The last student protest?

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, September 27th, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: activism, education, Unions - Tags: , ,

One of the big stories last night was the anti-VSM protest at Auckland Uni. From TVNZ:

Police break up student protest

Police say a student protest outside their central Auckland HQ has ended with one arrest.

A group of students were sitting outside the station on Cook Street this evening after police earlier broke up a protest at the University of Auckland business school.  Hundreds of students barricaded themselves in the top floor of the Owen Glenn building this afternoon in response to Government plans to make student union membership voluntary. …

“This is an amazing turn-out and really demonstrates that student unity still exists,” student spokesperson Guy Cohen said earlier in the day. …

Students are hopeful the Government will have a change of heart and decide against backing the controversial law change, driven by the Act Party.  National has pledged to support it, despite 98% of submissions being against the change.

Hope is misplaced. National have an ideological hatred of anything with “union” in the title (a while back I suggested that Student Unions should “re-brand” themselves as local governments). By the end of the week VSM will be law.  David Shearer at Red Alert describes what will happen next:

Students will lose, but still pay

… Well, the university, polytech or institution will step in, charge students a levy, and continue some of the services through subcontracting companies or students to do it for them. It’s already been gazetted (NZ Gazette No. 138). Institutions can charge students for: advocacy and legal advice, careers advice and guidance, counselling services, employment information, financial support and advice, health servieces, childcare facilities, sports and recreation facilities.

In other words, all the stuff that supports students and makes these institutions of learning vital, interesting places.

So, voluntary student association membership will result in … money taken off students compulsorily, leaving them with no power to determine what services are kept. Taxation without representation is one way it can be represented.

Guy Cohen is right, student unity still exists. It was great to see protests all round the country today, with a big turnout in Auckland (following on from a prior big event at Otago).  But it’s entirely possible that with the gutting of student unions, this unity will not endure.  Have we just witnessed the last student protest?  That would suit the Nats very nicely (sheep will be so much easier to fleece).  But there’s no way it’s a healthy thing for democracy in New Zealand.

55 comments on “The last student protest?”

  1. Bob Stanforth 1

    So, Auckland students, who are not members of a union as a result of not being forced to be a member, protesting about not being forced to be part of a union.

    Um, scuse me?

    • Joe Bloggs 1.1

      +1

    • McFlock 1.2

      So auckland students who have seen their students association get stuffed by VSM are pissed that they won’t be able to reverse the cockup, like WSU did. Oh, and now every other students’ association is stuffed, too.

      Meanwhile apparently Aus is looking at stepping back from the VSM stupitidty they imposed via governmnent act. Once again NZ is continuing the mistakes the rest of the world is trying to recover from.

      • Deadly_NZ 1.2.1

        Well to be Honest Key is a problem that we have been paying for for years (while he tried to ruin NZ with his speculating) and now we will keep paying for his brainless antics (hopefully for only a few months) or it will be for decades. What a nice thing to have on your CV…

        Budget 2010 Bill and I lied through our teeth 170k jobs, hehe yeah in your dreams.
        Feb 2011 Earthquakes Smiled and waved and laid the blame else where. Shit I looked Good.
        Sept 2011 Met Obama kissed arse, promised the world, tough shit on NZ. But fuck I looked good again.
        Oct 2011 Screwed the student unions, I got a new ‘fuck you’ wave. Shit I look good yet again.
        Nov 2011 OOPPSS caught out. Lost election laid blame at Bill’ n Stevens feet. Waved goodbye. Off to Hawaii back to work at the bank.
        2012 Fuck got caught again trying to kill NZ’s currency. Fuck I have got to have my revenge on the labourites that made me look bad.

        Well thats what it looks like to me. Mr vacant smile ‘n’ wave will always come up smelling of roses, More’s the pity..

  2. Tigger 2

    Irony that ACT should drive an anti-student law when their leader is courting the student vote with his ‘dope for everyone’ idea is a desperate pitch to youf.

  3. MikeE 3

    Auckland has been voluntary for the last 12 years. What change are they protesting exactly?

