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Another one bites the dust

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, February 7th, 2013 - 108 comments
Categories: economy, national - Tags: , ,

Another day, another company that couldn’t make it in National’s stagnant economy. But this company, Mainzeal, is a particularly significant case, our third largest construction company:

Why Mainzeal fell into receivership

Construction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars are in limbo after one of New Zealand’s largest construction firms was put into receivership.

Mainzeal Property and Construction’s receivership yesterday sent shockwaves through the building industry and put the income of hundreds of employees and subcontractors at risk. The company was founded in 1968 and directly employs more than 400.

Industry sources said the flow-on effects would be major, particularly for the small businesses that largely make up the sector. “It’s bad news for subbies. Even if they do get paid ultimately, they can wait a long time,” said one source. Mainzeal is NZ’s third biggest construction firm, behind Fletcher and Hawkins…

There seem to have been a number of reasons for the closure, among them the legacy of National’s leaky building crisis. But the bottom line is that despite the energy of the Christchurch rebuild, a major player in our construction sector couldn’t make it. How much longer will the Nats and their spinsters go on claiming that there is no crisis?

108 comments on “Another one bites the dust”

  1. Fortran 1

    I am waiting to hear it is because of the high value of the Dollar !
    Which is not so in this case.
    They over extended themselves, but will soon be picked up as it is a comparatively small debt.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Mainzeal aren’t a manufacturing exporter. And why did Shipley and the Board agree to this move if it is just a small debt to the banks – was it to get out of paying subcontractors etc.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Get out of paying for leaky buildings that they are responsible for.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Ahhhhh right….

          So all the assets, contracts in progress etc will be picked up by some new entity, but not the liability for previous work.

          That sounds so very fair and square to me.

        • History of Violence 1.1.1.2

          Spot on

      • Macro 1.1.2

        Shipley and the Board resigned on Friday last week I understand.

        • Peter 1.1.2.1

          Wasn’t she an advocate of liberal law changes that set off the “leaky homes” scandal which now appears to be a contributing factor to Mainzeals demise?

          • tracey 1.1.2.1.1

            Looks like Paul Collins has learned nothing since his Brierley days… particularly around ethics. As long as the cheque didnt bounce aye Paul? How many Crown entities does he sit on or chair? I know he is on Sport NZ, any others we are paying him to keep him in the manner to which he (as opposed to any of his shareholders) are accustomed?

    • Poission 1.2

      On 9-noon one of the commentators was describing problematic failures with an imported Chinese facade.One of the effects of the high dollar is substitution for local built systems and or products that have often evolved to meet local physical constraints.

      The other main problem is the effects on small subcontractors and suppliers who have little recourse.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1

        Yes, I saw that , “Chinese supply chain issue”.

        Another company |Ive heard about is bringing in window frames from Indonesia.- could be problems there as well

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1.1

          The facade issue could have been the Rotorua Hospital redevelopment, as\Mainzeal was the head contractor for this site, along with some others like it

        • tracey 1.2.1.2

          having to undergo the reclad of my house. Am using NZ manufacturers where I can. Leaving aside those that have dubious pasts.

  2. vto 2

    Mainzeal has always been a bit ropey and not known for producing the highest quality either.

    Their demise is not surprising.

    • grumpy 2.1

      Exactly, Mainzeal have always been bordering on the corrupt. Their leaky homes exposure has just made it more attractive to shut up shop……..meanwhile, for the parent company, it’s business as usual.

    • tc 2.2

      Wonder how the new Prison in the waikato’s close to mermere is holding up as they built that.

      Did they also do the one in the hawkes bay that’s leaky as and I’m told pretty much a health trap ?

