web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

$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.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Thanks for your support
    So we’re a couple of days on from Saturday night’s results. I’ve had a bit of sleep, which has helped, but I’m still experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. As the person in our Caucus with overall responsibility for planning...
    frogblog | 23-09
  • Death by a thousand cuts for Cunliffe
    When Stuart Nash called for David Cunliffe to immediately face a confidence vote in caucus, he was inadvertently playing into Cunliffe’s hands. Cunliffe knows when a confidence vote is held, he’ll lose. He has no hope of getting 60% plus...
    Occasionally erudite | 23-09
  • The Election That Left One Third of Us Behind
    No one should begrudge John Key and the National party the right to celebrate an impressive election victory. It is little consolation to those who opposed them that the win is very much a personal triumph for the Prime Minister...
    Bryan Gould | 23-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #31: The City Centre is a Local Centre Too
    31: The City Centre is a Local Centre Too What if the city centre had local shops like other dense places? Day 31 continues a series looking at things missing from the city centre; in this case thinking about local...
    Transport Blog | 23-09
  • Women’s Representation and that radical notion of equality
    The provisional election results and gender representation are: National: 27.8% women Labour: 37.5% Green: 53.8% (hopefully down to 50% on specials) NZ First: 18.8% Māori: 50% And obviously Act and United Future bring in two men. This all adds up...
    frogblog | 23-09
  • Doubting the election result
    You might have noticed or even signed a petition to get the 2014 election recounted. To date, 8,586 people have put their names to this petition, which in terms of political activism in New Zealand is quite a lot.The people...
    The Jackal | 23-09
  • *That* Herald story on polls
    I have just submitted a formal complaint to the New Zealand Herald about its reporting of its last preselection poll on 19 September. Here is what I said: COMPLAINT - NOT FOR PUBLICATION Dear Editor, I write to complain about...
    Polity | 23-09
  • ACT are rorters
    ACT, the party "standing on your own two feet" and opposing rorts is to be offered a Ministerial role explicitly to give it more resources for party business:The Prime Minister was today is talking up the possibility of making the...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Give Away!
    Film distributors Madman Entertainment have kindly sent us four DVDs of the BBC documentary on the London Underground: The Underground: Narrated by Julian Barrett of Mighty Boosh fame, each of the six episodes is an incredibly in-depth and unblinking look...
    Transport Blog | 23-09
  • The problem with Labour
    And as night follows day, post-election we have another toxic round of Labour bloodletting. Obviously there needs to be accountability in the wake of an electoral thrashing, and a leadership vote is part of that. But there are good ways...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Rebecca Mclean – Hero of the Week
    I sometimes wonder about my fellow New Zealanders and why they would support political parties that seem determined to increase the wealth divide between rich and poor. How could they possibly not care about impoverishment, and instead appear to only...
    The Jackal | 23-09
  • “Something Hugely Dramatic”: The 2014 General Election
    Three In A Row! Defying political gravity, Prime Minister John Key wins a third term with a higher percentage of the votes cast than he received in 2008 and 2011. In the words of Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury, National now enjoys...
    Bowalley Road | 22-09
  • “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”
    This is just a quick note about an event on tomorrow night. Our good friend Dr Sudhvir Singh from Generation Zero is speaking at the Sir John Logan Campbell Annual Lecture on “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”. Details are...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • What Labour forgot: You’ve got to earn it
    Labour MPs travelling to Wellington today for their first post-election caucus will have their heads crammed full of theories, accusations and advice from all and sundry. But here's the message for them to keep front and centre whichever direction they...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Key’s victory no mandate for dirty energy
    “What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in" -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.” – Howard Zinn.The opportunity to create genuine transformation in society often...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-09
  • Time for a Bluegreen Party
    Congratulations to the National Party. To increase your majority in your third term indicates solidly, reflects public confidence in the leadership team and an endorsement that one’s policies are more attuned to the preferences of voters than those offered up...
    Gareth’s World | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Where to now for transport in Auckland?
    In some respects Saturday night’s election result changes nothing from a transport perspective. It seems as though the government that will be formed over the next three years will be remarkably similar to that we’ve had for the past three...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The strategic dimension to a third term
    Government is always a balancing act. For this term the balance is between an urge in the National party for business-friendly action and staying in touch with the wider public. It doesn’t matter for that balancing act whether National keeps...
    Colin James | 22-09
  • Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To 20th Sep 2014
    Article – Scoop Insights The following five press releases were the top performing press releases (by NZ page view numbers) according to Google Analytics on Scoop for the seven days to 20th September 2014.Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To...
    Its our future | 22-09
  • The rebuild
    Morgan Godfery has described his sense of alienation in the days preceding last Saturday’s election – when poll after poll painted an ever-more-accurate picture of the scale of National’s eventual victory – as being akin to ‘a full-scale culture shock’....
