Turei for peace & freedom: rejects politics of fear

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, November 5th, 2014 - 101 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, greens, iraq, Metiria Turei, Spying - Tags:

Metiria Turei delivered a very strong speech in response to Key’s ministerial statement on national security.  The video of Key’s statement is here.

metiria turei

The text of Turei’s speech is here.

Some extracts:

Mr Speaker

The Green Party stands for peace and freedom.

Peace is the best weapon we have in achieving personal security. It is a simple fact that New Zealanders are safest in a peaceful world.

And our democracy is only as strong as our personal freedoms. When personal freedoms are eroded our democracy is weakened.

Today, John Key has eroded both our quest for peace at home and abroad, and eroded New Zealanders personal freedoms.

By offering support the US led war with ISIS we are part of a strategy that reduces the prospects of enduring peace in the Middle East; and in the process we are also being told that we have to give up freedoms here at home too.

[…]

Supporting war, either directly with boots on the ground, or through other actions, is one of the most important decisions we, as a nation, can ever make.

It is our view that through our intelligence gathering activities and support for the US led efforts, that New Zealand is part of the American war effort.

What John Key has set out is our clear support for those fighting the war with ISIS.

Today I am announcing that the Green Party does not support any form of military engagement with the war effort. This includes training support for the Iraqi army.

Regardless of how the Government seeks to frame it, the reality is that any military assistance is a contribution to the war effort.

It is our view that the war effort will not result in peace, it is a strategy without an end point and has a low chance of success.

It is a myth that Western intervention can destroy ISIS.

A war will not solve what is, at its heart, sectarianism in Iraq.

Ten years of war waged by America could not solve the tensions that divide Sunni and Shia Iraqis or divide extremists from the moderates. How will this time be different?

Even an intensive, decades-long American ground effort — something that is politically not on the table — might only make the problem worse. ISIS’s presence in Iraq and Syria is fundamentally a political problem, not a military one.

[…]

The world can defeat ISIS, and build a lasting peace. We in the Greens are committed to this outcome, but there are better ways to achieve it than through Western military intervention.

The Green Party strongly supports a commitment to additional humanitarian aid in the region and a commitment to find an enduring political solution to the war in the Middle East, especially now that we are in a key position to do so on the Security Council.

By contributing humanitarian aid, New Zealand can demonstrate that our primary concern is for the needs of the victims, especially children.

By contributing our independent foreign diplomacy at the UN, New Zealand can demonstrate our commitment to collective peace and security — the only real long term solution to the horror of war and terrorism.

If New Zealand wants to make a difference on the Security Council, by going in clean, we’ll be more credible advocates for finding a political solution in the Middle East.

[…]

Any military deployment in the Middle East will undermine our peace and security here at home.

While this is not a compelling reason to avoid engaging in conflict around the world where it is just and the outcome will be lasting, this US-led war against ISIS does not justify those costs we will bear here at home.

Rather than eroding our civil liberties, now is the time to strengthen our tolerant and free society.

Rather than shutting down, now is the time to open up.

Let’s look at what enlightened leaders are doing to reduce the risks posed by foreign fighters, rather than relying on the failed policies of the Abbot Government in Australia.

Joining the US-led war in the Middle East is already increasing the climate of fear back here at home.

We see it in the Prime Ministers speech today and in his recent statements.

Fear pervades the drip feeding of allegations that rise suspicions about our neighbours and others who share our community.

Fear is the tried and true playbook of those who seek to build artificial walls between us.

We reject becoming a nation of fear.

[…]

Conclusion

Mr Speaker

Today I speak on behalf of a truly independent foreign policy that works for peace as the best form of security.

A foreign policy that aligns foreign and domestic interests.

I speak on behalf of our personal freedoms. I put them on a pedestal, only to be eroded in the most extreme of circumstances.

And I speak on behalf of those New Zealanders who believe in alternatives to war and fear; those who aspire to peace and freedom.

We can build a better world, but it will require a better approach than the one outlined by the Prime Minister today.

Read the full speech at the above link.

stop politics of fear

Today Metiria Turei was bold and clear.  She showed a positive way forward.  I give her a standing ovation!

peace and security

Update: inthehousenz ondemand video of Turei’s speech here.

Rather than accept the narrative Key is trying to build, Turei identities and rejects that narrative. At the same time, she provides an alternative narrative, with a positive way forward.

Update #2: Youtube video of Metiria Turei’s speech.

Video and text of Kennedy Graham’s speech explaining the reasons for the Greens’ position on ISIL

101 comments on “Turei for peace & freedom: rejects politics of fear”

  1. Karen 1

    Fantastic speech.

    Imagine if Metiria was running the country what a great country this would be!

    • karol 1.1

      Rather than accept the narrative Key is trying to build, she identities and rejects that narrative. At the same time, she provides an alternative narrative, with a positive way forward.

      Just what the left needs.

    • Chooky 1.2

      +100 …Great speech for PEACE by Metiria Turei !

      …and a pity she isn’t Prime Minister of New Zealand!

      …she speaks for peace loving women and men everywhere

    • Saarbo 1.3

      @Karen

      I agree

  2. Tracey 2

    humanitarian, rebuild and military medical aid. thats our role, imo, and something we are very good at. remember last time we got told the sas were “just training iraqis”…. turned out they were leading missions.

  3. Tracey 3

    taleban

    then

    al queda

    then

    isil

    which has been wiped out and no longer poses any threat?

  4. Ad 4

    +1 Tracey
    I would support those kinds of roles.

  5. les 5

    Metiria and Russell have the luxury of knowing how to appeal to their electorate without compromise, whereas Labour are cursed to walk the tightrope of the middle .

    • karol 5.1

      There doesn’t need to be a compromise from Labour. Shearer’s speech was pretty good on substance about ISIS. But he also seems to have somewhat contradicted Annette King’s leader’s speech – she went much more for accepting what Key said and his framing.

      Shearer identified the ISIS problem as a regional one, it isn’t threatening the world, but the west is internationalising it.

