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The Standard

Air NZ sale coming on the quiet

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, November 13th, 2013 - 121 comments
Categories: assets, privatisation - Tags:

Word is out that National is going to slam through the sale of its Air NZ shares early next week ahead of the referendum. No mention of ‘mum and dad’ investors this time. No ad campaign imploring you get ‘get your share’. Nope. It’ll be a quick and dirty sale to some big institution which will then divvy it up to other institutions. We might not even be told until after the fact.

121 comments on “Air NZ sale coming on the quiet”

  1. QoT 1

    Well, if that happens we can pretty much resign ourselves to a fucking painful 2014 as they desperately try to strip-mine every last bit of value from our society. They’ve obviously seen they’re going to lose and have hit the big red “endgame” button.

    It’s classic National policy, because the joy for them is it leaves the government books in such a fucked-up state that the incoming Labour government has its hands tied and has to dig the economy out of the shallow grave it’s been left in before they can make any real progress.

    (No that’s not a mixed metaphor, digging out a shallow grave with your hands tied is probably really hard.)

    • Zorr 1.1

      It’s kind of funny.

      If they fuck it up badly enough, it may give Labour the power to press their own big red socialist button in response… PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE!!!


    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      It’s classic National policy, because the joy for them is it leaves the government books in such a fucked-up state that…

      Agreed but Labour could get rational and have the government create the nations money and disallow the private banks from doing so. That will put the nations finances and its economy on a stable footing no matter what National have to done to fuck over the country.

      Just a question of if they’ve got the chutzpah to do so.

  2. ScottGN 2

    It does make you wonder what their polling is telling them?

  3. BM 3

    With Peak oil here right now, Air NZ is only going to go broke.

    Best thing the government could do is unload it onto some one else before it’s completely worthless.

    The sooner the Air NZ sale is completed, the better.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      So you’re supporting canning all the petrol guzzling RoNS as well?

      • BM 3.1.1

        Not at all, we’ll always need roads.

        • Colonial Viper

          But what about peak oil?

          • Jared

            What about it? How many times over the last 40 years has the prophecy been rumoured?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Not a prophecy any longer. It’s time frame didn’t change much from its original prediction by Hubert in the 1960s to when it actually happened.

            • Colonial Viper

              What about it? How many times over the last 40 years has the prophecy been rumoured?

              40 years ago each new barrel of oil cost less than US$5 to produce. A dozen guys and a test drill rig on the back of an 18 wheeler is all you needed to start.

              Now the figure is sixteen times higher @ US$80 to break even produce a new barrel of oil. Hundreds of men. And a billion dollar drill ship in a kilometre of water.

              Easy cheap oil is already over. Several years ago.

              • alwyn

                Do you have a source for those costs and, in particular, the year to which the $5.00/barrel figure applied?
                I was recently looking at the NZ inflation rate figures and, according to the Reserve Bank calculator and using the General CPI inflation number a basket of goods that cost $5.00 in 1970Q1 would cost $76.18 in 2013Q3.
                Sure, these are NZ dollar figures but the increase is almost exactly the same as the numbers you quote. It is possible that in real terms the production costs for oil may not have changed at all.

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, we don’t always need roads. Something better, called rail, replaced them a couple of centuries ago.

          • photonz

            Except 90% of the population need a car to get to the rail station, and another car at the other end to get to their destination.

            The Greens predict if they spend billions on their dream public rail system in Auckland, they’ll increase usage to 100,000 people every day.

            Which still leaves out the other 93% of Aucklanders (and the rest of the country).

            • Draco T Bastard

              Except 90% of the population need a car to get to the rail station, and another car at the other end to get to their destination.

              No, they don’t. Walking is fine or even buses.

              The problem with Auckland transport is that we’ve had idiots building roads for decades when they should have been building public transport as it’s far cheaper and far more efficient. Now that we’re decades behind where we should be it’s going to take awhile to fix it. Building more roads in Auckland will actually make it worse.

              But you may have noticed that the question was about the totally uneconomic Roads of National(s) Significance. The ones that barely break even on B/C ratio even under the best case scenario. We really, really, don’t need those ones. In such locations around the country rail would be far better both for PT and freight.


              The Greens are trying to save us money by building rail and public transport. National are just throwing good money after bad because they think that building roads today will do for the economy what they did 50 years ago which is nothing but pure delusion.

              • photonz1

                Auckland certainly need a better public transport system. But spending billions of dollars that will (at the Greens most optimistic estimation) at most transport just 100,000 people (2% of the population), is not the miracle answer that rail is made out to be.

                Even after spending billions, it would make at best a 1% improvement in the countries fuel use and carbon emissions.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The RoNS will transport fewer people at far more cost per person. And you seem fine with them.

    • Ad 3.2

      Careful, their biofuel percentage is due to increase.
      Don’t presume doom on Air NZ yet.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour: it’s poison pill time. Any asset sales occurring at this late stage in the term will be reversed at the sale price less the Government’s costs in the first 100 days of a Labour government.

    • Francis 4.1

      Hopefully, following the referendum, they’ll promise this for Genesis Enegery. And Air New Zealand, if it turns out it’s not sold until after the referendum.

      The referendum will give a clear indication on whether or not people want our assets sold, and going ahead regardless is completely anti-democratic.

  5. infused 5

    So, reduce it’s share to 51% from 73% and your flipping your mind? Fucking hell.

  6. Jared 6

    subtle differences, Air NZ is already listed….hence no need for a drawn out IPO process
    Pricing – it will be offered at a slight discount because of the size, when you are talking $400 million worth, thats just how the market works, we saw it when GPG sold its stake in Tower, happened over night
    No point in having a cry about it, I can’t see it happening any other way without falling foul of other investers

  7. The Gormless Fool Formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel 7

    And how will Labour come out against this when they agreed to sell 22% in 2002?

    • photonz 7.1

      I bought my Air NZ shares in 2007 when Labour was in power.

      The funny thing with asset sales is we’re told by the left we shouldn’t sell them because they pay a good dividend, and the capital value goes up.

      But the Greens/Labour power scheme plans to kill dividends which will decimate the capital value of the companies.

      Effectively their power plan totally nullifies their arguments for keeping them.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        A good argument for full nationalisation you put up there, Photonz. Re-integrate power into the state, remove the profit requirement, provide cheaper power for kiwis. I like your thinking!

