And Health Ministry communications staff mislead the media. A September 2022 story on Stuff … [Read More...]
A cautious approach is needed for children and young people with gender confusion .
Gender identity in NZ This post is about what is happening in New Zealand related to children and young people who have confusion about whether they feel that “they are in the wrong body” or who announce themselves as “transgender”. There is information, some links to useful resources, and an outline of why the concept… [Continue Reading]
Rules reduction review: – An extraordinary attack on local government.
Duncan Garner recently wrote a story about an aggrieved property developer. The anonymous man, is apparently “scared” of council retribution if his details were published. Garner criticises the council the developer was dealing with but is mysteriously silent on details that would allow us to understand why the developer was building on a plot covered… [Continue Reading]
Helen Kelly’s valedictory speech to the CTU 2015 conference
Here is a link to Helen Kelly’s valedictory speech to the 2015 unions conference as she steps down from her role at the NZ council of Trade Unions due to ill health. The speech has far too many examples where workers and their families have had to spend months and years resorting to the law… [Continue Reading]
NZ: An outstanding trading nation?
Liam Dann has written a long article on the TPPA in last week’s New Zealand Herald. He’s equivocal about the agreement saying “Movement on dairy was disappointing, but movement was made. A first step, however small, is actually a very important one. It does seem that with regards to specific gains New Zealand only did… [Continue Reading]
Scoop Foundation: Take back the news
This post is to ask for your support of the new Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism. The foundation is a newly established charitable trust dedicated to helping Scoop Media and public interest journalism flourish in New Zealand. It is Scoop’s response to the worldwide crisis in journalism caused by the dramatic shrinkage of advertising… [Continue Reading]
Conference report back
In all about 60 people attended Information, ethics and the public good. We heard a dozen great speakers and had about 4 hours dedicated to debate and discussion focused on what we had heard. A full conference report is in development and the full content of the presentations will be posted here over the next… [Continue Reading]
TPPA: Don’t sign rally and next steps
Anti TPPA March Demands – reproduced from the It’s Our Future Website and read out at 14 rallies nationwide today. A list of demands has been formulated by It’s Our Future and concerned citizens around the country, and was read out at the 14 rallies around the country today. Copies in A4 and A5 can… [Continue Reading]
Scoop Foundation: Why we need it.
The Scoop Foundation: Why we need it I’m a long-time fan of Scoop, and so I’m supporting Scoop’s move from a commercial, advertising-funded model to a community supported model. I’d like to explain why. Like other news media worldwide, Scoop is facing the financial challenges of an advertising base that has been decimated. Scoop needs… [Continue Reading]
When will our government catch on to the Internet of Things?
The Purpose of government? What exactly is the purpose of government? Should it include mitigating risks that apply at a whole of population level? High levels of suicide, perhaps, workplace deaths and injuries, minimising the risk of catastrophic climate change, mitigating population wide health problems like obesity or rheumatic fever and addressing the… [Continue Reading]
Govt action on climate change? No we’re perfect already
The government says it is leading an international initiative of countries who are looking at how to cut carbon use by cutting fossil fuel subsidies. Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform includes a number of governments, commercial companies, including many from New Zealand, as well as some international environmental organisations*. The idea that there is no… [Continue Reading]
Anti-TPPA tour around NZ : Filling out the picture
When Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey and Director and Lori Wallach, Founder of Global Trade Watch, a division of Public Citizen toured NZ this week they conveyed a series of messages that have not had much coverage by the mainstream media. Just for starters had any NZ commentator put two and two together to discover… [Continue Reading]
Demands for international and non-partisan approaches emerging from conference.
Speakers at the EYE of the STORM conference in Wellington this week are echoing the call made by Wise Response in 2014. The Wise Response appeal was signed by more than 6000 people including academics, former senior politicians and ordinary New Zealanders. The appeal called for the government to assess the risks in five priority… [Continue Reading]
Introduction to Information, ethics and the public good.
