web analytics

The Heart of Utoya

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, July 31st, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

So Breivik has given us an eyes wide open gaze into the abyss. Chilling isn’t it? Much has been written in the last week about the political atrocity he committed, yet this article in the Sunday Star Times today is equally wrong. Here is why.

Many years ago I recall listening to a BBC correspondent reporting from the war in Kosovo. It was one of those 30min slots which allowed for some real depth. And for the first 15min or so we got depths alright. All these years later and I’ve still heard nothing quite so graphic or disturbing. It detailed what happened when war came to these small towns and villages, when neighbours who’d lived as companions all their lives found themselves and their families on wrong sides at wrong moments.

I’m tempted to go for effect and retell one story that haunts me still, about a girl gang-raped in her own home and what they did with her eyes afterwards. Sometimes you have to think that if us humans had any conscience at all we would collectively and simultaneously simply cease to exist under our cumulative, crushing burden of shame. But that will do.

The crucial question this BBC man asked was this. How was it that these people who had grown up together, had lived, worked, traded and married among each other… could so tragically turn on each other with such venom? How did this happen in a country that while it had it’s problems, like all others, was a by and large quiet, pleasant place to visit and have a nice holiday?

And the answer he made was the best I have heard yet.

The fact is that there is always evil among us. The psychopaths and misfits, the dysfunctional and the angry who are always capable of these acts. There are a thousand Breiviks lurking at any moment, who’ve sedulously nutured a myriad narrow grievances to justify their hatreds. They are the loners, both physically and metaphorically, who’ve drifted too far away from the rest of us. Human love hasn’t touched them in too long, their souls starved, their egos fed fat with grief, anger and bitterness.

In the normal course of events society holds them in check. The will of the majority acts to suppress and for the very large part prevent their twisted idle fantasies from become real.

But not all times are normal, and all societies have their hidden fault lines. These cracks in the human psyche can be racial, or religious, or economic… but for the most part they lie dormant. Yet they store a dark power… a power that ambitious actors, self-serving political leaders sometimes seek to exploit for their own personal advancement. When the political discourse becomes tainted with this poison, deliberately fed to us … those evil ones at the bottom of society, thrive upon it. Their dark plots, their soaring orgies of death are suddenly, instead of being vile and unacceptable, are now vindicated. And the unacceptable suddenly becomes possible… approved of even. Instead of universal voices of condemnation, you know there are others out there who will believe you died a hero.

Of course no-one necessarily directed Breivik to make these bombs, arm himself and commit slaughter. But his motives for these evil acts were empowered by those who approved of them.

And it only takes one act at the wrong moment, one act of terror that strikes unreasoning fear and loathing into the ordinary people, and these dormant fault lines are activated. The people polarise into mutually suspicious, energetically fearful blocks. One act of terror becomes several, and they feed on each other. Then… and this is the dread thing…. society unzips from the bottom upwards in an unstoppable torrent of death. No-one is exempt, nowhere is safe.

John Key was correct in this particular… this unravelling can happen ahywhere, it is wrong to think little safe NZ is somehow immune.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. We must learn, as each generation must, that the correct response to terror is to have the courage to face it fully in all its pale dripping ugliness, and to reject the power it seeks to have over us.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. The correct response to terror is the courage to mourn your losses with dignity, and facing your enemy ask, “Is that the best you can do?” And then patiently seek justice… not vengence.

The lesson we must learn from Breivik is not the one he had in mind. He sought to activate our fault lines. And we must learn to disarm them.

This is why we will not tolerate the injustices of casual sexism, racism, greedy exploitation and callous cruelty, because these acts only feed the subterranian tensions between us. All these non-essential differences must be put aside. There is but one human race, there is but one planet that nutures us, and all the life we share it with.

This is the lesson at the heart of Utoya.


History

46 comments on “The Heart of Utoya”

  1. higherstandard 1

    I whole heartedly agree.

  2. vto 2

    Yes well said Mr Logix. I agree that things in many areas of life can come suddenly undone, rupturing as said along subterranean faultlines.

    It is at times a thin veneer.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    In tough times and economic decline, extremist groups always pick up momentum. People feel excluded and angry about what is going on in their society and they turn to those who vent the same feelings and anger.

    Turning individuals disconnected from broader society against others and against those vulnerable is part of that.

