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A $3 billion loan for Transmission Gully

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, December 10th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Transmission Gully is meant to cost about a billion dollars to deliver about half that in benefits, right? Well, thanks to the magic of Public Private Partnerships, National’s managed to triple that cost! If they manage to get the contract signed before the next election, they’ll lock us into annual payments of $120-$130m – totaling $3 billion over 25 years.

In this fascinating exchange with Julie Anne Genter, Bill English admits that PPPs are just expense forms of borrowing that have to be recorded as such in the Crown’s books. He hasn’t bothered to multiply NZTA’s estimate of the annual cost by 25 to work out the total, but Genter has:

8. JULIE ANNE GENTER (Green) to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that “there is no suggestion of the Government borrowing billions of dollars for motorways”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : Yes, I stand by my full statement, which was: “There is no suggestion of the Government borrowing millions of dollars for motorways. The motorway investment is largely funded … from the dedicated road-user charges and excise tax that go into the road-user fund.” Between 2009 and 2012 the National Land Transport Fund spent around $4.8 billion on State highways and around $1.9 billion on its share of spending on local roads. Over the same period fuel excise duties and road-user charges raised around $7.5 billion.

Julie Anne Genter: How does he reconcile that answer with this letter addressed to the Minister of Finance from the New Zealand Transport Agency, dated 2 October 2012, which states that the planned public-private partnership will “allow the NZTA to borrow”— that is, enter into a long-term repayment obligation—“for the Transmission Gully project”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: That is the nature of the public-private partnership financing method, but all the cost of that financing comes from the National Land Transport Fund, funded by the users of the roads through road-user charges. We do not go to the bond market to raise that money, but we do account for it as if it is debt of the Government.

Julie Anne Genter: What is the total projected cost of the loan that the Government will be taking out for the Transmission Gully public-private partnership?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I do not have that detail here.

Julie Anne Genter: I would like to table this calculation done by the Parliamentary Library that shows that the payments would total $3 billion over the life of the public-private partnership.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Julie Anne Genter: Why is his Government planning to borrow $3 billion for Transmission Gully, when the New Zealand Transport Agency’s own reports shows the project will increase congestion south of Levin through to central Wellington, and return only $360 million to $500 million worth of benefit?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We can argue about what the $3 billion figure she is quoting means. In fact the cost of that project is considerably less than that. It probably includes all the road-user charges and petrol excise tax, which would be used to pay for the project over the life of the project. But the reason the Government is interested in proceeding with that project is its benefit to the region, because it does deal with a particular vulnerability of Wellington—having only one coastal route north of the city—and is part of a well-signalled corridor of development stretching from Levin to the airport.

Julie Anne Genter: I seek leave to table this Ministry of Transport report from 2008, released under the Official Information Act, which shows that the project will increase congestion and will deliver a benefit-cost ratio of 0.36 to 0.5.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Julie Anne Genter: What is his response to Professor John Goldberg, who has undertaken an analysis of public-private roading partnerships in Australia, who says: “The public-private partnership concept has failed in Australia and should serve as a warning to superannuation funds of the high risk of investment in road infrastructure.”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The professor may be right in pointing out that some Australian projects have failed. But the lesson there is that those risks were carried by the shareholders in the large companies that operated those roads. The failures did not fall on the taxpayer, and that is one of the reasons that public-private partnerships are attractive to Governments.

Julie Anne Genter: Is it not the case that the availability payment model that the New Zealand Transport Agency is looking at for the Transmission Gully public-private partnership actually transfers the demand risk to the Government, because it would not be able to get private investors to invest in such a poor project; thus, will it not be future taxpayers who are carrying the risk of this $3 billion loan well into the future?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Government carries so-called demand risk on every road in New Zealand at the moment because we have not transferred that demand risk to anyone else, in any example that I can recall right now. Actually, I thought the Greens would be pleased about those projects failing, because if they failed, it was because fewer cars showed up, and given that the Greens-Labour Opposition is opposed to cars, they should think that is a good thing.

Julie Anne Genter: I seek leave to table traffic volumes for the Wellington region, which show that traffic volumes have not been growing as expected and therefore the benefits—

Mr SPEAKER: What is the source of the document?

Julie Anne Genter: The New Zealand Transport Agency road monitoring.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is objection.

So, a $3 billion borrowing programme for a project that would deliver, at most $500m of gains, and would actually deliver far less because traffic volumes aren’t increasing as modeled. Seem like a good use of taxpayer money to you?

33 comments on “A $3 billion loan for Transmission Gully”

  1. karol 1

    And that’s how to do a well-researched and well thought out Question for Oral Answer & supplementaries.

    Excellent work Ms Genter!

    And Blinglish left struggling to justify the whole failed project: a failure which he says the Greens should be glad of – kind of admitted the failure there, Bill.
     