  3. Adrian 3

    How many companies is this now where Shipley has had a senior directorial role and the company has gone tits up? I think it must be at least 5, she’s the kiss of death. Almost 50 years ago I sat School Cert in the same town as her, I sneaked in and she failed twice, fuck me it’s only Level 2 NCEA ( in fact watching what my kids have done I would say that in equates to more like Level 1 these days). Apparently she studied hard, I pissed about but I don’t have the arrogance to think that I’m clever enough to run a penny-in-the slot shithouse let alone a company or as we found out a country.
    The defining characteristics of the right wing nutters is their total lack of self-awareness and exactly how stupid they really are.

    • geoff 3.2

      +1 Adrian! :-D

    • AmaKiwi 3.3

      Gerry Brownlee’s CV (high school wood working teacher) wouldn’t qualify him for much more than minimum wage in today’s job market.

      Here’s one Labour tossed on the trash heap:

      Otago University BA (first-class honours), NZ diplomat (1987 to 1994), Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics from Massey University (1993), Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School in 1994 and 1995 (Master of Public Administration), business consultant with Boston Consulting Group in Auckland (1995 to 1999), Minister of Immigration, Minister of Communications & IT, Minister of Health, and shadow Minister of Finance.

      Since environment is one of his major areas of expertise and he’s already far to the left of the Labour Dinosaurs, I hope he’ll join the Greens. If Labour challenges him in his New Lynn electorate in 2014, Labour will give the seat to National (which they can ill afford to do).

      Scientists marvel that the dinosaurs survived so long with such tiny brains. Political scientists do, too.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        but which they will do, out of spite. Regardless, its not a foregone conclusion that the Nats would win that seat ;)

        • tc 3.3.1.1

          DC couild possibly win it in his own right if the mallarfia keep up their form.

          Why not a proper independant MP (unlike lapdog dunny), labour’s become like an old brand that’s just not like it used to be or ever can be, so time for a new brand maybe.

      • AmaKiwi 3.3.2

        The dinosaur’s survived because what they lacked in intelligence they made up for with viciousness.

        History repeats.

        • AmaKiwi 3.3.2.1

          Colonial Viper,

          You’ve been around and have good insights. What would be your advice to DC?

          Should he wait it out in Siberia waiting for the dinosaur extinction? Apply to the Greens for membership? Quit Parliament and find a more lucrative and satisfying line of work? Start a new party? Do you see some other promising options?

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.1.1

            AK let’s see what you yourself make of this; I shan’t answer your question per se because in your question it’s the context which is critical.

            1) Funny you mention Dinosaur extinction. Jenny is actually quite right. This current globalised civilisation is running out of time and fast. 50 years time and extremely severe climate change will be the norm. Life will be unpleasant for a lot of people. I’ll add that I think energy and resource depletion will impact more severely sooner than that. 15 years time. Less than one generation. Before today’s newborn finishes high school. That’s 15 years within which this nation will have some freedom of movement to act and prepare.

            2) Further, 3 Tory terms or 1 weak light blue Labour term is a high price for this country and its peoples to pay. But more importantly, another Tory term is not just 3 years: it wastes 20% of the available adaptive project time available to NZ.

            3) There are many ways to contribute to and influence the future. The inwardly focussed, disconnected, power compromised, diffuse decision making method through Wellington based politics may not be the best way.

            4) Nevertheless central government remains the single most powerful institution in this country for change; NZ has done it before and it can do it again. Look at what McKenzie and Savage achieved in just a few years. However all our current ‘political leaders’ seem to have forgotten that fact, or even if they know it, have no ability, inclination, idea of context or what direction to take the country in.

            5) Success on the scale of the next few decades will require a political approach which brings together a lot (if not all) of the people and groups in NZ society who today, don’t always have much time or respect for each other. But they will, once they get the scale of the challenges ahead of us.

            6) Of course it goes without saying that a private sector job would be far higher paying and with less BS and heartache than staying on in Parliament and contributing. But why let the pricks win? Also, the number one spot always looks grand from the bottom of the podium, but when you finally get there, it has very many of its own shackles and constraints.

            • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.3.2.1.1.1

              AmaKiwi and CV
              Good stuff for thinking about and resonates with what I see and know. I get upset at the level of much of the ‘thought’ that shows up here, as brief as a strobe light, when there are serious problems facing us.

              CV Thanks for reply to yesterday and environmental change. Am still digesting.

              • Colonial Viper

                You are welcome indeed. I talk to a lot of different people everyday and interestingly, a reasonable number either already get it or are starting to get it.

                Of course, most others do think that their privileged fossil fuel powered lifestyle (the services and conveniences provided to them equivalent to having 50-100 servants ["energy slaves" in the parlance] working for them continuously during the day) is here to stay and that economic growth will return right around the corner.

          • Fortran 3.3.2.1.2

            The Greens will not accept him – he is too intelligent and is a realist.

        • Murray Olsen 3.3.2.2

          Dinosaurs survived because they grew feathers. They’re still around.

      • felixviper 3.3.3

        “Gerry Brownlee’s CV (high school wood working teacher) wouldn’t qualify him for much more than minimum wage in today’s job market.”

        Teaching kids to make things with their hands is nothing to be scoffed at.

        Everything he’s done since, on the other hand…

        • AmaKiwi 3.3.3.1

          @ felixviper

          “Teaching kids to make things with their hands is nothing to be scoffed at.”

          As a credential for running a country or rebuilding Christchurch, it is definitely to be scoffed at.

          It is disgraceful how unqualified Brownlee is (along with a lot of other MPs in all parties).

          • felixviper 3.3.3.1.1

            He’s qualified to run the country by virtue of the fact that he put his name forward and people voted for him.

            If you think there’s a better way to qualify as a representative in a democracy, I’m all ears.

            • AmaKiwi 3.3.3.1.1.1

              felixviper

              Getting elected doesn’t mean he knows what the f*ck he’s doing. Did you forget, Hitler got elected Chancellor of Germany. John Banks got elected MP from Epsom. Pam Corkery and Maggie Barry. Americans elect empty headed show biz personalities all the time. Ronald Reagen had Alzheimer’s but they loved him. Sarah Palin.

              How many thousand names do you want of people who are popular enough to get elected but unqualified and incompetent to govern?

              I stand by my statement: “Gerry Brownlee is disgracefully unqualified to govern” . . . and no sitting MP is better qualified to govern than David Cunliffe!

              • Rob

                Really, so now what is your new set of pre-requisite experiences and qualifications to be elected?

              • Colonial Viper

                The thing is, these days university qualifications don’t mean you know squat about squat either. How many degrees did Savage have?

                • Murray Olsen

                  I object!! My PhD means I know a hell of a lot about very little :-)
                  I don’t think Big Norm had spent much time in the ivory towers either, whereas Cunliffe has. Formal qualifications don’t have a lot to say about how effective a politician will be, one way or the other.

                  • fatty

                    depends what was studied…John Key has an impressive work record according to some, but I don’t care for anything to do with economics – that will teach you how to be a prick.
                    I wish we had leaders with a background in social sciences & humanities.
                    The left are very good at silencing Left leaning academics. The right are good at using and perverting the work of economics & natural science academics.

                  • Alinsky

                    Murray Olsen

                    Got a tall poppy problem?

                    Among other things, your PhD means:

                    You know how to find information you need.
                    You know how to evaluate the quality of the information you find.
                    You can intelligently weigh the pros and cons of an argument.
                    You are aware of what you do NOT know and therefore more likely to seek expert advice on matters outside your field.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The MPs don’t need to be qualified as they have entire ministries with lots of qualified people in to advise them. Unfortunately, this government tends to ignore the advice and govern through ideology and, especially in Treasury, the qualified people are also only qualified in ideology.

            • Rob 3.3.3.1.1.2

              Exactly Felix, and also diversity is a key element of successful democracy.

        • Murray Olsen 3.3.3.2

          I understood that the point made was that Brownlee and his government had devalued all labour except their own, so that a person who could make stuff could only “aspire” to the minimum wage. I thought it was a criticism of today’s job market, rather than of useful skills.

