Red Alert

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Tackling the multi-nats

Posted by on December 7th, 2012

I’ve drawn attention to the way in which multinationals are avoiding paying tax in New Zealand.  After some prevarication, Peter Dunne ordered up a report from officials on the way similar issues are being tackled abroad.  Good.

The topic is running hot in the UK.  The Guardian’s editorial on Monday was a call to action.  The Australian Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, last month announced a range of measures to address tax avoidance.  Bradbury’s speech is well worth a read.  It explains the issue in plain English and how Australia is tackling it.

Quantifying the size of avoidance in New Zealand needs to be a priority for the Revenue Minister.  Australia have pulled an expert group together to advise their Treasury on the scope and extent of the problem in their country.  New Zealand needs to do the same.  Quickly.

Tags: ,
Filed under: Tax

Labour MPs answer your questions live on Facebook

Posted by on August 9th, 2011

Phil Goff has done a couple of live chats, with more to come. Tonight Annette King will be answering your questions from 7pm.

Submit your questions via the ‘LabourLive’ tab on Labour’s Facebook page.

You can ask anything you’d like (within reason) – funny or serious. We’ll be doing more of these over the coming months, but if there’s any particular MP you’d like to see, let us know.

Budget FAQs

Posted by on May 11th, 2011

Some quick answers to a couple of good questions about debt and Kiwisaver from recent Facebook inquiries:

Q:  Has NZ’s debt really cimbed from $300 m per week to $380 m per week?  Why?

A:  The difference between $300 m and $380 m is the fact that NZDMO is in the market issuing more debt securities than it needs beacuse demand is good and prices low. In other words it is bringing forward next years borrowing, and that is all.  Of the $300m about half is rollover of exisitng debt.  So next year it can say it reduced the borrowing, beacuse it will have pre-borrowed some of what it needs already.

Q:  How much will the cuts to Kiwisaver Key announceed today save?  $40m a year ?

A:   Kiwisaver cost savings are unknown untill policy is made clear in the Budget.  The Member Tax Credit costs about $880 m per year.  Half that would be ($440m pa) would be  “saved” to Govt if MTC halved to $10 per week.  But that ‘saving’ but would have to be offset against lower private savings from weaker incentices.   That is a problem beacuse private debt is huge  – in fact 90% of NZ’s total international debt is private.   Govt debt is only 10% of the problem.

Q:  Is it true that Dr Cullen’s books in 2008 showed a fiscal surplus in 2008?

A:  Yes   Dr Cullen’s 2008 books showed a net debt (incl NZSF assets) to GDP ratio surplus of 7.6%   In other words we were in positive CREDIT, though the GFC meant a forecast net deficit up to around 2% of GDP.    Gross debt to GDP is ow 34%and climbing under National.  It is hard to believe that National still gripes and tries to shift blame.   Time they manned up and took some responisbility for their own choices – like $23 Billion of tax cuts over 4 years in Budgets 2009 and 2010.

Q:  Are our incomes catching up with Australia like National promised?

A: No, we are going backwards.  When National took office in 2008 the gap was about 30% of GDP per capita   It was 34.7% and growing last time I checked.

Bottom line – NZ’s problems are serious and need serious fixes, but don’t buy the panic line that it is only public debt that matters.   Responsible fiscal management, including reducing debt across the cycle, is essential- but it is not the ONLY thing that matters.  We have to grow jobs, exports and savings at the same time as reducing debt.  And we have to build a country that is fair, caring and ready to take on the world, not slide into two NZs – one for the haves and another for the have nots.

PS happy to take your budget questions – message me on

Bill English gets tagged

Posted by on May 6th, 2011

Bill English gets tagged

Make your own billboard. Become part of the Stop Asset Sales Team. Facebook.

Website hits explode – thanks Whale

Posted by on May 4th, 2011

The new billboard generator site had over 100k page views in under 24 hours. Over 5k unique viewers. If you haven’t looked yet go here for fun.

