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1/3 of Kiwis in energy poverty

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 pm, May 24th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

A recent survey of two thousand Kiwis show that a third cannot afford to heat their homes properly.

That’s a third of the population who are vulnerable to illness, whose children are at risk, and who are being left behind as the electricity companies are allowed to continue their price gouging.

This is why we need NZ Power.

89 comments on “1/3 of Kiwis in energy poverty”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    It’s a start, but $300/year isn’t going to make a huge difference here.

    • Opium Eater 1.1

      Maybe not for you, but for people in poverty an extra $6 is a loaf of bread and a litre of milk that might just get them through the week. People have no idea how much difference such a small amount of money can make in the lives of those of us who are jobless, caring for large families or on the minimum wage

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Spot on Lanth. Where is the strategic follow up to NZPower to lower the daily cost of living? For instance organising public transport so that most people can give up their cars in the city as just one idea. That will save $300 in car costs per month.

    • that is a great idea…viper..

      ..free public transport works brilliantly as both an economic stimulus (that money saved by punters still churns thru the economy..)..

      ..and as perhaps one of the greenest things cities could do..

      ..free (green) public transport will bring the city to life..

      ..and will raise the quality of life for all..

      ..those desiring cars will have less traffic on the roads..(and won’t mind paying a cent a litre more for fuel..to help fund those eased roads..less congestion..business will also welcome the lessened costs/overheads from less congestion..

      ..and those wanting efficient public transport will be cheered by the increase in transport options/services such a change will necessitate..

      ..and everyone will be able to move around the city..easier..

      ..the only losers from such an enlightened policy..

      ..will be the oil companies..

      ..what is not to love about all that..?

      ..phillip ure..

    • karol 2.2

      I don’t know what budget others are on, but paying $300 less per year for electricity would make a significant difference for me – that’s about $25 less on the power bill each month.

      As I don’t spend that much on public or private transport per month, there’s no way cheaper transport would mean anything close to $300 less per month spent on a car.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        For people who don’t have a car or don’t use a car in Auckland that’s probably true.

        However, for the half million families/people in Auckland who use a car frequently, 2 tanks of petrol per month is already $240.

        • karol 2.2.1.1

          Agreed. My point on $300 per year for power is that, for those on the lowest incomes it isn’t likely to be a trivial amount.

        • alwyn 2.2.1.2

          You must have an amazingly small tank in your car. Perhaps you are talking about a motor-scooter.
          2 tanks/month is 24 tanks/year. $240/year is therefore $10/tank, or about 5 litres if we assume $2/litre.
          I think you are confusing the $300/YEAR savings them being monthly figures.
          Actually I see it is Karol in the comment you are replying to who manages to turn it into a monthly figure with her remark about $300/month.

  3. burt 3

    It is precisely this statistic that makes stealth tax collection via state owned electricity companies so obnoxious. It’s a highly regressive way to gather revenue.

    • Hey Burt

      What happened?

      You posted a comment and did not mention Labour’s pledge card …

      Growing soft in your old age?

    • freedom 3.2

      better to get your energy companies to borrow excessively and pay bigger dividends instead eh burt?

      • burt 3.2.1

        Well no, that’s not the answer. But sure you can deny reality and pretend that having a choice of suppliers isn’t creating price pressure. It’s even easier to pretend competition isn’t working if you ignore the reality that having the majority share of generation infrastructure the government isn’t already fixing the price via state mandated return on investment targets.

        It might be easy to shoot the messenger – slightly harder to debate the facts eh. See the average increases unde your caring soft warm fuzzy Labour Party and imagine them with a single device to control this revenue stream.
        http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/04/labour_on_power_prices-2.html

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          National don’t have the answer. In fact, what they do increases costs and prices.

          The answer is to go back to power generation and distribution being a state service with the books open so that it’s democratically accountable.

          • burt 3.2.1.1.1

            With the books open… A socialist government with the books open… That would be a fascinating thing… It might actually get voted out before it completely stagnates the economy and taxes everything to death… Nah… The socialists will hide the profits and spend them to stay popular like they always do…

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Ah, burt proving his ignorance and stupidity again.

