Why Labour’s Maori MPs opted out of the list

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 5th, 2017 - 65 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, Maori Issues, Maori seats, Politics - Tags:

From Meka Whaitiri’s Facebook page:

Labour’s 6 Maori MPs opted off this year’s party list to enable other Maori candidates to come through. On current polling of 30% and if every Labour Maori MP retains their seat, election 2017 will produce 12 Labour Maori MPs – a political first!

Don’t get distracted by party list rankings or humbug comments about Labour not valuing its Maori members. The party list is not how we are ranked in caucus. The caucus list is what matters.

Current caucus rankings have Davis 7, Mahuta 11, Whaitiri 13, Henare 18, Rurawhe 22 – all 5 in Labour’s shadow cabinet which positions Maori MPs well for cabinet positions.

I have no doubt these rankings will go up when we turn out the votes. Party vote Labour, candidate vote your local Labour Maori MP and see 12 Maori MPs come to parliament and the highest number of Maori MPs in cabinet.

We have done our bit within Labour the rest is up to you!

All strength to them.  The next Labour Caucus should have significant high placed Maori representation.

65 comments on “Why Labour’s Maori MPs opted out of the list”

  1. Mr Tank 1

    Typo in the third par! 🙂

    [Ta now fixed – MS]

  2. Ad 2

    Well and truly the main reason Labour list is refreshed is due to their politically brave collective move. Big ups to them.

  3. So it didn’t work and was a wasted effort apart from letting other Māori within labour know where they stand.

    Bet these MP’s are standing proud with labour and clark as the foreshore and seabed rears its head again – great mana not.

    • Karen 3.1

      They wanted more Māori in winnable positions on the list – they achieved that. I agree it is a gamble, and there is a chance that it won’t pay off, but if it works then there will be 12 Māori MPs in the Labour Party caucus and several will be cabinet ministers. That will mean the Labour Māori caucus will be able to have a major influence on Labour policy. Also the Green Party will also have several Māori MPs – Metiria Turei is likely to be Deputy PM.

      The Foreshore and Seabed legislation was a shameful episode in Labour’s history and I personally know many Māori who will never trust Labour again. It was a betrayal they cannot forgive and I was very disappointed this morning to hear that Helen Clark is still defending it.

      However, in 2009 Andrew Little used his first speech as Labour Party president to voice his strong opposition to that legislation and he has repeated that since. Also, it should be remembered what Bill English was saying in 2003:
      And let’s not forget Don Brash.

      The Māori Party may get the occasional concession from National in regards to policy but that is all. If Hone wins he is very unlikely to do more that introduce private member’s bill. Meanwhile National will continue their destructive policies and Māori will continue to suffer the worst statistics when it comes to health, income, education and justice.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        I don’t think they achieved that at all. They will have the same influence they’ve always had – not much – unless it aligns with the labour agenda – if it doesn’t then they will be pushed to the shadows and told to stfu – as happened with the foreshore and seabed – nothing has changed at all – just a prettier (read pretendier) wrapping.

        • Karen

          You obviously have never met Kiri Allan.

          • marty mars


            found this interesting though

            “During her second year of studies she had an internship with then Prime Minister Helen Clark.

            “You got to see how decisions were really made – they are a balancing act.”

            Allan then took some time out from her studies to spend time in the United States working with non-government organisations and doing advocacy work with the United Nations.

            Labour was still in power when she returned home.

            After being back for a week or two, the police came to her parents’ home.

            The police had arrived to question her friends, like Tame Iti, went through her stuff and her computer. It was the aftermath of the infamous Urewera raids.

            She says she laughed, almost hysterically, when the police suggested there was a group in cahoots to take down New Zealand.

            “I had been out of the country for a few years and had only been back for a short time – maybe a week or two – so I found that quite egregious.

            “I don’t want to take away from my friends whose lives were being impacted, whereas I got a polite call to my house and they went through my stuff. In my head I was like, ‘I’m being raided’.””


            classic – raided by the terror squads approved by helen who she used to intern with – I’d laugh almost hysterically too with that one I spose. Pity everyone affected weren’t treated as nicely as Kiri or her parents.