        • photonz

          You could nationalise, but if you cut $700million in govt dividends, and therefore $350m in tax, and a similar amount in gst, then the govt has to make nearly a one and a half billion dollars in spending cuts.

          What do you suggest? Benefit cuts? Teachers pay? Health? The majority of govt spending is in those three areas.

          • Colonial Viper

            Why exactly would spending cuts be needed again? The NZ Government is the sole manufacturer of NZ dollars in the whole world. It never has to run out of NZ dollars. Once upon a time you needed paper and ink to print the NZ dollars. These days they can be created with key strokes on a computer. Out of thin air. Real fast and real cheap. How many zeroes do you want with that?

            If benefits, teachers pay, health are that important to society, why would they need to be cut?

            You could nationalise, but if you cut $700million in govt dividends, and therefore $350m in tax

            That’s pretty stupid math. The government wins by taking back all the profits from the generators, not just 51%.

            • photonz

              Printing money – your new Mugabe solution for everything.

              Why don’t they just print money, hand it out to everyone and we call all stop work and go on holiday?

              And when we run out, they can dish out some more.

              No one need ever work again.

              Every country could do it.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry, can you answer any of the points that I raised? Why does anything need to be cut? If the NZ Govt needs to spend on it, and it is for something societally important, then the NZ dollars will always be available. By keystrokes. Out of thin air.

                Every country could do it.

                Of course. Japan is doing it. The UK is doing it. Canada is doing it. Australia is doing it. The US is doing it. The Eurozone is doing it.

                Really, get with the times, you’re showing how out of touch you are to the current world situation.

                • Francis

                  And the USA did for a fairly long period, following the crash. It can also cause the NZD to fall, something which we desperately need.

              • greywarbler

                Mugabe – What’s he ever done to you photonz. Are you here for a short time to rain on our parade, before you go back and join in their dilemma?

                Or have you wisdom to help with ours? Haven’t seen anything yet. Perhaps you should go quiet and think for a while. Think and learn about what we need not what you didn’t learn about Zimbabwe and its downwards crash.

            • photonz

              CV says “The government wins by taking back all the profits from the generators, not just 51%.”

              What profits?

              The Greens Labour Power Plan is to cut $700m off profits – that’s MORE than total dividends paid to govt and private shareholders when they still owned 100% of the three of the generators.

              Total dividends from the big five (i.e govt owned Mighty River, Genesis and Meridian, AND privately owned Trustpower and Contact) were –
              – $488m in 2012,
              – $592m in 2011,
              – $606m in 2010,
              – $376m in 2009,
              – $667m in 2008
              – $713m in 2007

              So the claim they will/can cut $700 from the power companies is either a lie, or they’ll make them run at a loss.

              Then we’ll end up with under-investment and blackouts yet again.

              • Colonial Viper

                Silly billy, that’s what taxes, borrowing and money creation is for.

                Anyway, cutting $700M from profits is only cutting away money that wasn’t going to be spent on the business itself anways – that’s why it profit, you see.

                Are you sure you know anything about business?

                The Greens Labour Power Plan is to cut $700m off profits

                Also known as cutting $700M off the electricity bills that go out to ordinary households, offices and small businesses.

                Why is that a bad thing again?

                • photonz

                  Ah – the eternal Mugabe solution.

                  Note to self – I must stop debating with deluded people.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But you won’t, because you’re paid to do this.

                    So can you answer the question – why is cutting $700M off ordinary household and small business power bills a bad thing?

                    Ah – the eternal Mugabe solution.

                    Japan, UK, canada, Australia, US, Eurozone, China are all creating new money.

                    You really are out of touch aren’t you? Poor soul. Let go of your irrelevant Mugabe example, we’d only be doing what our major trading partners are already doing in creating money by key strokes.

            • alwyn

              The maths are perfectly valid, in light of the proposal that photonz was replying to.
              At 7.1.1 Te Reo Putake is proposing that “remove the profit motive, provide cheaper power for kiwis”. If his idea is carried out there will not be any profits for the Government to receive.
              Photonz is therefore quite right to ask whether, if we do what TRP is proposing, what ywe would do if that money is not available. TRP has wished all the profits out of existence.

          • dave

            you forget there 5 billion dollars of tax evasion in nz every year, 30 billion by the end of slipperys govt any incoming govt has the right to crack down on tax evaders.so there is plenty of money owned by the elite 10 percent criminals as tax evasion is theft.
            the nats must be looking at none cooked poles

        • photonz

          That brings up the issue of when the govt owns something, there’s always huge pressure to spend any spare money on social security, health and education, so we usually get massive underfunding on our infrastructure.

          As happened with telecom when it was govt owned. And as happened with our national grid, and power generation in the 90s and 00s – remember the Auckland blackouts. And as has almost always happened with our roads.

          • Colonial Viper

            More dick head lies from Photonz.

            It’s the private sector which runs everything down, in order to monetize the real capital of the infrastructure for shareholders.

            As usual Photonz should be pointing the fingers at itself.

            • photonz

              Colonial Viper reaches new levels of delusion claiming the 1998 and 2006 Auckland blackouts are “More dick head lies from Photonz.”


              He also thinks the widely publicised underspending by the Post Office on telecommunications in the 1980s is lies

              “1980s. A lack of investment by the Post Office meant the network was not in a position to handle the growth needed for the next generation of services. By the mid-1980s the network was overloaded, there was massive congestion. In Auckland the exchange was verging on collapse and across the country there are frequent network crashes. The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient. ” (from the timeline of the history of NZ telecommunications).

              From the Encyclopedia of NZ

              “Toll prices came down by 60% between 1987 and 1992.”

              “Delays in the installation of new telephones affected more than residential customers. In 1984 Treasury, at the forefront of the push for re-organisation of the Post Office, waited two months for existing telephone jacks to be shifted. Senior officials exchanged angry letters. Treasury argued that it was inefficiency, and the Post Office insisted it was pressure of work.”

              In a few years after Telecom was privatised, over $5 billion was invested in capital expenditure – MORE than the whole company was worth at the time.

              The only thing that happens when you claim well publicised facts are all lies, is that you look incredibly stupid.

              • Colonial Viper

                If looking at BS edited by you and your neolib mates staring backwards is the best that you can muster, you’re on a major losing streak.