      • Tom Gould 3.3.4

        Just shows you that highly qualified people can still lack common sense and reason.

      • Dr Terry 3.3.5

        Truly spoken Ama! This country is either or both suspicious/envious of higher education and qualification. This has been patently evident. Join the Greens? if only!

    • mike 3.4

      Bang on Adrian. Theses Nats are New Zealands answer to the Tea Party. Mixture of nutters and criminals

    • John Elliott 3.5

      John Elliott

      School Certificate always equated to NCEA Level One. The only reason that people now think of it as Level Two is the right-wingers’ new ploy of screaming that our system is failing because 30% or whatever are not achieving Level 2. That is the equivalent of the old University Entrance.

      Nice Goal-post manoeuvre!

    • Tiresias 3.6

      You don’t think she actually took any decisions, do you? She got the position for some combination of the following reasons and just turned up to board meetings to get bored and collect the fee:

      1. Ex.-PM on board looks impressive in Annual statements
      2. Ex-PM might have channels to the right people, or the dirt on public servants issuing contracts
      3. Was part of the deal offered to become Ex-PM. (Wonder what Bill English offered Mainzeal to sweeten the deal?)

    • georgecom 3.7

      Adrian. All new information to me. Can you list the companies you know of?

  4. Jenny 4

    That this company was unnecessarily collapsed by the actions of 1 National Party stalwart speaks volumes.

    That this individual will not be financially harmed by this closure and may even stand to personally gain, being a director of a business rival, says even more about National Party immorality and hypocrisy over concern for jobs.

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    This is a story to fasinate and alarm with ramifications for our future. There was a very good interview between Kathryn Ryan and a spokesman for contractors and one for builders.
    Things to observe and consider involved in this situation –
    * The rise of private equity, with one person shopping for companies that have a good look and probably largely funded on a basis of leverage.
    * The glamour of overseas connections and trying to make deals with larger business and financial entities.
    * The lack of legislation guarding the interests of contractors.
    * The lack of legislation in the leaky home responsibility and fault spread, wich should be shared by others such as the architects rather than just the builders.
    * The almost total use of contractors who are treated as unsecured creditors and while they wait for payment for their input, are actually funding their own work and some of the goods required.
    * The way that contractors receiving payment fall behind first, the IRD, then the banks.
    * Some contractors are substantial businesses with up to 100 employees, which will be severely hit.
    * There has been a squeeze on finance for projects with no fat to spare.
    * Mini and one-person contractors probably have needed to use their family home as collateral to get working capital, they are very exposed. Also the site has been locked down and the contractors with equipment there are being denied access to it at present, and the treatment of small business needs doesn’t usually include a desire to be helpful.
    * The expectation is that the contractors will have to survive as they can under our NZ business environment. Compare how the government was willing to cushion bottom-sitting investors who haven’t the need to get their hands dirty actually doing a skilled physical job as shown in the SFC debacle.
    * The government is always going to start running the country effectively tomorrow and we know the cliche about tomorrow never coming. Pollies like Brownlee with big talk and big presence are seen and heard talking everything up but without actual action to turn the recession around. A warning about the stagnation of work was given in December by the companys executive.

    Quotes from the stories connected to the link.
    Weekend Herald columnist Brian Gaynor wrote in 2008 that Mr Yan seemed to be “chasing a new pot of gold” every year. “Yan has problems focusing on one activity, setting goals, achieving these objectives and only moving to another initiative once he has achieved his targets.”
    Mr Yan had hoped Dame Jenny, as a director of Richina as well as Mainzeal, would open high-level doors within the Chinese Government, but by 2010 Gaynor was writing of her as one of the most disappointing politicians-turned-director. There was little evidence of her Chinese-door-opening abilities.