    The NZ Herald says Breivik was networked into a massive Right Wing nationalistic network which spanned across all of Europe.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10741722

  4. Jenny 4

    But not all times are normal, and all societies have their hidden fault lines. These cracks in the human psyche can be racial, or religious, or economic… but for the most part they lie dormant. Yet they store a dark power… a power that ambitious actors, self-serving political leaders sometimes seek to exploit for their own personal advancement. When the political discourse becomes tainted with this poison, deliberately fed to us … those evil ones at the bottom of society, thrive upon it. Their dark plots, their soaring orgies of death are suddenly, instead of being vile and unacceptable, are now vindicated. And the unacceptable suddenly becomes possible… approved of even.

    REDLOGIX

    In today’s Herald On Sunday, Matt McCarten puts the same thing, this way:

    “Targeting the vulnerable has no place here”

    Over the years in New Zealand we have had our share of organised race scaremongering over Asians, Pacific Islanders and Maori. But gays, unionists, the unemployed and other beneficiaries have been regularly included too. We will always have among us psychotics with murderous intentions. They seem to poke their heads up when the political climate is heightened by politicians creating a space for these nuts to think of their delusions as justifiable.
    One of the things I’m proud of about New Zealand is that most Kiwis consider themselves fair-minded and accepting of others. Consequently, these sorts of hate campaigns have never gained a permanent hold of our body politic.

    That is a way we can honour those poor murdered and broken kids on the island of Utoya, who were only there because they wanted to make a contribution to the democratic life of their world.

    We have an election in a few months. Any politician who demonises a vulnerable sector of our society for expedient political gain should not receive our vote.

    I’m sure that would be the legacy the Norwegian dead would want to leave us.

    Matt McCarten

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Thanks Jenny… Matt is reliably onnit.

      We have an election in a few months. Any politician who demonises a vulnerable sector of our society for expedient political gain should not receive our vote.

      The lesson is that it’s not just bad politics; at the wrong moment it can be hideously dangerous as well.

    • weka 4.2

      Aye, and it’s why the raids on Tuhoe and activists were particularly despicable. Demonising completely the wrong people but doing it in a way that encourages the people that are the real problem.

      • grumpy czeching in 4.2.1

        Oh, come on now.

        You mean we should clamp down on extremists running around in the bush with guns – but it’s OK if they are Tuhoe and Pakeha radicals??????

        • lprent 4.2.1.1

          How about giving up on the idiotic rhetoric. As far as I can see from the available information:-

          1. The weapons were reasonably controlled (at least as well as farms I’ have been on). There weren’t people banging off rounds into the air trying to hit frigging magpies.

          2. At the training camps they weren’t running around in the bush with guns. Where they were using weapons it was in a basic range.

          3. What they were doing bears more similarities with the rah-rah exercises I did when I was still around corporates than when I was in the army.

          4. As far as I can see most of the people charged are not extremists. There are a couple of people that I wouldn’t want to get too damn close to. But I can find similar idiots at any rural pub on a friday night as well. Not to mention the “accident waiting to happen” feeling I get when ever I’m around some gun ‘enthusiasts’

          Basically if you want to discuss this stuff then please drop the phrases that immediately associate you with the morons of the sewer. You know the ones – those who appear to be incapable of understanding anything unless it is phrased as some preprogrammed meaningless and inaccurate phrase. Something like “extremists running around in the bush with guns”.

          The people that seems to best describe in operation 8 were probably some of the police.

          • grumpy czeching in 4.2.1.1.1

            Let’s wait for the court case eh?

            You’re up early this morning…….