    • David Viperious H 1.1

      She’s even better when taking Brownlee to task.

    • TiggerViper 1.2

      Agreed. She’s really impressed me this year in the House. This nails the govt over this utter waste of money. Keep it up, Greens.

  2. infused 2

    I look forward to this great overdue road.

    • Bastard Te Viper 2.1

      I look forward to you whinging that taxes are too high and the rest of us telling you that they have to be so high due to the poor spending of this government.

      • TiggerViper 2.1.1

        Don’t get too excited, Infused. The announcement that this road is being ‘delayed’ is only twelve months away… It’ll be one of the first big tickets to go once asset sales are halted.

    • Fortran 2.2

      infused

      Will not be built.
      The Green part of the coalition will make it part of their coalition agreement, and Labour will acceed.
      QED

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Why do the Greens have this pathological hatred of roads? They appear to be opposed to any new motorway, anywhere. Why? Do they think that by not building roads it will somehow make cars go away? Besides, when Transmission Gully was first mooted back in the mid 80s, it was estimated to cost $100m. Now it will cost $1b to build, or $3b with the corporate welfare factored in. Maybe the Greens could swallow some of their own medicine and commit to riding trains and buses as their sole means of transport? And maybe walking and cycling too. Lead by example? Or is this just another case of do as I say, not as I do, from the ‘we know best how you should live your lives’ brigade?

    • karol 3.1

      Did you miss the bit of evidence that building such roads will increase congestion?  And who says Green MPs, and many of the rest of us, don’t walk, cycle, and/or use public transport when we can?

      The problem is that this government is putting too much focus on roads, and not enough on public transport, and infrastructure changes that will enable more walking and cycling: e.g. more facilities and work closer to home. 

      • alwyn 3.1.1

        Given the amount their air travel (within NZ) and land travel (read taxies) costs the tax-payer the Green MPs obviously don’t have time to walk, cycle or take public transport.
        In the 12 months between 1st October 2011 and 30 September 2012 The green MPs ran up just under half a million dollars on internal air travel and a little over $180,000 in land travel.
        I was at Wellington Airport one morning when the MPs were all arriving for the week. I recognised 3 of the Green MPs. They probably got off the same flight as they were within a couple of minutes of each other and they all got into different taxies for the ride into town.

        • Rich 3.1.1.1

          You expect them to walk and cycle from Auckland, and swim the Cook Strait?

          When we have a Green-led government, we’ll probably allow MPs to speak and vote in Parliament by video conference. Alternatively, we could just disenfranchise all those tories in Auckland and the South Island, saving MPs from the bother of having to leave the Wellington area.

        • Bastard Te Viper 3.1.1.2

          1.) Perhaps they were all going to different places
          2.) Time critical so couldn’t wait round for the bus
          3.) This would indicate that PT needs more investment not less

          In the 12 months between 1st October 2011 and 30 September 2012 The green MPs ran up just under half a million dollars on internal air travel and a little over $180,000 in land travel.

          Citation needed.

          • alwyn 3.1.1.2.1

            The numbers are available, for all MPs by quarter at.
            http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/Expenses/
            These are the ones for MPs who are not ministers,. Ministerial expenses are recorded separately.

            • Bastard Te Viper 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Why, thank you:

              Green Total
              Air: 131,581
              Surface: 49,867

              Somewhat different to your assertions of “The green MPs ran up just under half a million dollars on internal air travel and a little over $180,000 in land travel.”

              • alwyn

                As I very clearly stated, and as you quoted me, I said
                “In the TWELVE months between 1 Oct 2011 to 30 Sept 2012”.

                The numbers you are quoting are for the THREE months from 1 July 2012 to 30 Sept 2012.

                I simply added the four quarters up to get the annual figure. All the quarterly returns are given in the same section of the Parliamentary website.

                The totals for the year were Air 496,690 and Land 181,629.

                That’s pretty close to what I said don’t you think?

                • TheContrarian

                  heh, good call.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Sorry.

                  • alwyn

                    Thank you. Maybe I was a little snarky in the response.

                    • karol

                      Maybe you should take it up with Metiria, alwyn.  She’s tweeting about public transport use right now.  She has said the following:

                       @FedFarmers @NZGreens I do. I take the airport bus and sometimes Green cabs.The airport bus is very good in Welly actually, recommend it.

                      @FedFarmers @NZGreens I do.I hitch lifts with MPs/ministers Always wondered why they dont put on a Thurs 6.15pm parliament to airport bus

                      @FedFarmers @NZGreens In fact, i find buses quite relaxing for some reason. Cosy, friendly, entirely ordinary.

                      @FedFarmers @NZGreens I also have a Go card for Dunedin buses but will wait to get a Auckland bus card till next year.  

