Poll – trust in institutions, politicians, media and bloggers

A third “Who do we trust?” survey, taken in March 2019 by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in association with Colmar Brunton, surveyed 1000 New Zealanders on various issues of trust and life satisfaction.

New Zealanders who trust the government to do what is right for New Zealand:

  • 2016 – 48%
  • 2018 – 65%
  • 2019 – 63%

People satisfied with life in general (10=completely, 0=not at all):

  • 10 – 6%
  • 9 – 12%
  • 8 – 25%
  • 7 – 25%

Total ‘satisfied’ (7-10): 68%

  • 6 – 13%
  • 5 – 11%
  • 4 – 4%

Total ‘neither nor’ (4-6): 28%

  • 3 – 2%
  • 2 – 1%
  • 1 – 1%

Total ‘dissatisfied’ (0-3): 3%

Total who comment on blogs and social media who are dissatisfied? Not asked, but I suspect that is disproportionately high going by the tone of many comments.

The most distrusted groups are Bloggers/online commentators, followed by Members of Parliament and Media.

But it may not be as bad as it appears at a glance. At the bottom of the pile are ‘Bloggers/online commentators’:

  • I have complete trust – 0%
  • I have lots of trust – 3%
  • I have some trust – 30%
  • I have little trust – 43%
  • I have no trust at all – 24%

So a third of people have either some or lots of trust. That may seem low, but many if not most people will have little to no idea about ‘Bloggers/online commentators’ apart from a smattering of negative headlines, if that.

I don’t trust some but I do generally trust many.

There would be few if any bloggers with a public profile (as a blogger) other than Cameron Slater, David Farrar, Dermot Nottingham and Martyn Bradbury.

New Zealanders perceptions that citizens’ interests are equally and fairly considered by government

People who live in Auckland, who were born outside of New Zealand are more likely to say citizens’ interests are considered a great deal.

People who are dissatisfied with life, distrustful of people and who have political leanings to the right are more likely to say citizens’ interests are considered very little or not at all

Victoria University: Latest trust survey explores link to political leanings


The Daily Bloggers

The Daily Blog is unusual in how many bloggers/authors they have (most have one or a few).

They have just announced the addition of four more ‘bloggers’:

  • Paralympian Aine Kelly Costello
  • Artist and social commentator LaQuisha St Redfern
  • New Green MP and anti-TPPA campaigner – Barry Coates
  • Arts reviewer – Genevieve McClean

They add to an interesting list of current bloggers:

  • Palestinian rights activist – Leslie Bravery
  • Cannabis reform advocate – Chris Fowlie
  • Human rights, justice and equality activist – Donna Miles-Mojab
  • Environmental activist – Christine Rose
  • Author and political commentator – Chris Trotter
  • Enfant Terrible of NZ First – Curwen Rolinson
  • Head of Pacific Journalism at AUT – Dr David Robie
  •  AUT School of Communication – Dr Wayne Hope
  • Chairman of the Otara-Papatoetoe Community Board – Efeso Collins
  • Investigative Blogger – Frank Macskasy
  • Green Party MP – Gareth Hughes
  • Human Rights Activist and anti-rape campaigner – Jessie Hume
  • Political Activist and Teacher – John Minto
  • Unionist Rights Activist – Kate Davis
  • Former Green Party MP & Human Rights Campaigner – Keith Locke
  • Economist – Keith Rankin
  • Labour Party Candidate and lawyer – Kelly Ellis
  • Homeless rights advocates – Lifewise
  • Labour Party MP – Louisa Wall
  • Political Cartoonist – Malcolm Evans
  • Blogger and Broadcaster – Martyn Bradbury
  • Human Rights Lawyer – Michael Timmins
  • General Secretary of Unite Union – Mike Treen
  • Deputy Mayor of the Auckland Super City – Penny Hulse
  • Public Academic and TPPA campaigner – Prof Jane Kelsey
  • Actor and commentator – Simon Prast
  • Child Poverty Action Group Economist – Susan St John
  • Unionist – Tali Williams
  • The Nomad – The Nomad
  • TV reviewer – Tim Selwyn
  • Wellington Activist – Sam Gribbon
  • Auckland based human rights activist – Siân Robertson
  • Unionist – Joe Carolan
  • Living Wage Campaigner – Annie Newman
  • Labour Party MP – Sue Moroney
  • Sex worker rights advocate – Ruby Joy
  • Co-leader of the Maori Party – Marama Fox
  • Protestor – Josie Butler
  • Prisoner Rights Advocate – Arthur Taylor

However most of them are not daily bloggers, they post occasionally at best.

The Daily Blog has a core of regular authors and the rest pop up every now and then.