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      The loss of choice, I would have thought, MikeE. Auckland Uni at least went voluntary as the result of a democratic decision, not as a result of being dictated to by ACT.

    • aerobubble 3.2

      They voluntarily choose to goto university and are not paid to do so, unlike
      a union of paid workers. As someone pointed out, student union fees were
      more like rates charges. The purpose of a union of student is to provide
      students with the means to engage one another in a experimental forum,
      testing area, before they eventually enter the big smoke. So you find
      people working together to share a house, or go rock climbing, or
      joining a debating team, or yes arguing politics at a union election.
      So why would we want to produce a bunch of stunted students
      who knuckle under, or worse, who go off campus to get their political
      and other non-accreited learning. Like they do in Iran and other tosspot
      countries. Its pure extremist nonsense to do away with student rates
      charges, right out of the wacky ACT policy manual. It won’t even
      save money, the multiplier effect of having a guarenteed income
      means that students can do more with less within a compulsory union.
      WTF, you weren’t suppose to actually listen to the thatcherites,
      they were always too flaky to be taken seriously, how could you
      not have noticed they have destroyed capitalism, we have global
      lousy capitalism now that fails to address the needs of our species
      and the needs of free markets. Free markets are in open rebellion
      now against Thatchers tyranny.

  4. You_Fool 4

    They are protesting because they know what the effects of VSM is, that is exactly what is put in this article: Taxation without Representation, well without automatic representation.

    Under Universal Student Membership people pay their membership fees in their uni fees, and can at any time go and rescind that membership and receive a pro-rata portion of the fees back. No one is holding a gun to your head to stay in the union if you don’t want.

    Under VSM people pay some fee to the uni who then contracts out the services, generally to the local student union which results in no one getting a say in how much the fee is or if they want to be part of the system or not, you have to pay if you want to go to uni because it is now a uni fee, not a union membership. So now everyone still pays but not everyone is represented, nor does anyone have any say on what the fee is actually used for, though there is a say in what the union will put in a tender for and at what cost.

    This all sounds totally democratic to me….

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Waikato after years of voluntary membership voted to go back to compulsory
      membership. So WTF are you talking about? Students had choice before,
      with VSM they won’t be able to choose to opt out as they are now,
      they will be forced to opt out.

  5. Rijab 5

    Young ACT members are so deceptive in the arguments they’re using in this debate. They’ve been sitting around social media smoking their joints and claiming that only a small proportion of students were out protesting and the majority support this law. This simply is not true. Hundreds of students have been protesting because hundreds are aware of what the consequences of this law will be. The others will realise in the coming years that they’ll still pay for the services but now they’ve lost the representation and the ability to help the students who need extra assistance.

    They don’t say that they never even tried to hold student referendums to invoke voluntary unionism … they know they’d never get real support so they have the fake a sentiment, along their entirely manufactured crisis.

    Most students are good honest hardworking giving people who are free thinking and capable of realising the benefits that students associations offer them. Some other students are narcissistic scumbags who couldn’t think of anything worse than giving to the collective.

  6. queenstfarmer 6

    This is an amazing turn-out and really demonstrates that student unity still exists

    Then what’s their problem – as they think it’s so great, I’m sure all of those protesters will be first in line to sign up to their voluntary unions (like AUSA is already…).

    Oh that’s right, their problem is that they are upset because they won’t be able to compel other students to join their association too.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    bf thinks that maybe this won’t change anything in Canterbury, if passed.

    He said that the student services fee is charged by the university, which then contracts the UCSA to provide the actual services. If this is the case, there is no student union membership fee and therefore nothing will change. It also means other universities should be able to adopt the same system.

    • Zorr 7.1

      If UoC even remains tenable in the coming years… >_<

    • McFlock 7.2

      The problem with students’ associations as “service contractors” to the university is that they are then reliant on keeping the university happy. Advocacy is at risk of becoming the university’es first opportunity to sweep a problem under the carpet, and the association itself is at risk of simply becoming the university’s events manager – get ’em pissed, keep ’em pissed, don’t care so much if assignments are habitually marked unfairly or the hall RAs are being screwed worse than IHC caregivers.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    The class war was effectibely lost in the late 1960s to early 1970s, when students were shot dead for protesting against US involvement in Vietnam and the French students attempt to overthrow the system in 1968 failed.