    • Tracey 5.2

      labour keeps thinking it has to win 20% of the people who voted for national. or wait for that is simply not true. while they think it they will have to all but be national to win when people get sick of key and his govt.

      if they assume 5-10% of nat voters are there cos they dont feel they have an alternative or dont agree with everything nats says and does they can frame their own argument. king is not the person for that.

    • Paul 5.3

      Don’t remember Labour not being courageous over nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 80s.
      It can be done.

  6. karol 6

    unbelievable. Stuff reporters give a brief account of various speeches, but totally ignore Turei’s speech.

    Actually they ignore King’s speech, too.

    Obviously women are not up to commenting on issues of international security!

  7. Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ DLANZ 7

    Good speech Metiria as its time for a big rethink on World politics…
    Regards
    Doug Hay
    Cordinator DLANZ

  8. Aerobubble 8

    Switched onto QT and waited for QT to start. After nat, came lab, green, nzf, and I was thinking that’s that, but no. The four headed hydra, Maori, NF and ACT. Key promised he wasn’t going to have a monster, but there they were all talking like they mattered, that they had not given over themselves to National, four speeches for the government and three against from the opposition. Surely if a party is a minister they shouldn’t bore the pecks of us bunging up parliamentary time.

    • alwyn 8.1

      I see what you want. We can have a speech from the Government and then one from each of the Opposition parties. In this case it would be 1 Government and then 3 Opposition speeches. Other parties, providing they support the Government, will then be silenced. Seems very fair, but what would you have done if Hone had scraped back in?.
      Alternatively I suppose we could have 1 Government and 1 Opposition speech. That would roughly match the representation in Parliament.
      I guess we would simply have the Labour, Green and New Zealand First leaders fight it out to see who gave the speech. Alternatively we could give the privilege to the one who could sing Kumbaya the longest.

      • karol 8.1.1

        Actually there were also speeches from other MPs – Mc Cully, Finlayson, one of the new NZF MPs, Kennedy GFraham from the Greens, etc.

        The list is here – it was a debate.

        15 speeches, including the first one from Key.

        • alwyn 8.1.1.1

          Hey, I’m in favour of what happened. I think all the party views need to be given, regardless of the party’s size.
          I was just pointing out that “aerobubble” doesn’t seem to want any such thing. Reading his comment seems to be an espousal of the view that only the opposition should have any time allocated.
          I was only suggesting equally silly alternatives to the approach he seems to desire.

          • Aerobubble 8.1.1.1.1

            Glad you agree, four head monster it is. Oh, Collins made the point however much she loathes the greens and there call not to send troops, she welcomes there input. So even she defends the four headed monster. How I ask you can a one seat party have anything extra to say, they are hardly over every portfolio, they signed up to bats foreign policy, what insult themselves by trying to differentiate, how is this any different from brownlee claiming greens were backing labour over Iraq.

            Then the biggest joke of all, the terrorism of guy Fawkes, a cultural part of our parliamentary history, and the Maori party thinks its irrelevant. Why give them the opportunity to make arises of themselves? They are ministers, if the want to have an alternative voice, find a mp from their party who isn’t a minister.

  9. Ad 9

    I would vote for someone who said something along these lines:

    “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognise the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to component it’s grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.”

    This is from President Dwight Eisenhower, 1961.

    As a former five star general and leader of the US forces, he should know.

    If only Jerry Mateparae could summon this kind of clear warning, for our new context.
    Or indeed anyone.

    • JanM 9.1

      The lid has been lifted – the evil ones have escaped. What are the chances of putting them back and shutting the lid?

  10. Zolan 10

    I particularly like how she references Key’s speech as evidence and thereby pre-emptively frames future statements in terms of psychological manipulation,
    Obvious to cynics, but I’d like to see more people asking not just “What is he saying?” but also “What is he trying to do with speech?”

  11. Paul 11

    Great speech.

  12. alwyn 12

    “By contributing humanitarian aid, New Zealand can demonstrate that our primary concern is for the needs of the victims, especially children.”

    Why do I think that Turei is simply waffling? Just who does she plan to be the providers of this humanitarian aid she talks about, and where will it be done?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/alan-henning-beheaded-aid-workers-family-numb-with-grief-over-his-murder-by-isis-9774983.html

    • karol 12.1

      Kennedy Graham explains more of the Greens position in his speech.

      he explains that he has looked at international law, and the UN Council decisions and findings on ISIL. Graham says that ISIL is doing nasty terrorist stuff, and should be stopped. However, he so far has seen no evidence that military action is the best way to do that.

      he says, the evidence points to looking for a diplomatic solution while also supplying humanitarian aid.

      Part of the problem is, that whenever the US goes into the middle east and starts trying to end atrocities by one group, dictator or another, they fail in the long term. They just antagonise many locals, and manage to stir up more conflict. The radicalness and brutality of ISIL has grown out of those earlier conflicts.

      So military action by the west actually can make the situation worse.

      Shearer also says that Key is overstating the threat of ISIL to NZ. It is a regional conflict – it is complex, between various groups in the region.

      NZ has a very good record in providing humanitarian aid during crises.

      • Chooky 12.1.1

        thanks karol …the Green Party position is eminently sensible….and so is Shearer

      • Tracey 12.1.2

        but it is easier for key supporters to pretend that the greens support isil than explain that.

    • Tracey 12.2

      are you saying that strikes against isil wont result in innocent people being killed maimed or homes destroyed putting them in need of humanitarian aid. you are brighter than that comment alwyn.

      • alwyn 12.2.1

        No I am not saying that innocent people won’t be hurt. I am saying that the idea that we can provide “humanitarian aid” in these areas is fraught with extreme danger to the people doing it, as is exhibited by what happened to the totally innocent gentleman from Britain.
        I think that Meteria’s speech shows a complete divorce from reality, and the things she proposes are pure fantasy.
        The people in ISIS (or IS or ISIL or whatever they are labelled today) are not amenable to rational discussion or diplomacy.

