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$22 Billion minutiae

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, July 6th, 2011 - 131 comments
Categories: housing, john key - Tags: ,

There can’t be many Kiwis who don’t know about the leaky homes crisis. The last National government deregulated the building industry. Bad idea. Cowboy companies used bad materials and bad designs to build thousands of houses that leak and rot. It’s a problem worth up to $22 Billion (in the words of Nat MPs “simply ginormous” or the “elephant sitting in the room”). Taxpayers and ratepayers (that’s most of us twice) are going to be paying huge bills for many years.

Like I said, pretty much every Kiwi knows all this by now, right? Or not. Buried at the end of a piece yesterday on a new TV documentary on the crisis was this little snippet:

One of the defining moments in the documentary is an on-the-fly interview Gray wrenched from PM John Key that concludes with an ill-conceived comment from the Prime Minister about solving some leaky homes claims by getting people off benefits.

It caused ripples of mirth and incredulity from the special screening, in large part because it shows even the country’s leader is struggling to grasp the enormity of the problem.

“It was most unfortunate that we had to resort to standing him up in that way,” concedes Gray. “And in fairness to him it’s a complex subject and as a Prime Minister he’s not expected to know the minutiae of every topic that the Government is dealing with.

So in some cases Key thinks that the fix will be “getting people off benefits”. What? How many beneficiaries own these comparatively modern homes? How will a (probably modest) change in their income suddenly fix tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage? Unbelievable.

That goes beyond showing that Key is “struggling to grasp the enormity of the problem”. That goes beyond not knowing “the minutiae of every topic”. That response is simply formulaic drivel that has nothing at all to do with reality. It would be laughable from any MP. From the PM it is genuinely disturbing.

131 comments on “$22 Billion minutiae”

  1. tc 1

    Add to this the posturing keys attempting over pike river mine tragedy and it’s a very sad and self serving hollowed out human being we have leading us.

    He struggles to keep his prejudices to himself and express his real feelings which would make him unelectable……oh for a media that sought the truth.

    • felix 1.1

      But but but he’s rich, tc, richer than an astronaut. And he drinks beer.

      Isn’t that enough?

      What more do you want in a PM?

      • stever 1.1.1

        Thanks, felix.

        That comment

        “But but but he’s rich, tc, richer than an astronaut. And he drinks beer.”

        is the closest anyone has ever come to explaning, for me. why the PM is so popular. I’ve asked loads of people, and no one can explain (even those that adore him), but this pins it down well!

      • Blighty 1.1.2

        classic simpsons

        “We’ll be rich! Rich as astronauts!”

      • higherstandard 1.1.3

        Well if you’re talking about the last election it’s fairly clear that a majority of the electorate just wanted anyone other than Helen Clark.

        I suspect it’ll be the election after this one before a clear majority of the electorate just want anyone other than John Key.

  2. Chris 2

    Ah… the politics of envy.

    • felix 2.1

      Yep, I envy the citizens of countries with leaders who can speak in sentences…

      …while you just envy John Key’s money, and that’s why you vote for him.

    • Blighty 2.2

      yup, a post that says ‘hey, shouldn’t the PM have some basic understanding of a $22 billion problem?’ is just dripping in envy.

    • lprent 2.3

      So you’re ignoring the PM making a total dork of himself? Yet again! He is just incompetent at running the country.

      I finished fixing my leaky apartment in 2009 after 4 hellish years of raising enough money to do so, nearly going bankrupt in the process, and eventually getting a settlement six weeks before we went to court. It was a total pain in the arse to work at home (which i had done for the previous 7 years) whilst there were reconstructors grinding the walls off outside. I wound up having to change jobs and start commuting again.

      Consequently I would have to say that it is a topic that I really don’t find amusing. Just as you acting as if the misery that so many are going through getting their homes fixed is something to make smartarse remarks about also irritates the hell out of me.

      Indirectly that lead to this site being set up. I had time to do it. It would have probably got setup anyway, but I suspect would not have been able to cope with the demand.

      • Battleheed 2.3.1

        Sorry to here about your troubles lprent, businesses like fletcher made so much money building houses and then when they sell shoddy crap they run for cover, the whole construction industry should hang its head in shame.

        • Chris 2.3.1.1

          Pretty sure Fletcher Building just supply materials they don’t build the houses. So not sure why you are blaming them?

          Also just to make it clear I’m a different Chris to the one who posted the original comment, may have to change my name, actually by original or something…damn it

          • framu 2.3.1.1.1

            my memory might not be correct here but…

            Fletchers werent building anything – true. But they were supplying and reccomending products that played a significant part in the leaky homes saga.

            Thats why they shoulder some of the blame

          • Drakula 2.3.1.1.2

            Juat add a ‘t’ at the end of your name !!!

        • lprent 2.3.1.2

          It wasn’t the materials that were the basic issue in our building (or for that matter in most of the ones I have looked at). It is from water ingressing into the building structure and not being able to drain. This is either from a design flaw or in the implementation of the building. In our case, if the timber had been fully treated, it would have still gone rotten. It would have merely taken a few years longer.

          The design of the building made it expensive to fix because it was a monolithic coating – to see behind to fix things you have to pull it off. It wasn’t a matter of pulling a weatherboards off.

          The basic problem was the lack of effective building approval and inspection that was meant to pick up these types of issues (and that we paid for). The secondary issue was that the building design was not multiply redundant. When a flaw happened there was no secondary protection (for instance cavity wall drainage). That was because councils decided to relax the building standards in their area.

          • Chris 2.3.1.2.1

            Yeah I admit that I have never had to go through this kind of thing but this was what I understood the main problem was.