Having such a big lineup of authors provides diversity of topics and opinions. This can detract from the personality side of the site, which is something some blogs thrive on.

However the diversity is concentrated on one side of the political spectrum. Their About describes their leanings:

The Daily Blog Unites Top Left-Wing Political Commentators and Progressive Opinion Shapers

The Daily Blog is supported by UNITE, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the New Zealand Dairy Workers Union (NZDWU).

The Daily Blog unites over 42 of the country’s leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas.

‘Opinion shaper’ may be a better description for their moderation, which has tended to filter out opinions that aren’t welcome there.

Editor, Martyn Bradbury says one of the primary objectives of the blog will be to widen political debate in the lead up to the 2014 New Zealand election.

It’s easy to forget about updating your site ‘About’.

With their fairly narrow emphasis on ‘left wing’ and ‘progressive’ they probably don’t do much widening of political debate, as they didn’t do much widening of left-wing and progressive support in the 2014 election.

“Global trends continue to point to blogging and social media as key influencers of mainstream media reporting as well as public opinion. With so much at stake in 2014 we plan to use this online platform to fortify the collective voice of the left and progressive opinions, and enhance the quality of debate across the political spectrum,” says Mr Bradbury.

Some initiatives have been worth trying, like Waatea 5th Estate, they have hardly set the quality of debate on fire on the left let alone across the political spectrum.

Like most blogs The Daily Blog caters for a useful niche in political discourse, but that just a small part online discussion.

Most online authors don’t last long, but if The Daily Blog gets more ongoing contributions it will help with their aims.

Transcript – Key on media, dirty politics and bloggers

Transcript of part of an interview with John Key on TV One Breakfast this morning on media, dirty politics and his relationship bloggers, especially with Cameron Slater.

But at the same time, you know, your your guys, your lot, your team did bring some of it on yourselves didn’t you, I mean you know the, the, I mean you had to sort of apologise at the end of the day over communications with Cameron Slater, so although the effigy burning and the so called hate stuff was almost a side show there was something which actually you guys have to take responsibility for.

John Key: Well we never denied that we have um communications with a wide range of people, and the media landscape’s changing, so you know what I think some people do get confused with is they say well they can understand the mainstream media, um but they find it a bit odd with bloggers.

And and there’s a sort of a perception out there that somehow Cameron Slater is in a group of his own. You know the left have bloggers which are just as aggressive as Cameron Slater.

So you’re still communicating with Cameron Slater?

John Key: Well I haven’t in in recent times, but but the point is that if you look at it he’s not a big part of my day and bloggers are not a big part of my day, but what is true is that the landscape changes.

And just like if you look at your news, every night on your news you always say and you do on your Breakfast show all the time, go to our website, you know dub dub dub  dot tvnz dot co dot nz.

Do we?

John Key: I’m doing it really well. I guess why you do that is your producers tell you to do that because you’ve got a massive audience and they want you to promote your site.

So all I’m saying to you is I live in a world where I can’t ignore that. A lot of stuff goes through blogs and sites and and politics is an aggressive business, so what ultimately happens is most of the time we’re defending.

I mean I know the Labour Party  want to act is if they’re a bunch of choir boys, but these are the people who sent their president to Australia to investigate me, hired private investigators.

They’ve done every rotten trick in the book and most of the time all we’re trying to do is make sure we defend ourselves against these baseless attacks.

So it’s the nature of politics and I don’t complain about it but it is reality, and for Nicky Hager to get up there and say it’s the National Party and everybody else ah you know great little, you know great little people and they don’t do anything wrong well sorry but it’s not reality.

With the Cameron Slater issue though I mean this sort of came back to the surface even just a few weeks ago, we were talking about it, and a lot of people as a result of that interview said they just don’t understand why you don’t cut him off completely. 

John Key: Well I don’t have a terribly pro-active relationship with the guy now. I mean I don’t, you know don’t text him. If he texts me then you know I’ve responded to him on a few occasions.

Um but look in the end as I’ve said he’s never been a big part of my world. Yeah I could I could stop but I mean I even if I deleted his phone off the system it wouldn’t stop him sending me texts, he knows my number.

And lots of people do. And you might sit there and say well ok you could just change your phone number again. I’m on my fourth mobile phone number  as Prime Minister so and mark my words you would be amazed who gets my number, it’s just out there and people share it.

Curran gagging cancer

Clare Curran has made it clear she thinks that critics on blogs should be held to account by Labour MPs. Unlike the normal method of holding to account on blogs by presenting counter arguments and debating points, Curran wants to clobber any dissent by shutting voices down. She has proven adept at this with her ban button at her Red Alert blog – this has proven to be a massive failure for the ‘Open Labour’ forum she had promoted it as.

