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$22 Billion minutiae

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

131 comments on “$22 Billion minutiae”

  1. tc 1

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

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

    • felix 1.1

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

      Isn’t that enough?

      What more do you want in a PM?

      • stever 1.1.1

        Thanks, felix.

        That comment

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

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

      • Blighty 1.1.2

        classic simpsons

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

      • higherstandard 1.1.3

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

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

  2. Chris 2

    Ah… the politics of envy.

    • felix 2.1

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

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

    • Blighty 2.2

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

    • lprent 2.3

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

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

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

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

      • Battleheed 2.3.1

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

        • Chris 2.3.1.1

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

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

          • framu 2.3.1.1.1

            my memory might not be correct here but…

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

            Thats why they shoulder some of the blame

          • Drakula 2.3.1.1.2

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

        • lprent 2.3.1.2

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

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

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

          • Chris 2.3.1.2.1

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

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

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.2.1.1

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

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

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

              • Chris

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

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

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

                • KJT

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

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

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

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

                  Architects and project managers should have though.

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

                  Even some very conscientious builders were caught out.

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

                • sdm

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

      • mickysavage 2.3.2

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

        • vto 2.3.2.1

          nutshell micky. spot on.

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

        • lprent 2.3.2.2

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

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

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

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

          • grumpy 2.3.2.2.1

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

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.2.1.1

              the allowing of untreated timber.

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

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

            • lprent 2.3.2.2.1.2

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

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

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

              • gareth

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

                Perfect storm really.

                • lprent

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

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

                  • gareth

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

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

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

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

            • mik e 2.3.2.2.1.3

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

        • peter 2.3.2.3

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

        • KJT 2.3.2.4

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

          The engineers who allowed untreated framing.

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

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

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

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

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

        • uke 2.3.2.5

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

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.5.1

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

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

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

            • uke 2.3.2.5.1.1

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

              • felix

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

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

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

                • uke

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

                • KJT

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  • felix

                    That all squares with my observations too.

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

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

                    • KJT

                      Yes. Qualifications just give a baseline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • felix

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

                  • rosy

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

                    • KJT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • rosy

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

        • davidc 2.3.2.6

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

          • grumpy 2.3.2.6.1

            Pure gold!!!!

          • Puddleglum 2.3.2.6.2

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

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.6.3

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

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

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

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

        • Tel 2.3.2.7

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

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

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

          • KJT 2.3.2.7.1

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

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

        • rosy 2.3.2.8

          My personal list of entities to blame in order:

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

          • KJT 2.3.2.8.1

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

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      Ah… the politics of envy.

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

    • KJT 2.5

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

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

    • Gosman 3.1

      Why do you do tend to do this mickeysavage?

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

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

      • felix 3.1.1

        Simple observation, Gos.

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

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

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

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

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

          • travellerev 3.1.1.1.1

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

            You are so about nothing it’s debilitating.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.1

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

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.2

              You are so about nothing it’s debilitating.

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

          • felix 3.1.1.1.2

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

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.3

            Gman re felix

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

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

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

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

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

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

        • Gosman 3.1.2.1

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

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

          • mickysavage 3.1.2.1.1

            Gos

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

            That might be the reason but is she that stupid?

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

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

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

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

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

  4. Blue 4

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

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

  5. Optimus Prime 5

    Iprent,

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

    • lprent 5.1

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

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

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

      • mik e 5.1.1

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

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

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

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

          So we were well into the decade.

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

    • gareth 5.2

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • mik e 6.1

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

  7. vto 7

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

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

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

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

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

    • Gosman 7.1

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

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

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

      • felix 7.1.2

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

      • lprent 7.1.3

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.4

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

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

        Your point?

        • Ianupnorth 7.1.4.1

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

      • vto 7.1.5

        lol.

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

    • felix 7.2

      Yeah I’ve noticed that too, v.

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

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

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

      It’s like he… becomes… …

      …himself.

      • bbfloyd 7.2.1

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

        does anyone here remember j edgar hoover?

        • Gosman 7.2.1.1

          Sad, so sad.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.1.2

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

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

        • uke 7.2.1.3

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

          • travellerev 7.2.1.3.1

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

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

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

      • vto 7.3.1

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

  8. Lanthanide 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • MrSmith 9.1.1

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

  10. randal 10

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

    • jackal 10.1

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

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

      • Reality Bytes 10.1.1

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

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

      • Reality Bytes 10.1.2

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

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

  11. just saying 11

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

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

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

    • ianmac 11.1

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

  12. freedom 12

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

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

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

    i find this attitude more than a little disturbing

  13. MrSmith 13

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

    • Huginn 13.1

      ‘The problem comes down to 2 simple things.

      1) Good Regulations and accountability.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  14. gareth 14

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

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

    • MrSmith 14.1

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

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

    • vto 15.1

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

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

  16. Drakula 16

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

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

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

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

  17. Jenny 17

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

  18. jaymam 18

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

  19. Martin 19

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

    Dear Sir,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sincerely,

    Martin

  20. Frank Macskasy 20

    So much for de-regulation.

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

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

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

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

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 20.2

      We can’t even build decent housing now?

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

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  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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