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A glorious waste of money for the titillation of perverts

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, February 8th, 2014 - 67 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, len brown, local government - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The fiasco of the wet dick and the perverts shuddered to a conclusion yesterday with the direct bill of around $250,000 for the cost of the council ordered external audit of the Mayor during his stupid affair with Bevan Chuang.

The question now has to be why in the hell this massively expensive and apparently unconstrained external audit was ordered on behalf of the council presumably for the councillors when there was no evidence of any corrupt wrong-doing? Surely the process the council should have followed should have been to see if there had been a suspicion of any issues in the mayoral office using their own resources first. They should have done it in any case to figure out the scope of the audit. How many emails, phone calls, txts, and financial transactions. All things required for constraining cost blowouts.

But it just looks like some perverts in council authorised wasting a pile of ratepayers money for the titillation of the media and their own political pleasuring. The only apparent constraint on what Ernest & Young looked at was a time limit. Instead of concentrating on what they were asked to do, looking at the use of council resources during the affair and if the Mayor had used undue influence on behalf of his lover – they branched out into looking at the wife’s finances.

Despite the vindictive posturing by the campaign members of the losing challenger John Palino who leaked the information through their campaign managers son (Cameron Slater) and the mayors opponents on the council. This audit revealed nothing of any particular interest to Auckland taxpayers. Of course this didn’t stop the perverts because it turned out that some hotel rooms paid for out of their own money by the mayor’s wife and mayor had been upgraded and some free rooms given.

Somehow the auditors Ernest & Young managed to include these upgrades by hotels to a customer as being a cost to the council? Ridiculous. It is a common practice by the whole hotel industry to upgrade rooms. Where the rooms aren’t already booked then the cost is cheap for the hotel as it consists largely of a better grade of soap. Hotels will commonly automatically do this for good customers like the mayors wife Shan Inglis to retain them. See my previous post “Skycity: they’re toxic“.

There was no cost to the council in any of these transactions. Len Brown, like councillors Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax and most likely others should pay a lot more attention to declaring gifts received in their private lives. But that is so that the ratepayers can see what kinds of organisations are trying to influence them.

Len Brown was completely correct when he pointed out on the release of the hugely expensive auditors report

An inquiry into Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s affair with Bevan Chuang went into detail he never expected and may have gone too far, Brown says.

“It’s become clear I don’t have a private life at all … and that’s difficult to come to terms with,” he said.

A review of the affair and whether Brown used council resources to fund it, or if he used his position to Chuang’s advantage, was released today.

It found that while Brown had received free hotel suites and upgrades valued at more than $40,000, he did not abuse his role or use ratepayer money inappropriately.

A largely unrepentant Brown told Fairfax Media he and his wife, Shan Inglis, had laid everything on the table for the auditors – including their personal expenditure records – something that had not been expected.

“It was well outside what was originally intended. We didn’t think it would have gone into that type of detail,” Brown said.

The report was supposed to have been about Chuang – the two questions around resources and influence, he said.

“And it came back with a big fat no to both. Not a dollar of taxpayer money was used at all. It was all about our personal expenditure.”

Brown said the issue was mainly one of process – he should have been more careful and got better advice on whether accepting free rooms and upgrades were over $300, the cap on the council’s interest register.

Indeed…

As a ratepayer, I’m quite irritated that Len Brown was taking free rooms from SkyCity at the same time that he was also working with them on the proposed white elephant conference centre. This was to be paid for by further bilking addicted gamblers. That is an incredible cost to Auckland over the long term to get something of little value. Knowing that the same organisation to benefit from this could have been also trying to influence the process with gifts is why the gift register was set up.

But quite how this got into the expensive frame of reference for the auditors is a question that ratepayers need to ask of the councillors. From an outside view of it especially the jump from the estimated bill of about $100,000 to the final bill of about $250,000, it appears that the audit wasn’t properly scoped by the council.