  5. Its not about ‘evil’ as some inborn lurking troll waiting for the right moment to jump out.
    ‘Evil’ is something society does to people. And in particular capitalist society which reduces people to ciphers in the market devoid of humanity. What passes today for humanity is what survives that dehumanisation process. We see it in the Middle East when people fuse as a single force to fight dictatorship.
    The particular ‘evil’ that Redlogic addresses has been searched into most deeply by those who asked why fascism? in the interwar period. One in particular Wilhelm Reich a Marxist psychoanalyst in his books like ‘Listen Little Man’. What seems like some inborn evil force is in reality an authoritarian personality that is the product of capitalism where people are raised as passive victims of an exploitative and oppressive system, and when being offered a plausible reason for their pain, the alien, the jew, the criminal, the communist, then submit themselves to authority and follow the strong leader. Hence the Authoritarian Personality (more commonly knows as ‘passive/aggressive) as normal under capitalism.
    Such a personality type explains better the willingness of masses of people to submit to inhuman actions in the name of some greater good such as racial purity, family values, the national ‘spirit’ etc all the so-called values that underpin 20th century fascism, and some of them to become the shock troops of violent reaction.
    Fascism is a social movement that comes into existence when capitalist crises raise the prospect of socialist revolution, and the ruling class must mobilise social support in disaffected elements to smash that threat. That is why while particular scapegoat groups are chosen, Jews, Muslims, etc the real target is always the threat of ‘communism’ as the post-capitalist moment of modernity when all the old divisions are replaced by the ‘commune’ and in particular that which underlies all that is ‘evil’ in capitalism – private property.
    That’s why Breivik and all those who appeal to such exclusive and particularistic values against the rise of modernity, cosmopolitanism and ‘multiculturalism’, are neo-fascists targeting the biggest threat of all, the rising up of the ‘socialist’, ‘cultural Marxist’ even social democratic masses against the system that dehumanises them and replace it with real freedom based on equality.

  6. aj 6

    Thank you redlogix (and Matt McCarten) for so eloquently pointing out why we must continue to have faith in humanity

    • SHG 6.1

      This would be the Matt McCarten who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the UNITE workers, right?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        And that, if it’s true, means he was wrong how?

        • SHG 6.1.1.1

          It means he’s a hypocrite and I shouldn’t listen to him full stop. I’m sure Winston Peters occasionally says sensible things too.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Guess you don’t listen to hypocrites Paula Bennett, Bill English or John Key either.

            • SHG 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Arent the lefties supposed to be the good guys? Doesn’t that mean that when a union leader steals hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hardworking Kiwis he represents, that’s EVEN WORSE than when a fatcat company owner does it?

              • Colonial Viper

                So you only pay attention to bad guy righty hypocrites, not good guy leftie hypocrites?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2

            People can be right about some things and wrong about others. Sure, he can’t thunder with self-righteousness about tax cheats and I haven’t seen anything to prove that he stole from Unite. Neither of these things are part of what he wrote about in his column.

      • Deadly_NZ 6.1.2

        It wasn’t workers money tosspot!!! it was IRD’s money.
        Link —> http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5342791/IRD-chasing-Matt-McCarten-company

        Go read Then come back and try again Troll.

  7. Jenny 7


    I well remember the times when at the height of Winston Peters anti-immigrant campaign in the ’90s, the number of violent attacks against immigrants increased almost overnight.

    There were several news reports of Asian men and women being assaulted as they walked in the street.

    One of the most notorious cases was an organised campaign against a Somali family of refugees in Mt Roskill who were terrorised by stone throwing gangs who regularly gathered outside their rental house to smash the windows.

    These attacks came to an end when a large anti-racist protest called on Anzac day (which was joined by some old soldiers straight from the Anzac day celebrations, some wearing their medals), marched through the main streets of this Auckland suburb denouncing Winston Peters racist scapegoating and urging residents to reject racism. The large turn out of locals supporting the march discouraged the racists who had felt that they had been given legitimacy by Peters public statements.

    Will Don Brash’s plans to run an electoral campaign of slurs against Maori and beneficiaries also encourage thugs to violence?

    • SHG 7.1

      I well remember the times when at the height of Winston Peters anti-immigrant campaign in the ’90s, the number of violent attacks against immigrants increased almost overnight.

      That’s why I instantly feel positively-inclined towards a political party whose leader flatly rules out a partnership deal with Winston Peters.

      And why I feel instant antipathy towards a political party whose leader leaves the door open to working with Peters if it would gain that party the Government benches.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        So you criticise ACT and Brash for their recent advertisements attacking Maori? And think that John Key should rule out working with them?

  8. Bill 8

    Breivik perceived a threat to an external authority he believed in. He had (has) an image of that authority that is informed as much by nostalgic myth as anything else. His equivalence with that fiction resulted in a perceived threat being experienced on a personal level.

    And that’s not evil. It’s sadly prevalent. Many a person identifies with a sports team, builds a myth around that focus and reacts emotionally to events connected to ‘their’ team. And those emotional reactions often include violence. Different magnitude, but same thing.

