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A-G reveals details of Nats’ dirty deal with SkyCity

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 19th, 2013 - 129 comments
Categories: corruption - Tags: , ,

The Auditor-General’s report catalogues a dirty deal hatched between Key’s office and SkyCity execs to give SkyCity more pokies ‘in return for’ a convention centre. It shows the bidding process was a farce and reveals that the whole ‘trade-off’ is a con. SkyCity wants to do the convention centre anyway but it wants to look like it’s giving something to get more pokies.

The Auditor-General concludes that the final decision to choose SkyCity’s bid is sound when weighed against the other bids, but it could hardly be any other way. None of the other bidders had the inside running with all the government assistance they needed. Here’s some of the quotes:

“Ministry officials were aware that SkyCity had expressed an interest in extending its existing convention centre across Federal Street or developing a new centre on land it owned in Hobson Street. This awareness arose from communications between Auckland-based Ministry offi cials and SkyCity during April and May 2009.”

“The Ministry issued the EOI document, Request for Expressions of Interest for growing New Zealand’s share of the International Business Events Market and Strengthening the National Network of Convention Venues, on 19 May 2010 [ie. a year after SkyCity started talking to the government about building a convention centre]”

“from the start of the evaluation process, the contact with one proposer was of a wholly different nature from the contact with others”

“we were surprised to find that there was no documented analysis or advice on the process that needed to be followed from a procurement perspective, or any systematic consideration of the relevant principles and obligations that should guide the steps taken”

“In our view, the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness”

“we found a range of deficiencies in the advice that the Ministry provided and the steps that officials and Ministers took”

It’s clear that the who process was a farce. The convention centre, more pokies idea came from SkyCity to the government, which adopted it enthusitatically, put on the charade of pretending it was the one looking for people to build a convention centre, went through a fake bidding process.

The Nats then entered into talks with SkyCity as if SkyCity is giving the government something it wants (a convention centre) in return for something SkyCity wants (more pokies), when both are something that SkyCity wants. National and SkyCity are merely pretending that SkyCity is giving us something in return for more pokies.

If SkyCity wants a convention centre, they should just build it but they’re trying to get two bites of the apple by framing it as a gift to the nation in return for pokies, and National’s helping them.

But there’s a deeper issue.

How can it be that a convention centre is a cornerstone of this government’s economic agenda? It’s a fucken convention centre. There’s already a surplus of the bloody things because so many other cities and governments have been conned into subsidising them and the international convention market is shrinking, not growing. Even if covention centres were good investments, it’s incredibly small beer for National to be investing so much money and political capital in it.

There’s something very sick at the heart of National’s agenda when giving SkyCity a convention centre and more pokies is one of their big ideas.

129 comments on “A-G reveals details of Nats’ dirty deal with SkyCity”

  1. Who are voting for these clowns ???

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      In countries with checks and balances, people go to jail for this.

      But how do you convict an elected dictator whose opposition is powerless?

      • handle 1.1.1

        You make an opposition that isn’t.

        • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.1

          Does that mean you have to change the political system? You got any other ideas?

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            An Opposition Party which can call for a general strike and have a quarter million workers respond. An Opposition Party which has access to it’s own mass media channels through which it can conduct clear and vibrant debate. An Opposition Party with levers of influence sourced far beyond the beltway machinery of Wellington.

            Sorta like Labour of the 1920′s and 1930′s.

            • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.1.1.1

              A good vision.

              As the economy falls into a black hole it might happen.

            • blue leopard 1.1.1.1.1.2

              +1 yes a good vision and what we need.

            • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1.1.3

              A general strike? You’re kidding, right? Your own ‘mass media’? The ILO? No wonder the hard left is completely irrelevant to the process.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey Tom, I agree, irrelevant in most places of the world, for the moment. But wait a while, this will transform into an issue beyond old fashioned Left versus Right.

              • Colonial Viper

                I also note that you did not declare the influence of capital, capitalists and banks irrelevant to the process. Rather of course, over the last 50 years, they have run more and more of the game.

                • Tom Gould

                  They own the process. Take a look at the SkyCity deal if you have any doubt. These Tories have managed to convince the brain dead idiots in the media that because the officials didn’t know what the PM and his own staff were saying to SkyCity at secret meetings, it is their fault. And we even have one of the big Tory chooks tweeting criticism of the Greens for using the AG to ‘score points’? We are truly through the looking glass now.