The stats show the three top referral sources as unknown, Facebook and Whaleoil.

To contribute to this or the new exciting next stage click here.

State intervention in social media

Posted by on April 30th, 2011

The importance of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter is evident. The latest example is what appears to have happened in the last couple of days in the UK with Facebook removing dozens of profiles from its site, causing an outcry from campaigners trying to organise anti-austerity protests this weekend.

The Guardian reports:

The deactivated pages include UK Uncut, and pages created by students during last December’s university occupations.

A list posted on the Stop Facebook Purge group says Chesterfield Stop the Cuts, Tower Hamlet Greens, London Student Assembly, Southwark SoS and Bristol Uncut sites are no longer functioning.

Administrators for the profiles say hundreds of links between activists have been broken in the run up to the May Day bank holiday. When users click on URL links the message “the page you requested was not found” now appears.

Online news site Ekklesia reported that:

The social networking site Facebook is facing massive pressure from campaigners, civil liberties activists and journalists tonight after suspending a series of UK-based ‘political’ accounts.

In what University College of London students, UK Uncut and others are calling a ‘purge’ – coinciding with police action against radical and dissenting groups on the day of the royal wedding – more than 50 Facebook pages have been put out of operation.

Among those affected have been Save NHS, Rochdale Law Centre, Tower Hamlets Greens, Bootle Labour, Bristol Bookfair, Westminster Trades Council and London Student Assembly.

Specifically anti-cuts and student protest groups are also targeted. Only progressive or radical groups seem to have been impacted.

At first Facebook refused to comment, but after grassroots digital action and national media reporting (including the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 television news), the company responded to protesters by suggesting that their action related to a a technical “violation of terms issue” relating to the “wrong” kind of page.

A spokesperson told Channel 4: “The reason all of these profiles came down at once is simple. Facebook’s security tools constantly work to maintain our real name culture by removing profiles that are ‘fake’ or don’t belong to an individual person, but rather a campaign, an animal, or an organisation.”

But critics say this does not explain the apparently selective effect of the action.

It appears there’s been cooperation between the State and a major online networking site to address perceived or actual threats surrounding the Royal Wedding.

The issue for me is not so much whether Facebook should ever interfere with an activist page. Sometimes there may be good reasons, and every online social media site, including Red Alert, must have some rules and standards and make them clear to everyone.

But  what if what appears to be arbitrary censorship and take downs occur, which may have political motives? Affecting the ability of citizens to lawfully protest and object to government policies, or dare I say. Even the Monarchy? That’s the issue. How do you guard against that?

London Calling #5: Yoof Engagement

Posted by on November 24th, 2010

We had the most brilliant session at the seminar yesterday on engaging young people in politics. We had speakers from Facebook, the UK Youth Parliament and the House of Commons Education Service. There were loads of interesting and practical ideas.

The Facebook presenter, Luc Delany gave an overview of their political engagement work, including the highly successful Democracy UK which they started for the UK election in May, and now has over 270,000 members. Its goal is to get young people interested in politics. They had a range of material and interactive events during the election campaign. One very practical result was that more than a thousand people downloaded enrolment forms from the site. One issue that made me a little uncomfortable was an application called My Vote Advisor that got you to answer a few questions and then told the person who they should vote for based on that. Maybe taking things too far? Nevertheless a great initiative that is still going.

We discovered that one of the participants is the Indian equivalent of Trevor, in one respect anyway in that he has reached his limit of 5,000 friends on Facebook. He asked the representative from Facebook if there was a way of extending this. But he has an even bigger ‘problem’. He has now reached the limit of 25,000 fans as well. The scale of politics in India is challenging Facebook.

The Education Service at the House of Commons are doing all kinds of innovative things to engage young people in politics.  There were some great ideas about teacher training programmes, films, competitions and the like that I will be bringing back home to share.   They have put a bit of focus on games to get young people interested.  Check out the  MP for a Week  game. Not quite the same as being an MP in NZ, but a really good way to give young people an idea of the kinds of things an MP does.