            The untreated wood which Fletchers sold made the problem evident faster but I really don’t think people can be too angry at someone for selling untreated wood. The house building practises and inspections etc just were not up to scratch.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.2.1.1

              The untreated wood which Fletchers sold made the problem evident faster but I really don’t think people can be too angry at someone for selling untreated wood.

              Fletchers commitment is to their shareholders and their customers (builders and developers), not to the poor saps who bought the houses.

              Good ol private sector dynamic – the end user is not the paying customer so don’t worry about them.

              • Chris

                What are you talking about? I definitely think the end user should be worried about. I just don’t think they should be aiming at Fletchers or other suppliers. They should be looking at the builders and inspectors who missed this problem.

                Why should these building suppliers have to do anything for the end user when its not actually their fault at all. Even with untreated wood if the houses had been built properly i.e. with cavities this wouldn’t have really been a problem.

                What exactly would you have them do? Give everyone free wood etc because the builders were shit?

                • KJT

                  The material suppliers are just as responsible if not more. They specified their products were OK to use without flashings, on flat roofs etc. They did not say anything about cavities. They must have known about the problems overseas as they supplied to those markets also.

                  No one in NZ was building with cavities (Except for brick veneer houses) until after the leaky building scandal. It was not necessary before the monolithic Mediterranean style came here.

                  Some older, experienced builders were not caught out, because of our nasty suspicious minds. Water always gets in somewhere.

                  It is too much to expect that cheap labourers working for development companies would have had any idea.

                  Architects and project managers should have though.

                  If you used the claddings and fittings as specified by the suppliers and BRANZ you were almost bound to build a leaky house.

                  Even some very conscientious builders were caught out.

                  The 1990 National Government should be held personally responsible, along with the materials suppliers, designers, private building certifiers and project managers who allowed this to happen.

                • sdm

                  Back up the truck fella. The Builders built according to the code/manufacturers specifications/design requirements. The products that were supplied, in many cases, failed. The code permitted no cavity. The cladding systems, approved by thr BIA. failed. Why blame the chippy?

      • mickysavage 2.3.2

        I also feel for you lprent.  I had a leaky home problem too but it was in the low 5 figures so it was a headache rather than a nightmare.
         
        My personal list of entities to blame in order:
         
        1.  Feckin 1990s National Government who allowed such inept building standards to be implemented.
        2.  Material supply companies for allowing such clearly inappropriate materials to be sold and used.
        3.  Cowboy builders and con artists who built cheap rather than quality.
        4.  Less so Architects who should have designed taking into account the characteristics of the materials.
        5.  Finally local authorities whose responsibility was primarily to make sure that construction was in accordance with the ludicrous standards that were imposed.  Unfortunately they are the ones picking up much of the financial responsibility.
         
        Finally a question, why is this a New Zealand only problem?

        • vto 2.3.2.1

          nutshell micky. spot on.

          similarities with the mining industry, its safety regulations, its operators and overseers, and the resultant Pike River 29 dead men should be disturbing. Result was shoddy mine as opposed to shoddy house. Exact same causes.

        • lprent 2.3.2.2

          It happened in Canada as well in the early 90’s for much the same reasons.

          I think that the basic problem was that they allowed the building inspectors to be privatized. The other problems could have been constrained if the inspectors had enough control to say that the combinations of workmanship, materials, and design were inadequate and refuse to certify until corrected. As it was the worst areas were where there were a lot of private inspectors around with inadequate insurance and wanting to collect business. That meant keeping the developers onside.

          Fortunately for me and the people in our block, the council building inspectors did the actual inspection so they were definitely in the legal gun. That is why we eventually got a settlement. There was certainly no-one else that was in the gun had the wherewithal to make the building right.

          It was also fortunate that the building only had a few actual flaws and hadn’t gotten that rotten. Most of the cost of the restoration was bringing the building up to the revised building standards so it didn’t happen again.

          • grumpy 2.3.2.2.1

            I think there was a Class Action in Vancouver and the Government was found liable. One of the contributory factors in the decision was the allowing of untreated timber.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.2.1.1

              the allowing of untreated timber.

              It’s a bizarre phenomenon that each generation thinks it is smart enough to ignore the advice and experience of the previous generations. Until it find out the hard, expensive way that it isn’t.

              Reminds me of the engineers who told NASA that the Challenger should not be launched but everyone else said “meh, we have a schedule to stick to”.

            • lprent 2.3.2.2.1.2

              Yep. Once you have leakage that definitely speeds up the rot. But the problem is allowing moisture to access wood that hasn’t been treated to handle it.

              But if you have most grades of treated timber with resident moisture you’ll find that it goes just as gooey over time – it just takes longer. That includes most grades of treated timber that have traditionally been used for interior structural work. There was quite a lot of lower grade treated timber used in some areas where we had water issues (from poor plumbing that wasn’t picked up during building inspections) in bathrooms. It was rotting pretty well when they were opened up.

              The only stuff that has a reasonable life span in high moisture is the stuff that is made for sitting in the weather

              • gareth

                Spot on. It’s doesn’t matter what you use in your framing, if the exterior is not weather tight you will have issues. Be it mould or water seeping into other surfaces like gib or hardie. All treated framing does is delay the inevitable. The root cause was and is a lack of weather tightness due to design flaws, bad materials, badly applied materials and building inspectors not catching the problems before sign off.

                Perfect storm really.

                • lprent

                  You can get away with a lot of moisture if the moisture drains and there is air circulation to dry everything out. I was amazed when we were tearing down old bungalows around morningside for their wood in the 70’s (they were being replaced with a parking lot!). Wood was completely untreated but basically had virtually no rot. It was a harder wood, but had been there for more than 40 years and wasn’t exactly weather tight. But it had so much air circulation that it dried out fast.

                  Would have been a cold hole to live in though….

                  • gareth

                    Yep,
                    My grandparents house was the same untreated native timber but rot free. It was however cold and full of drafts I guess that’s why they had two log burners.

