Thursday, 2 July 2015

POLS 102 New Zealand Politics 2015 - Videos, Links, NZ Music

This is where I'll be putting links to audio-visual and other material for POLS 102 New Zealand Politics during Semester 2, 2015.

New Zealand/Aotearoa Music Videos- Selected from a Wide Range of Alternative Music Genres but all by Musical Artists with Strong Links to Aoteroa

• Princess Chelsea - Too Many People
• Bic Runga - Get Some Sleep  
• Crowded House - Four Seasons in One Day 
•The Checks - There is a Field
• Dimmer - Power Cord
• The Shifting Sounds - Let's Go Down
•Tiki Taane -Faded
 •Toy Love - Swimming Pool
 • Concord Dawn - Morning Light
 • Dave Dobbyn - Language
• Darcy Clay - Jesus I Was Evil
• Tiki Taane and Pdigsss -Dub Soldier
• Courtney Barnett - History Eraser
• Yumi Zouma -The Brae 
• Shapeshifter - Monarch
• The Veils - The Letter (Live) 
• Rhian Sheehan & Jess Chambers (vocals) - Sunshine  
• Fly My Pretties - Lie in the Land
• The Brunettes - Small Town Crew 
• Die Die Die - Sideways Here We Come
 • The Pheonix Foundation - Bob Lennon, John Dylan
• The D4 - Party! 
• Shapeshifter - In Colour 
• The Shifting Sands - All the Stars 
• Princess Chelsea - The Cigarette Duet
• Scribe - Dreaming 
• The Adults - Nothing to Lose
• The 3ds - Outer Space  
• Straightjacket Fits - She Speeds 
 • Astro Children - The One We Start With

The following NZ music videos have been suggested by students doing the paper this semester.  
• Trinity Roots - Little Things 
• Ladi 6 - Like Water 
• Fat Freddy's Drop - Wandering Eye 
• Gin Wigmore - Oh My 
• Shunkan - Dust in Your Eyes
• Lorde - Flume Remix
• Fly My Pretties - Let's Roll 
• Shihad - Home Again (Live - Rage)
• The Chills - Kaleidoscope World 
• Don McGlashan - Miracle Sun 
• Chris Knox - Not Given Lightly 
• Yumi Zouma - Catastrophe  
• Fly My Pretties - Garden 
• Garageland - Finger Pops 
• Princess Chelsea - Ice Reign
• Kane Strang - Winded
• Flight of the Concords - Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros
• Strangely Arousing - Kupenga 

• New Gum Sarn - Money Talks
• Death and the Maiden – Dear ______
• The Veils - The Pearl - Live at Abbey Road
• The Veils - Turn From the Rain - Live at Abbey Road 

Video Documentaries and Exerts, Links to Useful Websites

• Here are links to some of the more important official government websites:

 • New Zealand Government: Information and Services
This is a gateway website providing links to all official government websites and the websites of the political parties with MPs. 

 •Electoral Commission
This is where you will be able to find out more about the electoral system and election results. 

• Statistics New Zealand
This is where you will find a comprehensive range of statistical information about New Zealand's society, economy and polity.

• Treasury
This is where you will find a comprehensive range of information about the economy and the government's approach to managing it, as well as the budget and all main areas of government policy-making. 

• Ministry of Social Development- Household Incomes
This is where you will find some of the most important facts and figures with respect to the distribution of income, wealth, and poverty in New Zealand since 1982. 

• Maori Land Loss, 1960-2000 Interactive Map of North Island 

New Zealand's Political History, 1935 to the Present

• First Labour Government 1935-1948

 • 1935 Election Victory Speech by Michel Joseph Savage - two short exerts): 

• Second (Holyoake) National Government, 1960-1972
• 1963 Interview with National Prime Minister Keith Holyoake- gives a sense of a very different period in NZ's political history.

• Third (Kirk, Rowling) Labour Government, 1972-1975
• New Zealand Labour Party TV Campaign add for the 1969 election- illustrates the influence of the wider political context of the time.

NZ 1972: Labour, Big Norm, Womens Lib
• Interesting report on Labour at the time of the 1972 election. As above, it highlights the influence of the political context over the Labour Party.