We also heard from a member of the UK Youth Parliament.  This is similar to the NZ version, but it is on-going, and election to the Parliament is done by young people in different regions. 500,000 young people voted in the last election. They have come up with some really interesting material, including a report on young people’s attitude to politics, called The P Word. Well worth a read.

The politics of social media

Posted by on November 6th, 2010

I think about this quite a lot. The rise of social media such as facebook, twitter and blogs and what it means to have  more people  communicating with each and building new online communities. Mostly it’s a good thing.

Many politicians, such as myself, are increasingly using social media to communicate, test ideas and have conversations with people across a broad range of backgrounds, interests and political attitudes.

I find it interesting, exciting, thought provoking and a bit of an outlet for my own views, but also as a way of just building new friendships and adding to my knowledge.

But it can also be dangerous. And it’s this that I want to explore your views on.

What happens when, in the cut and thrust of election campaigning, all the stops get pulled out and the political trolls use anything that a politician (or aspiring politican) has said on social media (potentially) taken out of context to discredit them.

The US mid term elections has again put this issue in the spotlight. I came across this piece today via Twitter:

…today’s generation of future leaders has grown up in an era when letting one’s guard down for one’s Facebook friends to see is an afterthought.

Ms. Ball, a Democrat, was stunned when she found out that six-year-old party pictures were circulating online. In them, she was wearing a Santa cap and provocative lacy hosiery while holding and putting her mouth around a sex toy. The story went viral, getting attention from news media outlets as varied as Gawker and National Public Radio.

“I think I was the No. 3 most-Googled term in the whole world over some stupid gag I played when I was 22 years old,” Ms. Ball said in a phone interview on Wednesday, the day after she lost her election.

While her opponent already had a comfortable advantage in the Republican-leaning district by the time the pictures came out, Ms. Ball’s experience raises the question of whether American culture will ever evolve to the point where voters tolerate pictures of future leaders in various states of inebriation and undress.

Ms. Ball, a certified public accountant, has used the experience as an opportunity to warn of a potential chilling effect on tomorrow’s leaders. Candidates, she argued, should not be shamed out of a race because of mistakes made in their youth. “I had a whole lot of people who were older than me saying they were feeling grateful that Facebook and digital cameras weren’t around when they were growing up,” she said. “I am not the only person with stupid photos out there, and I would hate to have some young man or young woman think, ‘I can’t run for office because I did something stupid at a party however long ago.’

This may not be the best example. The description of her behaviour didn’t sound that sensible. Let alone having her photo taken. But people do silly things in context. And is it our business? Social media makes those events more visible. And when the media spotlight comes on there can be a shock horror reaction by the public.

We’ve certainly seen that in the US. Will we see it here?

Because politicians are held accountable to a different set of behaviours? Or because the mere fact you are a politician, or standing to become one makes your behaviour suspect? I’m interested in your views.

And as a postscript: This movie has recently been released in the States and NZ. The Social Network is  the story of facebook. I had a bit of a look tonight but I’m not sure you can legally purchase it online yet. You’d think you’d be able to! Maybe someone can help me with that. If you can’t then I think it’s a travesty and it’s the movie studio’s own fault if they’re not across what people are doing in the real world.

Here’s a taste:

The news is crap continued…

Posted by on September 14th, 2010

The ongoing discussion about the quality and timeliness of reporting the Christchurch earthquake in our conventional and new media has raised lots of issues. I have posted about it here, here , here and here.

I want to keep that discussion going because it’s important. Relevant to a wider discussion about the future shape of our media. And there is an important role for government in this.

There’s been arguments between media outlets about who was first to report the earthquake, who has done it better and who has won the ratings war. There’s been criticism of celebrity journalism (if you can call it journalism); of the media stars turning up in the rubble getting down amongst the “peeps”.