                                                  

                    • alwyn

                      Karol.

                      I can only suggest that the $13,865 in land travel expenses she claimed in the last recorded 12 months certainly comes to a hell of a lot of bus trips.
                      At say $5/trip it would mean about 8 trips/day every single day of the year.
                      Somehow I think her passion for public transport is more in looking at it, or tweeting about it, than using it.
                      Incidentally the total cost is roughly what one person (living with someone else) gets, after tax, from National Super. They are expected to LIVE on that, not just travel by land transport.

        • Kevin Welsh 3.1.1.3

          Were they all going to the same destination?

    • Salad 3.2

      Encouraging a switch from cars to public transport is a good way of reducing carbon emissions. If we put so much money into roading, it won’t be there for PT. Seems quite logical.

    • Tom, this government has a blind obsession with building roads that will provide appalling returns on their investment and current data shows that traffic volumes are stagnating. Meanwhile the demand for public transport in Auckland has increased and freight volumes carried by rail are at the highest level ever. When we have huge issues with poverty, underinvestment in Research and Development, systemic failures occurring in almost every government department (partially due to staffing cuts) and a housing shortage the Government wants to spend $12 billion on roads.

      You accuse the Greens of a pathological hatred of roads but seem comfortable with National’s very expensive addiction to roads. I think you will find that the Greens aren’t opposed to all roading and as the Green spokesperson for the Southland region I have been pushing for a greater share of funding for our local network. Southland produces 11% of NZ’s export revenue but our funding for roads has been cut by a 1/4 to support the uneconomic roads further north. Our milk tankers and logging trucks have to struggle on substandard roading so that Aucklanders can have their holiday highway.

      The Greens would like to use more public transport but until it receives enough investment to become fully reliable it is problematic. I think you will find that our Green MPs do use public transport and cycle where it is practical. On a recent trip to Zurich I was impressed by the lack of cars in the city and noted that most people used light rail or bicycles (even in Winter). The Government is prepared to throw money at roads for little return and yet they closed the Hillside Workshop and we have no passenger train between Invercargill and Dunedin.

      It is all about priorities and while this Government has made motorways their main priority the Greens happen to see others that are more worthy of investment.

      • tc 3.3.1

        ‘this government has a blind obsession with building roads ‘ the obsession is around rewarding their mates and backers, roads, dairying, mining, anything USA etc etc

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.4

      The 80s project wasnt the same as currently planned.
      Now it goes around Porirua to end up in Tawa.

      if its such a great idea let the users pay, Australian experience is that the trafiic flows are overestimated for a point to point highway like this.

      My guess is that it will mostly be a two lane expressawy to cut costs

  4. infused 4

    FYI, they are asking for tenders now. The deal will be stitched up before the next election. I’d like to see what the public think on this road.

  5. Ennui in Requiem Mass for CV 5

    Ennui had a day out of Purgatory and drove a car …(not an everyday event for me) across Wellington city, and then over the hill to the Wairarapa. Things that occurred were that:

    * so many parked cars around the winding streets of the capital that you have to assume every household must have multiple cars..and they are a major pain in the arse to go around, and represent a hazard to cycles, pedestrians etc.
    * bloody 4 wheel drives everywhere. Do you really need one to go and buy a latte at Maranui, or to traverse the city to the Warehouse? On the Rimutaka hill road SUVs acting like bully boys…does one of these monsters turn you into an aggressive toss-pot automatically?

    So as the oil runs out we don ever larger faster metal overcoats, increase our mortgages so we can have the latest flashest shiny penis extension or fanny fluffer. Our world reduced to burning oil to warm the planet when we could have walked or cycled, or caught the bus m/ train. I contemplated my next trip over the hill, train and bike..if some bastard in an SUV does not run me off the road because I am on a small metal frame and because he can….is this what we are reduced to?

    And as a taxpayer some Nat related freeloaders are now going to rip me off to build more infrastructure for something that wont be there (the cars will be piled up for scrap metal), and should not be encouraged today. Fekk them, when they come to Hell as they surely will they will be in for a hot time from the victims of motor accidents.

  6. Chooky 6

    Need to look at what is at the end of these roads…who benefits? …who has shares ?…who has private airports waiting to take over from Wellington Airport…..follow the money.

  7. gnomic 7

    Surely you people realise that whatever the question, the answer is a road. Have you not read the Book of Joyce? Surely you realise that roads magically enhance NZ’s infrastructure and make everything OK as stuff rushes around ever more efficiently on ever bigger truckses. Are you dumb or something? Perhaps sad smelly greenies who don’t worship ‘growth’? And don’t forget the pork barrel, what would the friends of the National Party in the roading industry be doing if they weren’t laying asphalt? And what would National Party MPs in marginal electorates have to boast about if not more tarmac? Don’t forget NZers love their cars. So let’s borrow more and more to keep the whole sad and silly charade going, until it fizzes out . . . . Have to admit to slight grudging respect for English as engaging in debate at least.