Tena koutou katoa, Ko Jan Rivers toku ingoa. Ko te whakamohiotanga mo te iwi whanui te kaupapa o tenei hui. No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. A warm Welcome everyone who has given their Friday and some of you the weekend to this important topic. I’m Jan Rivers from public good. Conference… [Continue Reading]
Information, ethics and the public good: Conference Agenda
PUBLIC GOOD CONFERENCE 2015 Online Registration Conference Background Bookings Read about the purpose of the conference Printable leaflet 2014 Conference report and resources list Friday 9 October 7.00 – 9.15 Dr Jim Cunningham Welcome Jan Rivers – the 2014 conference Dr Christopher Longhurst – a rights and justice model for information Valerie Morse – The… [Continue Reading]
Overreach: When ideology replaces quality public services
In the last week the National government’s ideological approach has been heavily criticised by the very organisations that should be the beneficiaries of the it’s proposed policy changes. Lowered regulation in housing construction On Monday Radio New Zealand reported that the government is planning to allow builder self certification and that “New Zealand had “moved… [Continue Reading]
Another world is possible. The Labour History Project’s 2015 Essay competition
The Labour History Project launched an essay competition last year. The competition is running again in 2015 and entries close on Tuesday 2 June. See the attached flyer for details about the competition, closing date and prizes. The topic is ‘Another world is possible’ and you can read the 2014 prize winning essays here. The… [Continue Reading]
TPP opposition widespread across all of NZ society
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is finalised will be signed and ratified by the Cabinet. Professor Jane Kelsey has shown that the Parliamentary Select Committee process is cosmetic. Much like the South Korea FTA, recently under discussion by the Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee, there will be no vote in parliament… [Continue Reading]
The ‘Free Trade’ horse is already bolting on residential property sales
On Tuesday David Parker wrote in the NZ Herald that the government’s signing of the S. Korea Free Trade Agreement creates risks for NZ. Today the Labour Party has withheld support until certain guarantees are made. However the specific risk of losing the right to legislate for New Zealanders is already in chain in residential… [Continue Reading]
Form follows function for the Cooperative Bank
Printable version Last Thursday at its AGM the NZ Co-operative Bank invited shareholders to adopt a new by constitution formalising the bank’s profit sharing arrangements, New Zealand ownership and representation arrangements. The changes have unfolded over several years. To 2012 and under the leadership of Girol Karacaoglu, (who has since moved to become chief economist… [Continue Reading]
TPPA progress harder from now on
Updated 4/8/2015 With the failure of the Hawaii TPPA round to make a deal, the next round of TPPA negotiations is going to be more difficult, as well as more risky for the government. Internationally the Canadian government has been dissolved pending an election in October and all TPPA governments are managing widespread public concerns.… [Continue Reading]
Naomi Klein on not looking.
Larger PDF version of How we look away from climate change diagram Here is a model of what Klein identifies as the reasons we use for not looking at climate change in her recent book “This changes everything”
The Death of God and the War on Terror
Link to the video Summary This article attempts to give a flavour of a videoed talk by Terry Eagleton “The Death of God and the War on Terror” which was made at the How the Light Gets In festival in Wales in May this year and which is taken from ideas in his 2014 book… [Continue Reading]
Information, Ethics and the Public Good: Who can we trust?
Mini-Conference at St Andrews on the Terrace – Conference Friday 9 /Saturday 10 October Save the date for a fascinating, involving conference and workshop. You can book and pay for the conference using Eventbrite registration Satrs conference intro leaflet to print for friends See the final list of confirmed speakers At last year’s conference Democracy,… [Continue Reading]
Confirmed speakers for information, ethics and the public good.
Prior registration is preferable but you can also register at St Andrews using the registration form Conference St Andrew’s on the Terrace Registrations Friday 9 October 7.00pm – 9.15pm Unwaged $20.00 Waged: $40.00 Saturday 10 October 9.00 am – 4.00pm Under 25/student loan $10.00 Online Registration Conference Background Bookings Read about the purpose of the… [Continue Reading]
Online voting: “the risks to democracy are too great”
Grateful to web software developer Nigel McNie for his permission to reproduce this speech to Wellington City Council. Nigel also writes on IT security at at https://medium.com/@nigelmcnie. He has written a recent mythbuster against online voting and his thought provoking submission to the Justice & Elections Select Committee’s inquiry into the 2014 New Zealand… [Continue Reading]
Government’s TPPA analysis: 279 impenetrable pages.