Peter Dunne gave these celebrity journos a whack in parliament last week and I think he was right.

All rather tacky really.

There’s been a lot of talk about the role of twitter, facebook and blogs. The immediacy factor of those mediums and the rise of the citizen journalist (and photographer). I heard the story of the guy in Chch who took some photos uploading them to twitter for his son which were then picked up by CNN which then essentially locked out other media outlests from accessing them (without the permission of the original photographer)

And the role of media websites such as Stuff and NZ Herald which have done a reasonable job of updating content, telling real stories and providing some analysis.

Radio and TV have done their best with their current resources and mindsets.

A few observations since…

I think mainstream conventional media knows it has to change but needs to do it faster. Many news outlets are now using twitter to release stories and to follow news sources. But they’re taking a while to get the hang of it.

NBR’s Chris Keall would be one of the better journos I know using twitter. He lives on it, draws much of his material from it and release news stories constantly via twitter. He then engages in discussion abotu them and draws on that discussion and reaction to produce new stories. Cool (@ChrisKeall). He’s not the only one. 

TV3’s Patrick Gower has released some big stories via twitter. Clever (@patrickgowernz)

There is an emerging role that social media is playing which is transforming regular media. It’s the immediacy and real time nature of it that’s important. And there’s a actual discussion occuring as well an interaction between people that doesn’t happen with regular media.

However, the accuracy and analysis can leave a bit to be desired and that’s where conventional media by real journalists (those that are left) is important. This piece, admittedly written late last year, talks about these issues and is worth a read. It talks about content, promptness and analysis and how you can’t generally have all three at once in one medium.

Mike O’Donnell wrote this opinion  piece in the DomPost yesterday on the web presence around the Chch earthquake. I agree with most of what he says, except perhaps that he didn’t emphasise enough the vital role social media played in people contacting and supporting each other.

But he did say this, which is important:

…the complete absence of an attempt by any of the authorities to harness the huge conversation empowered by the web to create an online community.

Tim Berners-Lee gave the internet a public face when he invented the world wide web in 1990. What made it special was the ability for people to connect, share, question, laugh and cry, in plain sight. That’s why most of the world’s most popular websites – Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo – are effectively online communities where people hang out, share and help each other out.

On the day of the earthquake, the people of Christchurch had thousands of different experiences, suggestions and concerns. It was an opportunity crying out for a central online repository or chatroom where there voices could be heard, conversations had, questions asked and responded to. But no such mechanism existed.

It’s an opportunity crying out for utilisation, and one that I hope the core agencies are considering.

And for those of you who are interested; here’s a list of NZ media who are on twitter (with their twitter addresses). Helpfully compiled by Bill Bennett, a freelance writer from Auckland (amongst other things). Hope you don’t mind me sharing Bill.

The state of our news. Is it crap?

Posted by on September 7th, 2010

Some more reflections on how the news media has been covering the Christchurch earthquake (#eqnz on twitter).

My previous post reflected my reaction as a member of the public without much access to technology and media during Saturday and Sunday. I was aware of difficulties in quality media coverage getting off the ground in the first few hours after the quake but was reasonably happy with what I saw during Saturday and Sunday when I could access media.

However it’s becoming more apparent that there were issues and that they need to be looked at.

TV3’s lack of continuous coverage on Saturday has created some ructions within that broadcaster. Mike McRoberts has expressed his frustration about this as reported in today’s NZ Herald.

RadioNZ did have a special morning report on at 7am, but resumed ordinary programing and didn’t get it’s act together until well into Saturday morning. That’s simply not good enough.

TVNZ had ongoing coverage throughout the day and into the night. Not sure exactly when they kicked it off.

Prime TV too seemed to have coverage throughout the day. And well into the night. (update on this coming)

I’ve had a number of emails from people reading my previous post saying that they got better coverage from overseas media.