                BTW what good are cheap Chinese prices when your job and retirement has been destroyed?


                • photonz

                  If you think The Encyclopedia of NZ in now edited by neoliberals, you really have lost the plot.

                  When you start disputing widely known and proven facts because they don’t agree with your cultish ideology, time to get some help.

                  When you abuse anyone you doesn’t agree with your cultish ideology, time to get some help.

                  When you start accusing authors of being extreme right wingers because the facts they’ve written don’t align with your cultish ideology (even if they are respected authors or left leaning academics), then it’s time to get some help.

                  When you say the blackouts in Auckland in 1998 and 2006 due to lack of govt spending on infrastructure is all lies, then it’s time to get some help.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    hey dude, I’d like to ask you for help, but you’re only interested in advocating for foreign shareholders and corporates against ordinary NZers.

                    And yes, I agree with you that the NZ Govt has been underspending. It needs to spend much more. For example, it should be doubling spending on renewable energy infrastructure and resilient energy systems.

                    • photonz

                      We should DOUBLE spending on renewable energy when there’s currently FALLING demand for electricity?

                      There’s around 35 renewable energy projects planned, many of which already have consent and can be started at the drop of a hat.

                      The one thing they don’t have is customers who need the power.

                      As for shareholders – there’s now higher NZ ownership in the NZ sharemarket than any time in the last two decades. And I’d encourage more NZ ownership.

                      That’s where many on the far left have a dilemma. They want companies to be NZ owned, but they hate the thought of anyone ever making a return on their investment.

                      People often whine about the “big institutions” (as at the top of this page) but are ignorant that those big institutions often are the very same ones that they put their Kiwisaver funds into every week, along with 2 million other Kiwis.

                      In fact virtually all the big institutions are nothing more than the retirement savings of thousands of mum and dads investors.

                      And that’s the ridiculous thing. Mum and dad investors are thought of as a good thing, but when the same people put their money into a Kiwisaver institution, it suddenly changes to being something evil in some peoples eyes.

                  • xtasy

                    photonz _ Yes, let us have Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, Japanese and otherwise “friendly” US interests buy up the whole infrastructure, as they have the money and power to do what you may see as “sensible”.

                    Sell it off, let it be run by others, like those companies that invest little (like Stagecoach bus company, certain rail, airline, communications and other businesses) and reap great profits for their shareholders and owners.

                    Yeah, get rid of all that “shit” NZ stuff, sell this country, it is just a piece of “dirt” on the planet earth, that deserves to be exploited for PROFIT and none else. Welcome the brotherhood of rapists and pillagers, you are onto it.

                    • photonz

                      Investment by Chinese into NZ has meant huge inroads to our ability to increased our exports to China.

                      Private investment in Telecom brought about $5 billion dollars of spending (massively more than the Post Office ever spent), a transfer of new technology from the parent company, massively reduced prices, and hugely improved service levels.

                      Yes the owners made good money on their huge investments and capital injections, but the govt would never have made that because they never made the necessary capital investments – there’s always too many other pressures to spend on health and social security and education.

                      And don’t forget when an overseas investor puts $200 million into a NZ company, that $200 gets spent elsewhere – usually into other NZ companies or ventures. That’s a major benefit from overseas investment that’s always forgotten.

                      So instead of a $200m company employing 1000 workers, we might get two $200m companies employing a total of 2000 workers. Double the wages, double the tax, with one profit staying in NZ, just like before.

                      So that’s massively more beneficial to NZ than having no foreign investment.

                      And also Kiwis have over $100 BILLION in our own overseas investments.

                      That we are invested overseas, and others are invested here, makes the NZ economy MUCH MUCH more stable. Our investments and the investors in us are hugely more diversified that way, and much less susceptible to economic shocks like an earthquake, storm, drought, tech crash, commodity price drops, and currency fluctuations.

                      So there are huge benefits from having foreign investment here. Without it, our economy would be a fraction of the size it currently is.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So there are huge benefits from having foreign investment here. Without it, our economy would be a fraction of the size it currently is.

                      Incorrect. We don’t need foreign investment and never have done.

                      If a larger economy can be supported, which isn’t guaranteed, then all we need to do is have the government create the money and loan it out at 0% interest to entrepreneurs or spend it directly into the economy itself thus utilising New Zealand’s resources.

                      The only thing we may need from foreign sources is the knowledge that they have which we can also buy using money created by the government at 0%.

                      The money is destroyed (paid back) by the use of taxes, loan repayments and purchasing of the products produced.

                      As for the claim of added stability? LOL, you obviously missed the fact that the entire global financial system just fell over. Not really a lot of stability there especially now that Wall Street has managed to get itself deregulated again and China is about to fall down. Won’t be long before the speculators crash the whole system again in their sociopathic greed.

              • Draco T Bastard

                “Toll prices came down by 60% between 1987 and 1992.”

                And how do you think that happened? I’d say that it was because of the massive investment in the network during the 1980s with the new cabling and the new digital exchanges. We were putting in enough capacity at that time for every new house to have two lines. But even at ~$200m per year every year of the decade we still had to wire up most of the country. There’s a reason why Telecom had ~17,000 employees. It comes down to physical limitations – IMO, it would have been physically impossible to invest faster.

                In a few years after Telecom was privatised, over $5 billion was invested in capital expenditure – MORE than the whole company was worth at the time.

                Milestones a New Zealand timeline of communications and computing

                The 1990s: With deregulation in telecommunications, broadcasting and banking creating a more openly competitive environment than anywhere else in the world, the debate is how to maximize those opportunities, particularly as the Internet and the worldwide web shift from arcane terms to mainstream use. The term ‘information superhighway’ seems to promise an end to ‘the tyranny of distance’ with telcos and techno visionaries waxing eloquent about a science fictional future where New Zealand could lead the world. Talk of ‘broadband’ and ‘convergence’ of computing, broadcasting and telecommunications add to the frustration as the so-called ‘competitive environment’ fails to deliver.

                1991 Telecom’s new owners having learned what they needed about operating in a deregulated environment take the money and run.

                Doesn’t sound like $5b in investment. Sounds more like the overcharging and massive pulling out of dividends that we actually saw. $4b was pulled out in the first 7 years after the sale.