This is an article about the suitability of the 279 Page TPP National Impact Analysis (NIA) as a document to inform New Zealanders about the detail of the agreement. The TPPA is complex and multi-facetted but a well-structured, good faith approach would have provided a full report of its impacts intended for a wide public… [Continue Reading]
The answer is no. No time extension for TPPA consideration
Trade Minister Todd McClay indicated that he would be willing to have the time period extended for TPPA NIA consideration. My email to the committee on 11 Feb and the response about the decision made on Thursday 3 March when the time has almost run out is below. This decision will mean that many significant… [Continue Reading]
Tony Alexander’s free reign at the BNZ
I read in the news recently that the BNZ’s chief economist Tony Alexander has made some demeaning remarks about young people wanting to buy houses and has been stretching the boundaries of his reporting by providing investment advice in the BNZ newsletter. I am afraid to report that his ability to insult and… [Continue Reading]
Supercharging Scoop’s Election Journalism
Scoop is opening its election year coverage with an exciting initiative and would appreciate your support. The Open News Project is Scoop’s attempt to ensure political news coverage this election year leads to better outcomes for our society and all New Zealanders. We believe political coverage should focus less on the political game and more… [Continue Reading]
Human Flourishing: A series of events at St Andrew’s on the Terrace
Thursday 27 April 12.30 – 2.00 Winton Higgins and the Politics of Decency The tide of xenophobia, misogyny, prejudice and callousness towards ‘the Other’ is rising. This is the politics of indecency, so how do we create a sea wall that will turn it back? Winton is a secular Buddhist, academic and novelist based in… [Continue Reading]
Human Flourishing Conference
Registration are open for the 2017 St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society (SATRS) / Public Good Conference, at St Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand Friday 5 May: 7.00–8.30pm (tea and coffee from 6.30pm) Saturday 6 May: 9.30am– 3.30pm (Registration from 9.00) HELP ALL HUMANS FLOURISH Join a creative mob… [Continue Reading]
Research Mapping with Research Resources for Scoop’s Hivemind debate The HiveMind debate is online on the Scoop Website at this address. If you would like to help this by editing the document please email email@example.com
Do we need a money revolution?
Professor William Mitchell is in Wellington on Friday 28 July and he will be speaking at a Wellington event to discuss how Modern Monetary Theory could support New Zealand’s economy, society, environment, and way of life over the next 20 years. RSVP for this event Professor William Mitchell is a world leading economist a… [Continue Reading]
Election hustings and other related events in Wellington
These meetings are taking place in Wellington in the lead-up to the election. Most, but not all, are specifically related to the election. Information is provided on a best efforts basis and we suggest you check with the website to confirm the information supplied before committing to an event. End Child Poverty Political Forum: Wellington… [Continue Reading]
Has the Suicide Prevention Strategy been side-lined?
Warning: This article is about suicide and may be distressing to some readers. There has been much negative coverage of the proposed NZ Suicide Prevention Strategy since Mike King left the suicide advisory group a few months ago saying that it was “a master class in butt covering”. We have recently heard that the government… [Continue Reading]
Scoop and Action Station do “Kai and Korero”. Can you come?
The Scoop Foundation invites Scoop’s friends and supporters to celebrate Scoop’s 18th birthday in style. Eighteen – the age to vote so we have planned a timely election year celebration. Join us after work on Friday 11 August from 5.45 – 8.00 pm at St Andrews on the Terrace for Kai and Korero, based on… [Continue Reading]
A Mind Map of the mental health tsunami.