• 1975 National Party Election Anti-Labour Advertisement

• The Rise of Sir Robert Muldoon (late 1960s to 1975)

• 1984 General Election 

Ryan Jones, who is taking the paper this year, reminded me of this documentary - Fortress New Zealand. It documents the transition from Keynesianism to Neoliberalism (From Muldoon, to Lange, to Richardson). 
It includes great interviews.

Part 1 Muldoon:

Part 2 Lange's first term:

Part 3 Lange's second term and downfall:

Part 4 After Lange:

In a Land of Plenty: The Story of Unemployment in New Zealand
For a more systematically critical account, see the following excellent video documentary.

AV Material on the Labour Party
• David Shearer on Budget 2013- illustrates current ideology and political rhetoric of the Labour Party.

AV Material on the National Party
• John Key on Budget 2013- gives a clear illustration of the pragmatic conservatism of the National Party. 

The Treasury
• Treasury Homepage 
• Treasury job advertisement
• John Whitehead, head of Treasury in 2009, on policy responses to the global financial crisis and ensuing recession in New Zealand. 

• Useful Links for the POLS 102 Essay:
• Treasury (see above)
• National Party –
Labour Party –
• Electoral Commision – 
• MMP Review website – 
• Statistics NZ –

• New Zealand Political Parties and Organizations

Parliamentary Parties:

• ACT New Zealand —

• Green  Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand –

• National Party –

Labour Party –

• New Zealand First -

• Maori Party–

• United Future New Zealand -

Extra-Parliamentary Parties:

• Alliance —

• Conservative Party–

• International Socialist Organisation–

• Mana Party –
• Campbell Live Poll on the GCSB Bill 

New Zealand Interest Groups

• New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU)
• For a full list of all affiliated unions go to: 
• Business NZ
This is New Zealand's largest and most influential business association.

• Federated Farmers

The New Zealand Initiative
In 2012 the Business Roundtable and the New Zealand Institute merged to form The New Zealand Initiative - a group of executives from big business that advocates extreme neolioberal policies broadly consistent with those of the ACT Party. 

This is a propaganda video that glosses over the specifics of the kind of extreme right-wing policies that the NZ Initiative advocates. Note that while much of what they claim they advocating, such as 'affordable housing', is double-speak. That is if these policies were actually implemented they would actually have the opposite effect to what is being claimed by the NZ Initiative. 

• The New Zealand Retailers Association

• The New Zealand Chambers of Commerce 

• The National Government- Background and Context

The Hollow Men - Video Documentary on Don Brash's Leadership of the National party and the 2006 election campaign.

• Alan Bollard, Governor of the Reserve Bank speaks to the 2009 Jobs Summit on the scale and impact of the global financial crisis.  
• Excellent video presentations on Marx and David Harvey's contemporary Marxist analysis of the global financial crisis.

• Funny and informative introduction to Marx's life, ideas and politics. It's a play scripted by the famous left-wing American historian - Howard Zinn - and performed brilliantly by the American teacher, actor, activist and socialist - Brian Jones. 

• Animated 11 minute summary of David Harvey's Marxist analysis of the global financial crisis. 

The Fifth (Key) Governments Neoliberal Policy Agenda, 2008-

• For National's presentation of its 'plan that's working' and policies as of 2014-2016 go to:

• Budget 2015, including Bill English's Budget Speech, can be downloaded from: 

• Treasury's 2015 economic and fiscal update provides useful information on the state of the economy and government finances since 2000. 

• A two minute media interview of Finance Minister Bill English about Budget 2015. Gives a good sense of the Government's justification of its neoliberal approach to economic management and policy-making:

• A three minute media interview of Prime Minister John Key about Budget 2015. Gives a good sense of the Government's justification of its neoliberal approach to economic management and policy-making:

• A defence of the Government in terms of its 'compassionate conservatism' by Bill English: 

• In 2013, Minister of Finance Bill English stated that: 
"We don't believe there is 'a' solution to poverty in general. So I would not expect any large scale intervention. We've been focusing on reaching the hard to reach and intervening to improve their lives."

• An independent critical assessment of the Government's approach in Budget 2015 by the Child Poverty Action Group can be downloaded from: 

The website is:

• To critically assess the Government's performance with respect to economic management and policy-making it is worth considering the relevant official statistics. 