    • Roy 1.2

      Those who benefit from their policies, and those who mistakenly think they benefit from their policies.

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    Just like The Hobbit, but without the threats.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      I don’t think there were any threats around the Hobbit either, Kevin. Just the PM and Peter Jackson telling porkies.

  3. James 3

    What about the bit that says

    “The inquiry has considered both the adequacy of the process followed and whether anything substantively wrong has taken place. The main question underlying this inquiry was whether the Government’s decision to negotiate with SkyCity had been influenced by inappropriate considerations, such as connections between political and business leaders.

    **** We have seen no evidence to suggest that the final decision to negotiate with SkyCity was influenced by any inappropriate considerations.” ****

    • alwyn 3.1

      Probably a good thing that Charles announced he was quitting today.
      The MSM can spend the evening news talking about him and ignore the spectacular fail by the Greens and Labour on this.
      Incidentally, does anyone know when the report on Shane Jones and Bill Lui is due?

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        he was reinstated after the report. Not sure if it was an exoneration or simply like this “we haven’t caught them” report.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.1

          Now I have found what has happened to it. All the MSM reported on 14th Feb that a draft report has been sent to those involved. They then waffle about how it is expected to clear Jones. That is obviously spin from Jones, as you would expect.
          That’s about where the SkyCity was before Christmas I suppose when Key said he wasn’t losing any sleep over it.
          I guess that means the final Liu/Jones report will probably be late March.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            I daresay quite a few people will be examining the hell out of that one when it is released, too :)

    • McFlock 3.2

      That’s the difference between being transparently innocent and simply not being caught. The public sector needs to be transparent.

      The entire question of whether an EOI would (or should) ever have been considered is unknown. To put it bluntly, the venue company that the governing party likes to hold conventions at and which is a prominent political donor was looking to expand, and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre. Tories don’t even try to maintain the appearance of ethical standards these days, do they?

      • swan 3.2.1

        “and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre”

        Except they aren’t – Skycity is footing the bill. Hoorah!

        • felixviper 3.2.1.1

          Wow, “footing the bill” to build their own conference centre.

          How very generous. The CEO ought to be knighted immediately.

          • swan 3.2.1.1.1

            So, whats the big deal then???

            Oh Skycity will be paying for the pokie machines too you know.

            • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1.1.1.1

              “Oh Skycity will be paying for the pokie machines too you know.”

              Have the Tui people been in touch yet?

            • felixviper 3.2.1.1.1.2

              “whats the big deal then???”

              The big deal is that the govt wrote and passed special legislation just for Sky City to allow them to massively increase the number of pokies they can have, reversing years of work to get reduce the number of these toxic bloodsucking machines.

              And to explain to the public why they were writing this special law, they said Sky City would build us a convention centre if we let them have some more machines.

              And now it turns out that that was a blatant lie as Sky City were going to build it anyway.

              Of course if you like having govts that write special laws for their special friends, and then lie to you about it, and you think we need more pokie machines, then it’s no big deal at all.

            • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1.3

              Nope. Sky will be profiting from them.
              We’ll be paying for them.

        • McFlock 3.2.1.2

          “and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre”

          Except they aren’t – Skycity is footing the bill. Hoorah!

          While we pay for the prison stays of more problem gamblers.

          While we fund social services for more children left in the carpark.

          If you think the convention centre comes to New Zealand for no cost, you’re dreaming.

    • KhandallaViper 3.3

      …….”We have not seen evidence to suggest….inappropriate consideration”

      That is very different from:

      “we were satisfied that there was no inappropriate consideration”

      The report smells a RAT but cannot call it out.

      • AmaKiwi 3.3.1

        “We have not seen evidence to suggest….inappropriate consideration” . . . . . . because it has all been shredded.

  4. tracey 4

    Oh gosh, another memory fade for the pm

  5. tracey 5

    James… It found they were treated differentky following intervention by the pm. This means it wasnt an entirely even playing field. The pm conveniently cant recall the details of a meeting… There’s more to integrity and leadership than the lowest standard of behaviour set by the law.