Late last year an article in the Guardian newspaper by George Monbiot discussed a recent report about the level of mental health problems among young people in the UK. I made a mind map of the ideas in the article as part of a submission to the suicide strategy. With the release of the… [Continue Reading]
Open the algorithms
Whose responsibility is to to make sure that workers are paid their holiday pay? Not government it would seem, nor employers, nor payroll providers. Since a 2010 law change estimates indicate that more than 700,000 New Zealanders who work shifts or irregular hours may have been underpaid by more than $2bn. Sometimes the hours and… [Continue Reading]
Universal Basic Income: A debate worth having
In March 2016 the Labour Party held its Future of Work Conference. Notable speakers were Guy Standing, author of The Precariat and former Clinton-era Secretary of Labour Robert Reich. The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) was raised in a discussion paper as being potentially the single most popular idea being discussed internationally to… [Continue Reading]
A new ethics for the public realm? Lessons from the Second World War.
I’ve recently read A Faith to fight for” which was Left Book Club founder John Strachey’s lengthy letter to his daughter, written during The Blitz for her to read in 1951 (should she survive – luckily she did). Under this situation of duress Strachey felt compelled to look at the ultimate values by which to… [Continue Reading]
This is a summary of the TPPA submission I have sent tonight. It may not make any difference to the outcome in NZ but there will be a time when, having rehearsed all the arguments about the value of the public sector and of legislation in the public interest, they come to mean something again.… [Continue Reading]
The Panama Papers in New Zealand
Today journalists from across the world, and co-ordinated through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, have started to publish stories from the biggest ever leak of commercial information. All the prospects are that the flood of information will continue over the days and weeks to come. There are more than 11 million documents which “show… [Continue Reading]
On cutting the time available to the Waitangi Tribunal
This paper formed part of my presentation to the Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee on the TPPA treaty consideration Yesterday it was revealed that fast-tracking the report date for the Select Committee considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will have the effect of giving the Waitangi Tribunal three rather than seven weeks to produce… [Continue Reading]
The Select Committee and the arbitrators
I presented my submission on the TPPA’s National Interest Analysis to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee and hung around afterwards to see who was next up. A few speakers later the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand made their presentation. Unlike the private individuals who had 10 minutes apiece or… [Continue Reading]
Who owns our water?
Reposted from by Urban Earthtalk with permission. Author Charmaine Pountney. When I saw this heading in huge capitals on a one-page article in the NZ Herald… SHOULD ONE RACE CONTROL NEW ZEALAND’S FRESH WATER? my first thought was “could this be an article about how Pakeha colonists have taken over the country’s natural water sources… [Continue Reading]
The Conservative: An essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson 1841
In 1841 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote ‘The Conservative’. It’s an essay in rather archaic language about the wrong headedness of both progressive and conservative world views so it’s fairly even handed about the hazards of both inflated idealism and the deadliness of the status quo. However some of the statements about conservatism are prescient for… [Continue Reading]
Whistling While They Work:
Improving managerial responses to whistle-blowing in public and private sector organisations Public Good is pleased to work with a number of civil society organisations: HuiE!, Volunteering NZ, Community Networks Aotearoa to draw attention to and promote involvement in research by Victoria University into workplace whistle blowing policies. It is the biggest piece of research into… [Continue Reading]
ECO’s open government survey open to 26 July
What do you think is important about OPEN GOVERNMENT? ECO invites you to participate in a survey of people and organisations from civil society on what we want the government actions should be in the NZ Open Government Action Plan 2016-18. Please feel free to circulate the survey widely. The survey provides an option to… [Continue Reading]
Walking for peace
20160619 Author Charmaine Pountney and Tanya Cumberland Republished from Earthalk.co.nz http://earthtalk.co.nz/2016/06/walking-for-peace-andrew-judd-taranaki/ We’ve just been to Taranaki to join the Pakeha Hikoi for Peace– a walk from New Plymouth to Parihaka in support of Mayor Andrew Judd’s campaign for Maori representation on New Plymouth District Council. The council’s proposal to include one Māori ward for the… [Continue Reading]
Rally for Democracy 10 September 2016
Press release reposted from It’s Our Future New Zealanders from all walks of life will come together on 10th September in a Day of Action that will affirm our democratic rights and support initiatives to build a fairer and more sustainable society. There will be rallies, marches, music and speeches, in family-friendly events that bring… [Continue Reading]
Workplace Bullying Survey – 5-7 minutes
This is a survey on Workplace Bullying posted on behalf of Ada Cecilia Magadia Umali, a Masters student in Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. Given what has been in the news about staff in emergency units in public hospitals recently this is a live issue but Ada is collecting data from across the… [Continue Reading]
On not reporting on greenhouse gas emissions
The government has made a decision not to report on New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions as part of the package of statistical environmental reporting for the period starting 2015. The new reporting regime was announced today by the Chief Executives of Stats NZ and the Ministry for the Environment respectively, having been vetted by the… [Continue Reading]
Media Council finds Stuff endorses unbalanced coverage on puberty blockers
And Health Ministry communications staff mislead the media. A September 2022 story on Stuff written by journalist Rachel Thomas has been found to lack balance. In ‘Puberty blockers still considered safe and reversible, health Ministry says‘ published on Sep 25 2022 Thomas sought commentary from the Ministry of Health, (who misled her) as well as… [Continue Reading]
The Social Contract
The Social Contract is an old philosophical idea that people consent to be governed.