    Putting the specifics of Breivik aside, there is a world of difference in the effect of individual acts in a coherent functioning society and the effects of acts of individuals in dysfunctional or broken down societies. One doesn’t equate to the other and neither does one usher in the other. In the former situation, presiding centers of authority prevent the ascendancy of any would be pretenders or their organisations and sanction them according to their own rules. That’s not the case in the latter scenario.

    In the event of social breakdown there is no effective presiding authority.

    That wouldn’t be a problem if we were answerable to society for our actions. But we allow ourselves to be answerable to power; to various authorities that preside over society instead. That’s the nub of the problem.

    When those authorities disintergrate, a power vacuum presents itself…there is a ‘free for all’… and conflict or competition aimed at assuming the mantle of authority ensues. And since we are inured to appealing to external authority rather than assuming and excercising our society’s affairs ourselves…directly and democratically…we become subject to a ‘roll of the dice’ to determine the nature of the authority that will hold sway over our lives.

    Ultimately we defer, either fearfully or willingly to the next set of rulers (the ‘will’ of the majority). And there will always be a next set of rulers…and a next set…and a next set, because it is the nature of heirachy that it will ‘crystalise’ and implode under the weight of its inertia at some point in time.

    And in the space between the formation and disintegration of external ( ie detached and heirarchical) authority, expressions of human behaviour will be as expressions of human behaviour are within environments that legitimise disparities of power and agency.

  9. Oligarkey 9

    It’s too easy to blame the social outsiders imo. In my experience it’s creative, intuitive types, who are too conscientious to do what it takes to climb the ladder, that end up being socially marginalised. Granted, many lone wolves on the right, in no way fit this description. But it’s unfair to charge all socially marginalised people with this mentality.

    The real evil actually exists at an institutional level. The international mafia (Cosa Nostra), intelligence, security service, banking, military and secret society nexus is collectively a very closed and insular world. It’s a faceless evil which operates ultimately on a means-to-ends basis. To them, the world is “the grand chessboard”. No crime is too heinous. The darkness which is inherent in the human psyche is exacerbated by this mutually reinforcing evil at the top. It is a case of “as above, so below”. These evil people have been able to convince most of the rest of us that life is all about competition, when we humans are actually most happy when we’re serving a good common purpose in the spirit of cooperation. Pieces of opinion like this by people on the left actually glaze over these truths, and do much damage to the causes that the left are supposed to be about.

    An extremely committed study of the life and death of John Kennedy is the point i started at to reach these realisations. So to those that think these ideas are “crazy”, i’d simply ask you to think for yourself, and begin with listening to this 5 minute excerpt from a speech by JFK.

  10. Oligarkey 10

    But JFK was just reinforcing what Eisenhower had said in his last speech as president in 1961. This excerpt is only 2 minutes long.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Good clips. I wonder what Eisenhower and Kennedy would make of the State of the Union today.

  11. Oligarkey 11

    If those two videos are enough to spark your interest (and they should be), i’d recommend taking the time to watch the doco series “The men who killed Kennedy” as the next step. There is speculation in this series, but the facts were enough to get me to read more, and now through much reading, and fact checking, i can’t come to any other conclusions than those i’ve expressed above.

  12. SHG 12

    I’m not sure what the word “evil” means in the parent post. Someone want to define it for me?

  13. Vicky32 13

    Extremely well-written, Red Logix, I agree 100%…

  14. Andrei 14

    The crucial question this BBC man asked was this. How was it that these people who had grown up together, had lived, worked, traded and married among each other… could so tragically turn on each other with such venom?

    Because it suited the Socialists in the EU to dismember Yugoslavia and they stirred up nationalism, starting with Slovenia, in order to accomplish their ends.

    And when the lawful Government of Yugoslavia tried to restore law and order as things unravelled, first in Slovenia where it didn’t matter too much, then Croatia where it did and the Bosnia where things came really unglued – that Government was demonized not the least by the BBC.

    And when the lawful Government of the rump of Yugoslavia tried to restore order in Kosovo, you know stop the beheadings, rapes and Church burnings that were occurring there NATO bombed the crap out of Belgrade and also for some strange (not so strange if you understand their real purpose) reason Montenegro.

    And NATO having taken control of Kosovo did not stop the beheadings, rapes and Church burnings in Kosovo – no they continued apace

    And thus was Yugoslavia, a once multicultural and multiconfessional society dismembered by the EUSSR and is now seven, counting Kososv small unviable states ripe for the plucking by the EUSSR, well Slovenia is actually already in their hands.