              How much of the official report about the effects of the recent disabilities act was redacted to those in parliament making the decisions? I believe it was all of it. So much for the capitalists being open. Perhaps if we forced this government to open the books they’d be voted out before they fucked the economy completely.

              When I say open books I mean open all of them.

    • KJT 3.3

      Hey. Burt said something I agreed with. Am I going nuts.

  4. dumrse 4

    I’m unsure how 1/3 of two thousand becomes 1/3 of the population. Lets see some detail of the survey.

  5. xtasy 5

    I am one living in “energy poverty”, but being as frugal and “smart” as I can, I conserve and use only what I really need. I had the odd flatmate blow up the bill significantly, but without one, things seem to be a bit “cheaper”. Then again, electricity is not cheap in NZ. But I also know it is not cheap in the very countries in Europe that NZ’s Greens and Labour would like to follow in Europe, where for instance in Denmark and Germany, electricity costs more, because of the subsidies necessary to develope and use alternative energy sources, which they are doing heavily now.

    NZ is fortunate for having much hydro electric generation, and yes, for that reason, it should be more affordable. I understand though that Trans Power has spent a lot on improving grids and the likes, and they upped prices for generators and retailers.

    So the picture is complex. I still think NZ Power is worth a go, and a good idea, because what we tried so far has not worked for the consumer. The new switching options National so often mention are not a solution, as the consumer is choosing to switch between the plague and the cholera for suppliers.

    More is needed, also more investment in the future, but that again costs money. I see this power game a bit of an overrated side debate, as no party will gain much out of it. It will cost us all to change to even more alternative generation, and it will need to be paid for. Also the alternatives like fossil generation cost more, hence are no good solution.

    NZ needs to develope more on a whole not just in segments like power generation and retail, and while it is stupid and wrong for selling state assets up to 49 per cent, neither the present government, nor really Labour and Greens have a magic solution for us at hand, that is to be bloody honest. I see no agenda where investment is made by those that have better technology and know how here, and until Greens and Labour can come up with a reliable agenda, it will be like Kiwi Build on sections that do not exist (yet).

    Yeah, I dread election 2014, with the present personnel in place, it looks grim.

  6. TheContrarian 6

    I think a lot can be said for the fact that NZ homes (older homes that is) are extremely inefficient when it comes to heating. Drafty and cold without adequate insulation. So we rely on expensive forms of heating as a stop-gap when the real problem isn’t so much heating but retaining heat.

    • xtasy 6.1

      TC – You are onto it! Some are a bit blinkered.

      Yes, insulation, better construction from scratch, indeed energy neutral homes can be built, using virtually zilch in extra energy from the grid, and not costing all that much extra.

      The Warming NZ scheme is a bit of a joke anyway, as I saw, when visiting a Housing NZ mate, who showed me the crap job the “insulators” did.

      A bit of foil under the floor boards, a few pads on top of the ceiling, and he gained two degrees in “warmth” last winter, which is not warmth at all, it is “less chill”, I’d say.

      The walls were left untouched, same as the thinly, singularly paneled windows, and the gaps in the doors. So start “saving” energy like that, and Mickey Mouse will grow wings also, I suppose.

      It is a damned time that NZers wake up to what is needed, perhaps learn from what is done overseas, especially in Europe, where revolutionary improvements are made, and much quite affordable.

      Double glazed windows should become standard, same as padded walls and ceilings, and floorboards should be addressed better than so far. Smart construction is available, same as better cheese making, and I see too little or none it here. Thousands of apprentices doing cheapo jobs like the present insulation will not help much, more is needed.

      A revolution with a new set of options, for new apprenticeships, new jobs, new skills, new trades and new high standard training should be introduced, and I would expect a future government here to recruit expert trianers from leading European countries, how things can and should be done. Get some incentives for business, to not just trade, but come here, to build, develope, invest and put some real power into this country and society. I see none of this happen.

      Do you guys all want to deal cards in casinos for rich pricks from China, to have your daughters work as massage parlour girls and do the stuff needed, to serve more burgers and shit, or have you any damned plan for this country? This is what I ask serious Kiwis, left and right!