Somehow despite being cleared of the waste of council resources and funds or using undue influence on behalf of Bevan Chuang. The council has now got Len Brown to cough up $40,000 of his own money to an enquiry that he didn’t order and which showed him not to be at fault. That in itself really shows what this is really about. Pure dirty politics.

It reeks of the type of perverted dirty machine politics that shouldn’t be allowed in NZ. It started with a New Jersey style political campaign hooking up with the demented end of the local blogosphere Cameron Slater, hooked into the media hysterics like Patrick Gower and the other jonolists of the TV3 team, and petered out in a fiasco.

Curiously I suspect that it has actually enhanced Len Brown’s political chances in the next local body election. Who else would want to get into a political campaign where this type of perversion of the political process is the norm? I suspect we can expect only the dumpster diving perverts who conceal their foul nature behind a facade of respectability.

Perhaps this is why councillor Dick Quax, a vocal opponent of the mayor, sounded like a complete dork on Checkpoint yesterday.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I’m going to be fascinated by what the other opponents of the mayor say over the next few days. I tend to agree with The Irascible Curmudgeon about where the real questions lie.

Auckland Five_Page_1

67 comments on “A glorious waste of money for the titillation of perverts”

  1. RedBaronCV 1

    Making Len contribute is horrendous because :
    -he was effectively cleared
    -poorer people will hesitate to run for public offcie if they have to pay when they are in the right if they get involved in something like this.
    -enquries into things to protect the public purse (think Rodney Hide) are a cost borne by taxpayers to keep the system honest.

    I posted this back on the 15th of Jan but don’t know how to link it. It appears to be the CEO who went off the ranch doubtless encouraged by some councillors? but there doesn’t seem to be any ratification of the spend. Fix this up if you like. and I was spot on the final bill- pats own back!

    “- last meeting of old council 26 September 2013
    - local body election day 12th October 2013
    -Inquiry announced on 21 October 2013 by the CEO
    -Inaugural meeting of the new Council 29 October 2013

    Nothing that I can find in the minutes of the governing body from 29 October refers to any authorising of the inquiry. Nothing in the inquiry terms of reference refers to the council authorising it.
    The CEO probably has some powers over the transition period but he still has to follow the rules. (Otherwise he could give a contract to his mates to build a new harbour bridge). See Penny below

    Was he ever entitled to spend the funds?
    Can a CEO in this position hands out a “job for the boys” no tender etc?
    Why did he usurp the incoming council on this matter?
    Why did the terms of reference include finding the security guard – there is no financial issue for the ratepayers there, that was just purient.

    Yes it will be more than $100,000 probably closer to $250,000 for a question mark over a couple of hundred dollars. That’s just waste.
    If I was a ratepayer I’d be looking for some personal liabilty from the CEO.”

    [lprent: Right click on the date of the comment, and copy the link. Added ]

    • lprent 1.1

      Ultimately as a ratepayer I cough up money to the council and I expect the councillors to make sure it is spent wisely.

      The CEO may have ordered the enquiry with no apparent bounds. However he is not directly responsible to me. The Councillors are.

      • RedBaronCV 1.1.1

        I agree -if any CEO does this on his own account Coucillors should be asking why. A complaint to the Auditor general if such a thing is possible. And if I was an Auckland ratepayer I would be frothing at the mouth.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    $250,000, Ouch! thats a knee trembler of a bill for ratepayers, particularly given the enquiry outcome (nice little earner for corporate snoopers and nitpickers Ernst & Young).

  3. captain hook 3

    what it signifies is the emergence of creep politics and right wing sleazeballs who believe that like bill o’reilly in america that they are bigger than the actual winners of the elections because they have god on their side. They are nutcases with immense guilt complexes who want to ensnare everyone else in their own psychodrama.
    Its pretty ugly to have all this evil in the name of Jesus.

  4. ianmac 4

    Didn’t that Quax fellow stand for Mayor? Amazing that anyone other than his Mum would vote for him. What an interview!
    I don’t understand why the Mayor should pay for the investigation. If I was accused of a crime would the Police be able to send me a bill when it was found that there was no evidence of my wrong doing? If so, the Police would be on to a great money making venture which would far outclass radar income! They could cover the Nz National debt in no time.