  6. tracey 6

    Alwyn, if you are happy with the final two lines of the opening post thread then the standards and values you expect of our leaders are sadly very low. I hope your personal ethics are higher, especially if you are a parent

    • alwyn 6.1

      I don’t have to approve of casinos. However we let the cat out of the bag in that regard many years ago and a 20%, or whatever it is, increase in pokies (what a lovely Australian abbreviation) doesn’t seem to me to be much of a change. It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.
      I admit I’ve never been in a Casino so I don’t really know what the atmosphere in one is like. The nearest I ever got was a week long convention I went to in Melbourne about 1992. We were about 50 metres from the Casino and none of us could be bothered even looking in the door.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.

        We’ve already git one (owned by SkyCity) and we don’t need a bigger one due to the collapsing market.

      • felixviper 6.1.2

        “It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.”

        Except that no, it wasn’t. Sky City were going to build one anyway.

        Sheesh, do you even read the posts?

        • alwyn 6.1.2.1

          Can you give me a reference to that. I mean one in the MSM or suchlike, not an unsupported claim in a blog.

  7. Yorick 7

    Let me put it this way for you guys.

    You are living in a country that is one big earthquake away from being the
    New Haiti of the South Pacific

    It is not the New Taiwan some in the Young Nationals
    have dreamed of, which might solve our underpopulation problem -
    higher tax base, and all that ..

    Instead we can fleece the heavy rollers from Macau, HK, Shanghai ..
    and become serfs in our own land.

    Be grateful ! The sun is shining through the clouds of pumice dust
    settling around us.

    Just don’t tell Shearer. He might pen another treatise explaining why
    mercenaries are a fact of warfare.

    • McFlock 7.1

      random

      • Yorick 7.1.1

        Origin: 1275–1325; Middle English raundon, random < Old French randon, derivative of randir to gallop < Germanic

        • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.1

          :) :) :)

        • McFlock 7.1.1.2

          trivial

          • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.2.1

            No Fun

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1.1

              thought it would be funny to get the origins back :)

              • Rogue Trooper

                you are certainly an “original” one outta the gate my friend (i would keep up, but you know, no IT in the cell and all that; btw, thanks for everything, so far, i think) :)

              • Yorick

                Origins: Synonyms: agent, ancestor, ancestry, antecedent, author, base, causality, causation, connection, creator, derivation, determinant, egg, element, embryo, fountain, generator, germ, horse’s mouth, impulse, inception, inducement, influence, inspiration, mainspring, motive, nucleus, occasion, parent, parentage, principle, producer, progenitor, provenance, provenience, root, roots, seed, source, spring, stock, well, wellspring

                .. which one do you mean ?

                [with apologies to Will ..]

                • Rogue Trooper

                  alas. we know them well (gotta go and watch the NEWS now) larffs hysterically as he cycles off down the road, “riding along…singing their song…side by side…

  8. xtasy 8

    Quoted from the A G report:

    “Given this complexity, we were surprised to find that there was no documented analysis or advice on the process that needed to be followed from a procurement perspective, or any systematic consideration of the relevant principles and obligations that should guide the steps taken. In our view, those involved had a strong focus on the need to manage the difficult relationship between the commercial issues and the policy and political decisions that were needed, but too little focus on the disciplines that should govern commercial decision-making in the public sector.”

    “The first example concerns the lack of overall planning. A specific weakness was that there is no evidence that any consideration was given to whether the Mandatory Rules on Procurement were relevant.”

    “Although decisions were made on the merits of the different proposals, we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even-handed. The evaluation process lasted for more than a year. The meetings and discussion between the Government representatives and SkyCity were materially different in quantity and kind from those between the Government and the other parties that responded.”

    And finally the summary:
    “Process should not stand in the way of such innovation. However, the underlying principles that established processes aim to protect do still need to be respected. New ways of working in the public sector still need to be able to show that public resources are being appropriately managed and spent. We will continue to discuss such developments with relevant officials and update our good practice publications from time to time to reflect latest developments.”

    Reading stuff like this, I can only get total confirmation, that I should not and cannot trust this government in anything they do, in whatever area of government, administration and policy introduction and implementation. I am sure many feel similarly shocked.

    After reading this and the rest, I am astonished about the final conclusions that A G office made in this investigation. It sounds sadly like some responses one gets from increasingly “weak” and under-resourced offices or institutions like the Office of Ombudsmen, Privacy Commissioner and so forth.