      • TheContrarian 6.1.1

        An extra $300 in savings doesn’t mean you are warmer, just your power bill is lower. Our housing is woefully inefficient when it comes to retaining warmth. You’re staying cold….but cold isn’t so pricey.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          An extra $300 means you can spend the same amount of money, but get $300 more heating, or get the same amount of heating, but spend $300 less on it and use it for something else.

          Pretty obvious.

      • tc 6.1.2

        Agree that alot can be done by better heat retention and double glazing is standard on new builds for a few years now, but insulaon only on exterior walls so again our code is weak as surge protection isnt a requirement as one example of spend a few dollars up front and save many more down the line.

        However the Bradford reforms have created a ckusterf@$k of complexity between generator, grid, lines and retailer made worse by Herr Browncoal meddling. The overhead in compliance and auditing combined with the exhorbidant pay the all to many ‘senior’ folk and boards give themselves on top of regulators who just make crap up to be complied with.

        None of them actually create, maintain or support the actual generation and distribution of power which is by and large a very mature reliable system used and perfected for over 100 yesrs now all over the globe.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        A revolution with a new set of options, for new apprenticeships, new jobs, new skills, new trades and new high standard training should be introduced, and I would expect a future government here to recruit expert trianers from leading European countries, how things can and should be done. Get some incentives for business, to not just trade, but come here, to build, develope, invest and put some real power into this country and society.

        Why? We can, and should, develop the systems here. Produces more jobs and develops society rather than leaving us dependent upon other countries.

        • xtasy 6.1.3.1

          Draco – I know that you can train sparkies, brick layers and so reasonably well in present NZ, but there are new technologies applied and used in some advanced European countries, of which NZ tradespeople have little or no experience in. So my idea was to tap know how of expert instructors, to train workers or workers to be here, to do jobs that are presently not sufficiently qualified for, or that do in part not even exist here yet.

          This does not need to make NZ “dependent” at all, as the economic situation in much of Europe is not great, so you could tap into willing migrants, who will be happy to work and get paid here, to train and improve the local work force, to bring it up to top level. That is an investment, and the ones contracted have to abide by the terms of employment. So “dependence” is a non argument on that basis.

          Are we still only relying on the initial colonists, that settled here, to build cottages and huts for houses, or was there perhaps over time not also consultation and use of additional resources from migrants and others, who delivered ideas and improvements?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3.1.1

            My point was that if we keep importing the needed knowledge rather than developing it here then we lose the capability of developing it here. Sure, purchase the knowledge but then give it over to our own people to develop it for NZ using NZ’s resources.

      • ghostrider888 6.1.4

        Yes xtasy, we have cold homes by many Western countries standards. Building codes.

        and, market-gardening can be good for the soul. 😀

  7. xtasy 7

    What all parties are not honest about, apart from perhaps the Greens, is that this power talk is not going to solve energy poverty as such. To use energy better and more efficiently and effectively is necessary. So that means to insulate all homes in the country, to use less power or fossil fuel energy, to heat and power homes. Also build better homes form the start, and do not fall for the shit that developers and architects and the likes tell you, that it will be sooo expensive.

    They just want to charge you all more, and that is the loyalty of the crap business Kiwi, and I meet them all the time, last time in droves outside Vector Arena after 11 am on 16 May, at the post budget protest some of us held there.

    NZ has a giant problem with those that have the money and investment capability, and those that sit in key roles, to always make heaps of money, to suck every cent out of you, so that once things start moving, prices go and hike more than in any other country I know.

    The biggest enemy for improvement in NZ sits within, it is the selfish, money and asset owning, profit greedy bastards, that hold you ordinary folk over the bloody barrel. Kiwi patriotism is a bit of a fizzer to me, as it is always used by those bastards, to get you guys to pay for their profits, more homes, more investments, more yachts and lifestyle at the high living places.

    Things could move and be done, but that damned lot, the blood sucking profiteers, are the biggest hurdle to progress. Get the bloody hell rid of them!

    • The biggest enemy for improvement in NZ sits within, it is the selfish, money and asset owning, profit greedy bastards, that hold you ordinary folk over the bloody barrel. Kiwi patriotism is a bit of a fizzer to me, as it is always used by those bastards, to get you guys to pay for their profits, more homes, more investments, more yachts and lifestyle at the high living places.