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      Many defendants plead guilty to charges laid by the police because they can’t afford to defend them. Others go broke proving their innocence, even though this is supposedly not required. The situation that you describe does effectively exist, but it’s lawyers who send the bill, not the coppers. NAct cutbacks on legal aid have made the situation worse.

  5. CC 5

    The ‘F***ed in the Head Five’ should have to front up financially. $20 000 from each seems pretty reasonable when someone who cost the ratepayers nothing for his rush of blood to a lower region has to front up with $40 000. It may remind Quax and Co. that ratepayers are not liable for their perverted principles. The CEO should also have to front up with the $150 000 cost over-run caused by his incompetence. Stephen Town’s effort spectacularly proved the lie to the peanuts/monkeys mantra.

  6. Will@Welly 6

    Last night, on the Paul Henry show, Metro editor Simon Wilson questioned why didn’t the Auckland City Council get the Auditor General’s Office to do the investigation.
    A – it would have been cheaper, and B – it would have stuck to the task, not been so random.
    Still, when you’re looking for s**t, you need every last pore and orifice poked just incase it’s in that last little shred that some evidence might finally turn up.

    • greywarbler 6.1

      Not getting the Auditor General was passed by for an idea as taking too long. You have got to pay for efficiency, and by God you will, say the opportunistic RWNJs.

      One minute they will be prating on about how rates shouldn’t rise above inflation, that is measured inflation, which has ben held down to about 2.5%. They will declare that the other Councillors are spendthrifts and they will be far better. Then they drop this bill on Auckland, saying it is a far, far better thing they do, considering that Len Brown takes pleasure in more than one woman. Even Jimmy Carter lusted in his heart.

      Then there is the thing about friendliness with the casino crowd. I bet it was them that led Lennie astray. A straight up and down guy seduced by that spurious glamour. He should have had a group of hotels to grope in. That he utilised strictly in alphabetical order. People like to think that their Mayor is not in bed with casino bosses.

      So they shoul stick him for $50,000, extra for being green. And save everyone $250,000. Oh it’s too late to do that, that’s right. Efficiency costs. These Councillors have come too quickly and now there is that long letdown while they scrape up the money for the bill, $50,000 between them. Or they should. Everyone then has paid for their pleasures. Seems fair. Then they can all have their sex on a level playing field. And set up their tight scrums where they can do no harm to innocent ratepayers.

    • Penny Bright 6.2

      Didn’t you know that the Auditor-General Lyn Provost is a shareholder in Sky City?

      Penny Bright

      • Will@Welly 6.2.1

        So what you’re suggesting is that she’s as bent as any of the five who laid the complaint?
        Hardly surprising, given Nationals distortion of the credibility game.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2

        Don’t you know that assuming everyone is corrupt says something about you and nothing whatsoever about them?

  7. tc 7

    These 5 are just warming up.

  8. alwyn 8

    I think that that is a most deceptive title for this piece.

    When I read the title I thought that you would be joining Deborah Russell in her attack on Air New Zealand’s new safety video. You might even have shown us some of the models.
    Then I discover it is yet another story about that irredemiably grubby little mayor of your city.

    Shame on you!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Title is fine although I suspect the panty sniffers that went for Mayor Brown won’t like it.

  9. Ad 9

    The controversy is fading – Brown has taken his lumps, and devolved much Committee power to Hulse. The term is largely restabilised. Further outrage is futile.

    Are we ready for Mayor Brewer in 2016?
    A strong Left needs to build the file on him.

    Chicago/New Jersey politics will not go away now in Auckland.
    And it’s time to build Brown’s successor.

    • PapaMike 9.1

      Penny shows she has the right leadership mettle to be the next Mayor – but sooner rather than later.
      Perhaps David Cunliffe or somebody should have quiet word in Len’s ear as he is doing no favours for Labour in the election year and it will increase.