Effectively this means that people give up some freedoms but benefit from the fairness and order provided by the government. Implicit in the idea is that people have the maximum freedoms consistent with the Social Contract. However there are limits to the powers of government. This is the case especially for democratic governments which are made up of our elected representatives who make decisions on our behalf.
New website Up and Going
Never underestimate the power of networking My name is Rosemary Neave, I came across public good when a friend of mine in Waipu, a small town in Northland, invited me to like the Facebook Page. I had been working with another friend Lyn Scott on the idea of setting up a WordPress website with similar… [Continue Reading]
The Entrepreneurial State
The Entrepreneurial State: A book review Mariana Mazzucato is a UK economist who has worked at Demos, the UK thinktank and is a professor at the University of Sussex. Her latest book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking public vs private sector myths is written from the viewpoint that the state is the major, but often invisible,… [Continue Reading]
Book review: Glenn Greenwald No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the surveillance state
Tomorrow it’s a year to the day since we learnt about the NSA tracking of Verizon telephone customers and on the 6th June the Prism project appeared in the UK Guardian. Glenn Greenwald’s book was published on May 15 and recounts the events and the follow up as well as comprehensive information about what was… [Continue Reading]
Party Policies and get out the vote campaigns
The purpose of this page is to help ensure: that people get out and vote that they can find the party policies and manifestos easily It contains information for voters and links to party manifesto and policy information Our mini-conference Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good is taking place in the leadup to the election.… [Continue Reading]
Conference registration launched
Democracy, ethics and the public good. kickstarting a serious conversation about the quality of our democracy In recent years we have seen a deterioration in the quality of some aspects of our democracy. On one hand we can celebrate MMP and the diverse set of representatives for our communities. The 2013 Transparency International report identified… [Continue Reading]
Media Release: Opening the debate on the quality of our democracy
People in Wellington and beyond can help to kick-start a much-needed critical examination of our democracy on August 1 and 2. Public Good and the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society (SATRS) are hosting Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good which will open the debate and seed ideas about future approaches… [Continue Reading]
Poor quality democracy?