      I agree, look how Labour used the nuclear-free issue in an attempt to blind people to Rogernomics, or how National today uses Anzac day and the Christchurch Earthquake to spin that they care about ordinary NZ’ers, and are ‘one of us’.

      Since the era of privatizations, rogernomics and ruthanasia, and now key-ism; more and more wealth is being put into the hands of a small bunch of neo-liberals like occurred in Russia during the period of Yeltsin; when state owned assets were sold into the hands of friends of the government at the time. A few oligarchs run the New Zealand economy, and most of them are in bed with John Key and the National party.

      • xtasy 7.1.1

        Realisation is the basic requirement to take steps for action for improvement, after careful consideration, you are doing the steps as I just mentioned. Congratulation, welcome aboard of innovative, smart and critical thinking to prepare perhaps a plan, where an intelligent government can with the state they run, set an agenda to make things happen, that need to happen.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Things could move and be done, but that damned lot, the blood sucking profiteers, are the biggest hurdle to progress. Get the bloody hell rid of them!

      QFT

      The problem has always been the rich. Time to stop looking to them as saviours.

  8. Gosman 8

    Since the State is a major player in the electricity generation and distribution sectors why wouldn’t any hypothetical new left leaning government simply advise the companies they control to stop price gouging and act more competitively?

    • geoff 8.1

      The horse has bolted. The asset prices have already been written up. See Geoff Bertram:
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8607601/Tighter-rein-urged-on-asset-revaluations

      He even kinda praises Margaret Thatcher, at least in comparison to the idiots here in NZ who failed to provide adequate regulation when they privatised electricity, so you should be right on board with his conclusions, Gosman.

    • burt 8.2

      Gosman

      No political capital in using the simple options. Arguably it would be politically negative as the party would need to risk the sheeple catching on that Labour could have done that in their last term when they were using that device as a stealth tax collection machine scooping billions in generation profits.

  9. Lefty 9

    The SOE structures are every bit as useless at delivering energy at an affordable prive to our low income population as the private sector .

    As long as a phoney market is in place and SOE’s are expected to provide dividends nothing will change.

    Playing around with pricing and forcing more competition is not the way forward.

    The NZ Power proposal is an attempt to avoid confronting the real issues of ownership, control, market failure, lack of planning and how to address the sometimes contradictory needs to provide affordable energy to all who need it while developing sustainable sources and avoiding waste.

    The good news is that a substantial amount of our electricity generation and distribution capacity is still in public hands and it could be used as a base to develop a good system.

    A great starting point for a good left policy would be for the government to have publicly owner generators and distributors provide energy at cost for a while. Before long the government could buy back privatised electricity companies for a dollar or so as they would have no value to private owners if they could not operate profitably.

    That would put us back on track to achieving a socially and environmentally sustainable electicity system and have the added bonus of teaching a few of these fucking mom and pop and corporate investors a good lesson on reaping what you sow.

    • Before long the government could buy back privatised electricity companies for a dollar or so as they would have no value to private owners if they could not operate profitably.

      Unfortunately by 2014-early 2015, energy capacity will be drastically reduced as there will be shutting down of power stations (and poor maintenance) in order to reduce supply – in order to create energy shortages, in order to keep high energy prices; while that is all going on they will also asset strip.

      Which is pretty much what occurred with Tranz Rail i.e. the rail network was run down, and the company was asset stripped until was a total wreck.

      • ghostrider888 9.1.1

        something to look forward to kc.

      • KJT 9.1.2

        Pretty much what happened in California with ENRON. Yet another convincing advertisement for part privatisation and de-regulation. Yeah right!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      The SOE structures are every bit as useless at delivering energy at an affordable prive to our low income population as the private sector .

      As long as a phoney market is in place and SOE’s are expected to provide dividends nothing will change.

      Exactly.

      NZPower is just another attempt of Labour and the Greens to avoid the necessity of going back to running power and other essential services as a state service paid for through taxes.

      • burt 9.2.1

        So if its paid for with taxes is there any charges for the consumer ? IE; do we have power meters to measure how much we use and have a bill associated with that as well as paying for it with taxes.