        • Tracey 12.2.1.1

          What you think isn’t always reliable as evidenced when you suggested Graham had no experience (although you deliberately changed it to “served”) in conflict zones to discredit his views when it turned out he did.

          It is neither fantasy nor a divorce from reality, it is her view. Many countries provide humanitarian aid but don’t join the war. many clean up the results of war but didn’t join the war. We have excellent medical and engineering units well equipped to provide exactly that, medical care and repair of damage inflicted by those joining a war and trained to deal with conflict zones.

          That you disagree with her is fine. But changing Karols words to suit your rhetoric, trying to mock Graham and not resiling when you were proven false in your mockery and resorting to emotive phrases like “divorce from reality” just makes you look foolish on this occassion.

        • karol 12.2.1.2

          Turei’s view, is that of the Green Party, informed by Graham’s analysis and experience. It is very much based in reality.

          You are ignoring the links to various informed analyses on the dangers of NZ sending combat troops to counter ISIL.

          Here’s another from Gordon Campbell.

          alwyn, it’s you who are ignoring the evidence and insisting on your fantasy that NZ sending troops to combat ISIL will have any significant impact on stopping the ISIL atrocities, now or in the future. The main outcomes of Key’s announcements will be to make NZ more of an international terrorist target, while adding extra state surveillance powers in NZ – the outcome of which will be to mainly limit democracy here, and do nothing to combat “terrorism”.

          John Key has his own fantasies of power – of the glow of being tied to Obama’s militarism and presidential power.

          • alwyn 12.2.1.2.1

            Gordon Campbell. Is he the one who worked for the Green Party in the leader’s office in Parliament?
            In the meantime I would ask that you provide me with a single piece of evidence to support YOUR fantasy when you claim that

            “alwyn, it’s you who are ignoring the evidence and insisting on your fantasy that NZ sending troops to combat ISIL will have any significant impact on stopping the ISIL atrocities, now or in the future”.

            Just one little piece of evidence that I have done, or said any such thing. Surely you wouldn’t have made it up?

            What I DID say was that any idea that we can solve the problems of the middle east in the way that Turei suggests is the fantasy.

            [karol: alwyn, there has been plenty of evidence here to show that what Turei and Graham argue is not a fantasy, but a reasoned approach based on evidence. The alternative to the use of diplomacy, supported by humanitarian aid (as argued by Graham and Turei), can only be to send combat troops. This is what Turei and Graham were arguing against, and what Key has been weighing up. The only thing stopping Key sending combat troops is likely to have been the awareness that it would not be popular with most kiwis.

            My point about Key’s fantasy, is that there is no evidence that sending troops, or the softer version of supporting the US-led military-based initiative will do anything to solve the ISIL problem.

            If you keep repeating the broken-record troll line that the Greens’ argument is fantasy, your comments will be deleted or sent to moderation.]

            [lprent: Or I could start figuring out how to reduce workloads. ]

            • alwyn 12.2.1.2.1.1

              OK. I got a bit upset.
              What upset me was, not that you accuse John Key of having fantasies, but that you specifically accused ME of sharing them. When you start a sentence with my name and then continue with the words “your fantasy” you are accusing me of holding views that I have never expressed.

              The gist of your comment reads
              “alwyn, it’s you who are …. insisting on your fantasy …. sending troops “. That is the bit that I never said and do not believe.

              I withdraw my comments on my interpretation of the Green Party beliefs.
              On the other hand I don’t see that the only alternative is to send combat troops and I don’t see any real evidence that Key does either. His words were very carefully chosen so as not to say that.

              • karol

                Fair enough.

                Yes, Key’s words are very carefully chosen. And there is plenty of evidence to show that Key relies a lot on Curia polling to decide how he will frame an issue – his comments about talking daily with DPF during the election for example.

                Initially, Key seemed to be sounding out the idea of sending combat troops in the last couple of weeks. He seemed keen – the double messages about NZ’s supposed signing up to join the US military effort a couple of weeks back. The result probably after Curia polling) seems to be he decided against sending the troops in support, re training, etc.

                He has gone for what could be seen as a softer option. Some are sceptical that the NZ troops will only be used in an advisory capacity.

                The speeches by Turei and Graham lay out the Greens reasons for not sending support troops – it has to do with the lack of support for the US-led initiatives. Graham discusses in as much detail as possible, his reasons for rejecting such support: the lack of transparency of how the decision by the “allies” (other than NZ) to send combat troops arrived at; the lack of any valid argument that justifies the action and that it will achieve the stated aims of crushing ISIL.

                Other opposition speakers in the House yesterday, were concerned that NZ sending non-combat troops would not eventually get drawn into some active combat.

                So, it seems to me, there is evidence to support the Greens’ stance of diplomacy, plus humanitarian support at this stage.

                There is a lack of evidence to support the decision to send either combat, or support troops and other zones in which ISIL are operating.

                • Tracey

                  he also knows that when they have told the public one thing about the role of say, the sas, that doesnt mean that is what the sas is actually doing. he will find a way to tell kiwis what they want to hear while delivering for his pals.

                  • karol

                    See also Phil Goff’s question 6 in Question Time today – re the track record in Iran, Key’s changing assurances over time, etc.

                    • alwyn

                      I shall read the answer when the transcript goes on-line.
                      I don’t really understand why they bother asking questions addressed to the PM on a Thursday. They have to ask something but the PM, and the leader of the opposition, are never in the house on a Thursday so they get the answer from English or more commonly Brownlee.
                      I guess that is why questions on Thursday are asked by the more junior (in rank, not years in the House) members of the opposition parties.Key is held to the reply given but it really isn’t the same is it.

