could ‘trust’ the senior members of that party not to attempt to ridicule me in public, I would also believe I could trust that the leader of that party to at least acknowledge my ensuring that another act I was considering would not have a detrimental effect on her party. Clearly there are some major trust issues around the beehive right now, and I’m not encouraged or heartened by them!

    However, that said I do thank you for making the effort to respond to my point, it is appreciated.

  41. Strings 42

    Swampy

    The literate know that inflation is NOT an increase in the amount of money in the economy. Inflation is a situation where too much money is available to spend without a corresponding supply of goods in demand, pushing the price of those goods up.

    Without increasing money supply I can cause inflation simply by prohibiting imports or construction. To understand inflation look at the economic history of any ex-communist country working a centrally controlled consumer supply chain!

  42. r0b 43

    If I was a big financial supporter of a political party I would like to think I could ‘trust’ the senior members of that party not to attempt to ridicule me in public

    When exactly did that happen Strings?

  43. Billy 44

    When exactly did that happen Strings?

    How about when Trevor suggested Owen had a brain injury?

  44. r0b 45

    Could you refer me to the actual quote there please Billy?

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    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
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