        If so how is that made accountable ?

        • KJT 9.2.1.1

          Worked fine with the old MED.

          Capital works from taxes and charges for supply.

          And the option of using power prices to both help local business become more competitive internationally and cut prices to consumers.

          And, cut the costs of fake competition and the waste inherent in “running them like a business”.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.2

          If so how is that made accountable ?

          First 1000 kwH a month for $50. Then $1 per kWh after that.

          • Lanthanide 9.2.1.2.1

            I don’t even use 1000 kwH a month (maybe get close in winter), so this would be a great scheme for me, despite me being in the top 5% of income earners.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes, that’s the whole point. So that people don’t need to have a power bill unless they use huge amounts of power. As we build more efficient houses the amount could be brought down although I don’t see any reason to do so.

              And we still have a progressive tax regime 😛

          • alwyn 9.2.1.2.2

            That would be wonderful for a household of dinks. Out at work during the day and then they can heat the whole place all evening without reaching the 1000/unit threshold.
            Bit tough of course on an elderly couple who are home all day, every day. A single 2 bar heater on 15 hrs/day would use 900 units/month and there goes their allowance. I suppose they could go to bed at 7pm to save enough power to heat their hot water at a price they can afford.
            Still they don’t matter do they?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.3

          Of course there would be power meters – need the information to plan after all. My idea would be a free block for every residence and business of say 1000 kWh per month and then rather steep charges. $1 per kWh seems reasonable.

          If so how is that made accountable ?

          That’s what opening the books is for.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.3.1

            Hmmm taking a look at some stats maybe 500 kWh/month is a better cap, averaged lower over the summer months with a higher cap in the winter months.

            • Lanthanide 9.2.1.3.1.1

              Yes, that would be better.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.3.1.2

              Yeah, was thinking about that at the time. What I was most concerned with was having it too low and thus putting people in worse condition with the high cost of the kWh after the initial free block.

              Perhaps make it a yearly amount of 10,000 kWh. With their full power history available to them people could easily make plans.

              • KJT

                How about a power discount for businesses that, actually, pay their full due of taxes, in New Zealand!

                Instead of for price transferring, aluminum smelters.

            • burt 9.2.1.3.1.3

              It’s great to see you guys designing power billing policy on the hoof. Comedy gold… One of modern livings most essential commodities and you guys think some magic household one size fits all pricing regime is the answer. Brilliant socialist thinking… How many Kw did my last power bill show I used in a month… How much do I think I should pay for that … Right now lock and load that via monopoly implementation for everyone as a base line….

              • Draco T Bastard

                The goals of my ideas are twofold. One is to encourage savings in electricity use. The second is to ensure that everyone can heat their house as needed.

                So we set a block of power that would cover most peoples use and then we charge gargantuan amounts for any use above that. This will encourage people to use less by getting insulation installed, turning TV and radios off at the wall etc. while actually ensuring that everyone has enough to heat their home no matter their income.

                BTW, the plans brought in at the boardroom are also “on the hoof”. It’s just a group of over paid bureaucrats doing exactly what we’re doing here – tossing ideas around.

                Doesn’t have to be one size. We could look at different size blocks on a base charge.

                • burt

                  So people living alone get the same base allocation as a family of 10 ? Is the utility allocation per person or per household? Is there a department of power allocation to assess how much each house should get to compensate for factors beyond the control of the individual, the location of the house ?

                  Seems that an elderly couple in Invercargill should probably get a bigger base allocation than a young couple in Northland… Would the newly formed “Popularity via promises of lower power prices Ltd.” manage all this stuff ? What do you reckon, “promise any old shit to win an election ltd.” would just employ thousands of base allocation inspectors to asses individual needs or would you just queue while waiting for state bread to bake you a loaf and state toilet paper to restock the state controlled super markets ?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Hey, did you know that you can go to you’re ISP and buy package deals with different amounts of data available?

                    What we’re suggesting is nothing new – it just hasn’t been applied to electricity. Does what we’re suggesting need the rough edges taken off? Yep. Still, it will work which is something that the present system doesn’t do.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Gotta appreciate burt’s efforts in helping to refine our ideas 🙂

      • phillip ure 9.2.2

        i agree with power etc being regarded as basic rights..