                • photonz1

                  Draco says ” I’d say that it was because of the massive investment in the network during the 1980s ”

                  Then gives us a link to this !!!!!

                  “The 1980s: A lack of investment by the Post Office meant the network was not in a position to handle the growth needed for the next generation of services. By the mid-1980s the network was overloaded, there was massive congestion. In Auckland the exchange was verging on collapse and across the country there are frequent network crashes. The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient.”


                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yep, you keep repeating that but where do you think the digital exchanges came from?

                    In 1985 Telecom, then the Post Office C&M branch, invested $500m in upgrades. I don’t have a link for that unfortunately, it’s what I heard through the union and management. And of course it was limited in what it could invest. It had limited funds from its rental and was also physically limited in what it could do at any one point in time.

                    The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient.

                    That is also incorrect. During the 1980s Telecom was becoming more efficient as new tools were used (doing things by hand was no longer needed), digital exchanges were installed (no longer had to go to the exchange to wire up a connection) and paper insulated and lead and steel wrapped cable was replaced by plastic (much easier and faster to work with). Quite simply, technology was developing faster than what anyone could install it across the nation.

                    For some strange reason you seem to think that simply throwing money at things gets them done and don’t believe that it also takes hard work and that what can be done is limited to what’s already there.

                    What it sounds like is that some idiot took the word of Treasury rather than looking at what was actually happening.

                    • photonz1

                      Now you’re also backing up what I said.

                      telecom investment in the six years from 1992 is claimed to be $5.13 billion. Others who have argued that it was low, still put the figure close to $4 billion.

                      No company in the country invested anything like that in the 1990s. It built fibre cables to Australia and US, the whole cell phone network etc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now you’re also backing up what I said.

                      No I’m not.

                      telecom investment in the six years from 1992 is claimed to be $5.13 billion.

                      [Citation Needed]
                      Especially considering:
                      Theresa Gattung: “Think about pricing,” the press quoted her as saying. “What has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that’s fine … But at some level, whether they consciously articulate or not, customers know that’s what the game has been. They know we’re not being straight up.”
                      In the words of financial analyst Brian Gaynor: “Their combined 90 percent shareholding cost $3.8 billion yet they have received an estimated $5 billion from dividends, a capital repayment, share buyback and the sale of shares in the 1991 float and in 1992 and 1993…Thus the two American telecommunication giants will exit New’ Zealand with an estimated total realisation, including dividends, of $11.5 billion, compared with the original investment of just $3.8 billion.”

                      One wonders just where the $5b could possibly have come from. Now, $5b across the industry including Vodafone, Saturn, Clear possibly. The problem with competition in infrastructure is that it ends up costing the country more due to the duplication while introducing massive regulatory issues as we saw in the 1990s.

                      the whole cell phone network etc.

                      The cell phone network was started in the 1980s.

                      1988 There are 2300 cellphone (brickphone) subscribers to the Telecom network.

          • Tim

            The lesson (or rather ‘learnings’ for you Photo) with it all is not JUST that privatisation has not worked, but ALSO that natural monopolies run along corporate lines, including Gubbamint departments – the Douglas and others neo-liberal experiment – does not fucking work!
            I’d agree that even Kiwirail still as its problems, though not nearly as severe as they were under Wisconsin.
            And if you actually delve into the failed pig farmer’s rhetoric about taking weeks to get a landline when operated by the NZPO, still muttered in his dotage, you’ll find that under the new regime, in many instances its not just that it takes weeks, its that it’s not possible at all (e.g. insufficient available cable pairs).
            – case in point: the only reason I’ve been able to return to ADSL is because a neighbour gave up their landline during the past 12 MONTHS).

            I’m pretty sure that even when ACC was designed, it’s architect didn’t envisage the effect of neo-liberal kulcha that would become pervasive in large corporate business (of whatever flavour – i.e. private or public).
            In saying that, I’d begrudgingly give Rob Fyfe some kudos if only because he had some respect for employees and recogised that he was playing in an environment where national branding and identity politics had become normalised. (compare that with the oz experience for example – i.e. how that little “camp Irish bastard” dealt with Qantas).

            • photonz1

              The biggest failure and bailout of the railways was when it was govt owned.

              It was $1.2 BILLION dollars in debt. The govt paid that off and sold it for $400m.

              So effectively they PAID $800 million for someone to take it off their hands.

              Funny how that’s never mentioned.

              There’s certainly no shortage of appallingly run departments under government control, just like there’s badly run private companies.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It was $1.2 BILLION dollars in debt. The govt paid that off and sold it for $400m.

                So effectively they PAID $800 million for someone to take it off their hands.

                And just think, if they’d kept it instead we wouldn’t have had to buy it back for $700m and the rail network wouldn’t have been run down as it was under private control.

                The biggest problem with essential infrastructure in private hands is that the private owners know that they can pull out huge profits and not do any investment because the government will have to step in with large sums of money to fix things. Exactly what has happened in Telecom and rail.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        But the Greens/Labour power scheme plans to kill dividends which will decimate the capital value of the companies.

        The strategic value and importance of the power generators to the nation is exactly the same as 5 years ago, duh.

        Do you Righties know anything.

      • lprent 7.1.3

        You mean after Labour had to bail out AirNZ after they had been privatized in 1989. Air NZ are crucial infrastructure for many nz businesses like ours. Letting some irresponsible fool owners bugger our main reliable air freight company wasn’t an option. So the fool investors took a bath in 2000 because they let the company nearly drop the essential airfreight.

        The government took a majority position that these dipsticks (probably also well bathed in the past) in this government want to push out for a second wash…

        Umm you were saying?

        • framu

          and lets not forget BNZ and Toll

          Why are all of photonz arguments so weak? Riddled with logic holes, contradictions and really simple factual errors

          • photonz1

            What facts are wrong?

            • Colonial Viper

              All of them. The fact you present them automatically invalidates them.

              • photonz1

                Vipers answer to everything – it lies. Yawn. You’re getting really boring.

                Everything is lies, even when it’s the well known Auckland blackouts of 1998 and 2006 are lies.

                Nothing intelligent to say?

                No. Thought not.

                • Tim

                  so please then educate us all.
                  Why exactly DID the BNZ, Toll/Wisconsin need bailing out?