    In short: What was done was shoddy, unprofessional, wrong and unacceptable, but we are sure they will learn out of their mistakes. Yeah right, another Tui Board message can be erected.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      And this gloriously ambiguous last line in the stuff report from this morning, which has been retained in the update:

      “A senior government source said there had been a difference of opinion inside the auditor-general’s office about the final conclusion.”

      Decode that and tell me what the hell.

      Worth noting that “senior government source” is usually cabinet level politician, in distinction from ‘an official’ which is staff.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        With “staff” being bureaucrat rather than political aide of some sort.

      • marsman 8.1.2

        Yes Pb I noticed that too. That says it all really and of course John Key’s ‘we have been vindicated’ is, as usual, a crock of shit.

        • SukieDamson 8.1.2.1

          Thanks guys. It’s these heart-of-the-matter nuggets, amongst all the other flotsam & jestsam on here, that really count.

  9. tracey 9

    Yorick, if only what you wrote meant we dont get left with the social problems to pay for.

    Alwyn, why do we need this new centre… We have aotea, vector arena, tge new venue at north wharf. If you genuinely believe tgat once something is in place you just expand it even if it causes social ill, how can you suppirt, say national standards? Once the previous system was broken, by your logic we just let it continue or make it worse, cos tge cat is out of the bag. In any event you and yorick and otgers are avoiding the point. Yet again our mp forgets something important thus remving some evidence to judge decision making and tge report doesnt say he or his ministers or ministries acted properly or even beyond reproach.

    • Yorick 9.1

      tracey: I wrote it with my tongue wedged firmly in my root canal (don’t ask).
      But yes, that’s how it looks.

      xtacy: well done. I think I’ve seen that quoted in the media somewhere.
      It sounds like someone grimly observing Westminster-derived public
      service protocol, but letting show his fury at Hawai’ian cowboys
      (apologies to the National Farmers Federation) and others
      who stand to benefit from the SkyTower Casino.

  10. tracey 10

    Sorry alwyn, in my post above i meant the last two lines of the opening thread quote.

  11. tracey 11

    Xtsy. ?. No documents not trail of bad behaviour, the govt is already making history for their obstruction of oia and transparency… The later repeated ad infinitum by our current pm in 2008… And then he was elected

    • xtasy 11.1

      tracey: Re OIA requests, it is abhorrent what goes on now, yes scandalous.

      I have contacts waiting for specified info for many months, and 3 deadlines were in an importanct case not met by MSD (despite of repeated letters and assurances). The last time they promised a response was on its way, but they never even bothered to reply at all, and that is nearly a month back now.

      So a complaint then goes to dear Beverley Wakem – the Chief Ombudsman, who has over the years also become less of a force to rely on. Their office is underresourced and overworked. And now the person who launched the request can wait for weeks, maybe months, to get a decision from the Ombudsman, which may just force MSD to deliver only a tiny selection of info, withholding much else, for various excuses or reasons allowed under the Act.

      Then the next complaint may go to the Ombudsman, arguing those reasons to withhold, and maybe, half a year, or a year later, the whole circus starts again from scratch.

      That is NOT transparency, it is covering up stuff that is known in particular cases as “dodgey admin decisions” – and worse.

      My faith in the NZ system has long been LOST.

  12. Rob 12

    So you finished?

    We might now be able to build the thing and create some employment and material sales.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Why would we build it? It’s not financially worth it and the social damage that will accrue from the extra pokies will come out of everyone’s taxes so as to make a few people richer.

    • Strategos 12.2

      Very short-term, Rob. It would be competing with the Sydney Convention Centre, among others,
      and once it is up the only “employment and material sales” will be casino related.

      What sort of “material sales” are there in a casino ? The employment will be hardly professional – unless you refer to hi-tempo music, sugared and caffeinated drinks available freely on demand, and women dressed in a way designed to raise testosterone levels among young male gamblers.

      Check out Atlantic City or the N.Y. casinos some time.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.2.1

        I guess he was talking about the construction materials.

      • Rob 12.2.2

        Strategos, we compete against things and events in Sydney on a daily basis. Just because they have one is no reason to think we can’t and that sort of thinking is terminal for this country. There is also a much better convention centre in Melbourne as part of the crown casino anyway.

        Of course the material sales are building materials and a good 2 year construction programme would do very well for the built environment sector in Auckland, especially if the Fonterra head office job comes on as well.