            • Anne

              … raided by the terror squads approved by helen…

              Wrong marty mars. The raids were part of an investigation by the police and as such there was no ministerial input. As an act of courtesy, it is usual practice for the police to give their minister a heads up on a major event of that nature. Therefore Annette King was informed about 24 hrs in advance of the raid. Even if she and Helen Clark had misgivings about what was about to happen, they were not allowed to interfere in ongoing police operations.

              • okay approved may be too strong.

                “Government ministers, including Police Minister Annette King, asked MPs to remain calm about the issue as a police matter, and wait until details were exposed in the courts.[70] Prime Minister Helen Clark, who was also the minister in charge of the Security Intelligence Service, at first distanced herself from the raids,[71] and refused to comment on SIS involvement.[18] Later, while the case was before the courts, she told media that those arrested “at the very least” had been training with firearms and napalm.[72] National Party leader John Key told media he was briefed by SIS staff days before the raids occurred.”


                “Ms. Clark has avoided blame that she didn’t sign any order to invade but failed to mention briefings from Police before the invasion, that would have taken some political willpower on her behalf to proceed . Although the Police have constabulary independence from government, the fact the New Zealand Police conducted military operations and lay siege to a New Zealand township armed with high-powered assault rifles and didn’t consult the Prime Minister of the day seems far-fetched.

                The 5th Labour government introduced the Terrorism suppression Act 2002 and Prime Minister Helen Clark could have requested Police commissioner Howard Broad use discretion and prosecute under the Arms Act 1983. Instead, Ms. Clark stood by while Police conducted a paranoid anti-terrorism raid that lead New Zealanders to suspect their fellow countrymen of being terrorists.

                Ms. Clark was also the minister of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS ) that would have provided the Prime Minister with intelligence reports on any domestic terrorist threats to national security.”


                • Karen

                  Annette King apologised to Tūhoe for her role in signing off on the raids.

                  Joe Trinder’s analysis of the role of Helen Clark should be seen for what it is – an opinion from someone without any inside knowledge or understanding of parliamentary process.

                  However, I would have liked Helen to also apologise on behalf of her government. Unfortunately it seems to be against her nature to admit mistakes.

                  • yes it seems to be a character flaw – probably helpful though when battling against the patriarchy and gender and sexuality politics she had to battle with to even get to the top.

                  • Anne

                    In Helen’s defence, it appears to be protocol for the appropriate minister to make the apology when a muck-up has occurred. That is why Annette King – police minister at the time – fronted up after the police “mucked up” in the Tuhoi raids.

                    In due course, we can expect the defence minister to apologise to NZers when the International Court of Justice rules against the NZDF for the SAS muck-up – and the killing of innocent Afghan citizens.

                    I don’t recall John Key apologising for anything, but I do have a vague recollection that one or two of his ministers apologised but can’t remember what for…

                    Here’s a relevant piece of info:

                    The Minister of Police at the time of the Urewera raids says she did not know they would be carried out in the manner they were.

                    Labour’s Annette King says the police briefed her as Police Minister, the then Prime Minister Helen Clark and other senior ministers in the days before the raids took place.

                    But she says they were told only that the raids would take place, not how they would happen.

                    Mrs King says she’s sorry illegal actions were taken against the Tuhoe people, especially children.


                    • ropata

                      Key’s “apologies”
                      * Cam Slater for something or other
                      * built a sheep farm in the desert to appease a Saudi businessman,
                      * muttered something to China after the Synlait poisoned milk scandal
                      * a bottle of wine after assaulting a female barista

      • swordfish 3.1.2



        The Foreshore and Seabed legislation was a shameful episode in Labour’s history and I personally know many Māori who will never trust Labour again. It was a betrayal they cannot forgive and I was very disappointed this morning to hear that Helen Clark is still defending it.


        it does seem strange that Māori vote Labour so strongly considering the foreshore and seabed wasn’t all that long ago.