Back in March a number of people from more than about a dozen organisations got together to discuss the quality of New Zealand’s democracy at an informal hui in Wellington. I was there. We discussed the good, the bad and what needs to happen for people to feel more included and less marginal to the… [Continue Reading]
Speakers announced – Democracy, ethics and the public good
The 2014 Geering Event (Details as at 24 July 2014) St Andrews on the Terrace Wellington Friday evening 1 August – 7.00 – 9.00 public seminar Friday evening’s speakers Rev. Dr Jim Cunningham is the interim Minister at St Andrews and the chair of the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society.… [Continue Reading]
Tools for exploring democracy at the NetHui conference
The NetHui conference is a national taonga. Run and funded by Internet New Zealand each year it provides a 3 day intensive and open ended debate on issues related to the internet and web technology. The event is accessible and the cost is low and the attendees pretty diverse – ethnicity, age, relationship to technology… [Continue Reading]
Review a Pro Public Good Book, Paper or film…
Public Good has started a portfolio of book reviews Read it HERE But we are always looking for more – here are some we have thought would be great to review on the site: These books examine the ideas behind neo-liberal revolution and begin to define a public good future Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas… [Continue Reading]
Valuing the Commons – What we don’t own but need
Often it’s hard to acknowledge the value of the things that we do not pay for directly like clean air, water,public spaces and public assets like libraries and recreation opportunities. The Idea of the Commons… This comes historically comes from small farmers sharing grazing land with rules to ensure it is not over-exploited. Valuing the… [Continue Reading]
National’s proposed public spending to GDP ratio – the election’s clear blue line
The real story of the coming election in neither corruption nor perceptions of corruption but rather what was revealed in Bill English’s reported pre-budget speech to the National Party’s Southern Region conference at the weekend. He signalled an intention to reduce the proportion of government spending to 26% of GDP over the next 6 to… [Continue Reading]
Welcome to Public Good
Do you sometimes wonder why not doing something because “it doesn’t make economic sense” just doesn’t make sense? Do you sometimes think that the public sector gets a battering that is at odds with your experience of excellent teachers, dedicated workers in the health service and public services that work pretty well? Do you wonder… [Continue Reading]
Privatisations and the Public Finance Act
Does the partial sale of Meridian Energy comply with the government’s fiscal principles, as laid down in the Public Finance Act? Now that the number of investors in Meridian Energy has been revealed at a disappointing 62,000 and the share price at launch has been set at the lowest end of the proposed value it… [Continue Reading]
Nurturing a democratic imagination
Children and the Environment: Nurturing a democratic imagination Bronwyn Hayward 2012 Are there better kinds of democracy and do we need to do something different to face the challenges ahead? Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian Prime Minister said – following the appalling shootings on Utøya Island in 2011 – “We will stand by our democracy. The answer… [Continue Reading]
The Entrepreneurial State: the hidden engine of Economic Development?
A review of Mariana Mazzucato’s recent book Is the entrepreneurial state the hidden engine of Economic Development? Yes! Mariana Mazzucato is a UK economist who has worked at Demos, the UK Think Tank and is an economics professor at the University of Sussex. Her latest book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking public vs private sector myths… [Continue Reading]
Press Release: Wanted – A Public Service Users Bill for New Zealand.
Public Good calls on New Zealand’s political parties to consider the development of a Public Service Users Bill to provide for improved and more democratic management of New Zealand’s public sector. The recent referendum on asset sales demonstrated that fully two thirds of New Zealanders believe that the energy companies and our national airline should… [Continue Reading]
Corporate style boards in public institutions have passed their sell by date
Corporate style boards in public institutions have passed their sell by date Jan Rivers, Convenor of public good (publicgood.org.nz), today asked for documents under the Official Information Act so that public good could make public the evidence that the Minister for Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce, used to help him decide that university and wananga boards… [Continue Reading]
Protecting and extending democratic rights
Do we need a conversation about the quality of democracy in New Zealand? Here are a few thoughts about what New Zealand needs to do improve its democratic arrangements. We think that democracy is about more than ensuring that our electoral system can add us to the voter register and count our votes accurately. Can… [Continue Reading]
Historic Places Trust changes demonstrate the devaluing of public institutions.
On Friday NZ Historic Places Trust members received a letter telling them that NZHPT is to be renamed Heritage New Zealand from Monday April 14 even before the legislation which authorises the name change passes through Parliament. This represents appallingly poor process. The Bill has progressed extremely slowly since it was introduced to Parliament 2… [Continue Reading]
Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
CONFERENCE Friday 1 August 2014 6.30 registration for 7,00–9pm Saturday 2 August 8.30 registration for 9:00am–4.30pm St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington
Ecology vs Primary Industry instead of Ecology AND Primary Industry
Dr Cynthia Roberts, Ecologist Writes: Lincoln University is proposing to cut the number of ecology staff by at least four. One of the arguments supporting the cuts and reorganization of courses is for Lincoln University to better position itself to focus on primary industry needs. When I decided as a mature-aged student to return… [Continue Reading]
Is the quality of our democracy an election issue?