                  I seem to remember that BNZ bailout at the time was roughly equivalent to the $ amount in benefit cuts – though I may be wrong.

                  Funny (sad) thing is … a while ago I checked out Ruth Richardson Limited’s site where she was promoting her services to South America.
                  Please let her try Venuzuela!

                  • photonz1

                    Don’t know a whole lot about BNZ as I was out of the country for a few years.

                    But as I understand it, BNZ was still under govt control (51% ownership) and had been struggling for years (even under 85% govt control) and was hit hard by the4 sharemarket crash and 20% inflation which led to a large number of bad debts.

                    The Railways continually need bailing out (whether govt or privately run) because NZ is the most difficult country in the world to run a railway, because
                    – we have a low population,
                    – distributed over a larger area,
                    -which is very steep,
                    – meaning rail travel is slow, and
                    – tracks expensive to build and maintain, and
                    – our networks are separated by Cook Strait, and
                    – we have no land borders with highly populated countries (or any countries)
                    – and few of the products we freight are bulk (which is what rail is good at).

                    No country has more disadvantage for rail than NZ.

                    If we want to run a rail system, expect to keep pouring hundreds of millions down a black hole – no matter who runs it.

                    • Tim

                      “No country has more disadvantage for rail than NZ.”
                      Not quite true … the Swiss might tell you otherwise, as well as others.

                      It’s also no argument for purposely running down the infrastructure that is/was already in place – especially when there are people willing to use it (such as freight to Gisborne).
                      Running it on ‘corporate lines’ (pardon the pun) is the real problem. Short term gains wanted (like buying a load of cheap sleepers from OZ that are rotting after only a few years; or like Wisconsin simply profit taking; or buying nasty wagons with brake problems ‘cos they were the cheapest)

            • lprent

              What facts are wrong?

              Basically you haven’t stated any. All you have done is wank on about your opinions about causation – which clearly indicate that you are a fool.

              The blackout in 1998 was to one particular area of Auckland, the CBD (and myself). It was due to cables that were laid in the 1950’s and I think the 1960’s. One failed, and the others then failed successively under the extra loading. The reason for that wasn’t so much the cable design as much as that Mercury Energy failed to do what they should have under the circumstances. The cable that failed was a duplicate of one of the remaining cables (and therefore likely to fail).


              THe first problem was that Mercury’s board should have rationed power through brownouts or cuts or whatever. That was what their engineers recommended. The board at the time was dominated by inserted and elected neo-liberal fools because it was being readied for sale as happened a year to two later. They ignored the recommendations and did it over the vehement objections of the minority of experienced board members. The cables successively failed one after the other under the load.

              Basically the lesson is that having neo-liberal fools on the boards of crucial infrastructure
              is a silly thing to do.

              The 2006 power failure (one day rather than 5 weeks) was due to a lack of maintenance and concentration of security of supply by transpower. That in turn was driven by the private and marked-for-privatisation power companies who had proved to be obturate about the prices charged by Transpower to maintain the network. They prefered instead to pay dividends.

              It is noticeable that after that failure that the levies charged by Transpower to the power companies increased massively. Basically the remaining neo-liberal fools on the Electricity Commission who’d been appointed by Max Bradford suddenly realised that it was expensive to have power failures on the grid.

              Essentially photonz1, you appear to be a one -eyed fool too stupid to think about root causes of engineering issues.

              • photonz1

                You say I’m wanking on and the comments are those of a fool.

                Then spend all your time putting together a post that backed up EXACTLY what I claimed ….that the blackouts were due to a lack of spending on infrastructure.


                • Colonial Viper

                  Exactly. Diverting money away from shareholders profits into reinvestment and more robust infrastructure is the way ahead.


                  • photonz1

                    Slight flaw – if the investors don’t make a return, they don’t invest the money in the first place.

                    That’s the laughable thing about the Chorus debate. The left don’t want people to get a return from Chorus, but they want them to invest billions of their hard earned money into building a fibre network.

                    There has to be a balance.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure. Investors can get back 5% on their capital, capped.

                      If that doesn’t suit them, we can always find other investors.

                      but they want them to invest billions of their hard earned money

                      “Their hard earned money”??? Fuck off. It’s mostly the bank’s money, from what Chorus has been saying.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Slight flaw – if the investors don’t make a return, they don’t invest the money in the first place.

                      The government doesn’t need to make a return on investment. Or, to be more precise, the return is social and thus can’t be counted in monetary terms.

                      There has to be a balance.

                      There would be balance. We, as a country, invest in the network and get better services.

                      See, balanced. It even costs less because it would no longer have the dead-weight loss of profit on it.

                    • photonz1

                      Draco says “The government doesn’t need to make a return on investment. ”

                      Of course it does. Otherwise how does it pay back the debt it takes on to build new infrastructure.

                      If it doesn’t take on debt, then you need to make cuts in benefits or health or education to pay for it.

                      Unless you ask Mr Mugabe,… er I mean Mr English…. to start his printing presses again – the answer to all problems.

                    • photonz1

                      Colonial Viper says “Their hard earned money”??? Fuck off. It’s mostly the bank’s money, from what Chorus has been saying.”

                      You REALLYy beleive the bank will loan all the money for the fiber network if investors don’t put their own money in? (when Chorus is on the second lowest investment rating down, and on credit watch for a downgrade).

                      If Chorus drops more than one level, it drops out of investment level and the banks pull their money out.

                      Colonial Viper says “Sure. Investors can get back 5% on their capital, capped.”
                      If that doesn’t suit them, we can always find other investors.

                      Yeah right. Investors can get 5% from a safe company like Auckland airport which faces few risks. Chorus is spending billion on the fibre network. If they don’t get enough people transfering across to fibre, they go bust.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Auckland airport? There’s another piece of critical NZ infrastructure which we could do with back in public hands, instead of having all these ticket clipping investors along.

                      If they don’t get enough people transfering across to fibre, they go bust.


                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Of course it does. Otherwise how does it pay back the debt it takes on to build new infrastructure.

                      What debt? The government creates the money debt free and without interest. This is paid back through charging for the service as per normal.

                      The government has no need of profit.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Then spend all your time putting together a post that backed up EXACTLY what I claimed ….that the blackouts were due to a lack of spending on infrastructure.