        Conference centres , especially the real big ones in Germany are massive employers of all sorts of trades and skills , not just your low level food & bev examples.

        This is a good thing for NZ and it is a tangible job creator, maybe if we actually witnessed some ideas from Labour rather than empty statements about being hands on you might get some more support.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          Convention venues are common commodities in the world market. Just another iron in the tourism iron.

          Let’s get some real high tech, high skill jobs going, not more minimum wage service jobs serving meals, making beds, laundering linen, and cleaning bathrooms.

          • Rob 12.2.2.1.1

            Major convention centres holding international trade shows are a very big deal. The levels of display and technology that displaying companies use is on a scale that is not seen in NZ.

            If (and this is a big if) we got our shit togther and had an asset capable of hosting 12 international trade shows of a major scale a year, and we were successful in wining those show, that would be a real and tangible boost to this nation.

            At Stutgartt the biggest businesses there are Mercedes Benz, Porsche and the Messe convention centre.

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1.1.1

              OMG. You’re actually talking about winning the heavy metal tradeshows of the latest technology, machine tools, automotive vehicles, high tech consumer products or the like.

              Bringing a Computex, CES or LA Motor Show to Auckland every month.

              Not worth the effort of even trying.

              What NZ enterprises need to be doing is creating the global technologies, products and companies which exhibit at these very same shows across the world.

              That’s where we need to be focussing. Completely different emphasis and mindset.

              Be a valued exhibitor at these trade shows, not serve the drinks.

              • Rob

                “OMG” are you 12.

                Anyway you are trying to make it a binary call. Your slightly strange point is that for us to develop a convention industry in NZ would inhibit us from being innovative and developing hi tech industries. Would you ever dare to dream that we could have both perhaps?

                The most deserving aspect is your comment “Not worth the effort of even trying”. So what do you suggest, follow your example and sit inside all day contributing nothing but bitching and whining at a computer monitor.

                • Colonial Viper

                  follow your example and sit inside all day contributing nothing but bitching and whining at a computer monitor.

                  lol I heard that one before from Wellington. Wait a sec, I didn’t mean to say “LOL”, I meant “laugh out loud”.

                  Get with the internet age my friend, it’s both the dawn and the dusk of a new era.

                  Anyway you are trying to make it a binary call.

                  Very good point. However, it’s a call I’m making based on the very limited time and resources available to this nation. And trying to win over (or recreate) a CES, Computex or LA Motor Show in Auckland is a fools errand justification for a Sky Elephant. Shit, even trying to get a 30,000 people from downtown Auckland to the RWC opening was an abortion.

    • marsman 12.3

      And if the thing does not make enough profit for Sky City the taxpayer gives them a top-up. Nice when you are spending other peoples’ money John Key.

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    TV ONE: “excessive bouts of gambling go unreported” (according to The Spirits in The SKY) oh well, a fool and his money…

  14. Treetop 14

    I want to know what the max bet value of each additional machine will be?

  15. Strategos 15

    good question ..

  16. geoff 16

    Hay butt wait PM said the report wuz all good. im confoozed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHFdYYIaEIc

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    OK, Captain Mumblefucks and Team ABC.

    It’s been handed to you on a silver platter.

    Rip the PM to shreds.

  18. DH 18

    I’m still mulling the report over but I thought the AO did a reasonable job there, pity they didn’t cover the financial side though.

    There’s been a queue of dunderheads claiming we get a ‘free’ convention centre out of this deal and in the AO we finally have someone who recognises that the gaming concessions are worth a lot of money. They note that the Govt got a valuation on them, to quote;

    “The analyst estimated a dollar value, in terms of benefit to SkyCity, of the various
    gambling concessions that SkyCity sought. The analyst advised the Ministry on
    the value of this benefi t relative to the estimated cost to SkyCity of building a new
    large-scale convention centre. The advice also considered whether any gambling
    harm minimisation measures would be necessary to balance the value of the
    concessions sought and the cost of building the centre.”

    Curiously the AO fails to follow that up. The Govt is giving away significant monetary value in the concessions but not receiving any physical assets in return. We won’t own the convention centre, Sky City will, so what exactly do we get for our money?

    The AO also don’t delve into the untendered aspect of the concessions when earlier in the report make they a big deal about how these types of transactions should always be subject to competitive tender. How do we know we’re getting value for money?