For example, for current stats on growth, employment and offshore debt go to and follow the links. Balance of payments and offshore debt stats can be found here:

The best source of official statistical data on socio-economic inequality is here:

• The Politics of Climate Change and Global Warming
 • To access the 2014 major assessment report (AR5) by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), go to:

If you want to download the most important graphs and figures then go to:

• To access the 2007 major assessment report (AR4) by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 
go to: 

• Video summarizing the US NOAA, State of the Climate 2014 Report. The facts in this video are drawn from official US based sources.

• Video showing thinning of Greenland polar ice based on international study using satellite data and photographs from the University of Leeds website. 

See also the British channel 4 news report on the study (2012) at: 

"2012 Record Low Artic Ice Sheet". The Arctic ice cap is melting at a rapid rate and may shrink to its lowest-ever level within weeks as temperatures continue to rise. Al Jazeera's Nick Clark joined an expedition travelling deep into the Arctic Circle to Qaanaaq, in Greenland. Three minute report on the melting of the Arctic ice caps. Well worth watching.

• Very interesting report on the 'carbon bubble' on the Guardian website. Highlights which stock exchange listed companies have the greatest carbon assets and the financial risks that they face if these assets become unburnable due to the introduction of more effective environmental policies addressing the causes of climate change. This also indicates just how powerfully motivated these companies are to lobby governments to prevent them introducting more effective environmental policies to counter global warming. 

• Really interesting article in The Guardian: "The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests."

• John Bellamy Foster gives lecture on capitalism and climate change. 


Monday, 29 June 2015

The Economics and Politics of Austerity in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis

I am being interviewed on Radio National on Tuesday July 7 at 8.45pm NZ time. (It can be streamed live at The topic is: The Economics and Politics of Austerity in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis. The discussion will focus on the continuing implementation of austerity by governments around the world (with particular reference to the US, Greece, Britain and New Zealand) in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis.

With the world’s dominant policy-making elites committed to programmes of austerity lasting for the next 10-20 years, the questions arise:
1) What is fiscal austerity and why it is considered necessary by the governments of the advanced capitalist societies?
2) Who are the main losers from austerity? Given that the bulk of the debt as come from bailing out failing banks and other financial institutions why is the resulting public debt not being paid for with capital focused taxes like a financial transactions tax and a capital gains tax?
3) Are these programmes of austerity likely to be politically sustainable over such a long period of time?
Ultimately, this depends on the scale and effectiveness of the resistance to austerity. So the fourth question is:
4) What are the prospects for resistance to austerity?

A major point of reference would be David McNally’s book - Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance - where, among other things, he argues that:
“the bad debt that triggered the crisis in 2008 never went away - it was simply shifted on to governments. Private debt became public debt. And as the dimensions of that metamorphosis became apparent in early 2010, the bank crisis morphed into a sovereign debt crisis. Put differently, the economic crisis of 2008-9 did not really end. It simply changed form. It mutated. With that mutation, the focus of ruling classes shifted toward a war against public services. Concerned to rein in government debts, they announced an age of austerity- of huge cuts to pensions, education budgets, social welfare programmes, public sector wages, and jobs. In so doing, they effectively declared that working class people and the poor will pay the cost of the global bank bailout. These payments may well last a generation - producing higher rates of poverty, more disease and ill health, even more under-resourced schools, and greater hardship in old age.” p.4.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lecture on the Global Justice and Occupy Movements Links

Videos on the Global Justice and Occupy Movements
• Dystopian Futures- A Compilation of Dystopic Sci Fi 

Showdown in Seattle- 'This is what democracy looks like'. Part V of the Indy Media documentary on the global justice protests that successfully shutdown the millenium round of the WTO at the end of 1999. This sparked the dramatic growth of the global justice movement during the first half of the 2000s.

Occupy Wall Street Video: Global Day of Action, 15OCT 
Six minute video focusing on the protests of Occupy New York.

The Guardian: Occupy Protests Mapped Around The World

The Guardian: Images of the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis

• A Twenty Year Programme of Neoliberal Fiscal Austerity?
British Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said in 2013 that the cuts pushed through by the Coalition did not go nearly far enough. He said that there was a “very long way to go” and added: “This is not a two-year project or a five-year project. This is a 10-year project, a 20-year generational battle to beef up the economy in ways that we have not seen for many, many decades.”

• Neil Young - Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) 

• Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks