Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: In The Green Room

50 Responses

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Bottom lines, and actual priorities. Which of their policies are they going to insist are implemented, and which are they going to say are their policies, but might simply declare, "oh well, we didn't have the numbers"? What would it take for them to walk out? What policies of Labour's will they refuse to support under any circumstance (or most circumstances)?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    Brilliant.

    I like to hear their position on torture, and what NZ can or should do regarding the US's complete failure to abide by the treaties we are both signatories to.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    In what areas do you think you can work with National? If there was one thing you would want to achieve under a National lead Government, what would that be?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Ron Wilson, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    I agree the torture of that nice Mr Key has been terrible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I presume when you say " or even voter" that means you do vote but not (so far) for the Greens

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I am a Green supporter and quite an active active one (I'd encourage anyone who wants to make change in NZ to volunteer for a political party in the next few weeks).

    So I'm not exactly neutral right now. Nevertheless, I think an interesting area of questioning would be around attitudes to science, particularly as it relates to their current focus on economic transformation and "innovation". There are some challenges to be dealt with, particularly as part of a government.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ok I'll toss this in the mix. And while this is focused on GMOs I'd point out that it applies to all technological advances.

    I really like The Greens commitment to evidence-based policy. You can see the impact on their transport policy where a combination of having a genuinely knowledgeable person in parliament combined with the will to find the best policy (not just the one that fits ideologically) has resulted in coherent consistent policy.

    The same can be said for most of the energy policy. In particular the energy policy shows an understanding of risk and reward, solar power has risks associated with pollution and hazardous wastes yet it is still worth supporting because the long term gains are so great.

    So the question is "Will The Greens apply the same evidence-based policy and balance of risk with reward to their GMO policy?"

    It is now 12 years since the Royal commission, we now have more data, the restrictions we put in place then (because we did not know) are now no longer appropriate. So will the Green party reassess their position on GMOs which appears to be ideological rather than evidence based?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Since the results of cisgenesis is indistinguishable from conventional cross-breeding (but takes a fraction of the time), why does the Green Party oppose all GMOs ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to George Darroch,

    I think an interesting area of questioning would be around attitudes to science, particularly as it relates to their current focus on economic transformation and “innovation”.

    This is a good issue to raise. So far the Greens seem to be saying they will "invest in science" but it is far from clear to me whether that means providing funding for research that fits their ideology, or whether that is an intention to do what so many in the science funding field have been saying for a while now and simply increase funding for excellence-based science. In other words triple the Marsden fund.

    From my perspective too much of science funding has the fingerprints of politicians all over it. Usually the motivation is that politicians believe they can "pick winners". Sadly that motivation is unsupported by any evidence, historical or otherwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Question option 1: Clearly NZ’s commercial media model is a failure and we need non-commercial broadcasting and media. But what would the Greens advocate and how would they ring-fence funding so that any subsequent governments can’t close these channels/websites down?

    Question option 2: In the wake of Dirty Politics, Should there be an inquiry into NZ news media, blog standards and news standards, much like the Leveson Inquiry in the UK, with a view to perhaps establishing a statutory body to regulate all media standards?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    From my perspective too much of science funding has the fingerprints of politicians all over it. Usually the motivation is that politicians believe they can “pick winners”. Sadly that motivation is unsupported by any evidence, historical or otherwise.

    I was at a business breakfast recently where Norman emphasised the difference between an across the board increase in claimable R&D as opposed to the current practice of subsidising chosen businesses and industries. The Marsden Fund would be left alone for the moment, in order not to introduce greater disruption, but would not be the focus of investment.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Steven Price,

    What is your role in the left-wing conspiracy? Why don't you want to talk about the issues that matter to New Zealanders? Which vile bloggers on the left are you secretly colluding with?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to George Darroch,

    I was at a business breakfast recently where Norman emphasised the difference between an across the board increase in claimable R&D as opposed to the current practice of subsidising chosen businesses and industries.

    Well that's disappointing. Last time we had that the accounting firms were quick to claim all their "research" tax benefits and we saw no significant increases in funding at the bench.

    Oh and increasing Marsden funding would not disrupt anything in the slightest, honest. At present every panelist I've talked to has said they could fund twice as many grants with no loss of quality and all the grants could easily be doubled in size with no loss of quality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Keys,

    The Greens talk a lot about sustainability and how the current economic policies aren't working. So why are they the only Green Party in the world not actively promoting "steady state" economics? Too hard? Too unpopular? If the current system is deeply flawed, why just tinker with it with Labour??

    Auckland • Since Jun 2014 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Bart, the policy (with PDF) is available here. I'm afraid I won't do justice to it!

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    every panelist I’ve talked to has said they could fund twice as many grants with no loss of quality and all the grants could easily be doubled in size with no loss of quality.