    (It should be noted that a licence for 500 pokies has a market value in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a licence to print money)

    • bad12 18.1

      Yes TV1 news are ‘selling’ the convention center as Auckland rate-payers not having to put in a cent, the only thing that can be said about such a twisting of the truth by the States broadcaster is a lament of no mention of ‘the great leader says’,

      It is obvious to all but the most dull that the Slippery little Shyster was involved in the process of allowing Sky-City the right to build this convention center right up to His arm-pits,

      The fact that the Audit Office cannot find evidence of this shows not honesty from this National Government more it simply highlights institutionalized rat cunning being at the heart of the decision and the ‘process’ around how that decision was reached,

      The fact that Ministers and officials talked with Sky-City extensively on a number of occasions BEFOR calling for expressions of interests from other parties simply leads to the conclusion that this was a ‘done deal’ well befor those expressions of interest were called for…

      • DH 18.1.1

        Yeah I think so too. The AO needed to follow the money more in my view, we need to see this analysts figures. To give an idea on values….

        A high gambling area like Henderson generated an average of $20,586 per machine from 162 gaming machines in the last quarter (Manukau City was close behind at $19,358 from 207 machines) That’s $82,344 in gaming proceeds per year. If we go with the known figure of 37.5% as profit (what they give to charity) that’s a minimum profit of $30,879 per machine. 500 machines would thus generate annual profits of at least $15.43 million per year. Put that on the sharemaket as a business and at an overly generous 8% return on capital you’ve got a market value of $193million.

        In reality SkyCity would likely make near double those profits which would double the market value of the pokies licences. It’s seriously big money and I’m finding it hard to understand why the Govt is giving that much away to SkyCity on this deal.

        • bad12 18.1.1.1

          You would probably have to crack open every blind trust and nominee company in the whole wide world to find the answer to that one…

        • swan 18.1.1.2

          DH, totally agree with you. So you would support the auctioning of pokie machine and casino licences in order to maximise government return?

          Because it is not like the government is currently hold the $200m. It doesnt exist except if they make it happen.

      • Treetop 18.1.2

        Fast forward two or three years down the track. Key will be spouting an increase in pokie addicts when he is in opposition.

        I reckon it will take a new government three years to sort out the pile of crap which the current government is piling up and the stench is already over powering.

  19. tracey 19

    Rob, take some time and revisit the aotea centre debate and its glaring inability to make money and ended up with outsourcing

  20. tracey 20

    Dh, stop confusing the matter with fact and analyis

  21. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 21

    it could be that more gambling opportunities spark real initiative amongst the bolder or more desperate gamblers. that will probably be aimed at tourists though as in the recent raid by a highwayman on mt eden, i think. not a good look for our tourism minister.

  22. ropata 22

    500 pokie machines for their mates or few dozen state houses for non voting beneficiaries?
    It’s a no brainer for this crony capitalist government

  23. millsy 23

    Nothing is stopping SkyCity from building a convention centre right now. It seems to me that this government is actively trying to destroy high wage unionised jobs (Exhibit A: Hillside), and replace them with low wage short term insecure jobs (Hobbit, etc)

  24. Coronial Typer 24

    I can totally get that gambling isn’t the industry we want.

    But I want to check up on the view on government interventionism here.
    This is a government that does deals. It’s “Hands on” government.
    That’s what Labour is campaigning on.

    Were Labour in power, would we not want a Prime Minister to cut deals?
    Isn’t this the stuff that politics is all about?

    This is certainly what I see from big city mayors.
    SkyCity is a mall; an air conditioned internal panopticon of hypnotic pleasure.
    It also rebuilt a whole block, and Auckland City in reviving Federal Street into shared space is fully complicit. Labour legalised prostitution, so over the road the Chow Brothers get to build another pleasure palace to support Sky City.

    The spatial intervention is massive. It’s in full synch with central government.
    The Convention Centre redevelops another, massive block that needs it.

    Key is keeping the interventionist crown in our politics.
    Shearer won’t get it back, not until he convinces New Zealand that the industries he wants to “hands on” with are superior.

    • millsy 24.1

      A truly interventionist government would have built the convention centre itself, and run it as an SOE.

      Rather like the Holland government (whom I consider the Key government to be the most like), in the 1950′s they saw tourism as a growth industry, but there was a lack of decent accomodation. So they created the Tourist Hotel Corporation, which raised the standards of hotel/motel and tourist facilities, and trained skilled hospitality staff (that earned very high wages).