                  Because of the need to pay dividends. In other words, the private business mentality was the cause and not government ownership. Same as what has happened in Telecom which has required the government to step in with billions of dollars of funding. Same with rail.

                  The lessons NZ needs to have learned over the last thirty years is that the drive for profit causes massive harm.

                  • photonz1

                    Draco says “Because of the need to pay dividends. ”

                    Under govt control the railways paid nothing and still went into $1.2 BILLION debt.

                    With no incentive to be profitable, both telecom (Post Office) and NZ Rail were appallingly run. The wastage was unbelievable.

                    You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What are you? Hoping no one remembers history? Ozzie’s Toll fucked up railways, dickhead.

                      You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                      Dollars provided to Chorus which are nothing more than corporate welfare is not “profit”.

                    • photonz1

                      Colonial Viper says “Toll fucked up railways, dickhead.”

                      Wow – I’m impressed with the level of your insightful debating skills. Such intellect.

                      No one ran the railways as badly as the government. They left it with $1.2 BILLION debt. That’s $2.5 BILLION in todays money.

                      After privatisation the railways had hugely increased freight traffic, faster delivery times, better reliability, fewer derailments, and for the first time, ever, you could freight goods without a high chance of it being pilfered by railway workers along the way..

                    • McFlock


                      From wikipedia:

                      The government wrote off NZ$1.3 billion in debt acquired by the company from the Railways Corporation (mainly for the electrification of the North Island Main Trunk, a Think Big project), [...]

                      So just to sum up, the NZ govt invested a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements, then gave those improvements to the new private owners for free.

                      Fucking typical.

                    • photonz1

                      McFlock says “So just to sum up, the NZ govt invested a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements, then gave those improvements to the new private owners for free.

                      Fucking typical.”

                      So now you’re trying to blame $1.3 billion of debt, on the electrification project which cost over a billion dollars LESS than that ($100 project that blew out to cost the govt 250% of the original estimate – $250m)


                    • Draco T Bastard

                      With no incentive to be profitable, both telecom (Post Office) and NZ Rail were appallingly run. The wastage was unbelievable.

                      The profit drive doesn’t magically get rid of wastage. The only things that can do anything about that is a culture of thrift within the organisation and proper accounting. Unfortunately, neither truly exist in a profit driven business – the drive to push all the expenses onto the public does though (see government payments to Rio Tinto, Telecom, farmers and tax breaks to Warner Bros, – the list goes on). I’d say that the profit drive increases waste – it certainly pushes unsustainable growth as evidenced by AGW and the corporations trying very hard to prevent the governments of the world doing anything about it.

                      And you also misread what I wrote. The need to pay dividends decreased the amount available to re-invest back into the network resulting in the failure of the network. If the dividends didn’t need to be paid then those millions could have been spent on the necessary maintenance.

                      You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                      Since when have companies paid tax?

                      If we want companies to pay tax then we need to change the laws so that they don’t have any loopholes to drive their BMW’s and Audi’s through.

                    • photonz1

                      If you think companies pay nothing, then you’d be happy to cancel the $9 billion a year it takes off companies?

                    • McFlock

                      So now you’re trying to blame $1.3 billion of debt, on the electrification project which cost over a billion dollars LESS than that ($100 project that blew out to cost the govt 250% of the original estimate – $250m)

                      Nah, photoshop. I provided a source that said it. You provide fuck all to back up your assertions. But (according to your own arse-pulled numbers) at least a fifth or so of the “debt” was new infrastructure that the government created and then gifted to the private sector.

                      Fuck, I can pretend to run something more efficiently than the previous owners if they quietly gift me a quarter of a billion dollars worth of infrastructure that they pay for.

                  • photonz1

                    Draco says “What debt? The government creates the money debt free and without interest. This is paid back through charging for the service as per normal.”

                    I see – the Mugabe solution fixes every financial issue in all sectors.

                    If it REALLY works, you’d think we’d have been doing it for years.

                    Meanwhile….back on planet earth….governments try to come up with real solutions.

              • greywarbler

                Very interest lprent. You stick around and photonz1 can do a photoshoot of himself and get developed.

              • ropata

                photonz1 would do well to read this analysis of the power crisis by Dr. Peter Gluckmann or perhaps this Roger Award for 1999

                Extracts from Gluckmann’s report:

                In the last five years, Mercury Energy have followed the present economic
                wisdom of aiming for efficiency and a good return to their shareholders (the
                Mercury Trust), raised power prices, reduced their field workforce by half, and
                raised management salaries by 30%
                , with total revenues of $580M in 1997. In
                addition for the last three years their energy has been poured mostly into a
                pointless (and ultimately fruitless) struggle to take over their neighbouring
                power supplier, Power NZ, which cost Mercury $300m
                . In the middle of the first
                week without power, the Auckland City Council called an emergency meeting in
                the town hall to discuss the problems people were facing. Some of the business
                owners who attended were on the verge of bankruptcy because of the lack of
                power, but Mercury didn’t even bother turning up, an act which the mayor
                described as “a disgrace”. This sort of thing isn’t endearing them to their
                clients/victims. There seems to be a strong feeling that those who got the
                huge pay rises and bonuses when things were going well should now take
                responsibility when things are going badly. One company manager was even more
                blunt: “fix the problem, make sure it doesn’t happen again, then resign”. On
                the afternoon in which Mercury directors held an emergency meeting to discuss
                the implications of the two repaired cables failing, the meeting had to be
                moved at the last minute because one of their dissatisfied customers/victims
                threatened to blow them up. The police are taking the bomb threat seriously.

                According to a story in the New Zealand Herald (Auckland’s largest paper), the
                power problems go back to the old state-run Auckland Electric Power Board
                (AEPB), the immediate predecessor of Mercury Energy. Former AEPB engineers
                told the Herald that the cables needed to be replaced in the early to mid
                1980’s (in the early 1970’s the cables were expected to last 10, perhaps 15
                years if people were lucky). Mercury Energy has full records of meetings,
                reports, and discussion papers in which this problem was addressed, but has
                declined to make them available even though they were once public records,
                probably out of concern that they’d make a prime smoking gun for use in various
                lawsuits. According to the Herald, the issue of replacing the increasingly
                dodgy cables came up again and again, but was ignored by the board until
                Mercury inherited the problem in 1993. When the old power boards got
                restructured, a profit-driven mentality took hold with the idea being to drive
                the plant as hard as possible while performing the minimum of routine
                I’m not sure how much of this is just 20/20 hindsight, everyone
                asked about the matter seems to have known that the cables were past the end of
                their effective life, but noone did anything about it. A Mercury board of
                directors member has claimed in a TV interview that they had no idea that the
                cables were dodgy: “there was no alarm sounded whatsoever”. I’m putting my
                money fairly firmly on “We tried to tell them, but noone listened”.

