Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act

In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote. National and ACT consistently voted for it because they all thought the same. Since then, […]

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National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at work

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses signifying the 291 people who have died at work since the Pike River mine disaster […]

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Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation

Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for the result – where the judge decided the Ministry’s processes were flawed and unfair – […]

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Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO

This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of Wrightson (1996-2004) was appointed the Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and he […]

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Parole and ‘surviving the first year’

“Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’ STURP initiative conducted by Victoria University of Wellington psychology professor Devon Polaschek. This Stuff article […]

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Public want regional democracy in Canterbury – Govt decides otherwise

Last week the National Government announced it won’t restore regional democracy in Canterbury until 2019. Instead it’s imposing a bizarre hybrid model of seven elected and six Government appointed members from 2016-2019.   This will allow Ministers in the Beehive to continue to dominate the regional council, and influence water management that promotes irrigation and intensive […]

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Closing KiwiRail would send New Zealand off the rails

It seems like common sense that we should encourage freight to be moved by train rather than by ever-bigger super trucks that tear up our rural roads. But it turns out that the Treasury, the government’s key economic advisor, actually thinks we should be closing rail lines or even the entire rail freight network because […]

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TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of

  This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by our Government? TISA is another so-called trade deal, negotiated in secret, aiming at a liberalisation […]

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Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content

It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used by some New Zealand ISPs and consumers to circumvent geoblocking and give Kiwis open access to global media content.

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Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large increases in cow numbers are resulting in excess nitrogen and thus pollution in water ways. […]

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My Electric Journey Around Northland

Over the weekend, Labour’s Stuart Nash called for the Crown’s ministerial limo fleet to be replaced with electric vehicles (EVs). I’m delighted by this, because the Greens have been saying this for some time and it’s great that the idea is catching on more broadly. Electric vehicles are now a real, serious option that threatens […]

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Will the Super Fund now follow its own advice and divest from coal?

Whenever we’ve asked the New Zealand Superannuation Fund what they’re doing about climate change, they’ve said they’re waiting for the Mercer report they’d backed to come out. Well it’s now out and it’s unequivocal about the impact of climate change – investing in fossil fuels is objectively bad for your returns. Mercer has made one […]

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