                    Unfortunately once you start insulating walls you loose your air flow. Hence weather tightness is so important these days.

                    I understand that the insulating foam that they retrofit can be diabolical in houses like those mentioned above. People all of sudden people have damp issues and these are blamed on lack of weather tightness. nothing to do with the fact that it fundamentally changed the way house worked/breathed.

                    I do know a few builders that have kept the documentation and written instruction to proceed as per plan/spec when they raised potential problems. It certainly covered them when people come back looking for answers, doesn’t do much for the company name however.

            • mik e 2.3.2.2.1.3

              untreated timber is fine most of our old buildings that are still standing are made of such materials and are still in good condition requiring only regular maintenance. Pine does need treatment but even treated pine will rot if the building is not built and sealed and painted correctly with good quality paints, just spraying inferior paints over a building doesn,t seal it. Idiot proof roofing and flashings are also required. What flabbergasts me is that National are only paying out on the last 10yrs and not on the first 8yrs of leaky buildings that their legislation or lack of i.e laissez fair was responsible for.

        • peter 2.3.2.3

          MS, it also caused huge problems in Vancouver some years before it happenend here.. same problems, a very wet climate, and homes not designed to deal with this.

        • KJT 2.3.2.4

          Not to mention house owners and developers that just wanted the cheapest.

          The engineers who allowed untreated framing.

          I would not mind a dollar for every time a house owner has said. “Just bodgy it up. We will have sold the house within 5 years, so we do not care if it lasts 50 or not”.

          Voters who vote for Governments who are obsessed with privatisation and de-regulation.

          And building material suppliers who made a fortune out of monolithic materials they must have known were problematic. They supplied to the other markets who had problems before we did.

          If you followed the instructions they supplied for fitting and waterproofing the cladding you were bound to build a leaky house.

          When I was building, being suspicious old codgers, we still used treated framing and flashed properly. Of course the cheap partly trained labourers most developers used would not have known any different.

        • uke 2.3.2.5

          There are possibly several other groups who should have provided better checks and balances in the process of signing off on crap houses:
           
          – Engineers doing reports on crap houses
          – Property valuers incorrectly valuing crap houses
          – Real estate agents selling crap houses
          – Insurance companies insuring crap houses (although not really insuring them)
          – Property developers developing crap houses
           
          A perfect storm (sorry for cliche) of buck-passing by professionals and experts. If people took the trouble to build their own homes, I doubt there would be the same level of systemic dysfunction.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.5.1

            Yes and each of those private sector buck passing professionals and experts had money to make off the scam as long as it lasted, and no money to make off being the bad guy who blew the whistle.

            And a weak public sector who refused to do its job due to a hands-off ideology.

            Regulators who don’t believe in regulation, ho ho ho.

            • uke 2.3.2.5.1.1

              Besides the bad faith, cynicism, greed, fraud, and sheer incompetence among these expert groups, another factor led to this debacle:
               
              Over-complexity of the system
               
              I mean, how hard is it to build a good house? You wouldn’t think that humans had been constructing dwellings for thousands of years (some of which are still around). In our “advanced” “modern” society it has somehow become a very difficult task. As the Christchurch earthquake has shown, also, there seems to be a remarkable level of fragility built into our hi-tech lifestyle.

              • felix

                Not that hard, uke, but you’re asking the wrong question.

                How hard is it to ensure a profit at every stage of the house-building process?

                Used to be that a trade was a good honest living. Now it seems every builder, plumber, roofer, tiler and sparkie these days feels entitled to become rich just from working at their trade.

                • uke

                  “How hard is it to ensure a profit at every stage of the house-building process?”
                   
                  Including how to externalise all risks and costs at every stage. Yet again the defects of limited liability become blindingly obvious.

                • KJT

                  It is not the good tradesmen who get rich. It is actually very hard to make a living as an honest and careful trades-person who pays taxes and does not cut corners.

                  Lack of regulation, in building as in anything else, just allows the crooks to prosper.

                  You get competitors giving quotes so cheap, you know there is no way they can use good materials or do a proper job.
                  Including some who own large building/developer outfits who just declare bankruptcy when the chickens come home.

                  Regulations to put all building work under the control of a qualified builder with personal responsibility for the job would be a good start in cleaning up the industry.
                  The difficulty in getting insurance cover if you are dodgy would soon clean out the cowboys. It works well with electricians and plumbers.

                  Don’t see why shoddy developers, Designers, builders, Materials suppliers, or home owners who specify a substandard job, should be able to escape responsibility for negligence, especially by limited liability and/or company bankruptcy. In many cases these people just pop up again under another company name.

                  Homeowners are their own worst enemy though. They are the first to take the cheapest quote and the first to bleat at having to pay the real costs of doing a proper job with long lasting materials. They do not see a problem in passing on the extra costs to the next owner of the house.

                  • felix

                    That all squares with my observations too.

                    I’d add that qualification is no guarantee of competence, since the abandonment of the traditional apprenticeship system the market has been flooded with qualified carpenters who have very little experience.

                    It’s not uncommon for young chippies to serve their time building the same structure over and over, which only teaches them to solve the same set of problems over and over.

                    • KJT

                      Yes. Qualifications just give a baseline.

                      However the new system of apprenticeships is not much different from the old one. Some apprentices spent their entire apprenticeship sweeping up. At least with modern apprenticeships the employer has to take responsibility for signing off the apprentice as capable in the various areas.

                      One of the main problems, now,is provider capture by tertiary institutions, who like to tell us that time in the classroom can replace years on the tools.

                      Builders either need to by monitored by efficient inspectors or have a self certifying regime where they are personally liable for their own work.