        Perhaps they’ve learnt to forgive and forget maui. After-all it was a different government under different circumstances.

        The Clark government seemed to have been captured by the Public Service establishment of the day, who convinced them all hell would break loose if coastal land were handed back to Maori. It can be seen now for what it was… a very unfortunate over-reaction.


        I hope they haven’t forgotten, Anne, because that legislation needs to be reversed. I (pakeha) stopped voting Labour after the foreshore and seabed fiasco, but realise at this stage that if anything is to done about it it will be done by a Labour/Green government with meaningful Maori representation.

        marty mars

        funny how clark is still crowing about how the decision was the correct one at the time – she must still be captured i spose.



        Lets just be clear about public opinion (incl Māori opinion) at the time …

        UMR Research Poll (December 2004)

        FORESHORE AND SEABED LEGISLATION “Thinking about the Government’s new law on the ownership of the New Zealand foreshore and seabed, which of the following is closest to your view ?”

        (1) It gives Mâori special rights they should not have … 26% … (Mâori 13% … Non-Mâori 27%)

        (2) It deprives Mâori of rights they should have … 9% … (Mâori 34% … Non-Mâori 7%)

        (3) It strikes a balance between the two … 56% … (Mâori 45% … Non-Mâori 57%)

        (4) Unsure … 10% … (Mâori 8% … Non-Mâori 9%)

        Marae-DigiPoll (1002 Maori voters – August 2003))

        (1) Support Government foreshore policy … 49%

        (2) Oppose … 38%

        (3) Unsure … 11%

        (Although 61% unsatisfied with the way the Government had handled the debate)

        One News Colmar Brunton Poll (Maori voters – August 2003)

        Support the public domain concept … 50%

        Support Crown ownership … 30%

        • Karen

          That is interesting Swordfish.

          Is there a breakdown into Māori on the Māori roll and Māori on the General roll? Colmar Brunton doesn’t seem to do this but maybe other polls do? Labour lost 4 of the 7 Māori seats in the 2005 election so there was some strong opposition but obviously it wasn’t universal.

          Most of the Māori I know are on the left so that may make a difference to the feedback I have had.

    • Sel Clarke 3.2

      Marty what planet do you live on? anyone with half a brain can see a renewal of M.Ps going on. Just because the Nats have become tired and devoid of ideas dosent mean the other parties have…..

  4. Wainwright 4

    That’s not how the list works. If they all win their seats it doesn’t matter where their placed on the list, no one else gets displaced. Its like Willie Jackson throwing his toys over getting ranked 21 – if Labour wins all its current seats, he’s really the 4th list MP to get in.

    Hope Meka’s right abbout those caucus rankings. Maori MPs haven’t done very well under Little so far, look at Nanaia getting dropped from 4 to 12 despite all her hard work winning back a lot of those Maori seats. Despite the fact most of Labour’s party vote comes from seats held by Maori and Pasifika MPs.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      So true. This obsession with hierarchy.
      I see it as a team , but the Electoral Commission rules for party lists make it a ladder

      • DoublePlusGood 4.1.1

        Yeah, I wonder if you end up with quite a different dynamic in places with multiseat STV constituencies, like in Ireland.

    • swordfish 4.2


      Despite the fact most of Labour’s party vote comes from seats held by Maori and Pasifika MPs.

      2014 Labour Party Vote

      (1) Total = 604535

      (2) In Maori Seats = 61523 10. 2%

      (3) In Pasifika Seats = 62575 10. 4%
      (Mana 12601 Māngere 18470 Manukau East 16925 Manurewa 14579)

      (4) Maori + Pasifika Seats ((2) + (3)) = 124098 20. 6%

      So …… No

      And I’m not too sure what Pasifika support for Labour has to do with Maori representation or Nanaia’s demotion ?

      • Wainwright 4.2.1

        The Labour Maori and Pasifika caucuses are well-known for working together on campaigns. Look at South Auckland. And you’re right, I shouldn’t have said “most”, it’s imprecise. But you can;t use only one metric. Sute, if you only look at number of party votes, 20.8% of Labour’s PV comes from seats held by Maori/Pasifika Labour MPs, 28.8% from other.