    • Bill 14.1

      Care to name the socialist governments or institutions, Andrei? And explain what the fuck the military alliance NATO has to do with socialism?

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Andrei, you’re taking centuries of ethnic tensions, several clear examples of modern war atrocities, the power vaccuum left from Tito’s death, and blaming it all on the EU? And ‘socialists’? Don’t think so mate.

      • Andrei 14.2.1

        Even the United Nations recommended the Slovenia’s declaration of independence not be recognized but the German’s and the French recognized it any way, thus uncorking the bottle.

        Don’t y’all think it is a little uncanny that the Balkans circa 2011 looks pretty much the way old Adolf had it organized circa 1944.

        I wonder why that is? Can’t be a co-incidence now can it?

        • McFlock 14.2.1.1

          It’s also pretty similar to how it looked preWW1. So what’s your point?

          • Andrei 14.2.1.1.1

            Where did WW1 start my friend? And what was the goal of the aggressor?

            And wasn’t the post war WW1 formation of Yugoslavia an attempt to circumvent similar adventures in the future by creating a strong self sufficient state in the Balkans?

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah I can tell that talking to Andrei is going to be a historical merry go round of total pointlessness.

              • Andrei

                You don’t even know the history! That is why you still fall for the cargo cult that is Socialism

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah I’m a democratic socialist. It is a serious political economic philosophy thank you, not a “cargo cult” lol.

                  And what you say about the Balkan war has no relationship in reality, its your own strange fiction.

                • McFlock

                  sigh.
                   
                   
                  To be fair to Andrei, it’s probably an understandable pushbutton for him. A bit like a fmr Eastern European lecturer I had who was good for an extra ten points in any essay if you managed to include the sentence, no matter how thin the pretext, “but this [never/] happened in Eastern Europe and that is why Communism can never work”. Marks for Marx, one might say.
                   

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.2

          I think I’m getting a pretty clear idea of your concept of European politics. Blame ‘Socialist EU’ outsiders for the war and the atrocities insiders waged.

        • Bill 14.2.1.3

          So the UN (a liberal, though in your world ‘socialist’, institution) recommended that Slovenia not be recognised? As a way to dismember Yugoslavia. (sigh)

          Andrei. There is no doubt that a fuck of a lot of ‘real politik’ went on during that time. And there is no doubt that we were subjected to some pretty partisan propaganda. And no doubt that NATO committed atrocities. And that the UN was ineffective.

          But all that, lamentable and condemnable as it is, has got sfa to do with these socialist conspiracy fantasies you espouse.

  15. ChrisH 15

    It’s interesting to follow USA media stories about increasingly brazen flash mob robberies by the poor as America falls apart, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvvarvz3DQc. And then read the comments.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      In 3rd world and developing countries thieves steal copper cabling right off power and phone lines to sell for scrap metal.

      Now it happening throughout the USA.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