And I’ve discussed the important role that social media has played. Allowing people to make contact with each other via their mobile phone applications for Facebook and Twitter. And providing people with up to date information that the news media wasn’t providing.

It appears that social media was the place where meany people went to get information. I think it’s certainly worth investigating more the important role it plays. Many organisations, including Civil Defence are now using social media effectively, in particular Twitter.

I received info on this new Govt website on the Canterbury Earthquake today via Twitter before any other media.

Blogs like Red Alert are also playing an important role.

My colleague Brendon Burns and Lianne Dalziel are reporting directly on Red Alert from their Christchurch electorates on the extent of the devastation and the human stories they are encountering. All Chch based MPs are affected and working tirelessly. I, like many of my colleagues, feel a bit helpless.

I hope that all NZ media reassess their ability to respnd quickly in an emergency to provide the nation and those directly affected with accurate information and quality reporting. One of the things this emergency has revealed is that there appear to be no working journalists overnight in our country and that our ability to respond quickly at a weekend leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Our public media services; radio and TV and web-based are the most critical at a time like this. We need them to be resourced and responsive.

The news isn’t always crap

Posted by on September 5th, 2010

Some observations about coverage of the Chch earthquake.

I’ve been away since Friday without much access to technology. No laptop or twitter (the app on my blackberry has stopped working). Facebook, email and text ok.

The quake woke me (as it did many others). I was in Wanaka. It was the biggest I’ve ever felt. Rolling and swaying. Seemed to go on forever.

Was paralysed. And a bit scared. Afterwards I went to facebook and put up a wee, slightly plaintive message (4.40am). Got an instant reaction from Chch, Wgtn and Nelson. In Chch the messenger said the quake was still happening, which is when I got an inkling it was bigger there.

I went to the Stuff, NZ Herald and RadioNZ websites on my Blackberry. Nothing. I went to the GNS website to see what sort of quake it was. Nothing. I then turned on TV in the motel and got CNN with a Breaking News banner telling me there was a massive quake centred near Chch.

Someone on Facebook told me there was something up on Geonet. So I went there. They said 7.4 magnitude. I considered ringing someone up. Wasn’t sure who. Didn’t know the extent of it. Lay awake and worrying until I felt I could ring people up at home.

Had to leave early to go up a mountain with child.

Saw some more messages on Facebook about RadioNZ being slow off the mark.

But by the time I got up the mountain there was live TV coverage and the Radio was full of it. And during the day I kept tabs on what was happening by the live footage and breaking news banners on both TV channels. It was a big day for our emergency services and media with the tragic plane crash in Fox Glacier as well.

The live coverage went on late into the night and again on Sunday morning. Impressive.

It may have taken a few hours to get up and running but both TV channels and radio seem to have done a good job. Live electronic media is critical at a time of emergency.

I think ours pretty much did us proud and hats off to the decisions made by both TV channels to send staff to Chch, to call people in and to take regular shows off air and go live through the day. It was warranted. And along with the countless other I add my thoughts to everyone affected.

I’d also like to give credit to Telecom for being onto it and ensuring that there were regular updates during the day about the state of telecommunications particularly for emergencies. I think our telecommunication carriers generally did a good job of ensuring people were able to be in contact with each other.

I would however say two things.

1. Twitter and Facebook (and possibly other social media) have become critical at a time of emergency. I suspect that’s how many loved ones contacted each other, especially if they had an app on their mobile phone (and the electricity was out). People were able to swap their experiences, express their frustration and horror and support each other, as well as provide valuable up to date info throughout the day. So that tells us how important mobile coverage is. Not just for calls and texts.

2. CNN is still King of breaking news (in conventional media)

Below is one of the tweets which will have assisted people follow the twitter conversation during yesterday (and today). The hashtag is the most important thing as it allows you to search Twitter and aggregate your content to follow the conversations.

Note: It was put up at 5.52am and was retweeted 100+ times, which means it will have reached thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people.