A well-attended conference in Wellington at the weekend heard and discussed a number of presentations which raised questions about the current quality of our democracy. The conference was hosted by the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and Public Good and the aspirations of many organisations and the approaches they are… [Continue Reading]
An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy is a contradiction in terms
According to its website, the State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception – from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil – have signed up to meaningful and aspirational goals: better oversight,… [Continue Reading]
New ‘war-on-terror’ legislation fraught with problems
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the government really doesn’t want to know what the public thinks about new laws that will allow surveillance without warrants and greater abilities to remove passports from so-called ‘radicalised youth’ and ‘potential foreign fighters’. Even the 24 hours allowed for submissions has been compromised – the link to make… [Continue Reading]
Christmas Quiz – Characteristics of enlightened leadership
Printed version of this post Amber Blanco White was a writer, feminist and scholar who was born in 1887 and raised in Christchurch until she moved with her family to England in 1896. Her parents were the New Zealand social reformer William Pember Reeves and feminist and socialist Maud. At Cambridge she founded the University’s… [Continue Reading]
Fanning the #StepitUp flame
Print version of post The last weekend of November saw a weekend conference take place in Auckland. Stepitup’s purposed was to build capacity, capability and new skills amongst progressive campaigners and organisers in NZ. The conference was based around “the simple idea that we can do more and win more through cooperation, sharing resources and… [Continue Reading]
Scoop’s Operation Chrysalis
Like all news media New Zealand’s independent Scoop Media is working through the challenges, and the opportunities, thrown up by a changing media landscape. To address these issues Scoop editor Alastair Thompson has launched a Operation Chrysalis – a public conversation about the state of New Zealand’s media. Further elements will be launched throughout the… [Continue Reading]
Needed: a public survey on social attitudes
I’ve just come back from living in England for six months last year. During the time I was there they had the referendum on Scottish independence. It was generally a pleasure to witness the quality of debate in print and broadcast media. Now we know the result of the referendum and while it wasn’t a… [Continue Reading]
The crisis in New Zealand’s civil justice system
Printed version Barrister Frances Joychild has given Public Good permission to re-publish her article which appeared last week on the Auckland District Law Society website and in other legal publications. Frances’ paper looks at the issue of fair access to representation in civil legal cases and her evidence demonstrates that the situation for civil litigants… [Continue Reading]
News – make it ours! Crowd funding campaign
At the Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good Conference last year the state of the NZ media, including its foreign ownership and poor quality of coverage, was identified as one of three key problems in our democracy that needed to be urgently addressed. Scoop Media is part of the new media that has arisen to… [Continue Reading]
How free is free speech? A conversation for Wellingtonians
Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford will be in conversation with SATRS board member Noel Cheer on the limits to free speech Information from the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society – The SATRS Conversations Flyer for free speech debate St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Tuesday 3 March 2015, 12:15pm –… [Continue Reading]
Universities and Scoop’s Licencing.
In the National Business review last week a story covered Scoop Media’s innovative licencing arrangements, which have been in place for a number of years. Rather than a paywall that excludes everyone who cannot pay, Scoop’s licencing conditions make the extensive database of NZ and overseas news stories… [Continue Reading]
World leading research moves off shore because of TICSA
This month six of NZ’s universities are submitting their final bids for a share in the 2014 budget’s $28M of new funds for ICT graduate schools. According to Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce this initiative will connect tertiary education and industry to deliver more of the ICT skills New Zealand needs by lifting the training… [Continue Reading]
Airways Lite coming soon to airspace near you.
Ed Sims, the Chief Executive of State Owned Enterprise (SOE) Airways Corporation, was interviewed on the business section of Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme in 9 September (2014) and revealed the thinking at the centre of the government’s policy on public ownership. Airways Corporation provides New Zealand’s Air Traffic Control services but only 40%… [Continue Reading]
New Zealand’s industries have low productivity. Let’s help by privatising the public sector.
Printable version The Productivity Commission has been asked by the Government to review the Social Services Sector. Their brief is broad including social development, the education sector including schools, polytechnics and universities as well as hospitals and the wider health sector. The Commission’s role is to look at the policy, regulations and legislation that hamper… [Continue Reading]
Are you happy with a ‘market for social services’ in New Zealand?