  10. Tigger 10

    Superb post LP, in every respect.

    I’m with others calling for Councillors who demanded this to pay the damn bill.

    I also saw a billboard for that Denice Krum was still up yesterday. Shouldn’t it have come down?

  11. felix 11

    These five like to present themselves as financially prudent right wingers, keeping rates under control, being responsible and making sure public funds are spent on core council services.

    How fucking dare they stick Auckland with this outrageous bill that they have run up for their own ends.

    Make them pay it themselves.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    On reflection, considering how much gets spent on roads of notional significance, the titillation of perverts is a far more glorious way to waste money.

    • greywarbler 12.1

      Roads of notional significance. Brilliant.

      • srylands 12.1.1

        Those roads are critical to market efficiency. Hopefully it is just the start of a massive road building programme.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          roads for the sake of roads are not critical infrastructure. It’s forbes&coates work schemes, not infrastructure building.

          Actually, it’s worse than F&C – at least their goal was jobs, not a fast route to their personal holiday homes.

          Besides, in this country we need more rail.

          • Chooky 12.1.1.1.1

            +100 McFlock.

            …what is the Labour Party stand on these roads? ( I know where the Greens stand)

            …….millions or billions of dollars wasted which is desperately needed elsewhere:

            …ie free high quality State Education for all , including special education for those who need it

            …..more money for ALL teachers!!!( not just NACT crony principals)

            …..Continuing Education reinstated ( remember NACT axed this and gave the $80 million directly to private schools)

            …..free public transport and upgraded rail system

            … upgraded public health…state funded doctor’s visits and dental care

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.2

          Those roads are critical to market efficiency.

          Most of them are less efficient than doing nothing. You RWNJs really do have a strange notion of “economic”. Invariably, it isn’t.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.3

          Dogmatic ideologue is dogmatic. Yawn.

          PS: can’t remember who coined “roads of notional significance”. If S Rylands were more awake, he might have noticed the substantive criticism embedded in the quip, and yes, I agree, it’s brilliant, but sadly not mine.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    FYI

    PUBLISHED ON THE NBR:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/auckland-mayor-pony-ey-report-sf-151618

    errr… the PROCESS for an investigation into an alleged lack of compliance with the Auckland Council Code of Conduct is CLEARLY set out in s.8 ‘Compliance’.

    The process should have been for the constitution of a “Conduct Review Independent Panel’ by the GOVERNING BODY, from names of suitably qualified persons RECOMMENDED by the CEO.

    Not for the CEO to make up his own process and pick his own people!

    Don’t believe a word I say?

    Try reading it for yourself!

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/governingbody/codeofconductelectedmembers.pdf

    Penny Bright
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    PS: When I applied for speaking rights to raise the failure of the Ernst and Young ‘Report’ to follow the process set out in s.8 ‘Compliance’ of the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’, I was unlawfully denied, so I just took them……

    ‘Faint heart never won fair go!’ (as it were :)

    Auckland Council Governing Body meeting 30 January 2014, Auckland Town Hall:

    http://www.allaboutauckland.com/video/2821/penny-bright-defies-speaking-rights-order

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      No, Penny.

      The inquiry was a colossal waste of money at the behest of a small and contemptible minority of curtain-twitching, panty-sniffing, National Party member embodying, gutter-level losers and Cameron Slater.

  14. North 14

    Ugly harridans of Salem all of them. Would be poetic to find some dirt on them and hound them. Already Brewer’s shown some chinks with that still not adequately explained corporate funded jaunt to the GC.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      I think there’s a perfectly adequate explanation as to why corporations give favours to politicians. They do it for the money.

  15. hoom 15

    I’m pleased that the vast cost of the review has finally been getting some coverage.

    Its probably the most actually outrageous thing about the whole ‘affair’ so to speak.

  16. Penny Bright 16

    Because ‘leave’ has not yet been granted by the ‘conflicted’ Attorney-General Chris Finlayson for the private prosecution against Mayor Len Brown for alleged bribery and corruption, the following affidavit I prepared is not subjudice – because the matter is not (yet) before the Court.