    Bat bean beam | 22-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the troubled aftermath of Scotland’s vote
    Column – Gordon Campbell A week can be a very long time in Scotland’s 300 year struggle for independence. The “ No” vote last week that seemed to end the cause of Scottish independence for a generation, has turned out...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-09
  • Deranged
    Saturday's result was a shock for the left. And for some, it was apparently so shocking that it can only have been the result of fraud. So they're petitioning the head of the Electoral Commission for a recount. Naturally, they...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • The Wall Street Journal downplays global warming risks once again
    As has become the norm for media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, just before a half million people participated in the People’s Climate March around the world, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece downplaying the risks and threats...
    Skeptical Science | 22-09
  • Kiwis concerned about the TPPA: Day of Action
    Saturday.November 8 . 1.00 pmAuckland ~> Aotea Square Facebook EventHamilton ~> Garden PlaceFacebook EventWellington ~> The Bucket Fountain Facebook EventChristchurch ~> tbc Facebook EventTimaru ~> Bay Hill Piazza Facebook Event...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 22-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #30 Small is Beautiful
    30: Small is Beautiful What if we decided small can be beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder sees beauty through the lens of what they hold dear. When it comes to lifestyle beauty relates...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate chan...
    Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced...
    Hot Topic | 22-09
  • Some acting experience an advantage but not required.
    If David Cunliffe were an actor, his preferred acting style might best be described as Shakespearean – declamatory, expansive, grand in tone and gesture, rich in soliloquy. It is a style suited to the stage but unfortunately totally unsuited to...
    Brian Edwards | 22-09
  • Labour and Greens voters are more alike than different
    Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever, to discuss the National-Labour divide without mentioning the Greens is almost pointless. (I’ll...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • The truth about our ‘rockstar economy’
    There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early. He told us it was because there were various international gatherings that the prime minister had to attend. But...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Post-election blues
    Frank Macskasy has written an interesting piece on the Daily Blog about things Labour needs to take away from this election.Some people picked him up on his claim that National has not increased its vote over 2011, pointing out that the special...
    Te Whare Whero | 22-09
  • The minor parties – some thoughts & questions
    The Greens They ran a blinder of a campaign. Their polling numbers were looking great, as they closed on 15% in some polls. Then they got just 10.02% on the night (although their vote share is likely to rise by...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • The threshold has to go
    Another election, and once again we've been reminded of the unfairness the two major parties built into MMP in an effort to stack it for themselves and prevent competition. ACT got 14,510 votes and one seat in Parliament, while the...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • Was Scotland’s referendum rigged?
    Things haven't gone well in Scotland after their historic referendum to choose whether they became independent from Britain or not.As it turns out, an apparent majority of 55.3% chose to stay with mother England.However, there has been a growing disquiet...
    The Jackal | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now
    People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a...
    Public Address | 22-09
  • New Fisk
    John Kerry’s rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives
    Amongst the post-election entrail reading, I've seen a couple of people suggest that one of the reasons labour lost was due to a lack of tactical voting by Greens. If only Green supporters had held their nose and voted tactically...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • On a wave of mutilation : where to now for Labour?
    2014 was a disaster. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaster has now been surpassed. The party will be beginning (another) process of determining what went wrong, and what can be done to fix things. I hope they don’t throw all of...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • O’Connell St officially opened, time to close it again?
    On Friday evening the new O’Connell St shared space was officially opened. The street is by far the best shared space created in Auckland to date thanks in large part to the historic buildings in the area which feel like they’ve been...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The issues that matter
    I'm not bitter and twisted. No, really, I'm not. Much....
    Imperator Fish | 22-09
  • Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
    In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Where to from here for National?
    If John Key wants to have a stab at a fourth term as Prime Minister, there’ll be no one in the party to stop him. He’s weathered the Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth storms, and come out the other...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing governm...
    Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little...
    Hot Topic | 21-09
  • Semi-diamonds in the very rough
    In the midst of the Labour soul-searching (which may be ongoing for some time) I want to give some praise for three especially good Labour performers in the election: The first is Stuart Nash. Stuart has worked his butt off...
    Polity | 21-09
  • A failure to properly report on Climate Change
    I'm not sure if you've noticed the mainstream media, after a grueling 2014 general election, are too engrossed with their continued promotion of brand Key to bother properly reporting on matters of more importance like Climate Change events.While the international...
    The Jackal | 21-09
  • Maritimes magazine Spring 2014 edition online now
    The latest news and views for maritime workers...
    MUNZ | 21-09
  • The deconstruction – what went down
    So, in the end it wasn’t even close. Unless the special votes are dramatically out of kilter with the votes counted on election night, National has the numbers to govern alone. The worse-case scenario now for National is that they...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Reward offered in latest seal shooting
    It is with shock and dismay that our organization learns of the latest shooting of a New Zealand fur seal, this one on Stewart Island. This is the third such crime to reach our attentions since May this year and...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Taxpayers Forgotten in Ministerial Horse-Trading
    Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments reported on Radio New Zealand , that he is considering giving Act MP David Seymour a ministerial role because “When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
Public service advertisements by The Standard