                This kind of outage brings home the fact that electricity isn’t a simple
                commodity like clothing or electrical goods where an interruption of the supply
                doesn’t have any significant consequences. Electricity is an essential
                requirement for modern life. If something goes wrong, it isn’t just an
                annoyance for the company shareholders, it’s something which affects everyone.
                This means that companies supplying essential services like electricity (and
                water and other similar services) can’t be run like standard companies where
                the consequences of poor decision-making are restricted to the end-of-year
                profit and share price, but need to have substantial extra capacity and
                redundancy to provide a good safety margin. The current economic wisdom
                appears to be that privatisation is a Good Thing and everything else leads to
                waste and inefficiency. This was borne out by Mercury: They cut maintenance,
                cut the workforce, deferred investment in new plant, made record profits, and
                then knocked out the largest city in the country.

                • photonz

                  And was Mercury a private company, or government owned?

                  That’s right – government owned.

                  • Francis

                    But run in exactly the same way as a privately-owned company. Hence the flaw of the SOE model when used for critical infrastructure.

                    • photonz


                      If it wants to, any govt at any time can direct any SOE to spend more to keep infrastructure up to date.

                      With govts, there’s huge pressure to spend on every other sector.

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in pretty much every sector.

                    • photonz

                      That’s irrelevant.

                      Any govt at any time can direct any SOE to spend more on infrastructure.

                      With govts, there’s huge pressure to spend on every other sector.

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in every sector.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in every sector.

                      The National opposition complained about labour UNDER-spending in every sector?
                      That’s one of your more stupid lies, photoshopnz.

                    • photonz

                      McFlock – they may not have complained about lack of spending on benefits, but they certainly complained about lack of spending on electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc.

                      The point there are so many demands from so many sectors that governments (even ones like Labour in the middle of the 2000s economic boom/bubble), are forever underspending on essential infrastructure.

                    • mickysavage

                      Citation needed photons. I have been reading your comments for a while and I see no understanding of what was happening or an appreciation of the deep financial hole the country currently is in.

                    • ropata

                      When Nactional was the opposition they bleated on about all sorts of things. The underclass, the Cullen Fund, health and education. All of which remain sadly neglected by the Shonkey regime.

                      I don’t see Nactional making wise investments in the electricity sector, when they are flogging off long-term profitable SOE’s to pay down low-cost debt. Their behaviour is standard neoliberal idiocy (or greed, take your pick).

                    • McFlock

                      McFlock – they may not have complained about lack of spending on benefits, but they certainly complained about lack of spending on electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc.

                      they’re the ones who cut the spending on those things

                  • joe90

                    And was Mercury a private company, or government owned?

                    That’s right – government owned.

                    Oh dear.

                    • ropata

                      And the directors were not running it like a public utility, they were exploiting it to maximise profits. The directors had the power to decide whether to invest in infrastructure, but they chose to waste $300 mill in the pursuit of further market dominance. The SOE model is flawed.

                • greywarbler

                  Very informative and unsatisfactory and a great big warning.

  8. greywarbler 8

    No doubt Jokey Hen is looking at US airline precedents! The example of the USA in how to run an airline with affordable prices, efficiently and profitably!!

    when I needed to book a trip to Motown with a week’s notice the round trip fares ranged from $1,374 to $2,000 on the legacy carriers. Guess who had the highest price? American. That is, until Delta upped the ante to $2,010, which American promptly matched.
    The only other nonstop option was plucky Spirit Air, priced at $335, but I couldn’t make either of its two daily flights. The next best option was a one-stop through Washington on American’s betrothed, USAirways, at $329.

    That is the kind of oligopolistic pricing that has DOJ’s knickers in a twist: a city pair dominated by the big three collecting economic rent

  9. Tracey 9

    What is the source for the headline post?

  10. Red Horse 11

    Never buy airline shares: they are always a losing proposition. Least of all government-run ones.
    Buy pharmaceuticals and industrials shares instead. They are the key to a successful investment portfolio.

    Capitalists of the world, unite.

  11. Bill Drees 12

    “Stop Asset Sales” was not a great campaign. The reality is it has failed.

    Despite the number of petition signatures (after a second go) we failed to capture the public imagination to a degree that stopped the Nats in their tracks.

    It has a negative call to action. “Assets” is an accounting term. The Air NZ inclusion in the referendum question diluted what could have been a better campaign.

    Had we asked the public
    “Do you, as a citizen/taxpayer/consumer want the Hydro Electric Dams to remain public ownership?”
    we would have captured their imagination. That would have given people a simpler image and something more tangible with which to identify.

    • photonz1 12.1

      The real problem is the the important referendum on asset sales was at the last election – it was one of the main election issues.

      So the current referendum is two or three years too late – obviously – because the two main sales have already happened.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        What happened to the mandate to pay down debt and put more money into schools and hospitals with the proceeds?

        • photonz1

          They are doing that. Millions from the asset sales has already been allocated, including

          – $426 million for the redevelopment of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals. As announced previously, this will be the single biggest building project in the history of New Zealand’s public health system.
          – $50 million to speed up the School Network Upgrade Project which enhances the technological capability of schools.
          – $94 million for the fourth year of KiwiRail’s Turnaround Plan.
          – $80 million for irrigation projects, as announced previously.

          As far as school building goes, there hasn’t been so much building going on around our local schools in decades. A year or so ago the South Island got it’s first new primary school in over 20 years. And another is on it’s way.

          Until recently, there’s been massive underspending on school infrastructure for a very, very long time.

          • ropata

            And now they have lots of misdirected spending on schools instead. Primary schools don’t need flashy technology they need more teachers and classrooms. Did you notice that NACT are closing schools all over the place?