Curran issued a statement to media and she has since confirmed the intent expressed in this. Toby Manhire at the Listener quotes:

I have raised with the NZ Council of the Labour Party my concerns about behaviour online by commenters and bloggers who are party members , some of whom are using pseudonyms which have contributed to other party members being attacked and our party being undermined. There are legitimate questions about the conduct of anonymous bloggers who belong to the party but may be bringing it into disrepute and it’s an issue the party needs to grapple with in the digital age.

Obviously disrepute is in the ey of the paranoid. What happens if different factions in Labour’s caucus have different opinions on whether something passes the disrepute test? Does the leader have the deciding vote in gagging bloggers?

I have sought discussion at the Council level about is what is an acceptable standard of behaviour, particularly when a member is expressing those views anonymously, in a way in which is intended to damage other party members and the party overall.

‘Acceptable behaviour’ as per Curran has meant that anyone she doesn’t like commenting (at Red Alert) gets banned. And if they can be identified as Labour Pay members they get special attention. That’s why tumbleweeds now dominate at Labour’s flagship experiment in social media.

I have also made some suggestions about how the party could deal with this issue professionally.

There have been some reports that the reaction to her letter was eyes rolling and it was binned.

But Curran has gone ahead anyway and taken action against several party members, who have chosen to be cowed into silence in preference to having to deal with legal action.

It looks far from professional.

Has she done this despite Council’s rejection? Or have they actually approved?

David Shearer must also either approve, because this action remains unchallenged by Labour leadership, or he allows his MPs to independently promote their agendas without limits. Both possibilities are remarkable.

Not at any point have I sought disciplinary action against any individual.

That’s evasive semantics. No one has claimed any disciplinary action, that would mean dealing with it with the party procedures and due process.

What is being claimed by a number of credible party members – not all of them anonymous – is that Curran has taken direct covert action against bloggers she has identified as party members.

In my correspondence with the Council I have not used any individual’s name, but I have used an online pseudonym as an example of how the behaviours are being manifested.

That person had previously identified themselves as using that pseudonym to me in an email conversation, and in subsequent face to face conversations.

Curran’s version has been challenged by multiple party member, for example at The Standard Lynn Prentice says…


It would be pretty unlikely. CV changed from a previous psuedonym because he thought it had been compromised by the right. At the time I told him that it was unwise to tell anyone.

From what I understand she has reversed the order of events. She asked if he was CV after getting it from other means, and he confirmed it after she pestered. After all what would a Labour MP do to Labour member, right? You can trust them right?

Without specific evidence it’s impossible to know which side is most accurate.

It is known that in the past Red Alert private inforamtion has been used to cross match with other blogs and membership information to identify people. Curran denies this is the case – when asked by Toby Manhire on Twitter she said ‘No’ (see the Update here).

But people have been identified and targeted, at least three. There are indications all three may be from Dunedin so she may have usd local contacts.

There are signs things are not good in Labour in Dunedin. There have been a number of blog comments from unhappy party members.

Last month the president of Young Labour in Curran’s Dunedin South electorate resigned. And there are indications the Dunedin North branch has problems with Curran too.

The Curran gagging campaign is a cancer growing in an ailing party. If Curran and Labour leadership think this will all blow over they are as out of touch with their membership as, well, as they are on many things.

The latest at The Standard: Something rotten in the state…

Time warped bloggers versus MSM

RRM commented on Kiwiblog about the blogger versus MSM feud:

Someone who lives in both worlds might just force the rest of them to up their game.

It’s slowly dawning on me (I’m a leftist after all :-P ) that Cameron Slater’s Truth editorship has potential to really show up the print news media – provided he brings with him the style that made whale oil what it is. His blog is pretty crude at times but he’s generally right in what he say,s and he’s pretty incisive and seems to often be well ahead of the pack. It’s got to be easier to tame that a bit for print, than it would be to try to warm up an average news outfit like Stuff…?

My response:

RRM I agree that a damn good shake up of news media would do a lot of good, and as you say Whale is ahead of the pack. It will be interesting to see how Truth goes.

It’s also interesting to see the rise in interest from The Standard and Trotter and their conflicting ideas.

– They helped promote a leadership debate through their blogging
– They complained bitterly when MSM promoted a leadership challenge at the conference
– They blast the MSM for their incompetent old ways
– Relishing the new found attention the MSM gave them they suddenly think they have power
– Part of that power is holding the MSM to account
– They blast the MSM for daring to hold them to account
– They vigorously defend their right to comment anonymously
– They blast MSM identities
– They feed off attention given to them by MSM identities

And so it goes on. They are now talking this up into a major class struggle, the evil MSM versus the brave anonymous bloggers. The new battle (having so far lost their battle to kick Shearer out).