History

  • Foreign Students just a commodity to National
    National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has confirmed that his party sees international students as nothing more than a commodity, says Labour's Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. "Mr Bakshi’s appalling comparison of some students to 'faulty fridges' that should be returned to ...
    17 hours ago
  • Tolley’s spin on Education spend doesn’t add up
    National’s spin about school funding won’t wash with parents who are paying more and more of the cost of their kids’ education every year, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “All the spin in the world can’t hide the fact ...
    19 hours ago
  • National not facing up to export challenge
    “The latest export data from Statistics New Zealand paints a picture of an economy which is not paying its way in the world, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Exports fell 9% - led by milk powder exports falling to ...
    20 hours ago
  • Correction over Talley’s statement
    Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway has been advised by AFFCO Ltd that AFFCO is not advertising for staff in the Manawatu through MSD as stated in a press statement released earlier today.  “I have been advised by AFFCO that ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister, cut your losses – withdraw this doomed Bill
    Local Government Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga’s request for a five month extension on the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) is an admission that the Bill is fundamentally flawed, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • Coleman’s cuts create crisis
    Mental health services in New Zealand are in a state of crisis with Youthline saying that calls for extreme depression doubled last year, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “About 150 young Kiwis are missing out on help ...
    4 days ago
  • Government helping Talley’s to break workers
    The Ministry for Social Development appears to be assisting Talley’s-Affco replace experienced workers effectively locked out by the company, say Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni and Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “MSD is advertising for meat processing workers for ...
    4 days ago
  • Electives lag due to $1.7 billion hole
    The lag in hip and knee replacements is a direct consequence of the Government’s $1.7 billion underfunding of health, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “A comprehensive study by the University of Otago says that the rate of ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Master Builders’ Constructive conference
    Today’s all about being Constructive. And that is good because I believe there is a hunger out there for positive solutions. We must be able to believe there can be a better future. ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori Party housing plan complete failure
    The Māori Party’s housing plan to put more Māori into more homes has been a complete failure with fewer than five loans granted per year, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    5 days ago
  • Fund IRD better to go after tax avoiders
    National’s Tax Working Group used the following graph (p30) in 2010 as part of their justification to cut the top tax rate. The big peaks around the top tax threshold were evidence of a suspiciously high number of taxpayers ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    5 days ago
  • Pasifika youth ignored by the Government
    The Adolescent Health Research Group’s new report on the wellbeing of young Pacific people shines a spotlight on the Government’s failure  to deliver any “brighter future” for them, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Their research shows ...
    5 days ago
  • Police in the provinces are dissatisfied
    Police in the cities of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are a lot more unhappy than their big city cousins says Labour’s Police Spokesman Stuart Nash.     “In fact the top four districts for enjoyable work within NZ Police are ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt action needed after Wheeler holds
    The Reserve Bank Governor’s warning that “excessive house price inflation” is posing a risk to financial stability puts the pressure back on the Government to take action to address the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister confirms – new ministry only about abuse
    ...
    6 days ago
  • Silver Ferns Farms decision a tragedy
    The rubber stamping by the Overseas Investment Office of the Shanghai Maling buyout of Silver Fern Farms is a sorry day for the once proud New Zealand meat sector, says Labour’s spokesperson for Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor.  “Generations of Kiwis ...
    6 days ago
  • Benching Nick Smith first step to Kermadec solution
    Side-lining Nick Smith must be the first step in sorting out the Government's Kermadec debacle, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Last week Labour called for Nick Smith to be removed from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana over the ...
    7 days ago
  • Parents, schools, teachers oppose bulk funding
    Overwhelming opposition to the National Government’s school bulk funding proposal is unsurprising and Hekia Parata should now unequivocally rule out proceeding with the idea, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Bulk funding could only lead to bigger class sizes or ...
    7 days ago
  • MBIE gives up on enforcing the law
      The Government must provide labour inspectors with the resources they need to enforce basic employment law after reports that MBIE is only prosecuting the worst cases, says Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Today’s news that MBIE ...
    7 days ago
  • West Coast population declines amid bleak economic forecast
    Despite the country experiencing record population growth, the number of people living in the West Coast fell, highlighting struggles in the region from low commodity prices and a poor economic forecast, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest ...
    7 days ago
  • Recovery roadblocks cause for concern
    Strong pressure on mental health services, a flagging local economy and widespread issues with dodgy earthquake repairs are all causes for concern for people in Canterbury according to a new survey, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Today the CDHB’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Motel purchase must not kick people onto the street
    The Government’s purchase of a South Auckland motel to house the homeless must come with a promise that the current long term tenants will not be kicked out onto the streets, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is bizarre ...
    1 week ago
  • Not everyone singing along to so-called rock star economy
    The Westpac McDermott Miller Confidence Survey shows there is serious unease about the economy’s ability to deliver benefits to many New Zealanders, despite the Government trumpeting headline figures, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “According to this survey a significantly ...
    1 week ago
  • Youth no better off under National’s “guarantee”
    John Key’s Youth Guarantee is such a spectacular failure that those who undertake the programme are more likely to end up on a benefit and less likely to end up in full-time employment than those who don’t, Leader of the ...
    1 week ago
  • More low-skilled students becoming residents
    New figures showing international students now make up nearly 40 per cent of all principal applicants approved for New Zealand residency and that their skill level has fallen dramatically, are further evidence that National’s immigration system is broken, says Labour’s ...