                      As happens with plumbers and electricians now, under the self certifying regime, a poor tradesmen cannot remain in business because he can no longer get liability insurance.

                      You already see that with the Master builders (Who allowed any cowboy who paid the fee to join). Insurance companies cut the time to 7 years, off their warranty cover, because of too many claims.

                      I can still get 10 year cover, as can any Certified Builder.

                    • felix

                      Yep, pretty much all the sparkies I know take their responsibility very seriously.

                  • rosy

                    We had a learning experience when considering building in Ak. We went to a builder/developer who was associated with a reputable company with a plan we wanted, and an alternative plan offered by the company if ours was too expensive. We were told there was no problem with the plan we wanted and went forward with consents etc. Over the period of months that it took (with developer delays) to get this done, and after a small deposit was paid, all of a sudden the costs escalated and cheaper materials were suggested – monolithic cladding et al. We pulled out, took the developer to the disputes tribunal for the deposit and won but of course the company had claims for leaky buildings and had gone bankrupt. In the end it was a relatively cheap lesson in shady practices. I can imagine a lot of people in similar situations would have gone ahead, being unwilling or unable to give up their dream and deposit.

                    • KJT

                      I suggest anyone building, talk to builders previous customers, have a good look at the workmanship, materials and quality of previous jobs, and have a written contract to protect both themselves and the builder.

                      Builders suppliers often have a good idea of which builders are here to stay in their area.

                      Make sure the grade and type of materials are written down in a detailed spec.
                      Some cheaper materials or finishes may be OK when they just change the cosmetic finish, not the functionality, of the building.

                      Find a builder you can trust and make him/her responsible for the whole job.

                      Remember someone who has spent years building up their skills can/ and should ask for a reasonable wage. This will usually pay off in quality of the building and your resale value.

                      If the quote is very cheap it is because the builder is going to cut corners to get the work.

                      Using designers or project managers just makes it harder to pin down responsibility if anything goes wrong. They often clip the ticket for management tasks, which any good builder will do anyway.

                      Try and decide on everything before building starts. Changes can be very time consuming and expensive for the builder and customer.

                      A good builder should be able to offer extended guarantee cover (from a reputable insurance company) in case he goes out of business for any reason.
                      Expect to pay extra for this.

                    • rosy

                      All good advice and a reason why we went with a nationally known company. I’m not sure they realised the franchise holder (we didn’t know it was a franchise) was such a conman. One more piece of advice – don’t rely on the Master Builders Association membership for anything, including sanctioning a member who tries to take you for a ride.

        • davidc 2.3.2.6

          Micky, No 1 on your list should be clients (the person paying the bills) that uses the lowest tender irrespective of the quality and reputation of the contractor. All the lowest tender provides is the contractor that failed to read the plans/specifications and then hides shoddy work to try and make ends meet.

          • grumpy 2.3.2.6.1

            Pure gold!!!!

          • Puddleglum 2.3.2.6.2

            Maybe, but we are in a society that is constantly being told that things get cheaper and cheaper not because of shoddy work and cut corners but because of the efficiency of the market in implementing new technologies, etc., etc..

            It is also often argued that it is regulation that is preventing goods and services becoming cheaper and cheaper through competitive markets.

            I guess you could blame consumers for being so gullible as to believe that markets deliver in that way.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.6.3

            All the lowest tender provides is the contractor that failed to read the plans/specifications and then hides shoddy work to try and make ends meet.

            In the free market the race to the bottom is a very common occurrence

            Particularly if the paying customer of the contractor (property developer) is not the end owner (read: chump family who bought the home)

            WTF does the property developer care if the home falls apart with mould 5-10 years down the track? Not his problem, and the cheap shoddy contractor did his bottom line a favour after all.

        • Tel 2.3.2.7

          micky,
          While I agree with the general tenor of your list of the guilty, I’d put Architects/Designers at the top of the list, and leave the rest of the list to argue over who’s next. The reason is simple. Everything more or less starts from an inappropriate design choice. Standards have been and still are blunt instruments, that need to be used as a guideline, and do not take place of common sense. If clients make unreasonable requests that compromise the potential outcome Architects just need to refuse the work.

          Unfortunately the LBP scheme will make no allowance for the abhorrently obvious: Architects that have been successfully sued for leaky buildings will not, and have not been impeded in obtaining a licence and continuing to practice. No insurance scheme has been put in place to protect consumers and ratepayers, and the LBP scheme is basically just another form of taxation, that will drive up the cost of construction, and cause clients to pressure people into making short cuts to save money… sound familiar?

          BTW: If you’re young and looking for a career path that pays well, is full of human drama and work variety? Become a lawyer specialising in leaky buildings. The way I see it there’s at least 30 years worth of work ahead of you, care of the LBP scheme.

          • KJT 2.3.2.7.1

            The first thing Architects do, just like Lawyers and Accountants is make their customer sign a piece of paper saying they will not hold the said Architect, Lawyer or Accountant responsible for their “advice”. Which, to me, makes a mockery of their claim to be professionals.

            Every plan I have received from an Architect says “the Builder” is responsible for checking all measurements, ground conditions and standard of work comply with the applicable codes, regulations, good practice and standards”. or something to the same effect.

        • rosy 2.3.2.8

          My personal list of entities to blame in order:

          and 6. Companies structured to go bankrupt after a development is completed only to start-up with a (usually) similar-sounding name for another development. Although the new company has the same owners it has no liabilities for the previous development.

          • KJT 2.3.2.8.1

            Like the guy who took the Christchurch city council to court to be able to develop dodgy land in Christchurch.
            Now in Australia while we are all paying too fix the houses on that land.

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      Ah… the politics of envy.

      No my friend, you are playing the politics of envy and greed.

    • KJT 2.5

      The rich who are so envious of the little they have left us, they want to grab that too.