                    • karol

                      Also check out Kennedy Graham’s question #8

                      And NRT’s tweets in response:

                      First:

                      Brownlee refuses to rule out that “trainers” will escalate into combat role #nzqt #MissionCreep

                      Then:

                      Again, Brownlee’s refusal to give a solid commitment can only be interpreted as an admission of guilt #nzqt

                      Then:

                      Government refuses to commit to A-G giving a legal opinion to the House on justification for war with ISIS #nzqt

                    • Tracey

                      but then alwyn, even when john key answers stuff we have to double check in which capacity he has answered… 😉

  13. fisiani 13

    Turei is guilty of gross naivety. Hers was a truly appalling speech decried from all sides of the House. Her woolly headed thinking is reflected in so many of the comments above which are so out of kilter with people living in the real world. Peace is not a right. It is an ideal. Allowing the genocide to continue because it’s not in our backyard is moral cowardice. The decision to not send the SAS will certainly disappoint our troops who were keen to help the defenceless innocents. Every measured cautious step by John Key applauded by every other party was denigrated by the Greens. It was a sickening abdication of humanity in favour of currying favour with the 10% of New Zealand who believe that pacifism is morally superior to crushing the bastards.

    • JanM 13.1

      And ‘crushing the bastards’ has worked well so far, yes?

      • fisiani 13.1.1

        Historically of course it has.

        • JanM 13.1.1.1

          You’d better ask yourself who writes history

          • fisiani 13.1.1.1.1

            The winners , not losers like the wimpy Greens.

            • Craig Glen Eden 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Whats wimpy about establishing the cause of conflict and resolving those issue. It does however take serious thinking and resolution skills. If you are so sure war is the answer why dont take your own advice, time to man up fisiani and join the army no wimpy excuses either. Get over there put your boots on the ground flex your muscles you tough thing.
              .

              • fisiani

                Every day the barbarians commit atrocities and the Greens want to establish the cause of the conflict and resolve those issues. No wonder the Greens are stuck at 10%. Go on give them a big hug. That will stop them chopping heads off. You cannot reason with the unreasonable.

                • Paul

                  So are we heading to the Ukraine too?
                  What about Nigeria?
                  And the Congo?

                  Atrocities going on in all of the above fish.
                  Want to volunteer other people’s kids to those wars as well?

                  • Tracey

                    stop that. key goes where the us tells him to go and fishi parrots the lines. you are expecting him to think for himself….

                • Chooky

                  @fish…vote you go to the front lines and deal with ISIS

                • karol

                  And in the long run, a better and longer lasting outcome through diplomacy – and less bloodshed.

                  Jumping in with military gusto can just increase the tensions, prolong the bloodshed, and end up with the situation worse than before the military action.

                  Lessons of the past via the Guardian:

                  It is hard not to respond emotionally to a terrorist act in the heat of the moment. When we see videos of western journalists being beheaded or TV footage of small children being blown up by IRA bombs it seems obvious that the only answer is force. It is easy to regard any suggestion that we should ever talk to people capable of such savagery as immoral.
                  […]
                  I am an unlikely peacenik. I grew up in a military family, and I was involved in the decisions on all of Tony Blair’s wars. I do not think that war is always wrong: sometimes it is necessary to stop a dictator, prevent massive human-rights abuses, or expel an invader. But I have also seen that in the modern world, civil wars are the greatest threat to humanitarian security. If you want to fight starvation, the spread of disease, and mass rape – or to help suffering children, whether child soldiers or the victims of war – then the most important thing you can do is to help end armed conflicts, which is why I have decided to dedicate the rest of my life to that goal.
                  […]
                  We usually delay talking to armed groups too long, and as a result, a large number of people die unnecessarily. General David Petraeus admitted that, in Iraq, the US left it far too late to talk to those “with American blood on their hands”. We delay because it is argued that talking is too risky – but experience suggests the real risk lies in not talking.

                  • Tracey

                    and yet we are unmoved by the preventable deaths and maimings in our workplaces. we are more likely to die or suffer serious permanent injury from being at work than in a terror attack. no outrage.

                  • karol

                    I’ve added a link to the text and video of Kennedy Graham’s speech to the post. Here is the text for the conclusion of Grhama’s speech:

                    I am no stranger to crises. I worked as a Kiwi diplomat on the Thai-Cambodia border in the early 1980s. I took parliamentarian missions into Haiti and Burundi during the height of their domestic crises. I have visited Gaza and the West Bank and have witnessed house demolitions. I have travelled in the Syrian eastern desert as the clouds of war of 2003 were forming. I have experienced riots in Jordan during the days of 9/11 , and I have visited the refugee camps recently on the Jordan border with Syria. I know how emotion and rationality wage war in the human psyche when we are under severe strain, both individually and collectively. Nothing in my personal experience persuades me that military action is the politically wise response. It requires diplomatic negotiation towards a durable political settlement, supported by humanitarian aid. We should not support any military action against ISIS.

                • framu

                  “You cannot reason with the unreasonable.”

                  shame your to unreasonable to spot the irony of what you just said

            • RedLogixFormes 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Revealing fisi. I always knew you to be a bastard –

        • Tracey 13.1.1.2

          taleban… still going
          al queda still going

          your statements get funnier and funnier

        • DoublePlus Good 13.1.1.3

          So the previous two Iraq wars were successful in bringing lasting peace to the region? No, they weren’t. So piss off until you know what you’re talking about and can engage your brain.

      • Tracey 13.1.2

        heres an article suggesting an outcome from military intervention to “crush the bastards”.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/libya-a-nation-in-despair/5411041

    • karol 13.2

      The naivety is all with the people who believe Key’s lines about ISIL and the need to step up surveillance in NZ. Key’s Nats are very skilled in the politics of deception.

      Others like Shearer have pointed out that Key is over-stating the threat of ISIL or Muslim radicals to NZ.

      And Key waffles on the details of the threats – just makes vagues statements of alleged numbers of ISIL supporters in NZ. Then he hides behind the secrecy of national security lines.

      Unlike Key, Shearer and Kennedy Graham have experiences in conflict zones and trouble spots. Graham goes through the issue in logical steps and explains how the Greens came to the decisions as outline by Turei.