    Yep. It’s woeful how many great projects don’t make it- or get a grant, do great science which raises more questions and exciting new avenues- which then don’t make it.
    I don't like the model. But before trying to construct something else, doubling it would be worthwhile.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    It's all part of a wider malaise in NZ, where those with the vision don't have the money (think Grant Straker), those with the money don't have the vision (think the housing cartel and asset sales), and the the two camps are poles apart.

    Training and research are too often seen as expenses rather than investments - if "skills shortages" are to be addressed, the barriers to training and retraining need to be broken down.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The Clean rivers is a good idea, but full of cosy words and light on detail. Such an aim will run straight into real opposition from the dairy "industry". Who will see it as costing farmers money, and so prices will have to go up they will tell us. How do they plan to deal with this? New Zealand should move away from its dairy heavy exports Do they agree? How can we start to head down this road?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Andin has the questions I’d like asked. How, practically speaking, do we resolve the conflict between the country’s two biggest industries, agriculture and tourism? What can be done to mitigate agricultural pollution? How do you do that without completely antagonising the farming lobby?

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    I'd like to know where any of the parties stand on NZ content quotas. Specifically music. Specifically-specifically NZ music percentages on commercial radio.

    But it's not really a hot issue for many!

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    In the wake of Dirty Politics

    Also in the wake of Dirty Politics, and the claims that MPs, Ministers and their staff have been employing "dirty" tactics for a long time:

    (a) Where should the line be drawn on what's acceptable and what isn't?

    (b) What's the policy for making "unacceptable" behaviour by MPs, Ministers and their staff more easily detectable in future? Especially given that the latest stuff has apparently been happening at the highest levels for years without anybody, PM or otherwise, taking notice of it and dealing with it?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    My questions to Metiria and Russel are: How committed are you on the kind of social security (income support) and also disability policies you have published, and how high a priority will it be for you to push for the introduction of a universal basic income, so that you can convince Labour, your likely governing partner, to actually reform (or replace) the Social Security Act to the effect of bringing in such a system?

    Also will the top ups for child raising persons on benefits, and for disabled sick, injured and otherwise incapacitated, as well as students be high enough to cover basic living costs and other immediate needs they have depending on their circumstances?

    As for present WINZ policies on work ability assessments, which have traditionally been done by person's own doctor or specialist, or otherwise by "designated doctors", and which will now in many cases be done by new, outsourced, private, fee-earning "assessors", what is your position on how they should be conducted?

    There has been lots of controversy about this, and the fact that DWP in the UK, and WINZ here have accepted "expert advice" from researchers like Mansel Aylward, who has written reports that many sick and disabled simply suffer from "illness belief", and may be "malingerers", raises major concerns about the appropriateness of assessments now being done. He was behind the failed medical and work capability assessment regime in the UK, causing much harm there.

    MSD and WINZ have a Principal Health Advisor, Dr David Bratt, who has in presentations likened benefit dependence with "drug dependence", and who has fully accepted Aylward's supposed "findings", achieved through "research" paid for by a formerly convicted US insurance giant called UNUM. Dr Bratt is in charge of internal "health and disability advisors", and also trains "designated doctors", who are paid by WINZ, and many have raised questions about the independence of the doctors they use for second opinions.

    Doctors are supposed to be independent, so are assessors of other backgrounds, but with the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) also having fully adopted Aylward's approaches, are you as Greens leaders not concerned about what is going on in this area, affecting many sick, injured and disabled, who are now increasingly re-assessed for work fitness?

    See this for some resources:
    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/afoem-health-benefits-of-work

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/may-2010-video-presentation-professor-sir-mansel-aylward/

    Bratt's presentation 'Ready, Steady,. Crook. Are we killing our patients with kindness?'
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf
    (see pages 13, 20, 21 and 35)

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/mar/17/epluribusunum

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/15/british-government-uses-might-of-u-s-insurance-giant-unum-to-destroy-u-k-safety-net-report-by-mo-stewart-wraf-rtd-14912/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-a/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Bottom lines, and actual priorities.

    I don't think that's realistic, is it? Labour hasn't even finished writing all their policies, the Greens have no firm idea on the composition of the next government or their own share of the vote, there's no indication of how strongly various other parties feel about their own policy set.

    Like, they could have some primary goals, but even then if they need NZFirst support and Winston puts his foot down against it, it's still not going to happen. Left wing governments have tended to be case-by-case and law-by-law for a long time now: consensus or GTFO.


    My question: who do you feel are your best candidates for ministerial positions, should you be a formal part of the next government? Or perhaps, less softball, which ministries are you most keen on running?

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Stephen Keys,

    So why are they the only Green Party in the world not actively promoting "steady state" economics?

    I think you'll find the New Zealand situation fairly unique in our potential for massive growth in renewable energy, at least compared to Europe. There's room here for a bigger economy with far more local manufacturing and added value on our exports while also improving the local and global environmental impacts.

    Which is to say, we've more room to grow than others. The concept is that infinity is an unwise target, not that we can't ever catch up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to andin,

    the dairy "industry"

    If it walks like a Ponzi scheme, and it quacks like a Ponzi scheme, ....

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

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