  3. It is a Crosby Textor instruction, if in a tight corner link issues to either crime or welfare bludgers.
     
    Melissa Lee failed during the Mt Albert by election when she tried to link crime to the construction of a motorway.
     
    It is also instruction 5 of Fox News’ 14 propaganda techniques used to brainwash Americans.
     
    To quote:
     
    5. Scapegoating/Othering. This works best when people feel insecure or scared. It’s technically a form of both fear mongering and diversion, but it is so pervasive that it deserves its own category. The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.”
     

    • Gosman 3.1

      Why do you do tend to do this mickeysavage?

      You try and claim that many of the views expressed that are not in agreement with the leftist attack line put forward here is actually inspired by some instruction from the Crosby Textor PR agency.

      You seem like a smart enough guy, well I know you are a lawyer so aren’t completely stupid. So how come you keep bringing up this fantasy about how opposing views to yours are being fed by a shady third party organisation?

      • felix 3.1.1

        Simple observation, Gos.

        If you know how CT operate then you know their handiwork when you see it.

        On a related note, no-one cares whether you think the sky is blue or not.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Amazing that you feel you can answer a question directed to someone else there felix.

          Have you got some sort of leftist mind meld going on with mickeysavage?

          • travellerev 3.1.1.1.1

            God, your such an annoying little cowboy hat boy. Why don’t you go back to your little debating club to practice some more debating “tricks”.

            You are so about nothing it’s debilitating.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Why don’t you go back to spreading your little conspiracy theories around the web travellerev? You know like how the rulers of the earth are actually reptillian aliens or that the moon landing was faked by Elvis.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.2

              You are so about nothing it’s debilitating.

              Hah, I like that. And it perfectly describes Gosman as well. He comes in here, makes a lot of noise but says bugger all.

          • felix 3.1.1.1.2

            Weirdly, I don’t think of these threads as q+a sessions moderated by you, Gos.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.3

            Gman re felix

            Have you got some sort of leftist mind meld going on with mickeysavage?

            Aye, we are twins. Our mother was abducted by aliens and impregnated and ever since then we have this weird mind reading stuff that happens.

            I still can’t get him to even vote Labour though …

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        Gos
         
        When I look at Key’s comment above and Melissa Lee’s South Auckland criminal comment (for instance) the only logical explanation is that there is an understanding that when in a tight corner they bring up crime or beneficiaries.

        They are not stupid people.  It does appear to be a pattern rather than some random brain explosion.
         
         

        • Gosman 3.1.2.1

          Melissa Lee wasn’t put in a tight corner when she spouted that nonsense. She was just being plain idiotic.

          If you actually think that is some kind of Crosby Textor inspired plan to deflect attention then I’d suggest anyone who uses it should request their money back from them.

          • mickysavage 3.1.2.1.1

            Gos

            Melissa Lee wasn’t put in a tight corner when she spouted that nonsense. She was just being plain idiotic.

            That might be the reason but is she that stupid?

            I thought her brain must have been working like this at the time …

            “Remember talk about crime, remember talk about crime, remember talk about crime as much as possible and blame Helen.”

            Then she was asked a question about the motorway and she started off with a crime angle that was, well, weird.

            This is the only rational explanation for it, unless you are right and she is idiotic.

            But don’t you think Key’s comments are about as sensible as Melissa Lee’s were?

  4. Blue 4

    Phew. For a moment there I actually thought a Kiwi journalist had asked John Key a hard question.

    I’m relieved to find it was actually asked by a non-journo and that the msm completely buried Key’s idiotic response where it will never be found.

  5. Optimus Prime 5

    Iprent,

    Sad to hear of the pain you have gone through with your apartment – an all too familiar story unfortunately.
    I would be interested in your thoughts on the role of the local bodies in all of this because it appears they got off scot free when it came to the apportioning of blame.
    A builder whom i was acquainted with some years ago warned me off a new development near me owing to what he described as poor design, substandard materials and most daming, building inspectors who were turning a blind eye.
    This turned out to be the ground zero leaky home development in East Auckland.
    The councils have a huge culpability in all of this mess and they know it.

    • lprent 5.1

      The council didn’t get off lightly with us. That was because their inspectors did the inspection and therefore they were directly liable.

      The real problem happened where the building inspection was done by private building inspectors that were let into the market by some of the most stupid privatization legislation that the National government did in the early 90’s. They were not forced to also carry anything like the levels of liability insurance that they should have had – mostly I suspect because it would have made them noncompetitive against council building inspectors.

      The free market is usually inefficient when it comes to services that require long-term support. Buildings are typically certified for 80 years and that is long-term support.

      • mik e 5.1.1

        under our laws their only guaranteed for 10yrs hence National are only paying out for houses less than 10yrs old

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Yes. After that it gets more difficult (not impossible though, just the standard of proof goes up a lot). It isn’t a guarantee either.

          We found our rot in 2004 or 2005 (some rather large fungi growing out of a balcony). The place had been built in 1997-8. We laid the complaints in 2005 after we’d had some engineering work done.

          So we were well into the decade.

          But the certification of the building inspector is typically that the building should remain ok for 80 years. It on the nice wee docket we have to display.

    • gareth 5.2

      There is a retirement village i’m familiar with that’s getting repaired now. The flaws in the buildings are blatant, They are Mediterranean style single story dwellings with flat roofs and internal gutterings completely unsuitable for a wet environment surrounded by deciduous trees. In winter some of the roofs had 200mm of water sitting on them. This eventually forced it’s way in through the water proof coatings. Also the floor was at the same height as the surrounding wet ground so water came in through the slab and traveled up the masonry exterior. (i’m sure that you’ve always needed 300mm? clearance from top of slab to ground) This is something that architects still aren’t picking up in large commercial developments Im involved with where they draw garden against the building.
      There are patios which are same as floor height so wind driven rain would force it’s way in under the ranch sliders.