They make some valid points along the way, and I agree that MSM needs a good shakeup and ordinary people should and can have more say.

But they have a major problem, and it seems to be very entrenched. As old school political activists they have trouble thinking beyond “us and them”. They have fought left versus right, Labour versus national, worker versus boss.

So they automatically see this as blogger (unless it’s Brian Edwards who’s not a real blogger anyway, he’s really one of them) versus MSM. And it’s a battle that must be won for the good of humanity.

flipper observes:

Pete , the real problem for the left is that the are caught in a 1900 – 1928 time warp.

Yes, some of them are. I can see it prominently in the internal conflicts in Labour. And the brave new bloggers also have some warped conflicts between their old political ways and new online tools.

Back to Whale. He’s got it much better sussed, he has it worked out and they are just wiping the sleep from their eyes.. It’s not an either/or us versus them battle.

It’s a merge and adapt opportunity. Use the strengths of the old with the advances of the new.



Bloggers Advancing Debate About Super Solutions

List of blogs and bloggers talking abour Super or promoting a Super discussion:

Automation Nation Quentin Todd I am ready
Home Paddock Ele Ludemann I agree a debate on superannuation is a good idea and will post on it in the next few days. (email)
Keeping Stock Inventory2 Having a BADASS discussion on Superannuation
We agree with Pete George; there needs to be a wide-ranging debate, right across the political spectrum, and a bipartisan approach needs to be taken. For that reason, we are more than happy to offer our support to his BADASS campaign.
Kiwiblog David Farrar Shearer right on this issue though
I also welcome the call for a cross-party solution. This “solution” though should not just look at the retirement age, but also issues such as indexing, income and asset testing and the like. Our current scheme is the most generous in the world as it has no means testing of any sort, and is linked to the median wage. Ideally a cross-party group would take a first principles approach, and say “What sot of public superannuation scheme should be operating in 30 years time that is fair and affordable”.
Imperator Fish Scott Yorke Key’s Secret Super Plans
Why does John Key appear so confident that we are not facing a future superannuation crisis?
NZ Institute of Economic Research Inc (NZIER Jean-Pierre de Raad Superannuation dilemma
The government has agreed to investigate United Future’s flexi-superannuation proposal – the idea that people are able to choose whether to take up superannuation at age 60 at a reduced rate or at a higher rate at some later age. It is good that changes to superannuation are on the table. But it is critical that discussion is not limited to just this flexibility.
The discussion will not be easy, as there are some major questions of intergenerational fairness to be resolved. But New Zealand Superannuation cannot be treated as a holy cow. If we choose not to touch it, we are choosing to touch healthcare, education and other areas of government spending that are possibly more important for our long term wellbeing and prosperity. There is no free lunch.
Pundit Tim Watkin Finally, we see the elephant in the room
The simple reason superannuation is such a big talking point now…is that the super bill is one of the country’s biggest.
No-one wanted to touch the superannuation debate exactly because it involved so many people – so many people who vote.Yes, there is a risk that if we’re willing to have the super debate, everything from its universality to its percentages are up for grabs.If it’s changed once, future governments could change it more – cut it, slice it, shrink it.But the plus side is that we can now talk about how we save, as a country, for our retirement.And that’s essential, because contrary to what Jonathan thinks, it really is one of the biggest issues in town.
Public Address Matt Vickers Doing the right thing on retirement
The retirement age is not a left or right issue. It’s an intergenerational issue.
Labour may not be in a position to form a government after the election, but they could submit a private member’s bill on the resumption of parliament.
 The Standard Eddie Key’s future gets shorter
It’s a bit like Key’s attitude to superannuation. While Key continues to deny reality, Shearer is discussing how it could work…
 Whaleoil Cameron Slater Can we have some sensible discourse on super please?
There is a great deal of talk about raising the age of eligibility for National Superannuation. Every single person pushing this agenda misses the point. All that is going to do is push the bubble out a few years but the bubble still exists.Instead of talking about eligibility around age we need to talk about eligibility full stop.
Yea or Nay Monique Watson Superannuation Timebomb
How to fund the wellbeing and health costs of those members of society approaching the age of 65 and over is the political puzzle of this decade. the problem is not unique to new Zealand. With regards to New Zealand’s unique set of circumstances:
The answers are clearer if you take the political ploys of the last decade and unstitch them.
Your Dunedin Pete George BADASS Supporter
Your Dunedin supports BADASS in seeking debate on super solutions. It’s a debate the country has to have, we need to unite to initiate a decent discussion, then let the debate begin.

Bloggers – post and/or advise your support petedgeorge@gmail.com