Politics is a battle of ideas, values and ultimately in a democracy, the collective power of the group to determine a course of action. It doesn’t have to be negative: it can be empowering, uplifting and positive.
As someone with a disability who has to deal with the media on a regular basis, I found the latest report by the Convention Coalition Monitoring Group very interesting. The time period the report covered was 2012. Note: The full report is available by clicking here: It looks at how the media in New Zealand […]
Two years ago award winning New Zealand journalist Jon Stephenson wrote an in-depth article for Metro Magazine about New Zealand’s role in the war in Afghanistan. The article, Eyes Wide Shut, described the w ay NZ Special Forces handed detainees over to other coalition forces who then sent the prisoners to facilities known to have […]
It’s good that Variety, KidsCan, and others have stepped in to fill the yawning chasm of child poverty that too many of our kids are falling into. But let’s take this as a challenge and demand governments that will eradicate the need for such schemes by guaranteeing the essentials for all our kids.
The John Tamihere Horror Show has returned and is not so much about a jump to the left or a step to the right, but a giant leap backward into some weird chauvinistic 1960s time warp where “no fat chicks” or gays are allowed. For that he’s been called a charming rogue, who represents the […]
After spending Wednesday in the House on that crazy, toilet free, golf course plentiful Planet Key, I landed smoothly in the real world at Edmund Hillary Primary at Papakura on Thursday; a decile 1 school with a volunteer breakfast program and a community garden. You might have seen them on Campbell Live in August. Anyway, […]
Margaret Mahy once told a group of kids how, when she was young, she loved stories so much she started writing to “squeeze myself right into the stories”. And in the process, she squeezed generations of us into her stories too. I grew up with Mahy’s characters – the Lion in the meadow, the nutty […]
There is something important and terrifying happening, mostly without notice. It is the death of public television. We’re about to lose our only non-commercial free-to-air broadcaster (with the notable exception of Maori TV). Last week I attended at the first of a series of public meetings to save TVNZ 7, but it started out with […]
In what is a first for a political party in New Zealand and possibly the world, I am thrilled that the Green Party has marked New Zealand Sign Language week by getting parts of our website translated into New Zealand Sign Language ( NZSL). This step means Deaf New Zealanders can now learn more about […]
The Herald has launched a six part series highlighting inequality and poverty in New Zealand, showing why we need action on the root causes, not the consequences.
What was the Speaker thinking about when he came down so heavily on the NZ Herald, just before the election, for publishing a photo on its website of a highly unusual event in Parliament. I wonder whether he had thought through the implications for democracy of preventing one of the major newspapers in New Zealand […]
Yesterday we had TV3’s Patrick Gower come into our caucus meeting and sing us the star spangled banner. No offense to Paddy, but he’s not the best singer. So I thought I’d put it out to you creative geniuses out there to remix and mash up Patrick. You could animate the scene, cut in Taylor […]
One bit of information that hasn’t come out yet is that Hilik Magnus, who led the private Israeli search and rescue team which arrived in Christchurch shortly after the February 22 quake had previously worked for Israeli intelligence.
It seems the Far-From-Sensible Sentencing Trust is getting set to launch into another round of tub-thumping about how we are all too soft on crime; let’s lock ’em up and throw away the key before we’re all murdered in our beds; it’s a jungle out there; etc, etc. Apparently they commissioned some research in May “…on […]
In this podcast, Green Party ICT Spokesperson Gareth Hughes talks about the new file sharing law – what it means, why non-nerds should be worried about it too, and what can be done from here.
It was news on the Stuff website today that Russel Norman took a State Department-sponsored trip to the USA in 2009 and that our MPs have contact with the US embassy in NZ. Apparently it was news because you can find a record of it in US embassy cables available on Wikileaks. Never mind that […]
When Jetstar refused two people the right to fly because they use wheelchairs and didn’t have two caregivers, it raised the endless and ongoing issue of discrimination against people with disabilities. The debate is not new. It has taken years for disability activists to work with the airlines to ensure access onto all kinds of […]
Yesterday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited our Parliament and promoted free trade agreements with all the fervour of the faithful. This position was predictable, but less well known is her stance on education. Julia is the leader who imposed the Australian version of National Standards on Australian schools against the wishes of the teachers’ unions.
Here’s John Armstrong’s view on Julia Gillard addressing Parliament, as published in the NZ Herald this morning. Greens’ vigilance on Gillard merits praise – John Armstrong The Greens have got some unwarranted stick for blocking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard from addressing Parliament while it is officially in session. They were right to do so. […]
John Key’s Government is poised to start tendering for public private partnerships (PPPs) to build and run our schools. I’ve said before what a terrible idea this is – overseas research suggests that no matter how you cut the PPP cake, the public ends up funding the projects while the private companies cream profit off […]
The front page of today’s Dominion Post carries the story of a Newlands college pupil who was told she “looked like a slut” for wearing her school skirt short by her school dean. The verbal apology that was given notwithstanding, this incident is very disturbing. As a former girl who formerly wore very short skirts […]
It’s always nice to wake up to good news, and this morning it was the news that 225 school Boards of Trustees will today deliver the message to the Government that they have no confidence in National Standards, and will defer setting student achievement targets based on the standards for at least a year.