            Nobody can fault the rebuild of Christchurch hospitals but we didn’t need to sell our best power companies to pay for it. Earthquakes have become Keys bullshit excuse for everything (disaster capitalism)

            • photonz

              1/ There’s no point keeping the power companies when the Green/Labour power plan is to kill off the returns and decimate their value.

              2/ The previous Labour govt closed hundreds more schools than National has.

              • ropata

                1/ The value of a public utility is not measured in dollars, but in its benefits to society. National are helping foreign banksters to soak kiwi households. Previous generations of NZers worked hard and died and sacrificed towns and rivers for these power stations. And you want to toss them away for a few blankets and beads. You blinkered fool.

                2/ ‘hundreds’ … cough cough.

  12. Tracey 13

    “Postal voting for the non-binding referendum opens on Friday November 22 and closes on December 13. “The smart money is on something to kick off early next week,” said one market source.

    Another market player told the Herald that he had heard it could happen before the weekend.”

    A kind of insider trading of information?

  13. Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high-quality
    writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people
    like you! Take care!!

  14. photonz 15

    Mickey Savage says “I have been reading your comments for a while and I see no understanding of what was happening or an appreciation of the deep financial hole the country currently is in.”

    Our govt debt to GDP is half the OECD average – HALF!

    Our interest rates are set to go UP at the next rate change, because the economy is buoyant.

    We have massive housing problem that need to be addressed. But at least for the first time in several governments we’re finally started to have some changes –
    – tightening up on LAQCs
    – tightening up on claiming depreciation
    – tightening up on availability of mortgages
    – loosening up of available land
    – loosening up of council rules

    Labour has finally started to look at the problem, most of which was caused under their watch. Our mortgage debt went from $60b to $160b in just five years, but we owned THE EXACT SAME HOUSES as we had five years before. The only difference was we are $100 BILLION further in debt.

    The tweaking of rules by National has made lots of small improvements, but I’d like to know more about Labour’s new plan to build thousands of new homes.

    Potentially (if done right) that has the potential to make a much bigger positive difference to the problem than anything National is doing.

    The time might have come for the government (or their chosen large contractor) to become a property developer on a scale never seen before here.

  15. photonz 16

    McFlock says “they’re the ones who cut the spending on those things”

    Here’s govt spending from Labour in 2008, and National in 2013, from Treasury

    Labour $11,297m, National $14,526m
    Labour $9,551, National $12,355
    Labour $260m, National $317m
    Rail funding
    Labour $24m, National $169m (and $300-500m the previous four years)

    That’s the funny thing – there’s been massive 30% increases of $3 BILLION EACH for health and education, during a recession, yet any Labour or Green supporter will swear blue than there’s been big cuts.

    The sad thing is, they actually truly believe their own lies.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Allow me to provide actual links, which you are incapable of doing:


      Where do core Crown expenses go?
      2013/14: $72.4b (31.8% of GDP)

      (tables heavily edited to make it easy for people to see who is attempting to mislead)

      Actual 2009
      Total Crown expenses [...] 83,821
      % of GDP [...]

      And before you say that drop was all backroom bureaucrats, tell that to community education classes, plunket, and Rape Crisis for example.
      Oh, and those seem to be contemporary dollars. I wonder how inflation would effect the data.

      • photonz 16.1.1

        So you’ve added and extra $20 billion spending from SOEs etc for your 2009 figure, but then omitted it for some reason in your 2013 figure

        If you use the SAME method – core crown expenditure, you’ll get $72 billion in 2013 and $57 billion in Labour’s last year

        If you want a comparison of government spending across all sectors, total, health, education (split into early childhood, primary, secondary etc) from 2008 to now and projected into the future, you won’t get much better than this –


        • McFlock

          actuslly, you seem to be correct there. Because I had to go hunting for what you wee talking about, I fucked up.

          And now you’ve mastered the art of providing links, good for you.

          Ok, so sans SOE (“core crown expenses”?), govt has gone from Labour’s last budget year (2008/9) 33.4% of GDP down to 31.8% of GDP 2013/14, correct?

          But to recap: your assertion was that national complained about Labour’s alleged lack of spending on “electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc”, and I responded that they’d cut spending on those things.

          2013/14 Tranport and communications: $2.2b.
          2008/9 Transport and communications: $2.8b.
          Looks like a cut in funding to me, in nominal, real or %GDP terms. And I think it includes “roads, and operations etc”.

  16. greywarbler 17

    Government departments must follow a tender process but a source said that could overcome by the Government picking a company from its pre-selected panel.

    That panel includes Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, First NZ Capital, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr.

    The above are the people really scalping this country. Or maybe they have us by the short and curlies. And government departments practices over tendering. They haven’t got good at it yet. Read about Steven Joyce and Radio whatisname.

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      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • Cycling: the benefits of complete networks
    A group of New Zealand researchers recently published an excellent paper on the costs and benefits of investing in a complete cycle network and safe street design. Their paper, which is available online, found that: the benefits of all the...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Up here on Planet Key
    On the Left | 21-10
  • TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be...
    Hot Topic | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    frogblog | 21-10
  • Tracking the performance of the 1 hour Xero model
    DISCLOSURE: I hold Xero shares.  Last year I built a very quick and dirty spreadsheet to analyse Xero, and wrote Valuing Xero – in one hour. The article was cross-posted to the NBR, where it attracted far more comments. More on those...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping politicisation of the OIA
    Brent Edwards' story last week on official advice to ministers on child poverty was interesting not only for its substance, but its circumstance.Edwards explained on Morning Report that he originally requested the first of the documents (some of them now nearly...
    Public Address | 21-10
  • Emails from the candidates
    As part of the NZ Labour leadership election, the candidates are able to email the party membership and sell themselves. Knowing how messy Labour’s membership list can be, I thought I’d reproduce the emails in case anyone wants to use...
    Progress report | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterday’s leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common...
    Gordon Campbell | 21-10
  • @akltransport – Please fill in a form
    Social media has become an important tool for many organisations in how they engage with their customers. It’s become a tool for both marketing and customer service, and there are a number of examples organisations who do it right. Some...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 22
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Child PovertyGovernment Priorities and Policies 1. Hon ANNETTE KING (Acting Deputy Leader – Labour) to the Deputy Prime Minister : Will he make reducing child poverty a Better Public Service target given the...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – On The Left Special!
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “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
    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
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 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
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • 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
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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