        But … there are more seats held by white MPs – 16 to 11. The average number of party votes for Labour in Maori/Pasifika seats (11.5k) is higher than white MPs’ seats (10.9k). Turnout is way lower in Maori seats, yet when you look at the % of party vote Labour is getting off the Maori role vs general seats it’s 42% to 35%. If you take seats held by Maori/Pasifika MPs vs seats held by Pakeha MPs, it’s 45 to 30%.

        TLDR: Maori and Pasifika MPs pull in a massive proportion of Labour’s party vote and never seem to get much reward for it.Meanwhile MPs like Stuart Nash (26% party vote in Napier) and Damien O’Connor (23.5% party vote in West Coast) get the safety net of the list but Maori MPs just ‘decide’ en masse to go it alone? Nah.

  5. mauī 5

    I don’t know the ins and outs of Māori politics. But it does seem strange that Māori vote Labour so strongly considering the foreshore and seabed wasn’t all that long ago.

    • Anne 5.1

      Perhaps they’ve learnt to forgive and forget maui. After-all it was a different government under different circumstances.

      The Clark government seemed to have been captured by the Public Service establishment of the day, who convinced them all hell would break loose if coastal land were handed back to Maori. It can be seen now for what it was… a very unfortunate over-reaction. I sometimes wonder how much of it might have been an attempt to drive a political (and social) wedge between Maori and Pakeha or Maori and Labour. In politics anything is plausible.

      • JanM 5.1.1

        I hope they haven’t forgotten, Anne, because that legislation needs to be reversed. I (pakeha) stopped voting Labour after the foreshore and seabed fiasco, but realise at this stage that if anything is to done about it it will be done by a Labour/Green government with meaningful Maori representation. I’m back on board, and I have great hope when I look at the high standard of candidates

      • marty mars 5.1.2

        funny how clark is still crowing about how the decision was the correct one at the time – she must still be captured i spose

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    Kelvin Davis told us recently (at a meeting in Whangarei) that each Maori MP came to their collective decision individually and met to discuss how they were feeling about being both List and Electorate MPs. It was their decision, and was at first met by reluctance from the rest of the Labour Caucus and HO who did not want to accept it . As he said, the Maori MPs want to represent their electorates and their own people – and they feel more comfortable just standing in their own seat, rather than being counted into a List position with one or another being higher or lower than others.
    Kel said he, and the other MPs, are comfortable with their decision, and they hope by doing so – they’ll retain their seats, and other Maori MPs will come in off the List.

    • “rather than being counted into a List position with one or another being higher or lower than others.”

      oh so they don’t like hierarchy?

      This is quoted in the beginning of this post

      “The party list is not how we are ranked in caucus. The caucus list is what matters.

      Current caucus rankings have Davis 7, Mahuta 11, Whaitiri 13, Henare 18, Rurawhe 22 – all 5 in Labour’s shadow cabinet which positions Maori MPs well for cabinet positions.”

      what’s that all about then? because it looks like ranking and hierarchy to me

      maybe kel should check with his teammates eh just to get the story straighter

    • Heather Tanguay 6.2

      Thanks for this concise account Jenny Kirk. The important fact being ‘it was their collective choice’
      All the trouble makers looking for other reasons why this has happened.
      Stop trying to make trouble, put your energy into supporting all candidates to win this thing.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    Although the list does not reflect how the MP’s will be ranked in government, it gives a pretty clear indication of where they will be placed after the election and who is likely to be in the cabinet.

    On the assumption that the new cabinet will have around 10-11 Labour ministers, places will be tight.

    What isn’t clear from the list is where the Maori candidates will be placed. Certainly Willy Jackson can only expect to be on the bank bench at 21, but where will the others be?