I’ve been enjoying Idiot/Savant’s posts over at No Right Turn about his ongoing battles trying to get various Ministers in John Key’s Government to respond adequately to his OIA requests. I’ve had a couple of classics myself this week.
It was pleasing to discover yesterday, via a question from Catherine to Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman, that the seven Rugby World Cup matches screened live on TVNZ next year will include live captioning for the deaf community – after all, we promised the world a ‘stadium of 4 million people’, and this ought to include […]
In 2007, the Herald named Louise Nicholas New Zealander of the Year for her brave exposure of police violence against women. However, as I blogged a couple of weeks ago, female victims of “police misconduct” like Louise have been told they will not be compensated. This week they also witnessed the edifying sight of former […]
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I guess we should be flattered by this leaflet from Labour MP Brendon Burns which appeared at the Christchurch eco-show: Not only is the image of Mr Burns rafting the Hurunui River strangely similar to many of those from Russel’s Dirty Rivers Rafting Tour… …but […]
I’m a rather boring political blogger. I like to look at the evidence, see if it supports the political spin, and comment accordingly. But it seems we have a ‘secret agent” in the Greens who can write very clever satire, at least on mining. The agent’s under cover name is “Lhaws”
This week is Gifted Awareness Week. I support calls to restore full funding for gifted and talented support programmes – programmes which had their funding slashed in last year’s Budget. Children are gifted in so many different ways, and many need professional support like that offered by gifted and talented programmes throughout our state schools. […]
Kiran Chug has a great story in this morning’s Dominion Post: the sorry tale of the proposed National Policy Statement on Freshwater management. Our rivers are getting dirtier and dirtier while this document languishes. A quick history: National policy statements are tools that can be developed under the Resource Management Act to guide local and […]
The Football World Cup is on our doorstep. In the world of sport, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. As the All Whites journey to South Africa to play amongst the great nations of football, I decided to find out if any of the Green MPs had a crazy mixed-up love relationship with the […]
Today and tomorrow, the Welfare Working Group is hosting a forum on welfare issues to look at the big picture. It was advertised as open to the first 250 people who enrolled, and billed as bringing together “a diversity of opinions and experience”. Metiria and I immediately registered, along with one of our researchers, because […]
I missed Question Time yesterday as I had an important event to attend and it looks like I missed the highlight of the year: the crucial visit to Parliament by 13 Miss New Universe contestants. What a shame I wasn’t there to experience that particular embarrassment and humiliation. Apparently the presence of the contestants got […]
You can’t move from rags to riches when there’s a yawning gap between rich and poor. Much of the post-Budget debate has been focused on whether John Key and Bill English’s prescription for the country’s finances will increase or decrease the gap between rich and poor. Despite assuring us that he cares about inequality, Mr […]
And so it begins… Forest and Bird revealed yesterday that the first local committee set up under the new ECan structure to consider the future of the Hurunui and Waiau river catchments was unlikely to have any members representing environmental concerns. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but with the Government’s not-so-hidden agenda for […]
The New Zealand Herald was right to call “offensive” Andy Haden’s suggestion that the Crusaders rugby team has done better by having fewer Polynesians in the team. After claiming the Crusaders had a quota of three Polynesian players Haden said “and it’s worked”. This prejudicial attitude is not new, particularly in Haden’s Auckland where some […]
As you know, I’ve been writing a series of blog posts about Inequality in Aotearoa during April and May. I’ve also been working on ideas for solutions to the growing gap between rich and poor in New Zealand, and this morning I’ve launched a major package of eight practical ideas to reduce inequality. Here I […]
A major feature of the UK election campaign whose results we’ve all been hanging off (and by the way why would we even contemplate a return to FPP given the grossly disproportionate result it’s produced over there?) was the importance of inequality. One of the Liberal Democrats’ key campaign planks was a tax-free threshold of […]
It seems the infighting within the ACT Party is not confined just to Rodney Hide, Heather Roy, Roger Douglas and the Parliamentary wing. Following ACT on Campus President Rick Giles’ profound argument in denial of human induced climate change on TV3’s Sunrise earlier this week: I think my argument is so powerful, it’s not necessary to talk about it
Most people these days are used to thinking about the “carbon footprint” of consumer goods, and know about the concept of “food miles”. But have you ever thought about the “virtual water content” of your food? I hadn’t, so found this story in New Zealand Farmers Weekly quite fascinating. Apparently, about 6.5 litres of water […]