        ..(and with the green/lab proposal being reform-lite..90 cents a wk per household..?..woo-hoo..!..eh..?..and a halfway house to nowhere..

        ..but instead of loading the cost on all taxpayers..

        ..i think an easier sell of the idea is that it should be charged to business/consumers at cost + need for infrastructure etc..

        ..(and with economic-incentives to go green/use less….)

        ..once again that money saved by all will churn back into the economy in different ways..(so govt will get tax/gst etc on those monies..)

        ..and with business and consumers welcoming such reforms..

        ..the only losers in that one/case..are the profiteering shareholders..

        ..(cry us a (mighty) river..eh..?..)

        phillip ure..

  10. ghostrider888 10

    just pop this here, there, and everywhere-

    “Why are the rivers so polluted?
    Ask Steven Joyce!”
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Campaign-blames-Joyce-for-river-pollution/tabid/1160/articleID/299039/Default.aspx

  11. I couldn’t afford to heat the places I lived in back in the early 80s. This was because I had no money. I wasn’t unusual. Electricity prices were set by the government. 30+ years later, there are still people who can’t afford to heat the places they live in, it’s still because they’ve got no money, and it’s still not unusual. Electricity prices are not set by the government. I wouldn’t build up great hopes for change based on how much control the government has over electricity prices.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      ” 30+ years later, there are still people who can’t afford to heat the places they live in, it’s still because they’ve got no money, and it’s still not unusual. ”

      The whole ideal of economic growth is that everyone’s living standards are supposed to improve over time as the economy grows. Instead, as we’ve seen, over the last 20-30 years most of the growth has been stolen by the top 1-2% that run the economy as a whole.

      Rolling over and saying “it’s always been that way, so it should always be that way” is not the appropriate response.

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.1

        Er, living standards have improved over that time. Back then, we didn’t have a car or a phone, and the times we had a TV it was at least 15 years old and the screen was in black-and-white. Obviously there was nothing in the place that included a microprocessor. That’s no longer typical for beneficiaries.

        Thing is, “living standard” isn’t unitary, the components vary in the level of improvement – the housing is just as shitty now, hunger is as hard to avoid and heating is just as hard to pay for. An “appropriate response” to that from governments ought to concentrate more on jobs, wages and conditions than on fiddling with how electricity is priced.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          How do you charge a cell phone or watch your TV without electricity?

          Is there any use having a flash new computer and no electricity to power it off?

          Surprising you would list all these new gadgety things as evidence of improved living standards and not consider power and internet basic necessities.

          • Psycho Milt 11.1.1.1.1

            I think you’ll find the power requirement differential between charging devices and heating a house is quite large. The computing power available in a bottom-income house has skyrocketed from a starting point of 0 over the last 30 years, but the heating costs have remained about the same, assuming the current housing is as shitty for insulation and double-glazing as the ones we were living in back then.

        • Lanthanide 11.1.1.2

          Cars, phones, colour TV and computers aren’t necessities of life. Home heating (and therefore a primary energy source, electricity) is. Without adequate heating, people literally die and have much worse health issues, which ripples through the entire economy as people take time off work and devote money to medications instead of things that would improve their lives / the economy.

          All that stuff is window-dressing. Holding it up as if it is some great advance in living standards is a sham when the basics aren’t met.

          • Psycho Milt 11.1.1.2.1

            It is of course possible to game the definition of standard of living such that it shows no improvement, but I lack interest in such games. My point is essentially the same as yours in comment number 1: govt control of power prices isn’t likely to make that much difference to whether people at the bottom can afford to heat their homes or not. I’ve merely elaborated on it to make clear that the essential factor in whether you can afford to heat your home is whether you’re short of cash, not who controls electricity pricing.

      • dumrse 11.1.2

        “The whole ideal of economic growth is that everyone’s living standards are supposed to improve over time as the economy grows”. Perhaps many of them fail to take the opportunities presented over the 3+decades like, giving up smoking, drink less, quit the dope, get a job, excel to the next level. These are not hard to achieve and whilst I may agree not every one will keep up, we see far too many choosing to remain on their arses not even trying to do better. They get left behind and in a short space of time the gap widens to the extent they may never catch up. To a greater or lessor degree, their destiny was in their own hands.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          But at the same time too large a share of GDP has been deliberately and systematically shifted into company profits, and taken away from workers’ income and wages as a share of the economy.