      Key’s peddling of the politics of fear have all the hallmarks of Crosby Textor – much like John Howard’s use of the boat people issue to manipulate public opinion. Turei called Key and the Nats on their manipulation of the politics of fear.

      It was the MPs on the government benches who tried to shout Turei down – they don’t seem to be able to tolerate criticism or having their manipulations identified.

      • alwyn 13.2.1

        “… Kennedy Graham have experiences in conflict zones and trouble spots. ”
        I would love to know just where Graham served in “conflict zones”.
        He may have served at the UN in New York and worked at Canterbury University but they hardly count as conflict zones do they?
        Just where did he get his experience of such places?
        I imagine you would have said, a few weeks ago, that there was no likelihood of problems in Canada.
        Meanwhile perhaps you can tell me just how Turei plans to provide the humanitarian aid without risking the lives of the people who are expected to supply it?

        • karol 13.2.1.1

          You clearly didn’t watch Graham’s speech from today’s debate.

          At the end he said he had worked as a diplomat on the Thai-Cambodia border in the early 80s. He took parliamentary missions into Haiti and Burundi “at the height of their domestic crises”. He “visited Gaza and West Bank and witnessed house demolitions”. He travelled in the Syrian eastern desert in 2003 when war was developing. He experienced riots in Jordan around the time of the 9/11 events. He recently visited refugee camps on the Jordan border with Syria.

          NZ can assist with humanitarian aid with people in or from conflict zones, the same way they always do. they can work with displaced people from Middle East conflict zones – and that was Key’s suggestion

          The Red Cross and UN contingents do it all the time.

          Why don’t you try doing some research for yourself, instead of me doing it all for you?

        • Tracey 13.2.1.2

          experience in conflict zones not served. you even quoted it correctly then misrepresented it. very disingenuous alwyn.

          • alwyn 13.2.1.2.1

            Don’t be silly Tracey. I used the word “served” because it appears to be the standard word used by diplomats for what they do. Many countries use “Foreign Service” for what we call Foreign Affairs and Trade.
            For example I will show you examples about Graham from Wikipedia and Canterbury Law school where they talk about his “service”.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Graham
            ” He has served in the New Zealand Foreign Service for sixteen years,”
            http://www.laws.canterbury.ac.nz/people/graham.shtml
            “Dr. Graham served in the NZ foreign service for 16 years”

            There are lots of other examples, and I don’t accept I have misrepresented it at all.
            For the second one at least, since he probably wrote it, it is likely to be the phrase he would use himself.

            • Tracey 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Pin meet alwyn, he would like to dance on your head.

            • framu 13.2.1.2.1.2

              so you used a word that you thought appeared to be used for a general thing your not sure about to discuss a specific situation you dont know the facts about?

              then you turn around and insist everyone else is wrong?

              really weird jay

      • Paul 13.2.2

        Assisted by paid puppets like fisi.
        The gullible and naive are those who believe Key’s snake oil.
        Remember those weapons of mass destruction in 2003?
        Fool you once….

    • Murray Rawshark 13.3

      Fuck off and enlist in the Iraqi Army then, fizzy anus. You’re probably allowed to now that they’re on Key’s side. Make sure you don’t join the wrong team though. I hear it can be confusing over there and they all look the same. Wouldn’t want to lose your passport.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4

      If it crushed the bastards I’d be all for it, and it doesn’t. Fourteen years ago they were a campground: now they’re a country. At which point do you admit that the strategy* has failed, Fisiani?

      *unmitigated incompetent clusterfuck.

    • AmaKiwi 13.5

      @ finiani

      “Allowing the genocide to continue because it’s not in our backyard is moral cowardice.”

      I am confused.

      Are you talking about the genocide of the Palestinians?

      • AmaKiwi 13.5.1

        @ finiani

        “Allowing the genocide to continue because it’s not in our backyard is moral cowardice.”

        Like our noble defense of the genocide against the Australian Aborigines?

        US and UK spent uranium artillery has ensured the Iraqi people will be eventually wiped out by cancer and birth defects.

        • Tracey 13.5.1.1

          it’s ok, he can’t answer today he is signing up to go fight.

        • meconism 13.5.1.2

          On that, if Iraq is a ‘nuclear war’ zone, which depending on your view of DU it is either is or it isn’t, are we, under the Nuclear Free legislation allowed to be deploying there anyway?

  14. Craig Glen Eden 14

    karol owning alwyn boom!

  15. The next Prime Minister maybe.
    She presents her case very well.

  16. Jay 16

    I agree with fisiani. We all know the saying about how evil triumphs. What Turei wants to do is the equivalent of. . .Nothing. I see a woman being stoned to death. Woman and children massacred. Men beheaded while their fellow captives watch and wait for their turn. If that was happening across the road would you offer the victims humanitarian aid? How will that stop anything? If they weren’t wanting to spread across the world maybe we could cover our eyes, but I believe we’re in this like it or not.

    [karol: Jay, please make an effort to read some of the replies to similar comments above, together with the evidence and supporting links. You are adding nothing to the discussion by repeating the same smear lines, based on nothing substantial other than your own imagination. It just looks like broken-record trolling. Anymore of this mindless smearing will see the comments either deleted, or sent to moderation.

    NZ has a very good record of providing humanitarian aid in crisis zones. I linked above to John Key saying that providing humanitarian aid was a possible alternative to sending troops.

    It’s not fantasy to supply such aid NZ does it often. There is a government agency that manages such initiatives]

    • Tracey 16.1

      Jay

      I just want to say how much I am enjoying your posts. Subtle parody. Fabulous, and mocking fizzi at the same time. Well done.

  17. tricle up 17

    Has anyone seen a donation fund for Ebola,within our borders we are expected to provide the necessities of life render assistance or else, but as a collective group our accountability diminish s some what outside our borders.The question of aid is admiral to the middle east..It would be blissful to ignore the images of human folly and disaster if one could.Turei has balanced our small contribution to reality and the risks involved …

  18. Robert Alexander 18

    Wow, she is deluded. She said nothing of substance.