    Why do I support Mayor Len Brown being charged with alleged bribery and corruption?

    I suggest you read the FACTS and EVIDENCE for yourself:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/LEN-BROWN-PRIVATE-PROSECUTION-2full-affidavit-penny-1.pdf

    I’m very concerned at the ‘turd-polishing’ going on here, in defence of what I consider to be indefensible.

    In my considered opinion, both Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse are working in the interests of the 1% – unelected corporates and property-developers – whose mechanism for corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region, is via the unelected Committee for Auckland.

    How many Auckland Council (and CCO) contracts are going to member companies of the Committee for Auckland?

    How can it possibly be ok for the former CEO of Auckland Council, Doug McKay and now the current CEO, Stephen Town to be members of the unelected, invitation-only, $10,000 membership fee per year, Committee for Auckland?

    Don’t you get it?

    The main purpose of the Ernst and Young Report, was, in my considered opinion, to help protect Mayor Len Brown from possible criminal prosecution.

    How on earth apparently NOBODY noticed, or took any notice, of the DUE PROCESS for dealing with non-compliance with the Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’ (s.8 ‘Compliance’) is utterly beyond me.

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/governingbody/codeofconductelectedmembers.pdf

    Where are all the so-called lawyers?

    What is your ‘considered opinion’ on the ‘Rule of Law’ applying here?

    How can it possibly be proper for the (former) CEO of Auckland Council, to make up his own process and appoint his own people?

    I’m not a lawyer – but I’m not stupid and I can read – and if I think something is NOT right, I will ‘have a go’.

    Penny Bright

  17. Rodel 17

    hoom
    Agree..Quarter of a million dollars is another example of corporate fraud and nothing we ratepayers can do about challenging it.

    • Penny Bright 17.1

      WRONG.

      On Monday 10 February 2014 I shall be laying a formal complaint with Auckland Central Police against former Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay under Crimes Act 1961 s.107 ‘Contravention of Statute’.

      Penny Bright

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1

        “Prosecute him!” said the Queen.

        “Who?” asked Alice.

        “It doesn’t matter! Just prosecute someone!” said the Queen.

  18. Brian 18

    No doubt some poor sod will be bearing the cost -How many nurses pay p.a. is that btw?

  19. Jared 19

    You cant be fucking serious. He was caught fucking his mistress in a council office, of course, that depends on whether you believe bevan, but ffs, you cant write this off as merely an attack on the left. What new standard are you going to hold a right wing mayor to? its ok as long as the mistress isnt council appointed and spent any council funds, but you know fuck her on the conference table?

    • felix 19.1

      Seeing as how it’s none of your business who the mayor or anyone else has sex with, it seems your only complaint is misuse of council furniture.

      Kinda puts all that outrage in perspective, doesn’t it?

    • lprent 19.2

      And what does that have to do with him performing hist duties of being mayor?

      It is just titillation for a pervert.

      We aren’t perverted like yourself with your nose firmly stuck in other peoples panties. That is why we don’t write stories about the slip and slide of other peoples private lives, including right wing politicians (lots of stories)

      Only Cameron Slater acts like that much of an arsehole.

      • tinfoilhat 19.2.1

        Interesting perspective and one which I disagree with.

        Just interested what your perspective would be if the mayor or one of his staff was outed for watch pornography while at their place of employment ?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1.1

          What would your perspective be if he stole paper clips, or was drunk all the time, or any of the other infinite variety of things which aren’t consensual sex between adults and therefore none of your business?

          • tinfoilhat 19.2.1.1.1

            “What would your perspective be if he stole paper clips, or was drunk all the time, or any of the other infinite variety of things which aren’t consensual sex between adults and therefore none of your business?”

            My perspective would be that he would be unfit for the position of mayor of Auckland, pretty much as my opinion is of him at present.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1.1.1.1

              So everyone who has an affair at work should be sacked?