      How a design like this, built the way it was, where its situated could ever get either planning approval or sign off if is beyond a joke.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Architects should never let any of those drawings even leave their offices.

        Since the Ministry of Works stopped training up young architects, the level of professionalism and competence seems to have slid and slid.

  6. Have to remind you people again that Key can get away with this because it IS THE REALITY.
    He redefines the reality via the media which is that the country is being dragged down not by big business scams to boost profits (leaky houses) but by the underclass (breeding for profit).

    Its a classic neofascist demonisation of the poor, Maori, women and youth, to justify eugenics and workfare and divide the working class to prevent resistance to his banksters agenda. The dogwhistles over Mana, attacks on basic rights over RWC, ChCh, etc are designed to rally the neofascist white racist, sexist elements and empower the police to smash any worker resistance that does arise.

    To cap it off Key is presenting India as the neoliberal posterboy of the modern world to prove that the NACTs are leading the world to the promised land where the 100s of millions of untouchables can be saved like his ‘underclass’ by free trade.

    All this means another managed election all circus and no bread. Do you think a guy who has speech writers, the MSM, and ruthless advisers like Lord Aschroft etc on tap doesnt say what he means?

    All this stuff about him being an idiot, vacant smile etc is delusional. The smiling assassin is much more accurate. Behind the smiles is the mounting body count of his class destructive policies. The left are idiots if they can’t see they are being comprehensively screwed.

    • mik e 6.1

      yeah Key takes all the photo ops from bollywood but back here in NZ everybody associated with bolly wood hasn,t been paid typical.just smile and wave.

  7. vto 7

    I listen intently to John Key whenever I can to try and gauge what he is actually like (does he have a strong intellect? is he well versed in society’s issues? Can he pronounce his words ploply? does he answer the question and is he good at it? Even, is he good at being a politician and diverting the interviewer?)

    The view I have come to is that he is good at only one area and that is the world of money money money. When he talks money you see his eyes light up, his sentences flow thick and fast, and he clearly does know all things money.

    But that is it. He flounders on every other subject. I see no strong intellect. No appreciation of wider society. No detailed understanding of ANY other subject.

    He is a one-hit wonder. This post confirms that again.

    I see the same in various people in our own world from time to time. They don’t talk business or work or society, they talk about the money involved in each and every subject. So shallow and such a waste of space. And potentially frighteningly damaging if in control of the wrong levers..

    • Gosman 7.1

      Yet he is one of the most popular Prime Ministers of modern time. That must rip your leftist undies.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        No, not really. Asbestos, DDT and thalidomide were all popular products in their time too. History will judge John Key similarly, especially if he gets a second term and sells off our power companies.

      • felix 7.1.2

        Hear that, v? You’re a leftist lol!

      • lprent 7.1.3

        Umm.. I think that vto isn’t exactly ‘leftist’. Before the last election he sounded like an old testament prophet against the tyranny of Labour….

        He is definitely more of the centrist plague on all of your houses right now – that is what National gets for the ECan debarcle.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.4

        Yet he is one of the most popular Prime Ministers of modern time. That must rip your leftist undies.

        And Justin Bieber is one of the most popular teen idols of modern time.

        Your point?

        • Ianupnorth 7.1.4.1

          The sad thing is that in 10 years Justin Bieber will be on a reality show about how he was a teen idol – maybe dancing on ice…. in 10 years we will still be fixing the issues created by this current shower of shit government.

      • vto 7.1.5

        lol.

        lprent has it – a plague on all them houses. I guess I’m just reactionary with no guiding principles or morals. But in actual fact that aint the case at all – some left and some right will do just fine. It’s various politicians and their antics that wind me up. And Key and his antics are just that.

    • felix 7.2

      Yeah I’ve noticed that too, v.

      He’ll be going through the motions, blank stare, dead eyes, mumble the lines, yada yada, thinking of Waikiki Beach…

      …and then the subject of hedge funds or margin trading comes up and the little wooden boy springs into life!

      All of a sudden he’s animated, gesticulating, eyes afire and speaking comfortably.

      It’s like he… becomes… …

      …himself.

      • bbfloyd 7.2.1

        it’s not just when he talks about money that key lights up… have you noticed him wax lyrical whenever he talks about his clothes? watched a bit of an interview of him while he was in the uk for williams wedding.. he mumbled on, dropping the names of the french politicions he had managed to buttonhole, but when the subject of the suit he wore to the wedding, he lit up and got very animated and excited…

        does anyone here remember j edgar hoover?

        • Gosman 7.2.1.1

          Sad, so sad.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.1.2

          “but when the subject of the suit he wore to the wedding, he lit up and got very animated and excited…”

          That’s only because it was the “greenstone wash” that everyone kept crapping on about like it was the second coming of christ. It was the first suit to be made from the new material and was clearly kiwi made. No doubt Key wanted to repeat the women’s mag lines to promote how in-touch he is with the common man by buying a $6000 NZ made suit.

        • uke 7.2.1.3

          “…does anyone here remember j edgar hoover?”
           
          Excuse me, are you suggesting that JK is a closet cross-dresser?

          • travellerev 7.2.1.3.1

            Well… He does love his yearly outings to the gay pride thingy doesn’t he dancing between a couple of raging queens? (no offence to the queens, some queens are my best friends, raging or otherwise)

    • VTO what’s your point. That he’s a money man so a shallow individual? OK then what?
      He’s frontman for NACTs who are getting away with murder. ‘One hit man’? Its a pretty big hit.
      This focus on Key as an individual may as well be a rightwing bait and switch attack line. Hate the bait and swallow the shit that if Key is exposed as a weak personality, somehow the whole international finance class is defeated? Delusional!