    1 week ago
  • 35% of offshore speculators paying no tax
    Offshore investors are aggressively exploiting tax breaks to pay no tax on their rental properties according to IRD data released by Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “35% of offshore investors are paying no tax on their properties, and are pocketing ...
    1 week ago
  • Friday fish dump stinks
    This government has dumped bad news on a Friday to try to avoid political scrutiny in Parliament, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OECD report card: National must try harder
    The OECD report on education shows there’s much more to be done for young Kiwis, Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kermadec stoush shows Maori Party double-standards
    The Māori Party’s reaction to the trampled Treaty rights and the Government’s lack of consultation on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary reeks of the same arrogant mismanagement of the unpopular Maori land reforms, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flawed fish dumping calls
    The finding that MPI failed to properly enforce the law even when it had evidence of fish dumping seriously damages the trust and credibility of the Ministry, the industry and this Government, Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sidestepping Smith should be side-lined
    Nick Smith's arrogance and disrespect towards Māori is putting the future of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary at risk and he needs to excuse himself from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana, Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must respond to cash for jobs scam
    Urgent Government action is required to halt  the emerging cash-for-jobs immigration scandal that is taking hold in New Zealand says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Stories of rogue immigration agents scamming thousands of dollars from migrant workers are just further ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government dragging its feet on surgical mesh
    Jonathan Coleman is dragging his feet over any action to protect New Zealanders from more disasters with surgical mesh, says Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The Government’s pathetic response is to claim all will be fixed by a new regime to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s baby number app goes gangbusters
    An interactive tool that celebrates Labour’s achievements in health over the decades has become an online hit, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Since the tool was launched last night, 18 thousand people have used it to find their baby ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Real disposable income falls in last three months
    Kiwis are working harder than ever but real disposable income per person fell in the last quarter thanks to record population increases, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said. ‘In Budget 2016 the National Government said that what mattered most for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Baby number app celebrates Labour achievements
    Labour has launched an interactive tool that allows New Zealanders to take a look back at our achievements in health over the decades, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Today is the 78th anniversary of the Social Security Act 1938, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal experts unpick Māori land reforms
    One of New Zealand’s top law firms has joined the chorus of legal experts heavily critical of the controversial Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, adding more weight to the evidence that the reforms fall well beneath the robust legal standards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Industries most reliant on immigration worst offenders
    The industries most reliant on immigration are the worst offenders when it comes to meeting their most basic employment obligations, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “The industries that are most reliant on immigration are Hospitality, Administration, Agriculture, Forestry and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to remove law that discriminates against sole parents
    It’s time to repeal a harmful law that sanctions those who do not name the other parent of their child, Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Every week, 17,000 children are missing out because their sole parent is being ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government handling of Kermadecs threatens Treaty rights
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister should give Police Minister some backbone
    The Prime Minister should condemn the ridiculously light sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for seriously assaulting a police woman, Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government listens to Labour on family violence
    Labour is pleased the Government has finally acted on strengthening a range of measures against family violence, says Labour’s spokesperson on Family Violence Poto Williams.  “Some of the latest changes including a new family violence offence of non-fatal strangulation is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must rethink paying for police checks
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams.  “National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven months for families in cars to be housed
    Disturbing new figures show it is now taking the Ministry of Social Development an average of seven months to house families who are living in cars, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “John Key made a song and dance ...
    2 weeks ago
  • North Korea test must be condemned
    The nuclear test by North Korea that registered 5.3 on the Richter scale needs to be condemned, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “This test, coming hard on the heels of a missile launch a few days ago, shows ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tribe footing the bill for Maori Party?
     Waikato-Tainui deserve committed representation, yet the President of the Maori Party is muddying the waters by confusing the core business of the tribe with party politics, says Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.  “The only way to fix this growing negative ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Schools set to lose millions
    Schools will start 2017 grappling with a $7.8 million funding cut, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Hekia Parata has been adamant changes to the way our schools are funded would see them better off. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 70% of families in cold, damp homes powerless to fix them
    Shocking new figures out today show 70 per cent of the families living in cold, damp homes are powerless to make improvements because they are in rental properties, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The 2016 Household Incomes Report highlights ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Wealth inequality at record levels
    The housing crisis is making inequality worse, with housing costs in New Zealand now way out of proportion for those on the lowest incomes, according to the 2016 Household Incomes Report, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Migrant exploitation must be stamped out
    Migrant workers are being treated like slaves by rogue employers and the Government has failed to get on top of the issue, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.“A report released by Caritas Aotearoa details ongoing exploitation of migrant workers such ...
    3 weeks ago


History


History


History