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        Correct.

        The ‘hands on Government’ moniker is an extremely misleading one. Thatcher had a very hands-on Government. So did Douglas. And Richardson. And Bush.

      • Coronial Typer 24.1.2

        I like that precedent too, but that level of interventionism is not coming back in the foreseeable future. Sutch is dead, as is his legacy.

        Presuming that a fresh 2014 Labour government would do pretty much the same degree of interventionism, what industries would it choose? Would it rule out joint share holdings? PPPs? Have ethical limits like the NZSuper fund? Shearer has more envy in his anger than righteousness.

        Where is its alternative? And does it somehow propose being cleaner? In politics you can’t be hands on commercially and keep them clean as well.

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1

          In politics you can’t be hands on commercially and keep them clean as well.

          Sure. Look at the insider dealing, nepotism and corruption that Lee Kuan Yew brought to Singapore.

          Of course, he also managed to transform the country from a backward third world swamp made up of fishing villages to a world leading centre of finance, science, logistics and entrepreneurship over a span of 40 years.

          • Coronial Typer 24.1.2.1.1

            But inside all of New Zealand central government’s most transformative deals, are kickbacks and trades, some subtler than others. That’s why they are deals: because both sides pay in, and both sides gain. Labour has already indicated it will go equally neck-deep into state procurement, and there are only small steps from there to concessions, informal partnerships, patrilineage, and well-wrinsed kickbacks.

            Selling out regulations was bad. Granted.

            But the rest? Mere politics. The politics of getting it done.
            Labour doesn’t have a policy alternative, and after 4 years out of power, it leaves them supporting no specific industry at all, and so with little high moral ground to stand right now.

            • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1.1.1

              Well you hit the nail on the head there. We’re realists and realpolitik is about getting things done and getting the support necessary to do that. But it’s the strong policy alternatives, the substantive what which is missing. By all means, cut the deals that are needed, but deals to achieve what exactly? for NZ.

              • Coronial Typer

                Bruce Jesson mapped out the web in Behind the Mirror Glass. All the great families, all the great company names. Conspiracy, con-spiratio, simply means “breathing together”.

                BTW, first one to convince the electorate of “this is what’s good for New Zealand”, wins the next 2 terms. The Vision Thing.

    • felixviper 24.2

      Were Labour in power, would we not want a Prime Minister to cut deals?

      This is a good deal for Sky City and a shit deal for us. To put it bluntly, Key is not sitting on our side of the negotiating table.

    • Murray Olsen 24.3

      We would want a government that decided what the country needed and then put out tenders. Instead we have a government that asks Sky City what they can do to help them and then offers twice as much. As felixviper says, they’re on the other side of the negotiating table, which also seems to be their position on asset sales, charter schools, holiday highways and anything else they do.
      I can’t wait for some journalist to ask Shearer if there would be room in his caucus for someone who auctioned off the workers at the expense of social problems and unionised award wage jobs. Just in case someone has his ear, the answer to this one should be the same as to the homophobe question, a resounding no. The favour with which Shane Jones is looked on makes me wonder if he’d get this one right either.

      • Coronial Typer 24.3.1

        That really is the core point: there is nothing we have seen in Shearer or his leadership team to suggest he would be any more moral, any cleaner, any clearer in policy goals, anything different as a politician, than John Key or his cabinet.

        • Strategos 24.3.1.1

          That’s why he is there. This is largely about Auckland. Joseph Conrad once described it as “the hell-hole of the South Pacific”. It has also been called “the Chicago of the South Pacific” but .. whoops .. that’s where Obama is from. Shearer is Goff’s protege’ and a product of the Auckland Labour party machine .. not to mention Soros’s International Crisis Group.

          QED.

      • blue leopard 24.3.2

        So true Felixviper & Murray Olsen

      • DH 24.3.3

        Well said Murray & Felix.

        One of the biggest chumps in this deal is the Auck Chamber of Commerce who seem a little short on critical thinking

        It seems to have been missed by these fools that whoever runs the Convention Centre takes the bookings. That’s a position of immense power & influence. SkyCity run a vertically integrated operation and it goes without saying that SkyCity plan on seeing convention goers stay at SkyCity hotels, eat at SkyCity restaurants, be entertained at SkyCity complex etc etc etc….