          Put another way – anyone who wants full time employment should be given that employment so that they can prove and improve themselves.

          • Psycho Milt 11.1.2.1.1

            …too large a share of GDP has been deliberately and systematically shifted into company profits, and taken away from workers’ income and wages as a share of the economy.

            On this at least we’re in complete agreement. Wages and conditions are one of the few areas in which it makes a difference whether you vote Labour or National. Labour might not do much to help, but at least they won’t be actively trying to make things worse.

  12. ahem..!..make that 90 cents per day per household..

    phillip ure..

  13. infused 13

    But there’s a lot of other factors isn’t there. It’s not just about turning your heaters on. The main issue is insulation. New houses barely need heat pumps/heaters running. That’s the issue, not the cost of power.

    Properly insulated house doesn’t need heaters running, which fucks your whole argument for NZ Power.

    The govt should be pumping that up. It’s the Labour way though, ambulance and the end of the cliff.

    Fix the actual problem.
    Fix the actual problem.
    Fix the actual problem.

    • Clockie 13.1

      We have a brand new house in Chch with full spec insulation and double glazing and a top of the line 6K heat pump. I assure you that during the winter months that heat pump has to be used quite heavily from May-Aug.

      You may have forgotten about this.

      http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/home-insulation-scheme-green-success-story

      It certainly wasn’t a NATional initiative. That lot don’t even do ambulances..

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Well, my own suggestion is to make new build houses to conform to the Passive House specifications. What I’d expect from National on that is whinging about making houses cost more despite the fact that, over their lifetime, such houses cost far less. It is, after all, the same whinge we hear from them when it’s suggested we need to intensify housing.

      • Lanthanide 13.2.1

        I have no idea why Passive Houses haven’t taken off globally. But the fact is, those houses are actually significantly different to design and build than regular ones, and do also require specialised components to really live up to the name. Since the houses are effectively hermetically sealed to reduce heat loss through drafts, you *need* to get a special system that brings fresh air into the house while also retaining the existing heat in the air, which isn’t cheap. Similarly the triple-glazing used in the windows is expensive.

        Economies of scale will bring all those prices down, but we can’t go from 0% passive houses to 100% passive houses the next day, the economy simply can’t move that fast.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1

          But the fact is, those houses are actually significantly different to design and build than regular ones, and do also require specialised components to really live up to the name.

          Yep, realised that ages ago. More R&D needed – what a pity.

          Since the houses are effectively hermetically sealed to reduce heat loss through drafts, you *need* to get a special system that brings fresh air into the house while also retaining the existing heat in the air, which isn’t cheap.

          Actually, it is. All it requires is a small heat pump. It takes the heat from the exhaust and pumps it to the inlets so that the heat isn’t lost.

          Similarly the triple-glazing used in the windows is expensive.

          ATM but, as you say, economies of scale would bring that down. One effective way to get those economies of scale is to make it mandatory on new build houses.

          but we can’t go from 0% passive houses to 100% passive houses the next day, the economy simply can’t move that fast.

          True, which is why I suggested it only for new build houses/residences.

    • KJT 13.3

      We would like to fix the actual problem.

      The actual problem being privatisation of essential infrastructure, which should have never happened, and one of the reasons why I will never vote Labour, ever again!

      1. The problem should never have occurred in the first case. But some stupid “useful idiot” idealogs in Labour, did it.
      2. The next best option would be re-nationalisation, but National are doing their best to make that impossible. If you think Muldoon left the cupboard bare, wait until this lot leave.
      3. Which leaves us with our least preferred option, but at least we know we can do it. Regulation. NZ Power. To take back some control so that power supplies are run for the benefit of New Zealanders, not a few hundred shareholders.

  14. Swan 14

    When the policy came out a number of lefties tried to argue against the effect of subsidies on the demand/supply balance. They argued that demand for power is inelastic. This survey shows otherwise.

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    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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