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A Change Of Plan

By   /  October 11, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

IT WAS LATE and the fire was dying. The wine bottle was definitely not half full. In the far corner a couple of vapers appeared to smoke. But up this end, nearest the fire, I was alone. Until she turned up.

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Christchurch City Council subsidises building homes for the wealthy but refuses to rebuild council rental housing destroyed in the earthquakes

By   /  October 10, 2018  /  John Minto, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

It should make an uncomfortable juxtaposition for the mayor and councillors.

One week they vote an extra $220 million for a new rugby stadium without public consultation and the next they are consulting on whether they should give a $30 million loan to the council’s housing arm – the Otautahi Community Housing Trust – to build 130 more council rental homes. 

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Lessons for the Left from NAFTA Mark-II

By   /  October 9, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Professor Jane Kelsey, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

We underestimate Trump’s people. We don’t have to support their visceral racism and sexism and cynical manipulation of populist sentiment to recognise that something significant is happening. The rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico released last week poses crucial challenges for the left that we need to understand if we are to shape a genuinely alternative, progressive new strategy for the future – the goal of our hui in Auckland on 19-20 October.

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First World Problems

By   /  October 9, 2018  /  Christine Rose, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

Reckless, provocative and dangerous as Trump is, and despite the gravity of our first world concerns, they’re convenient distractions from unpalatable everyday wars and tyrrany of the world’s evil affecting the already most vulnerable and dispossessed. We’re just lucky Trump’s not at war with us.

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Petrol Pump Politics

By   /  October 9, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

“AT A DOLLAR a gallon we can’t afford Rowling.” Given his latest media release,  “Government pricing Kiwis out of their cars”, someone’s obviously been schooling up young Simon Bridges on the way Rob Muldoon smashed Labour in 1975.

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Should There Be A Statute Of Limitations In Politics?

By   /  October 8, 2018  /  Curwen Rolinson, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  2 Comments

It is a curious thing. By the end of last week, a pretty appreciable portion of my newsfeed were discussing Clayton Mitchell’s “NZ Values” proposal. Or, at least, that’s what they *thought* they were doing.

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Dr Liz Gordon: The very odd case of Clayton Mitchell MP

By   /  October 8, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  3 Comments

The other day I heard a passing mention on my car radio to some MP promoting legislation to ensure that immigrants upheld kiwi values.  Good old NZ First as its worst, I thought. I listened on and heard that one of those values was a commitment not to campaign against the legality of alcohol. I nearly drove my car off the road.  I then decided that I must have misheard or misunderstood and put it out of my mind.

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Show me the money

By   /  October 8, 2018  /  Barry Coates, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  3 Comments

Big Oil has repeatedly lied about the impact of burning fossil fuels on our environment. In a repeat of tactics that delayed tobacco regulation for decades, the major oil companies have hidden evidence and paid for junk science by climate deniers. As a result of inaction, millions of people have suffered from air pollution, toxic waste and climate change, particularly those who are vulnerable and living in impoverished communities.

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MUST READ EXCLUSIVE: Call it KiwiBuild but it is still gentrification

By   /  October 8, 2018  /  Alan Johnson, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  8 Comments

It is probably time to call the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild programme for what it is – state sponsored gentrification of state housing suburbs.  As such it is little different from the previous Government’s efforts in places such as Tamaki to extract value from the public housing estate under the guise of modernisation.  

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Call out ALL international rules offenders

By   /  October 6, 2018  /  Leslie Bravery, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  11 Comments

October has only just begun but already, in the first two days of this month, the Israeli Army has shot dead a 78-year-old farmer, Ahmad Nassar Al-Arqawi, as he tried to eke out a living on blockaded Gaza farmland.

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The Political Amnesia Of Winston Peters’ Critics

By   /  October 5, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  24 Comments

Far from undermining our parliamentary democracy, the Electoral Integrity legislation which NZ First insisted form a central part of this new coalition government’s programme now stands as a solid protection against any repetition of the constitutional outrage of 1998. That blatant attack on MMP which Winston Peters perennial critics either cannot, or will not, acknowledge.

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Didn’t Like ‘The Last Jedi’? You Might Be An Unpatriotic Russian Troll Undermining American Democracy … Apparently

By   /  October 5, 2018  /  Curwen Rolinson, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  22 Comments

There is an anecdote about how, in Stalin era USSR, everything would somehow be blamed on Trotsky. Soviet economy didn’t meet 5 year plan output targets? Trotsky’s fault. Collectivization of agriculture has unintended effects on food supply? Trotsky’s fault. Building collapses? Trotsky’s fault. Factory machinery stops working? Trotsky’s fault. Fall down the stairs? Trotsky’s fault. Etc.

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Dr Liz Gordon – The witch trials

By   /  October 4, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  30 Comments

I feel sorry for Trumps, junior and senior.  Don’t laugh.  I really do.  For them, the world is now populated by #MeToo unleashed.  Unpredictable and venal women who, at the drop of a hat, will claim sexual assault in order to get what they want.  Poor Don Jr fears for his sons, in a world where women have power.

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National’s Little-Boy-Lost

By   /  October 4, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  21 Comments

It is Bridges’ lack of authenticity: the impression he gives of playing politics by-the-numbers and without conviction; that makes the electorate so unwilling to take him seriously. He can frown, scowl, pout and shout his defiance of the Coalition Government, and all its leaders do is laugh. Much as a gathering of youngsters would laugh if one of their number attempted to impersonate the responsible adult in the room.

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That was Then, This is Now #29 – Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole – goneburger!

By   /  October 4, 2018  /  Frank Macskasy, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

It would appear that Ms Kaye has inadvertently ‘sunk’ Steven Joyce’s claims of Labour’s $11.7 billion “hole” made during last year’s election campaign.

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Converting resistance to TPPA into a new agenda for change

By   /  October 3, 2018  /  Most Recent Blogs, Professor Jane Kelsey, Setting The Agenda  /  25 Comments

Last week I was in New York at a conference on Rethinking International Investment Governance – the investor-state dispute system (ISDS) that lets transnational corporations enforce special rights through secretive, offshore, pro-investor tribunals. 

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