    All empires crush oppostion in the short term but collapse in the long term. The present military-industrial-petroleum-financial empire will be no different, though its collapse will be somewhat faster than the collapse of most previous empires, since all the factors that make the present empire possible have already been stretched well beyond the limit of sanity or sustanability.

    The next major round of protest in NZ will probably occur when the NZ government attempts to impose Greek-style austerity on the populace. Depending on how quickly things melt down overseas, that may not occur until around 2014-15 in NZ.

    On the other hand, the financial fraud being perpetrated in Europe at the moment over Greece’s inability to service the interest on loans (let alone repay them) may be sufficient to bring the system down over the coming weeks. No one knows.

    However, we do know that every day the system continues to function, the worse off everyone will be in the long run. Maybe a few intelligent young people are starting to realise that.

  9. Anthony 9

    I remember the massive protests that used to happen every time the fees went up, recently a number of Universities have chucked in a “student services fee” much higher than any fee rise and there has barely been a peep.

    I’d say student protesting has already been killed off before this round of VSM.

  10. I could understand the headline if the protest was somewhere other than Auckland university, but doesn’t the fact the a university with a voluntary students’ association can still have a student protest suggest that VSM (whether it will be bad overall or not) will not be the complete end of all student activism?

    • r0b 10.2

      When did Auckland Uni students last rally to protest on a local issue?  

      With student unions gutted nation wide, what national issue will motivate (and what nation wide organisation will organise) student protests in the future?

      • higherstandard 10.2.1

        “With student unions gutted nation wide, what national issue will motivate.. student protests in the future?”

        Something to do with piss ups and getting more of a free ride on the taxpayer I expect.

      • Nick C 10.2.2

        When did students of any university last rally to protest a local issue? The student union ‘leaders’ are mostly too busy collecting paychecks and drinking to care.

        • McFlock 10.2.2.1

          Bullshit.

          Don’t know about other associations, but ousa and opsa have been active on a variety of local issues such as refuse, council plans and university area issues.
          As for “paychecks” – OUSA pays less than mcdonalds and a few years ago OPSA execs were paid 0$$ for theior work.

          Of course, being a tory sociopath you probably don’t understand the concept of non-monetary rewards.

          • Nick C 10.2.2.1.1

            I’m sure AUSA are also involved in discussion/lobbying on local issues McFlock. That wasn’t the question, the question was about organising a protest.

            Have I heard of non monetary rewards? Well for a start, im not the one suggesting that the countries student association will all fall over the moment they no longer have multi-million dollar budgets from collecting copulsory levies.

            • McFlock 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Nah, you just said that exec members were in it for beer and paychecks. Dick. Or rather, given local issues, CoC.
              Don’t know about AK protests, but there have been a few down here in the last few years, some with hundreds of people. And I haven’t exactly been following them, either.

              But it’s amazing how much can get done simply by having competent staff able to work full time, working with various councils rather than against.

  11. big bruv 11

    The passing of the VSM bill will be a great day for all Kiwis, a day to celebrate the end of compulsion and a day to celebrate freedom.

    Anyway, if the ‘services’ offered by the compulsory student union are so wonderful I am sure they will still be around…..lol

    • McFlock 11.1

      Too true, BB – VSM is a great day for freedom, right up there with Nelson Mandela becoming President of South Africa, the independence of India or the Emancipation Proclamation. You must all be very humbled by the eternal fame and gratitude this achievement will bring you. /sarc

  12. What student came up with the chant “The whole world is watching”

    I mean , really?

  13. Cameron 13

    The Auckland protest wasn’t just about VSM.

    We were also angry about the Vice Chancellor trying to cut our lecturers’ working conditions. A large number of protesters were motivated primarly by this issue.

    This year the lecturers’ collective employment agreement has come up for renewal. The Uni management offered a 4% pay increase in return for the lectuers’ giving up basic rights such as guaranteed research and study leave etc.