    The ISIS group are slaughtering entire towns, they’re selling young girls into forced marriages(read slavery) they’re killing anyone who refuses to convert to their narrow interpretation of Islam.
    Worse than that, they’re inspiring impressionable young men in western nations to kill innocent people.
    The Iraq government is calling western nations for help, they want their people and democracy to be protected.

    Humanitarian aid always plays a part in reconstructing after a war has been fought, but to ignore the desires of a nation under threat and just send “humanitarian aid” is a cop out. Do we send doctors to sew up wounds? Do we send psychologists to help with the people suffering PTSD? Do we send food to make up for their burnt crops? None of those options will help Iraqis with the threat they live with day to day. It has been made very clear that ISIS do not want to engage with diplomacy. Lots of humanitarian aid workers went to Syria, many of them were decapitated by ISIS.

    Sending only humanitarian aid is an insult to the Iraqis who live in fear of ISIS. No amount of food or medical supplies are going to stop their sons from being executed or their daughters from being raped.

    [karol:

    Wow, she is deluded. She said nothing of substance.

    Try reading the post, the speeches referred to, some of the comments above, and the evidence supplied in links, etc. It’s tiresome to keep replying to the same line of argument, based on no evidence.

    And see my warnings about repeating spin lines about Turei and “fantasy”. Saying she is “deluded” is a similar line. Turei was laying out the Greens position. Kennedy Grahams’ speech carefully outlined some of the reasoning and evidence behind the decision.

    Try using some evidence to show that sending troops will stop ISIL in its tracks, and/or engaging with the reasoning and evidence above. You are the one not providing anything of substance. Raise your game].

    • lprent 18.1

      Basically the joint idiots of George Bush and Tony Blair screwed up Iraq by *deliberately* lying about weapons of mass destruction, and then destroying all parts of their reprehensible but stable government.

      They left a irreconcilable mess behind. Do if anyone is to do it, then those countries the caused this screwup should also be those who clean it up and do it properly this time. Otherwise we should only be involved if it is done under a multilateral UN mandate that limits the amount of damage that gullible fools like John Key (a big support of NZ attacking Iraq back in 2003) can do.

      But in this new coalition of the bloody stupid, at a rough estimate they should probably start by demanding that the ministers of the ruling government in the south are fired and prevented from holding office again. Or that Iraq is partitioned into independent or semi-independent states. Fundamentally the role of the Iraqi government in recent years and its complete lack of responsible care of the delicate political balance in Iraq caused the power and military vacuum that ISIS walked into.

      Those militias in the area that who could have easily controlled ISIS (they have done it before before the US withdrawal) were pissed off enough at what “their” government had done to them, that they simply stood aside. That they preferred having ISIS running their area rather than Iraqi government backed by the US tells you just about everything you need to know about this conflict.

      In the meantime ill-informed stupid and mindless propaganda like your comment is about as useful to a debate as the usual mindless conservatives of former decades. All I could see when I read your comment was someone who was too ignorant to be bothered arguing with. A contemptible fuckwit who hadn’t bothered to find out much about the causes of a conflict before they wanted to put other people in danger. Another idiotic armchair general with the courage born of stupidity and distance from danger.

      • Robert Alexander 18.1.1

        I’m perfectly willing to argue with you. I’ll even engage with your points. Engage with mine! You will never grow as a person unless your ideas are challenged and I welcome you to engage with my arguments. There were some questions in my original post, start by answering them.

        What you are talking about is reconstruction. You are talking about what happens after the conflict is over. Creating new states, changing regimes; these things require cooperation from opposing sides. They require a sense of security for the people and trust between administrations. ISIS has shown over and over that they have no intention to take part in diplomatic cooperation. Their actions mean that the people living in Iraq have no security. Therefore these actions are not appropriate at this time.

        I would caution you against comparing the current situation to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. No sane person would argue that the 2003 invasion had no cause on current events, nor would they argue that the 2003 invasion was a good idea; but even so there are clear differences which should be taken into account.

        What makes this different to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is that this time there is a clear enemy, who occupy a distinct geographic area with the intention of remaining in that area. In 2003 Al Qaeda were in Iraq however their intention was to cause disruptions in US and US aligned nations through terrorist attacks. They had no land to defend and no people to rule. That relative mobility made it easy for them to exit the area and reestablish themselves elsewhere. ISIS however have the intention of ruling a state under their interpretation of Islamic law. Anyone who lives in that area must submit to their rule or die. That is far more aggressive than Al Qaeda’s intentions.

        To fight Al Qaeda winning the hearts and minds of the people who live in the areas they occupy was important. Al Qaeda controlled no significant infrastructure and did not have large geographical control. Unlike ISIS they relied on being covert and unseen. This means they relied on the cooperation of multiple villages who were not necessarily under constant threat by Al Qaeda, and were not necessarily forced to change their way of life. Diplomatic engagement was crucial here; by knowing who was helping fund them it was possible to restrict their methods of supply and essentially starve them of funds.
        ISIS however have made who they are very public, they wish to rule the people in their territories and control oil fields. This means they could be self sufficient provided there is someone willing to buy their oil. With that continued cash supply they are able to perpetually oppress the people they rule over. No amount of winning the hearts and minds of the people living in the Islamic state will make a difference to their power because ISIS do not require those people to support them, they only need them to fear them.

        Military intervention is coming at the request of the democratically elected government in Iraq. Yes ultimately they will be the ones who form the peace and end conflict, however they do not have the capability to do that at the moment. If we do not help them with military support then it is very possible that ISIS will take Baghdad and kill every member of the current regime. Which would ruin the internal political structure and end the possibility of ever having an internal solution.

        Lastly as well staging weekly executions of people by the hundreds, ISIS is convincing people in western nations to kill innocent people. In both Australia and Canada there have been attacks on the public. That is the most horrifying aspect to me. I am on the side of democracy, ISIS has the intention of disrupting the strongest and least corrupt democracies in the world. No amount of “humanitarian aid” is going to stop ISIS from executing people who oppose them.