      Worth a read tho what it really says is that the NACTs now ‘own’ the debate as ‘national’ so Key can appear as ‘non-ideological’.
      http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2011/07/nz-politics-daily-4-july.html

      • vto 7.3.1

        Mr brown, I saw your comment just after I posted mine. What you say makes sense and is another highly relevant issue to Key and his terribleness.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    The silver lining of the earthquakes is that a lot of leaky buildings will be demolished and paid for via EQC or insurance, whereas they’d normally not be covered for structural water damage by insurance policies.

    I guess the dark cloud on the horizon is that the massive rebuild may be done shoddily on the cheap and just produce a 2nd wave of leaky buildings.

  9. Once again I would like to regale you with a quote of one of the great political lecturers of our time Michael Parenti:

    “They’re not stupid.  You’re stupid if you think they’re stupid.  You’re stupid if you think your enemies are stupid.  All of North America is full of liberal intellectuals who love to say how stupid their leaders are.  In the U.S. I can tell you, everybody is making jokes about how stupid George Bush is.  I tell my fellow country men and women, I say, you know, we keep electing these stupid leaders, does this have any reflection on our intelligence?”  [...] “You hear this all the time… ladies and gentleman, it’s time we give less emphasis to how stupid these people supposedly are, and give more attention to how vicious and relentless and uncompromising they are.”

    You can watch the full talk here.
    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Jonkey is an idiot. His handlers aren’t, but he is. Unfortunately, nobody sees the handlers.

      • MrSmith 9.1.1

        Draco: off subject, but was just wondering if you chopper crashed in a lake? or you have retired by the lake? or an impostor, a (Greenie) has stolen you identity ? 

  10. randal 10

    skip the minutaie and get down to the real issue. leaky homes occurred when the National in its infinite wisdom allowed the building industry to self regulate.
    now they dont want to pay for the unregulated misery their stupidity occasioned after they caused it.

    • jackal 10.1

      A similar thing is happening with the mining deregulation that may have contributed to the Pike River disaster. National comes in and deregulates, their mates make a shitload of money, something goes wrong and the public is expected to pay for it. Previous privatization is another case in point.

      Most people can see John Key is a complete idiot, and therefore I think the polling is bullshit! Just look at National’s complete failing in handling the Christchurch Earthquake situation. They are clearly a bunch of bumbling fools! I would hate to think what would happen in the event of a war or something similar that requires real leadership. We’d be fucked with John Key running the show.

      • Reality Bytes 10.1.1

        I would vote for any party – that as their primary policy would promise to establish a facility whereby citizens could initiate a vote of no confidence at any time if numbers were sufficient, and trigger a COST EFFECTIVE early election/referendum/by-election, this SHOULD be incredibly easy to do. There is no barrier but lack of willpower.

        Be it Greens, Act, Winston’s party, Labour, the Nats, even Dunne (shudder). Any party with the guts to push for this tooth and nail as their primary policy will definitely get my vote.

      • Reality Bytes 10.1.2

        I would vote for any party – that as their primary policy would promise to establish a facility whereby citizens could initiate a vote of no confidence at any time if numbers were sufficient, and trigger a COST EFFECTIVE early election/referendum/by-election, this SHOULD be incredibly easy to do (Cough cough, Internet, unique identification technologies like passports/ird numbers/drivers lic/credit cards etc etc). There is no barrier but lack of willpower.

        Be it Greens, Act, Winston’s party, Labour, the Nats, even Dunne (shudder). Any party with the guts to push for this tooth and nail as their primary policy will definitely get my vote.

  11. just saying 11

    More expensive minutaie Key says he is unaware of: The gender pay gap. Though it’s probably more like doesn’t care and/or doesn’t care to talk about it. After all he can’t have been unaware of the furore over his friend, Tampon-Man recently, in regard to this very subject.

    From the Pm (and co) press conference yesterday: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1107/S00024/pm-infrastructure-pike-river-dunno-about-pay-equity.htm

    Quote: “The Human Rights Commission’s proposed pay equity bill, which Mr Key had not seen. Nor was he aware whether there was a gender pay gap”.

    • ianmac 11.1

      Good question today for the PM: Question 1:
      “CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement about equal pay for women: “The law at the moment actually provides quite clearly that it’s against the law to discriminate on the basis of gender”?”

  12. freedom 12

    there seems to be a definite disparity between the historical responsibilities of being a Nation’s Leader and the present Smile and Wave marathon. Do you want a glimpse of just how NOT seriously people take the current Prime Minister of NZ?

    this is a comment i just copied off a faceBook page discussing Paul Henry’s return to broadcasting

    ” i Love Paul Henry’s attitude to live and the world itself. Pippa shes so sweet and funny and stylish. I wouldnt mine him and PRime minister having radio talk show that would be interesting!l be funny.”

    i find this attitude more than a little disturbing

  13. MrSmith 13

    The problem comes down to 2 simple things.
     
    1) Good Regulations and accountability.
     
    2) and strong enforcement of those regulations. (fines and jail time for people, directors, executives, not just the companies and corporations they can pay compensation)
     
    Blaming the builders, supply companies, architects, engineers or even the councils is just a cope out, if it’s not against the law, people will sell there morality very quickly for a few dollars (I should Know). This is a great example of a market supplying the lowest price! but the lowest price normally ends up being a “piece of shit”.
     
    So I here the Right’os saying ‘people should be able to make up there own mind’, well unfortunately a lot of people, haven’t enough education, or just trusted the professionals, but most just look for the lowest price “Piece of shit”, thats suits the Right’os as they just want to sell the suckers (us) more worthless shit, and on it goes.
     

    • Huginn 13.1

      ‘The problem comes down to 2 simple things.

      1) Good Regulations and accountability.