    • Karen 7.1

      You seem confused about Cabinet numbers. Currently the Nats have 25 cabinet ministers plus 2 outside cabinet positions for Dunne and Flavell. A Labour/Green coalition will have similar numbers. The list is more about bringing into caucus new talented people and ensuring diversity than indicating future position in the cabinet.

      • Antoine 7.1.1

        The National cabinet is of 20 people (see https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/cabinet/ministers/ministerial-list). The remaining 5 are outside cabinet.

        I presume EiE was thinking of 10-11 Labour ministers in Cabinet, about 5 from Greens and about 5 from NZ 1st for a total of about 20. Actual outcomes could of course be different.

        Still, it seems hard to believe that caucus rankings 18 and 21 would be in the coalition Cabinet let alone have any significant influence.


      • Enough is Enough 7.1.2

        No Karen – you seem confused about Cabinet numbers. A cabinet is whatever you want it to be but its currently 20. There isn’t really a need for it to be any bigger

        On current polling numbers Labour will probably expect a majority in the cabinet, so that is where 11 came from. The balance will come from NZ First and the Greens.

        As a general rule the cabinet ranking corresponds with the list ranking. That is not set in stone, but if any of the top 11 miss out to someone well below them, there will be some questions asked.

        • Karen

          “As a general rule the cabinet ranking corresponds with the list ranking.”

          This is where you are going wrong. The list serves a different purpose. Currently Kelvin Davis is no.7 and Nanaia Mahuta is no.11. They are not on the list but they will be on Labour’s front bench. As I have explained the list is designed to bring some new faces in who are standing in electorate seats that they cannot possibly win. It is not an indication of the position in any future government.

          Coalition partners are unknown at the moment and they will get ministerial positions – Julie Ann Genter is a shoe in for Transport Minister for example. However not all of those who get Ministerial positions will be in cabinet – Peter Dunne and Te Uroroa Flavell are not in cabinet.

          • Enough is Enough

            Karen – Did you stop reading my first comment after the first word or something?

            So lets start again and try to keep reading this time Dear

            “What isn’t clear from the list is where the Maori candidates will be placed. Certainly Willy Jackson can only expect to be on the bank bench at 21, but where will the others be?”

            That is Kelvin Davis and Nanaia Mahuta I am referring to. tick tick tick

            I am hoping now you are slowly catching on but I won’t hold my breath

            • Karen

              Don’t call me “dear” – you ignorant, sexist, patronising dick.

              I read (past tense) everything you wrote and very patiently questioned some of your assumptions. I certainly won’t be reading anything else you write.

              • Enough is Enough

                The answers to your moronic questions were in my very first comment.

            • Anne

              Certainly Willy Jackson can only expect to be on the bank bench at 21,…

              An MP’s place in the Debating Chamber has no bearing on where they might have been placed on the list. Most new MPs start on the back bench until they have found their feet, but everyone else will be placed courtesy of the party leader who will decide where they will sit.

              • Enough is Enough

                Has “no” bearing

                Are you sure about that?

                I think it has a lot of bearing to be honest.

  8. Antoine 8

    “All 5 in Labour’s shadow cabinet”- What shadow cabinet is that??

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Do you actually not know what the term “shadow cabinet” means?

      • Antoine 8.1.1

        I do. Just didn’t know they had one. I see it now at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Cabinet_of_Andrew_Little.

        It doesn’t seem right though, it has far too many people (31, c.f. National’s cabinet of 20) and no Greens/NZ First representation.


        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The current government has well over thirty ministers. Are you ignorant of everything else too?

          • Antoine

            32, but only 20 are in Cabinet.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you have some sort of point to make? Something about Labour “doesn’t seem right” to you? I’m sure your concern is really really important to someone.

              Your mother, perhaps.

              • Antoine

                I thought it was fairly clear. When someone says their party has a ‘shadow cabinet’, I expect they have actually published a list saying who they propose to put in each Cabinet position if they get into Government. I thought for a minute that Labour had actually done this (see the list above) which would have been nice, but on second glance I don’t think they have. The so-called ‘shadow cabinet’ I linked to, is more a list of Labour Opposition spokesperson responsibilities.