        The reason I made the comment is because Metria Turei’s speach had no substance. or example at one point she even said “Let’s look at what enlightened leaders are doing to reduce the risks posed by foreign fighters, rather than relying on the failed policies of the Abbot Government in Australia.” then went on to say nothing about what the unnamed enlightened leaders were doing. If the Greens want an alternative plan then they should propose an alternate plan.

        • lprent 18.1.1.1

          The reason I made the comment is because Metria Turei’s speach had no substance.

          What I essentially said was that your ideas carried absolutely no substance and that you are idiot about the area you are talking about. Turei had a whole lot more substance than your obdurate stupidity (and I don’t think that much of hers).

          ISIS is a local militia with about 31k fighters according to the CIA. They are a particularly nasty group of religious maniacs running around in a political and military vacuum. But they simply aren’t that much of a danger. Someone needs to stop them. But kicking the Shia government out of Northern Iraq would probably achieve that very fast. Offer the Sunni’s a truly federated state and ISIS will get massacred a few month later. This is primarily a political issue not a military one.

          Over the last 5-10 years or so, ISIS have been running around avoiding conflict unless they have an overwhelming advantage. Which is why they got kicked out of Northern Iraq into Syria by the Sunni militas in the first place. Their only real skill appears to be propaganda.

          They managed to lay their hands on some fairly good military hardware because the Shia government troops ran away without fighting in northern iraq leaving their depots open for ISIS to plunder. The Shia garri-troopers in the north really didn’t want to fight for some fools in Baghdad, and when it didn’t involve their homes.

          The Sunni’s in the North didn’t fight them because they were less of an issue to them than the pig-headed fools of the current Iraqi government.

          To date ISIS hasn’t really had to fight anyone with military ability except the Kurds. In their battles with them both in North Iraq and around Kobane, despite the far superior ISIS numbers and superior numbers, ISIS has been having their testicles handed back to them on the tip of a bayonet. Their casualties appear to have been high because they have some pretty dumb commanders. The only thing constraining the Kurds kicking their arse is the lack of a decent supply line – ie Turkey’s politicians are being dickheads about the Kurds as usual.

          The number of recruits called from the west is a trivial trickle compared to somewhere like Tunisia or previously Libya. The urban fools from the west have approximately the military potential of wet wallpaper. My opinion is that the best use of them is to let them head off to the conflict. They will lower the military potential of ISIS, and we get rid of some juvenile fools getting their arses handed to them by the Kurds soldiers (including a sizeable contingent of women soldiers).

          The Chechen’s who left the Caucasus, settled in the middle east, and who now form about a thousand of the ISIS are the effective core of ISIS military. But they really have to concentrate to be effective. I guess that is why the US air power is hanging around for – their kurdish spotters to point them out.

          I really wish you idiotic armchair warriors (like John Key) would stop crapping your panties with fear, pull your fingers out of your panic orifices and look at this situation realistically. The best option at present is to simply provide weapons to groups like the kurds, SFA, and even the sunni tribesman – add some airpower to deal with the looted weapons that the US gave to the shia kurd government and wait a few months.

          The real issue is the political map after the the ISIS maniacs and probably the Assad regime get crushed on the ground.

          A few wet-eared teenagers from the west are rather iirrelevant. They are more of an issue staying here than getting killed in Syria/Iraq.

    • Robert Alexander 18.2

      Karol there is zero evidence for anything Turei has said in her speech at one point she said “Let’s look at what enlightened leaders are doing to reduce the risks posed by foreign fighters, rather than relying on the failed policies of the Abbot Government in Australia.” then went on to say nothing about what the unnamed enlightened leaders were doing.

      If you’re getting frustrated with people consistently posting a view contrary to your own then write an article addressing those points of difference. I would enjoy reading it.

      [karol: You are further showing off your ignorance. framu said it below. The main reason I put a warning on your comment, is because you said something I had already issued a warning about above. There is substance in Turei’s speech. For instance here:

      Ten years of war waged by America could not solve the tensions that divide Sunni and Shia Iraqis or divide extremists from the moderates. How will this time be different?

      Even an intensive, decades-long American ground effort — something that is politically not on the table — might only make the problem worse. ISIS’s presence in Iraq and Syria is fundamentally a political problem, not a military one.

      The post also points to Kennedy Graham’s speech outlining the reasons for the Greens position.

      You previous comment got a warning on it, because you did something I had already warned about above – calling Turei’s position deluded/fantasy.

      Now you are on a further warning for breaching The Standard policy – telling an author what to write.

      And I’m sending your comment to moderation for another moderator to consider whether you should be on auto moderation for arguing the point with me on this.]

      Apology accepted. I will release you comments from moderation

      • framu 18.2.1

        you – “Karol there is zero evidence for anything Turei has said in her speech”

        karol – “Try reading the post, the speeches referred to, some of the comments above, and the evidence supplied in links, etc. It’s tiresome to keep replying to the same line of argument, based on no evidence.”

        yeah – problem is karol is asking you to look at the supporting material – and your still only looking at the speech

        and your repeating the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT that has already been discussed upthread

        thats why theres frustration – not because of an opposing view, but because its a repetition that ignores the previous discussion

        • Robert Alexander 18.2.1.1

          I’ve read Kennedy Graham’s speech. I read it before my first comment. He made a good case for why we need to debate the issue more. He spoke of UN charter clauses and rhetorical questions. I have no problem with further debate. Yet when it came to claiming why ISIS had not yet reached a threat level for us to engage he offered no evidence. Not once in his speech did he acknowledge what is happening in Iraq or the influence of ISIS over radical people in western nations. He did not connect humanitarian aid to ending the threat of ISIS. If he has and I’ve missed it then by all means quote him for me.