              • RedBaronCV

                Everyone who eats their lunch in the office should be sacked? That’s also a personal activity.
                WRT porn the usual rules are that you cannot watch through the office servers. If you are on your own ISP connection then it’s the same as watching at home. Pinching paperclips is theft, let us criminalise the entire country?

            • greywarbler 19.2.1.1.1.2

              Good tinfoilhat you have stated your firm belief. Now we can expect to hear no more from you on the matter.

              And further, have you considered the wisdom of a tinfoilhat in bright, hot summer? Your head and brains are probably being over-cooked. It would be wise to put on another, aerated, shady hat.
              This is an unofficial health warning.

    • Anne 19.3

      Actually f—–g mistresses and other ‘young’ ladies on office furniture is a well known activity amongst the rich and/or powerful. I know of a high profile legal beagle of yesteryear who had a penchant for performing on his office desk.

    • Chooky 19.4

      +1 Jared….it wouldnt be so bad if he was young and handsome…out of control hormones and all that ….but no…he is old and wizened ….and certainly old enough to be wise enough to know better…… just a randy old dog getting his bollocks off…plus ….he could have at least had the decorum to choose a discreet, refined, non two- timing, non right-wing ,non social-climbing, non-ambitious, non- blabbing mistress…. and go to some private bedroom to get his rocks off

      …a Mayor of NZs largest city who is this incautious and indiscreet is out of control and needs further investigation imo

      it would be funny… but ….. there is too much smoke around that casino/ convention centre getting the go-ahead ( preying on the most vulnerable Aucklanders)…..and the other goings on at the commercial and cultural heart of Auckland.

      …so any money spent on opening up the can of worms is worth it imo……so good on Penny Bright …for applying a lot of sunshine and heat !

      ( and I am not a panty sniffer and I am not Patricia Bartlett)

  20. tc 20

    Spotlight needs to stay on the devious banks jnr (brewer) who leads this cabal with the media and political connections at his disposal.

    A snake of an individual who is very much at home on the nact team.

    • RedBaronCV 20.1

      Yes, I too think he should pay. Might deter further episodes like this.

      • tc 20.1.1

        Doug makay has served his masters well, where will nacts ‘corporate headkicker for hire’ show up next?

        Exceeded his powers, ensured EY had the maximum leeway possible, dumped the bill on akl ratepayers, so long suckers, thanks for the cash.

  21. Penny Bright 21

    The issue here, in my considered opinion, is NOT whether Mayor Len Brown committed a SIN – but whether he committed a CRIME.

    Whose interests have Mayor Len Brown, (and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse) been serving?

    If you haven’t yet checked out http://www.committeeforauckland.co,nz – membership – I respectfully suggest that you do.

    Penny Bright

  22. Hayden 22

    “The councillors who have let Mr Brown off the hook for at least $200,000 need to explain how it is fair that ratepayers pick up most of the tab,” union executive director Jordan Williams said.

    “The amount is a token gesture and a slap in the face to Auckland ratepayers. It is a new low for Mr Brown. Does he only pay a fifth of his rates too?”

    What a fucking idiot. I think I’m going to do a review of how Jordan Williams came to be such a fucking idiot, and then bill him for it.

  23. tricledrown 23

    Penny not so bright how about going after the pike river boss’s that’s a real crime .