                • McFlock

                  See, that’s you’re problem right there. You expected Labour to know the outcome of the election well beforehand.

                  What will happen is that the majority party will have its ideal cabinet list, and if it gets well about 50% it will implement that list pretty much as is.

                  But if a coalition is required, there will be haggling for how many and which cabinet positions go to which party. Talk about having to explain the bleeding obvious.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yep, it beggars belief that anyone could be so stupid and ignorant as Antoine. I expect he thinks it’s clever to pretend.

                  • Antoine

                    Right, that’s all fine, but then it’s not a ‘shadow cabinet’. Whaitiri would have been better to use a different term.

                    Here ends the nitpick!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, dickhead, the meaning of words doesn’t change just because you don’t understand them.

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t be a moron. Of course it’s a shadow cabinet. At least you could have looked at wikipedia before being a doofus:

                      The Shadow Cabinet is a feature of the Westminster system of government. It consists of a senior group of opposition spokespeople who, under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, form an alternative cabinet to that of the government, and whose members shadow or mirror the positions of each individual member of the Cabinet.[1] Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet’s responsibility to criticise the policies and actions of the government, as well to offer an alternative program.

                    • Antoine

                      [scratches head] You’re right, a shadow cabinet isn’t what I thought it was. Sorry.

                      (But I stand by my view that caucus rankings of 18 and 22 are not, in fact, ‘well positioned for cabinet positions’!)


                    • Antoine

                      Reflecting further, the highest ranked Maori in cabinet may end up being Winston Peters and Metiria Turei

                    • McFlock


                      Are you expecting Labour to have only ten at the Cabinet table?

                    • Bill

                      Just noting that Antoine’s comments read as a genuine attempt to understand something and that the childish school-yard “nyah, nyah, nayh-nayh, nyah” name-calling bullshit from you pair isn’t going down too well.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Funny how Antoine’s frequent little misunderstandings and areas of ignorance demonstrate such clear bias against the Left. Almost as though they’re posted in relentless bad faith or something.

                      That’s my reading of them, anyway 🙄

                    • Antoine

                      @Bill – I don’t mind, they usually give me some good information among the way 😀

                  • Antoine

                    Relatedly, this at Kiwiblog: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/05/nationals_new_candidates.html. I wonder if anyone here will post on the quality of these new candidates? (Hint: not worldshaking)

                    • McFlock

                      lol I don’t need to soil myself with kb to know their list will be full of dropkicks and fuckwits.

        • Akldnut

          Thats an old shadow Cabinet you’re linking to.

        • red-blooded

          Antoine, you seem to believe that the shadow cabinet is shared between various opposition parties. That’s not the case – it’s made up of the relevant spokespeople from the main opposition party (in this case, Labour). This is an established political concept, and operates throughout the parliamentary term. If you’re interested in who’ll be in the next cabinet, you’ll need to wait to see how the votes fall and what arrangements are made between the parties that form the next government.

  9. Btw, there’s a grammar error in the short description on the main page for this article, implying that the Māori MPs aren’t going to stand down from the list. You need to remove the “not” before “standing down” to fix it. 🙂

  10. Karen 10

    A series of tweets from Morgan Godfrey, one of the best Māori commentators as well as being one of the best left wing commentators around.

    Morgan Godfery‏ @MorganGodfery 5m5 minutes ago

    “on @TheHuiNZ this morning i defended labour’s list. why? if labour wins 29% of the party vote, māori will make up nearly 1/3 of the caucus

    “that’s an enormous step forward, both in representation and parliamentary power.

    why aren’t we talking about that?

    whether, say, willow-jean prime is 6 or 16, it doesn’t change the fact this is one of the best contingents of māori to ever enter parliament

    i mentioned kiri allan on the show, but i should’ve given a s/o to meka whaitiri for her tremendous work on the te ture whenua bill as well

    this, as in the list, is one thing labour has right.

    why are we criticising them for optics? that does māori a disservice”

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    . . 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
    3 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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