    The lecturers’ have decided they would rather keep their conditions because without these things they cannot do their job properly. However, Stuart McCutcheon and the uni management refuse to budge.

    • r0b 13.1

      Apologies for representing the protest too narrowly.  Bravo on turning out in numbers, the tactics of your VC are disgraceful.

  14. The racist profiling used by the private cops on campus to trespass two leading Maori students, is an indictment of the warning given by Professor Margaret Mutu the security guards have senior leadership from a South African background who apparently think that the University of Auckland is a private area where premission must be sought to engage in political activity.

    The University of Auckland is on Ngati Whatua land. The University of Auckland is funded by the taxpayers, who in this capitalist society, are largely the working and lower middle classes. Workers and Maori have every right to be on University.
    Without our land and taxes, it would not exist

    Occupation Photostory, videos and background to the arrest-
    http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/09/detonation-student-struggle-rises-like.html

    • bigbruv 14.1

      Lol…so says a fully fledged pom.

      Thankfully nobody really cares what you have to say. The days of your type of union bullying are over, the days of the strong union movement are gone, VSM is the final nail in the coffin.

      It is something to celebrate.

      • Deadly_NZ 14.1.1

        Hey you trying to be funny????? I was born in England and proud of it. We don’t call you derogatory (look it up) names so keep the racisism to your self!

  15. Dan 15

    Ooooo. An RTF text editor? Anywho, Antony Robins, there’ll be few protestors out there who will be annoyed you’ve labelled this an ‘anit-VSM’ protest, when they were also speaking out in favour of the academics in the contract negotiations.

    Also, would that Guy Cohen be the same Guy Cohen who was also demanding the sacking of Victoria’s VC earlier this month? Is he an Auckland student or a Victoria student or what? 

  16. millsy 16

    There is no going back after tomorrow. I dont think Labour will repeal this bill if/when it gets back into office.

    I hope the student associations suck it in and start working out how they can preserve the vital assets that they have control of before the likes of ACT On Campus start flogging them off to private enterprise. And thats what its about really. ACT and National resent the provision of public services and assetts for common good purposes and want to sell them off and have them make a profit. Nothing to do with ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’.

    BTW: I agree with the poster’s suggestion that student unions brand themselves as local governments, or as I would call them, student councils. It would probably solve a whole lot of problems.

    • aerobubble 16.1

      Students have it too easy, disfunctional national government requires that
      the next generation of leaders are not coddled, that find it harder at university
      to socialize. Too many rightwing politicians lived off student welfare “Bennett
      visionaries” who took the leftwing loan to single mums and ran with it.
      Maybe if the left had not be so successful in winning at uni and so failing
      in standing up to MSM neo-liberalism….

      Even the debate is distorted, I heard Waikato decided to reimplement compulsory
      student unionism, now ACT want to lock out the choice of students to levy
      the whole student body. How is that framed as ACT defending choice?

  17. It’s interesting that Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, told protrestors to “pull their heads in”, and that “students had 75 per cent of the tuition subsidised on average and benefited from interest-free student loans”.

    He forgot to add another little gem of information: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/its-official-political-dissent-discouraged-in-nz/

  18. Why did this student protest group allow Omar Hamed to attend? and is his alleged treatment of woman (from various feminist groups) a concern?

    • McFlock 18.1

      No idea, I’m not a JAFA.
      Yes. As would be any attempt to use allegations of sexual assault as a distraction from the idiocy that is VSM. You suddenly aligning yourself with feminists from across the political spectrum, particularly the political left, is most interesting.

  19. McFlock

    Ive been a regular poster (in the comments section) over at the hand mirror. So its not all of a sudden, there are serious concerns over there.

    • McFlock 19.1

      You’ve been a regular commenter here, too – it doesn’t make you left wing.
      I’m just observing that you’ve cut&paste the same comment into at least two threads here with no point to make.

      • lprent 19.1.1

        Which is a dangerous practice – since it is one of my favorite spoor signatures of the stupid troll.. Good thing I haven’t seen it whilst moderating..

      • Brett Dale 19.1.2

        McFlock I posted this at open mike and here, and it doesnt seem anyone here want to address the concerns shown at the hand mirror.