          “not because of an opposing view, but because its a repetition that ignores the previous discussion”, yep my comment is on the whole consistent with other posters, who have also asked how humanitarian aid would end the ISIS conflict. The answer to those posts has largely been of the line. “Do more research”. Which implies that the answer is obvious. Clearly it’s not, or else someone at some point even once would have answered the question.

          I’ll pose mine again. Who are the enlightened leaders Turei referenced in her speech? and what are they doing?

          • karol 18.2.1.1.1

            It’s not a good idea to argue with moderating comments, but it is a banning offence to tell authors on TS what to write. Your last comment has been sent to moderation for that reason.

            It was your opening smear about Turei being deluded that prompted my original moderating comment. I had already warned others abotu it, and was warning you as well.

            Kennedy Graham asks for more evidence that employing troops in the area will stop ISIL. Neither the UN, the US and Allies, nor John key or any of his ministers have been willing or able to do that.

            Allied to that, is the very real likelihood that the kind of actions the US and allies are planning, will just make matters worse.

            Lynn (LPrent) above gives a very good outline of the problems (from someone well informed on military procedures).

            Humanitarian support is not meant to bring an end the conflict. Commenters above weren’t asking that. They were asking about who would provide tha aid, and how they could do it without being in extreme danger from ISIL.

            Kennedy Graham clearly says that the way forward is through diplomacy, because it is a political problem. He says NZ could also provide some supporting humanitarian aid.

            Several commenters above have pointed out that the military solutions already applied in Iraq in the last decade, have not solved the problems of tensions in the region. ISIL has grown as Al Qeada has weakened. The US and allies keep attacking one despot or brutal organisation in the area, merely to see another one take its place. Commenters above have linked to some examples of that.

            None of the people who keep asking about humanitarian aid, or who oppose the Greens position, have given any evidence that a military solution will work against ISIL.

            The Greens, and other opposition MPs are saying more consideration needs to be given to the causes of the problems.

            As Lynn points out, a military solution has to be done in a particular kind of way to be successful. And what do you do about this kind of situation:

            Those militias in the area that who could have easily controlled ISIS (they have done it before before the US withdrawal) were pissed off enough at what “their” government had done to them, that they simply stood aside. That they preferred having ISIS running their area rather than Iraqi government backed by the US tells you just about everything you need to know about this conflict.

            This indicates the the West needs to look very carefully at the political tensions in the area, and points to the need for a political solution, of which diplomacy will be a major part.

            NZ has a very good track record at providing humanitarian aid in crises zones, including conflict zones.

          • karol 18.2.1.1.2

            Who are the enlightened leaders Turei referenced in her speech? and what are they doing?

            Well, that would include leaders of countries who are not supporting the US-led coalition against ISIL. And it would include party leaders, or leaders of other organisations who are opposed to the US-led alliance.

            Turei mentions Doug Ollivant in her speech. He

            served as director for Iraq at the National Security Council during the Bush and Obama administrations and is now senior vice president of Mantid International, LLC, a strategic consulting firm that has business interests in the south of Iraq, including security, defense and aerospace clients.

            He says air strikes will work against ISIL when they are on the move. But they won’t work where they are bedded down among civilians, etc. And he doesn’t see anything to be gained by the US putting boots on the ground there. Also, he looks to political solutions:

            But reclaiming territory from ISIS will be another matter altogether. This will require a unified Iraqi effort—Arab and Kurd alike—under a new government with the will, legitimacy and resolve to accept the casualties that a ground offensive will require.

            Also, there are people like, British MP Rushanara Ali, who resigned from the UK Labour Party front bench over the ISIL issue.

            She further said in her letter that misconceived actions by the UK and other countries over the last decade, despite good intentions, had led to too many mistakes and far too many people in conflict zones paid the high price.

            “I appreciate the sincerity of Members of Parliament from all sides of the House who today support military action against ISIL. I know that British Muslims stand united in the total condemnation of the murders that ISIL have committed.”

            “However, there is a genuine belief in Muslim and non-Muslim communities that military action will only create further bloodshed and further pain for the people of Iraq,” she added.

            The leader of the Canadian opposition, Tom Mulcair,also opposed Canada joining the US-led coalition against ISIL.

            In a written statement released after the vote, Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair accused the government of “plunging Canada into a prolonged war without a credible plan to help victims of ISIL terror,” and “opening the door” to getting Canada involved in the “bloody” Syrian civil war.
            […]
            Mulcair’s New Democrats had proposed an amendment to overhaul the motion entirely and switch the focus to supplying arms to local fighters battling ISIS and increasing humanitarian support.
            […]
            “In response to the Conservatives’ ill-defined combat mission, New Democrats laid out a strong alternative action plan that would significantly increase Canada’s humanitarian response to this crisis,” Mulcair said.

            And Canadian Liberal MP Irwin Cotler abstained from voting on the action and,

            released a statement explaining that he feels the government motion is unclear on Canada’s involvement and did not share enough information for MPs to make an informed choice.
            […]
            “In particular — and this is reason enough for me not to support the motion — I am deeply disturbed by the prime minister’s statement that Canada would require the approval of the criminal Assad regime to carry out operations in Syria,” he wrote.

            • Tracey 18.2.1.1.2.1

              I also posted a link to an article yesterday suggesting that rather than demonising iran the west could do worse than examine iran as a model for other islamic states.

              iran is NOT expansionist despite the rhetoric of the west.

              it is an interesting article. I may have posted in the reds under the beds thread.

              there is an elephant in the room. the money made from war.

              cui bono

            • Robert Alexander 18.2.1.1.2.2

              Thanks **Begins reading**

      • Robert Alexander 18.2.2

        Karol: In all honesty I hadn’t read the rules prior to posting, and that initial comment was more emotionally charged than usual. I intended no offence by suggesting that you write an article. Reading the rules now.

        • karol 18.2.2.1

          Apology accepted. Your other comment that is in moderation is addressed to LPrent, in reply to his comment above. LPrent, is Lynn, the sysop who is responsible for most of the running of this site, and pretty much the main moderator. So, I’ll leave it up to him to respond to that comment.

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