      2) and strong enforcement of those regulations. (fines and jail time for people, directors, executives, not just the companies and corporations they can pay compensation)’

      You’ve put your finger on it there.And it’s a pattern that’s going to be repeated because neo-liberals either don’t understand what government does or are actively hostile towards the function of government.

      Here are two other examples of disasters resulting from the relaxation of regulation and the neutering of inspectorates, often in the name of ‘cutting back red tape and bureaucracy’.

      The Slump Goes On: Why?
      Paul Krugman and Robin Wells
      New York Review of Books
      Sept 30, 2010
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/slump-goes-why/

      Editorial Comment The shameful state of UK care homesFinancial engineering claims another victim: care homes
      FT INVESTIGATION: UK CARE HOMES
      Published: May 30 2011 15:39 | Last updated: May 30 2011 15:39

      This article can be found at:
      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/920fcd2c-8aca-11e0-b2f1-00144feab49a,_i_email=y.html

  14. gareth 14

    Thinking about it, the next generation of shoddy buildings have already been produced under the auspices of ‘green star’ certification. The materials required to meet the criteria for a 5 star building are not up to NZ conditions. The tradies at the two greenstar builds I have been involved with swore black and blue that there would be major problems especially with adhesives, paints and some sealants as they weren’t rated to cope with nz temperature ranges as they were designed for centrally heated climate controlled constant temperature buildings in Europe. Coatings that wouldn’t stand the type of wear they were going to experience etc.

    These products were used anyway as the single most important thing was to achieve that 5 star rating.

    • MrSmith 14.1

      Yes Gareth, the show goes on, the Blue Greens have arrived with bucket loads of Green wash to sell there rubbish.

  15. Least we forget it was Nick Smith who signed off on the new building rules that lead to leaky homes.
    Is he planing to do the same to ACC as he did for NZ home owners?
    Oh and “Peak oil is a load of crap” http://www.youtube.com/user/oilcrash1#p/u/55/KIMiKUxCY4U

    • vto 15.1

      Don’t know, but he is with regard to water in Canterbury and wider dry parts South Island.

      I guess leaky homes, Pike River, etc will have Canterbury water added in a few years. Great news.

  16. Drakula 16

    The leaky homes was and still is a nasty business but from what I gather the ultimate blame should be on the last National Government who de-regulated the building industry. What has it lead to?

    A Pandora’s box of blame the suppliers blame the architects who blame the builders who blame the owners and on and on.

    I can see a repitition of this in Christchurch it took me all morning to locate plumbers supplies a few suppliers were damaged in the quake and the place that could locate were charging nearly $50.00 for a ball-cock valve for my header tank!!!! This is after my retired plumber friend told me they were only $20.00!!!!!

    Is one company taking advantage of other companies being struck out? and upping the price?
    Isn’t this the sort of thing that the government claims CERA should address?

  17. Jenny 17

    .
    The only reason that Key doesn’t concern himself with the “minutiae” of the Leaky Homes Crisis. Is that it is not a Leaky Mansions Crisis. If it was, I am sure he would be all over it.

  18. jaymam 18

    There’s a leaky homes doco in TV1 right this moment.
    I can’t believe what I am hearing.
    Treated timber framing is NOT the answer. Old houses in NZ have untreated timber that is not rotting.
    I just heard that silcone sealant was approved to bog up the joints. Anyone with a brain would know that will never last.

  19. Martin 19

    Had a Herald letter that didn’t make it, bit scattered probably trying to make too many points- main one being the amazement that incredible failures of policy don’t actually seem to be linked to the Nats in the public’s mind and the media don’t seem to remind them:

    Dear Sir,

    Recent National governments have made a habit of rushed, ill-considered policy which benefits companies ahead of all New Zealanders or is short term political marketing.

    The Finance Minister described the prison system as a “fiscal and moral failure”. It is a failure of National’s policy as well.

    In the rush to mine Schedule 4 land would the Government have allowed safety standards “illegal” in Australia? Are we risking US oil spill off the East Coast?

    There are taxpayers, ratepayers and homeowners who still liable for and still living in leaky homes who wish more care had been taken.

    Legitimate and well-researched opposition is too readily dismissed with scorn by those in this cabinet or through the overuse of urgency simply not allowed to be considered.

    The swift decisions to change the law first for Warner Brothers and then as part of a deal with casino owners Sky City are worrying.

    If the Sky City concession turns out to be a moral, fiscal and social failure causing disruption to families and a spike in problem gambling will the current Prime Minister admit his failure? Or will he have retired in style, leaving those relying on Kiwisaver or the Government pension and their children to count the cost?

    Sincerely,

    Martin

  20. Frank Macskasy 20

    So much for de-regulation.

    De-regulating the building industry in 1991 has left us with a multi-billion dollar mess.

    It is bizarre that, after Rogernomics, we ended up with a dumbed-down buildimng industry. We can’t even build decent housing now?

    And of course,. pointing this out to the Nats on Trademe messageboard evokes the same old answer: it is someone elses’ fault.

    Gotta love the New Right. They are very big on Personal Responsibility – except when they themselves f**k up big time.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      It is bizarre that, after Rogernomics, we ended up with a dumbed-down buildimng industry. We can’t even build decent housing now?

      A lot of our A-Team in terms of experienced managers, public policy specialists, trades people, entrepreneurs, IT people, professionals, and plain old hard workers have simply left this country.

      The dregs of the B Team and the wannabe C Team seem to be in charge of this country now.

      A country full of inward looking planners and self interested individualistic players with extremely reduced capacity and capability to execute.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.2

      We can’t even build decent housing now?

      Could we ever?
      NZ housing is cold and draughty which is something we need to fix. Obviously, leaving it to the “free-market” is only going to make things worse.

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    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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