        • McFlock 19.1.2.1

          Most probably because I, for one, have been reading the discussion over at THM. The internet is a wonderful thing.
           
          Open mike – yeah, I can see that. But given your track record, my impression of you posting it in this thread was that it was a derail attempt rather than a genuine inquiry. Perhaps if you had actually offered something pertinent. Perhaps you should ask AUSA directly – I’m sure they have a FB forum or something.  I can’t speak for AUSA or Unite. I can say that yes, the behaviour described is a concern. 
           
          What’s your point? did you want to open a discussion about community-based moderation of behaviour, or whether there is a point at which, even without criminal charges, ostracism is preferable to attempts at education and mediation? These are valid issues, and worthy of open mike, but I don’t really see their relevance to this thread, which is more about the wider issue of students’ associations being fucked by national (when they said they wouldn’t, and by at least one National MP who is on record as saying he opposes it ).
           

          • Brett Dale 19.1.2.1.1

            I had first did my post here at the standard over on the student protest thread, since that thread seem old, I posted in the open mike, sorry that you have a problem with that.

            What I want Mike is for woman to be keep away from the behavior that Omar Hamed is alleged to have done, just as Im sure the posters here wouldn’t want their wife’s and girlfriends in the same room with him.

            • McFlock 19.1.2.1.1.1

              So a feminist like you uses the passive voice like that? Please.
              Your concern has been duly noted. And how would the two questions you originally asked help manly-men keep “their” women away from him?

    • just saying 19.2

      Regular commenter? What do you call regular Brett?

      The matter you raise, which has absolutely nothing to do with the substance of this thread, regards an issue which concerns me very much. I can’t help thinking that if you were genuinely concerned about it, you wouldn’t be using it to fire a cheap shot at the left in general.

      Btw can you imagine a right-wing group which would address this kind of issue publicly, and honestly as is happening here? The Natiional Party perhaps…?

      • Brett Dale 19.2.1

        just saying:

        Your right, a right wing group wouldnt address the issue, they would just sweep it under the
        carpet and brush it off, and that is wrong, its like the people who clap like trained circus seals at a charlie sheen roast, when they made fun of his abuse of hookers, (im sure she didnt find it funny)

        Famous people, political people get away with so much, and it seems some people will turn a blind eye to things, if the person doing the abusing, is part of a group that they are involved in, so hats off to the hand mirror for doing the post they did.

  20. just saying

    I have done posts over the years on various forums and at my blog about find the former Christian heritage leader, and the hypocrites who supported him, I have done posts about how sickening it is that we all follow and support charlie sheen despite his abuse of woman, i have done posts on tony veitch, I have done posts on law and order and i have been freakin consistent on it. I have done posts on that animal abuser Michael Vick.

    Doesn’t matter if you are left or right, funny or not, can score a try during the world cup, or can score a touchdown, violence against woman is wrong and to make any excuse because the person who is doing it, is someone you like or admire is wrong.

  21. Anon 21

    Just for the record I’d like to say that I am a young woman and I am not afraid of Omar, not have I ever been.
    Can’t publish my name unfortunately as I’m actually afraid of the reactions I’m likely to get from some of the lynchmobbers. Ironic.

  22. If you think this was the last student protest, you are mistaken. Students are not only planning more direct action, but the movement is growing and will soon start spilling into the streets. The VSM bill was only part of what students were protesting against on the 26th. WATU stands opposed to the financial imperatives that are decimating our education system, numbing the senses of our masters and destroying the futures of our youth. We do not want the end to a single parliamentary act, we want an end to the systemic violence that legitimates a racist, sexist, elitist system of exclusion. We want to halt a production line of ideas that allows 220,000 children to live in poverty in our country. We want to stop the inter-generational theft that lines the pockets a small, detached elite who tell us to ‘keep our heads down’. We demand an end the childish ego politics of nothingness that endlessly defers to an abstraction that does not work. We are the University, and we will no longer allow inequality to be produced in our name, we will no longer listen to the banal rhetoric of ‘economic reality’.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    10 hours ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    11 hours ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    13 hours ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.