Please help us report this story. Contact @breakingnewseds if you’re in Christchurch or elsewhere in New Zealand and have quake info #eqnz Saturday, 4 September 2010 5:52:37 a.m. via

PS: For those of you who haven’t been following, I have written a series of posts titled the news is crap. In this case it isn’t.

#OpenLabourNZ new Facebook page

Posted by on May 11th, 2010

We’ve listened to your feedback about finding a unified place to post your thoughts and ideas on an open and transparent government.

We have set up a Facebook Page ( where you are encouraged to post your ideas and comment on what other people think. We will also post links to other blogs and sites on the page that mentions OpenLabourNZ so that you can easily see what people are talking about.

You’re still encouraged to comment here, or on your own blogs, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction.


TV flickers on tsunami cover

Posted by on March 1st, 2010

Further to earlier blog about Radio NZ being best info source to turn to about the tsunami, this from Gretta on the Save Radio NZ Facebook page.

“I have just had a reply, of sorts, from TV1. My message to them was:

“There is a nationwide official tsunami alert for all of coastal New Zealand. Why is your tv station continuing with its regular programming this morning?”

Their reply: “I was surprised to read your email and complaints, as a full half hour bulletin of ONE News screened at midday yesterday updating the latest information about the Chilean earthquake, resulting tsunami and the impact it had on the Pacific. ONE News and TVNZ 7 also ran hourly updates throughout the afternoon. And on top of that, TVNZ provided extensive coverage online via Thanks for your email.”

As Gretta observes, the primary need for information yesterday was breakfast-time – by midday the risk had mostly passed. Still a news story for telly but no channel she receives  – TVNZ. TV3,  Maori, Prime, C4 – made any real effort towards providing urgent, on-going public service information. Not even a ticker tape of cover. Why disrupt commercial scheduling when that’s what the Govt tells you is your only function?

Some Facebookers who hadn’t previously acknowledged the value of Radio NZ, yesterday changed their mind. If you’re in that camp, you might support the e-petiton.

Cheese roll appreciation society has 1,392 members

Posted by on February 20th, 2010

I just discovered this on Facebook. Unashamed parochial moment of excitement. I know there are more of you out there.

Join. You’ll never look back.

And it’s spurred me to try to remember to organise cheese roll days in Parliament. Tell me you want them. (I know you do)

Rupert and the genie

Posted by on February 15th, 2010

The Guardian writes that Rupert Murdoch of News Corp doesn’t get social media. He thinks, understandably (for him), that you just find the way to control it.

What’s interesting, is that it’s the people who use it who drive change. Not the big corporations.

Facebook will discover that too. Because something else will come along soon and the people will move on.

And then there’s the Murdoch business model for online content. Charging for it. Wonder how well that’ll go?

I wonder who will end up in the bottle?

Racism & Hate – Remove it from FB or I’m Gone..

Posted by on January 25th, 2010

I’ve just discovered this group has been established on facebook. What’s interesting is that it’s been set up to pressure the Facebook administration into removing FB Groups that incite Racism & Hate of any kind. Consumer pressure. Wonder if it’ll have an effect.

The blurb states that such FB groups have been allowed to grow unchecked. The threat is that people will leave if these groups are allowed to persist. I haven’t come across any myself.

But I think it’s interesting, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s speech on internet freedom delivered last Friday morning where she said:

Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” With the spread of these restrictive practices, a new information curtain is descending across much of the world…

…all societies recognize that free expression has its limits. We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence, such as the agents of al-Qaida who are, at this moment, using the internet to promote the mass murder of innocent people across the world. And hate speech that targets individuals on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation is reprehensible. It is an unfortunate fact that these issues are both growing challenges that the international community must confront together.

Wonder what Facebook has to say about this?

More on Hillary’s speech coming.

Cheese rolls… the ongoing story

Posted by on January 15th, 2010

I just got asked for the recipe for cheese rolls. I thought I’d google it (even though I know it).