  8. Richard 8

    I hope none of you falling for this “$3 billion loan” rubbish have ever borrowed money – if you have, you must think you were mightily ripped off.

    If you borrow $400,000 to buy a house, and end up paying $1,000,000 in principal and interest over the term of the loan, have you taken out a “$1,000,000 loan”? Of course not – at least if you’re not a greens MP…

    • mouse 8.1

      Richard…

      The difference is up till now NZ did not need to take out loans for transport infrastructure that does not make business sense. Transport Infrastructure was funded form Road User Charges and Fuel Excise Tax from the current period.

      The Problem is National Know the point of Road Demand Elasticity has been reached… at least on SH1 north of WGTN, and they can’t increase RUC and Fuel Taxes without sending the Economy into negative GDP, and kiss bye bye to the Baubles of office.

      So rather than admit one of their core policies is not workable, their solution is to kick the can down their idelogical road… and stump you! Mr Tax payer, with a liability, that was not made apparent to the Enviornmental Protection Authority at the time of the Resourse Consent Process.

      I for one feel like the victim of the economic hitman.

  9. jamie prentice 9

    Lot of talk but as usual no solutions. The Americans would have built in ww2 if we had said yes, even did all the planning for it. Having a house in Otaki have a vested interest, like the idea of having the road cause make it easy to get into Wellington.

    However as many have said 3b bit rich. Its doubled laned on the railway to waikanae now why not double lane it to PN. Has anyone done any research into where traffic is coming from and how we could get those freight trucks killing that road and instead using rail. Is a loaded on/ loaded off problem, being a narrow part of the island it should be easy to comeup with a smarter solution.

    Then we could put the rest of the money into making more highways around Auckland (just joking.)  

  10. Nice post, I would like to request you to one more post about that Keep it up
    and thanks for the useful information share to me …

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    Amazing news! Today an entire industry including major global brands McDonald’sTescoYoung’s Seafood and Iglo agreed to push back against destruction of our pristine Arctic waters.Together with the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Fiskebåt, which represents the entire Norwegian oceangoing fishing fleet, Russian… ...
    1 day ago
  • Inner East cycle consultation
    Auckland Transport recently consulted on cycle networks for the inner western suburbs of the isthmus. Now they’re doing the same thing but for the inner eastern suburbs. Aucklanders have an opportunity to shape the cycle network in the inner-east… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister undermines State Sector Act
    25 May 2016 The education minister is undermining the principles of integrity and honesty in teacher appointments by interfering with a legal decision designed to avoid cronyism.Today Hekia Parata introduced a supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Education Legislation Bill attempting… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Paula Bennett’s housing deja vu
    After a week of bad media coverage about homelessness in Auckland, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett was today forced to act, announcing that she would pay homeless Aucklanders $5,000 to move to the regions (where they'd conveniently be out of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
    Fluoridation. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – the need to separate scientific review from community consultation. Most health officials and science-minded people welcomed the recent announcement of the government’s plan to transfer decisions on water fluoridation from local… ...
    2 days ago
  • Finding a sense of porpoise
    Being a porpoise looks rubbish.Dolphins look like they have fun. They even look like they seek out fun. Okay, the fixed grins make them seem perpetually happy but let’s be honest - when was the last time you saw a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and one with some real business. First, there's the second reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill, which will hopefully either pass, force… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
    One of the perks of being a government Minister is the Ministerial limo - a chauffeur-driven car you can take anywhere. These vehicles are publicly funded and used for public business, so we should be able to see who uses… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
    From éirígí: Great result today as éirígí’s Sean Doyle and Citizens Against Privatisation stalwart Eamonn McGrath were released from Cloverhill prison on unconditional bail. The unexpected outcome came virtue of a “technicality” in committal warrants as papers that were due… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
    Since the very beginning of Greenpeace, our movement has been fighting to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animals. And over the years, we’ve learnt some truly incredible things about the magnificent creatures we share this planet with. So… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
    Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:10. Orangutans are ticklishThere are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and… ...
    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
    Preparing For War: Nato forces in the former Soviet republic of Latvia as part of the 2014 "Silver Arrow" military exercises in the Baltic states. Such naked demonstrations of Nato's extended reach - right up to the borders of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across… ...
    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
    Sylvia Park is already Auckland’s largest shopping centre, but it’s likely to get even bigger in the next few years. Kiwi Property, who own the centre, have plans to expand the retail offering, as well as adding office buildings. In… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    3 days ago

  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    10 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    13 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    16 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    17 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    17 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    5 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    7 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    7 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago

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