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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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    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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