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  • 3 reasons to vote this election
    Here are three Bills before Parliament that have not passed their third and final vote. The next Parliament will decide if these three Bills become law or not. If you want to have your...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 30 July 2014
    So the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll came out on Sunday. I was up in Tauranga, preparing for a trial, which meant no blogging (plus, it’s remarkably difficult to update a Poll of Polls and then blog about it,...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • TSB Today: Broken English
    In my post at The Daily Blog today — Broken English, broken government, broken climate — I take a look Bill English’s unguarded comments on climate change. Apparently, it’s a non-issue. As you might expect, I am somewhat less than...
    Hot Topic | 29-07
  • The truth about women
    Marianne Elliott is a former employee of the Human Rights Commission here, and the author of Zen Under Fire, about her time working for human rights in Afghanistan. Here's the remarkable and must-read guest post she has put up about...
    The Hand Mirror | 29-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    Frankly Speaking | 29-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    Frankly Speaking | 29-07
  • $212 million in spending on roads with few benefits
    A couple of days ago I received a bunch of documents from an OIA request to the NZTA on the $212 million in regional road spending announced recently. I haven’t been able to look at them yet seeing as I’m away however...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • State Department cuts through the acid political environment on oceans and ...
    Secretary Kerry hosted a remarkable conference in June called simply Our Ocean. It enlisted international policy makers, scientists, and the private sector to take action to ensure a healthy ocean for the future. The conference laid out the science, impacts, and...
    Skeptical Science | 29-07
  • Vote Choice: Winston Peters – the Conservative
    Vote Choice: Winston Peters – the (well, a) Conservative This week’s featured politician is Winston Peters. According to Peters life begins at conception because…the royal baby (?!). We know this because, again, Bob McCroskie from Family First did the hard work for us...
    ALRANZ | 29-07
  • National Makes Jokes About Domestic Violence, and Now Unemployment
    How far we have fallen in NZ that our current Government spends much of it’s time in Parliament making jokes about domestic violence, and today – unemployment. Key and some of his dishonest thieving Ministers have in the past few...
    An average kiwi | 29-07
  • Guest post at the Standard: Walking through the wrong door is the least of ...
    I have a guest post over at the Standard right now – Walking through the wrong door is the least of Gerry’s problems. Jump over there and read it in full! What we need in Christchurch is more houses, now....
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • An abhorrent innovation
    The Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM gives his opinion on the recently-released National Party list...
    Imperator Fish | 29-07
  • Stuart’s 100: #2 Whitcoulls Queen Street
    Urban designer Stuart Houghton has set himself a personal project of coming up with 100 ideas for improving Auckland at the rate of one a day. He is Tweeting them here: @HoughtonSd  Discussing this project with Stuart he said that “I see the city is...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • The OIA and the Statutes Amendment Bill
    Back in February the government introduced a Statutes Amendment Bill to make numerous "technical, short, and non-controversial" amendments to legislation. The bill included several amendments to the OIA and LGOIMA which I thought fell into that category. The bill was...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How We Solve The Income Inequality Problem
    click here for some very good ideas from the New Economics Foundation...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • How to make farmers clean up their act
    Order them to stop milking until they've fixed their effluent problems:A Thames farming company has been hit with a $47,000 fine and ordered to stop milking until it fixed the overflowing effluent system at its Kopu farm. The order came...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • The Truth About What Keeps People In Poverty From Those Who Live It
    Click here to read this report from the Family 100 Research Project July 2014...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Eye Candy, Window Dressing and Deep Pockets.
    I came back from six weeks abroad to see the beginning of the Internet Party’s “party party” launches. It leaves me with some questions. It seems that what the Internet Party has done is this. Using Kim Dotcom’s wallet as...
    Kiwipolitico | 29-07
  • Wealth, Income and Inequality in Australia.
    worth a read click here...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • World News Brief, Tuesday July 29
    Top of the AgendaLull in Gaza as Pressure for Cease-Fire Mounts...
    Pundit | 29-07
  • National’s roads are pure pork
    Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
    Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The...
    Open Parachute | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • New Fisk
    It's not just radicalised Islamists - what about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How we should deal with rorting MPs
    Prosecute them for theft:Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries. But three...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • July 14 AT Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport Board is meeting today and as usual I’ve had a look through the papers to see if there is anything interesting. Below is the collection of items or comments that caught my eye. The rest of this...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • Powerful and Cold-hearted
    click here to read this compelling article ...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Wilkinson and Picket Lectures in New Zealand
    Click here to get these lectures. Folks who missed the Douglas Robb lectures last month can view them here l...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • The Changing Priorities Of Protest
    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?