Image from the Productivity Commission’s issues paper. Printable version The Productivity Commission has been instructed by the government to work on delivering advice on legal and policy changes to support “More Effective Social Services”. The issues paper is open for submissions with a closing date of 2 December. The paper focuses on social services as… [Continue Reading]
Democracy, ethics and the public good – The 2014 Geering Event – conference papers
Kickstarting a NZ-wide conversation about the quality of our democracy Our conference took place on the weekend of 1/2 August and attracted a good crowd. Listed below is information about the presentations made and organisations represented at the conference. Panel presentations, workshops and time for networking helped us to refresh the language of democratic engagement… [Continue Reading]
Lowered enrolment levels – the practical impact of dirty politics?
Media release 15 August 2014 A healthy democracy should be about more than the government being able to enrol voters effectively and run the mechanics of an election. With the historically low levels of voter enrolment this year, including a 5% fall in 18-25 year-olds signing up, it appears that even this minimal requirement of… [Continue Reading]
Democracy issues for candidates using Askaway
Campaigning organisation Action Station is using the social media election site Askaway to pose questions about the quality of our democracy. Some of these questions were raised by participants at the recent conference Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good. There are many great questions but the following relate specifically to the quality of our democracy… [Continue Reading]
Clean politics rally Wednesday September 10 12.00 Parliament Steps
A ‘washing-line’ of placards with three key ideas for cleaning up politics in the wake of the Dirty Politics saga will be displayed by attenders of a Kiwis for Clean Politics gathering on Wednesday at 12pm. Melinda Gamlen, organiser of the event was so shocked and dismayed at the corrupt activities going on in the… [Continue Reading]
Speech to the clean politics rally Parliament 10 September
Several people at the rally asked me to publish this speech. Here it is Tena koutou e hoa ma Ko Jan Rivers toku ingoa We held a conference at St Andrews on the Terrace on Aug 1 and 2. The topic was democracy, ethics and the public good. But the Public Good is really much… [Continue Reading]
Conference report back
Democracy, ethics and the public good – The 2014 Geering Event Our conference took place on the weekend of 1/2 August and attracted a good crowd. Listed below is information about the presentations made and organisations represented at the conference. Panel presentations, workshops and time for networking helped us to refresh the language of democratic… [Continue Reading]
On the cusp of something very special?
Is the National Party keeping some things out of sight in case they frighten the electorate? Here is some worrying evidence that this may be the case. On 20 June this year there was a Wikileaks release on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and the media coverage internationally was mainly related to its potential… [Continue Reading]
On the cusp of something very special (part two).
So Bill English thinks that welfare is like crack cocaine and the successful National Government has announced its intention to cut the welfare bill significantly. He revealed in June that if re-elected National will bring about the biggest changes to public services that NZ has seen in 50 years. How will it do this? Here is… [Continue Reading]
Democracy Conference report and proposed actions
Conference report – working towards a better quality democracy in NZOur August conference feedback has been analysed and included in the conference reports which are available to download. They have been developed into three goals and three broad actions for future work. Conference Reports and DownloadsThe Conference Report Summary 7 pages pdf which has links… [Continue Reading]
Wanted: A media environment that supports democracy
Printable version Several months ago I pursued a press complaint about an opinion piece published on the Stuff website by Journalist Pattrick Smellie. It was about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and his main point was that the TPPA does not pose a threat… [Continue Reading]
What Public Good is About
- Healthy democracy requires the voice of dissent. Rosemary Neave
- A better quality of democracy for New Zealand
Well-reported news is a public good; bad news is bad for everyone.
Professor of American history at Harvard University
Latest Posts on Democracy
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- An Open Letter about Green Party MPs trying to prevent advocacy for women’s rights.
- Should the New Zealand Ministry of Health adopt WPATH’s SOC 8?
- The closure of England’s youth gender medicine clinic and its impacts for New Zealand
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We are a volunteer network focused on the public sphere. There are three legs to our work - a Strong Public Sector, Genuine Democracy and Engagement, and Community Wealth A … More About Public Good
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