A demonstration of 10,000 took place last Thursday in Auckland (big for New Zealand which has a population of only 4.5 million) against the TPPA [Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement]. There were also smaller rallies in more than 20 towns and cities. [Watch the video]

New Zealand's economic situation is changing for the worse, as the general crisis of world capitalism is unravelling and China's growth is slowing down affecting the whole of the Pacific and Austrialia in particular. Austerity policies are being carried out by the National Party-led government, undermining the political support for the right wing and creating the conditions for an intensification of the class struggle in the period ahead. This perspectives document should be viewed as an addendum to the 2014 document, as the general processes outlined in the previous document are apparent in the present situation.

“Dirty politics” is the name of a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. In it he claims that New Zealand government ministers, including Judith Collins, passed on intelligence and other private communications about certain individuals to the controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater, known by his blog name Whaleoil. The book has highlighted a lot of the dirty and underhanded techniques used by this National-led government to undermine their critics.

Since the attacks on America of 11th September, many people have been eagerly following events on TV, demonstrating the heightened interest in international affairs that has been reported from other countries on the In Defence Of Marxism web site. In the short run at least, many people have been taken in by the imperialist propaganda that has been pouring out of their TVs and other bourgeois media. Take my friend Joanne, for example. She is a Labour party member. But she thinks America is in the right. I tried to explain the far greater atrocities that the US government and big business have committed, but she did not buy it. Everything's different now, she says. She seems to think the threat of terrorism can somehow be surgically removed by military force. And she wants the New Zealand government to come down hard on potential terrorists over here. She is concerned about some Maori radicals who went to Libya for military training in the 1980's. I should point out that none of them have been stupid enough to actually put any of their military training into practice with terrorist acts. Indeed, one of them, Donna Awatere, is now an MP with the right-wing ACT Party! I would have thought that if the government were to start harassing people like that, it would be more likely to increase the possibility of terrorist incidents, not decrease it.

New Zealand perspectives 2014 should be read in conjunction with previous years' perspective documents as they are a continuation from them.  In addition these perspectives should be read in conjunction with the latest World Perspectives analysis and associated material from the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) and Socialist Appeal NZ.

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