And… discovered there’s a cheese roll appreciation society recently been established on facebook. 

I’m not suprised, judging by the cross-parliamentary reaction to my plate of (straight from the oven) cheese rolls at the parliamentary press gallery party in December.

The NZ Herald published the recipe for those who are interested:

Cheese rolls are made by filling a slice of bread with a mixture of cheese, onion and onion soup powder. Optional extras include reduced cream, mustard, parsley and chives. The bread is then folded and grilled, and the toasted cheese roll is buttered on the outside.

Mmmmm. I am seriously thinking about running a cheese rolls supply service in parliament. A fundraiser ( of course) but would need a cause supported across the House. Because it’s a universal thing.

Our private parts… are they?

Posted by on January 12th, 2010

On 9 January, the guy who started Facebook did a public U turn on the site’s privacy policy which has created an online storm.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December. He says the age of privacy is over.

How private should the online information about us be? Whether we post it ourselves, or whether someone posts it about us.

Social networking sites like Facebook and the subscribers to those sites are confronting this issue. Read this open letter to the Huffington Post to give you an idea. Google it to read more.

The privacy of our information is a huge issue. Data privacy is key policy ground for governments around the world. There are shifting meanings for what is public and private. But I would contend there is still very much a need and desire by people to keep control of information about themselves. Which seems to me, to be the important principle.

Not sure what right Facebook’s founder has to make a decision on behalf of 350 million subscribers that they don’t care about privacy.

This is important stuff for policy makers and legislators as well as companies.

Social media and Labour

Posted by on January 10th, 2010

I thought I’d share a few of the things I talked about at the Labour Party Summer School this weekend.

It might seem strange us talking publicly about who we should be communicating with better and how we might try to do that. But if we don’t we’re fools, I reckon.

I suppose the main point to make is that Labour, like all political parties, must understand that it needs a better relationship with the voters of the future (Gen Y and the millenials) and why social media is such an important tool for doing that.

The relationship must be genuine and we should be making an effort to understand more the issues that really concern and matter to this generation in the digital age. Issues such as privacy, safety, censorship, ownership of information (piracy and copyright) creativity, quality of information. I’ll have more to say about this.

Here’s a few interesting facts.

  • Gen Y were born between 1976 and 1991
  • Currently there’s around 900,000 in NZ
  • This year they will outnumber the baby boomers
  • It is estimated that 96% of Gen Y use social media (world wide)
  • The emerging generations are the largest ever.
  • Combined X&Y = 70% global population
    • In Australia 57% population
    • Indonesia 67%
    • Pakistan 75%
    • Iraq 80%
  • Gen Y = 2.1 billion worldwide
  • In NZ, facebook use is at 1 million (25% population)
  • 150% growth in the last year
  • Global Nielsen report (March 09) says social networking has overtaken email as most popular way to communicate
  • In NZ 79.6% pop uses the internet
  • Amongst Maori, internet useage higher than non-Maori esp for social networking
  • Every day, we are exposed to 1600 marketing messages. Most are filtered out

This You Tube clip called the Social Media Revolution is really interesting. We’re doing a lot of thinking about this. We take it seriously and want to be credible.

Red Alert is part of our attempt to develop a more genuine relationship with people online. Many Labour MPs have facebook pages and are starting to use them more regularly. A few are on Twitter. But it’s not enough. We’re got a few more ideas for direct engagement with a broad audience via a mixture of face to face and online means.

The younger audience is obviously critical, but all age groups are online and using social media.

Interested in your thoughts.

This is the future of the National and ACT party

Posted by on November 26th, 2009


*Click on the image above for a full sized version

This is the future of the National and ACT party:  ACT lead researcher Andrew Falloon and the Minister for Energy’s Political Advisor Christopher Bishop.

I’m waiting for them to break out the ‘Dig Baby Dig’ T-Shirts.