        Even if it did bring a boost in spending to Auckland, the Auck businesess community would only see a beggars share of it. They’ll be lining up for the crumbs and paying kickbacks to get them. Mugs.

        • Colonial Viper 24.3.3.1

          Oh don’t be so negative, the Chinese brothels across the road will do fine.

          • DH 24.3.3.1.1

            Yeah they’ll do ok, been trying to think of a pithy comment with the word shagging in it but the sense of humour seems to be on holiday at the mo’

  25. Having read this and viewed coverage on it I just cannot believe the level of support this sham of a government continues to receive.
    Having watched the coverage on on TV1, I conclude that this report clearly shows that the people running this government at present absolutely don’t care for NZers, or our society. They absolutely don’t care.

    The issue received the framing of: “but a convention centre will bring in these benefits”
    There need be no argument over the benefits of a convention centre.
    The issue is not over whether we have a convention centre or not
    It is over involving pokies in the scum-deal.

    This way of distracting from the real cause of concern is the mechanism for how our issues get warped and stupid destructive things are enabled to get through.

    The problem is not about whether to have a convention centre or not.
    It is about involving pokies in the deal.

    This was completely unnecessary and a rort.
    Gee I’ll bet some people are really cracking open the champers tonight.

    • Coronial Typer 25.1

      Agreed. In all procurement, Cash is cleaner.
      Regulations for vice should not be simply sold.

      • blue leopard 25.1.1

        Yes, its pretty simple really.
        Doesn’t need to be confusing.

        And its pretty clear today, that these creatures “governing” us confuse the issues in order to get something through simply for profit and to hell with the negative effects that it causes.
        It is simply disgusting.

    • Colonial Viper 25.2

      Having read this and viewed coverage on it I just cannot believe the level of support this sham of a government continues to receive.

      I can’t believe it either, given the outstanding Government-In-Waiting that all New Zealanders have as a choice right now.

  26. One Tāne Huna 26

    How much extra laundered drug money will the National Party take in bribes as a result?

  27. Afewknowthetruth 27

    Easter Islanders progressively cleared the forest that covered Rapa Nui when they arrived, and used the last of their resources constructing statues. When they had chopped down the last tree and could not build a canoe to go fishing and had impoverished the soil so little would grow most of them starved to death via civil war and cannibalism.

    We live in an Easter Island culture./ The last of our resources -especially cheap fossil fuels- are being consumed to construct infrastructure and facilities that will have NO utility in the near future.

    However, what we are witnessing is part of the international trend towards expansion of casino economics, prior to it all collapsing some time over the next couple of years. By printing money the Federal Reserve has managed to pump the Dow to over 14,000 -which is nearly what it was in 2007. All the fundamentals of the US economy are rotten to the core, of course, as is the case with Europe and Japan (and NZ). I see 1701 people applied for 8 positions at a coffee shop in Britain: that clearly shows where things are at.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      the Federal Reserve has managed to pump the Dow to over 14,000 -which is nearly what it was in 2007.

      This is the fascinating thing – ‘nearly what the Dow was in 2007′ is a nominal comparison. If you take into account real inflation over the last 6 years, not only has the Dow not met it’s previous nominal high, it is actually sitting roughly 40% below it, adjusted for inflation.

      Also if I were to put my “gold bug” hat on, since 2007 the price of gold has gone up 2.5x, while the price of shares (priced in depreciating printed dollars) has nominally not even reached 1.0x what it was in 2007.

      Conclusion: despite all the QE and other underhanded shenanigans, this financial system is already fucked, and real value is disappearing well faster than they can print money.

  28. Treetop 28

    There is no way that the government would include a clause which states that the pokie machine numbers have to return to pre convention centre numbers once the convention centre is paid for.

  29. gnomic 29

    Isn’t this a case of the smirking weasel saying “I am not a weasel”? Older readers may recall Richard Nixon’s notorious claim that he was not a crook. Earlier someone asked what the inside of a casino is like. Having walked through the gaming hall of Sky City in Auckland once, it seemed like a vision of Hell to me. Evidently some unhappy souls must enjoy it.

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    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Better care for transgender youth
    A fact sheet on ways to improve the wellbeing of transgender youth in New Zealand has been developed at the University of Auckland. A study team from the University’s Adolescent Health Research Group, has put forward recommendations, together with...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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