    • Scott 5.1

      Another quote from the NZH, an Anne Gibson story published today:-

      “Even Dame Jenny Shipley’s upmarket townhouse near Auckland Domain leaked: the irony there was that it was also built by Mainzeal and she chaired Richina Pacific, Mainzeal’s owner.”

      Does this ‘gem’ not encapsulate the State of the Nation?

      • tracey 5.1.1

        Of course while it cost the company 19m to repair… any levies she paid to fund the fight would have been more than made up for by her multitude of Director’s Fees.

  6. Scott 6

    Excuse the naivete, but can someone explain to me that while Mainzeal Property & Construction (MPC) have been put into receivership, its owner, Mainzeal Group Limited (MGL), has not? Why cannot MGL, or its owner, Richina, bail out MPC – surely it has the funds? Surely it should? To what degree are the respective owners, directors, and senior managers of these companies liable for such failures?

    • grumpy 6.1

      Idiot! When Mainzeal Property and Construction (MPC) Ltd folded, it took the leaky building liabilities with it!

      • tracey 6.1.1

        EXACTLY!!

        While the subcontractors are crying “stop thief” at the injustice of their tools locked inside think about the leaky home owners who just got royally shafted by Mainzeal… and more importantly the ratepayers in cases where the council was involved, cos the payout to those owners who claim will have just escalated on council.

        I really feel for the subcontractors. Sadly many of them are the same folks who blame owners of leaky homes for buying a cheap home… in the end the big construction companies and developers move around relatively unscathed by the mess they create in other people’s lives.

        • cricklewood 6.1.1.1

          It is true to a degree,
          NZ construction has been on a race to the bottom for years, no one works for free so the cheapest price often contains ommisions in which case you get hammered with variations or a lower build quality.

          I have seen and been involved in fixing/ mediating a few projects where clients ended up with a dog for the sake of $15000, most times they did not understand the specification or clarifications around the pricing and thought they were comparing apples with apples when it was infact apples with oranges.
          Some contractors are quite unscrupulos in the way they get in the door by pricing at very small margin or cost at the beginning with as many ommisions in the fine print as they can get away with. Once contracted the variations start coming and they tend to have huge margins.
          The best peice of advice I could give anyone contemplating putting a house build or landscape out to tender is to engage a quantity survyeor to create a pricing schedule and put together a tight specification. That way you are comparing contractors equally and the chances of an unwelcome suprise much lower.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Sadly many of them are the same folks who blame owners of leaky homes for buying a cheap home…

          You get what you pay for and when you demand cheap that’s exactly what you get.

          IMO, NZ has become decidedly cheap over the last 30 odd years having seemingly been persuaded by the neo-liberals that everything is only worth what you’re willing to pay for it rather than what it costs.

          in the end the big construction companies and developers move around relatively unscathed by the mess they create in other people’s lives.

          That has to do with the laws governing responsibility and the fact that, seemingly, the laws are designed to protect the businesses from having any.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Sub contractors have been exposed, say the story, to the risks, as they wont get paid for work done.
    But, there are huge demands on their services from the building sector.
    Can’t help that they collectively withhold work unless they are paid up front, and their
    collegues are paid for work done (legilsative changes even).
    But you see we’re told by big media that hard working types are neo-liberals, they don
    tbelieve in collective protections across the industry, they like being the little fish in a
    ocean of sharks.
    Well goes to show why people get the government they choose, sub-contractors were
    as a group cheering on independence from unionize, and all that socialism, are now
    having to pick up the risks while others run of with profits.
    They’ll lose their homes, but where were they when wages rises were being held back,
    when unions were under attack, when naffy neo-liberalism was running the shop.
    And then to hear John Key ‘worried’ about their pain, about how concerned he is
    for sub-contractors (because he knows they vote for him).
    Labour have a real opportunity, sub-contractors do also, to rebalance the power in
    the building industry that favors fiscal gearing at the expense of everyone.

  8. tracey 8

    Interesting to hear brian Gaynor’s take ont he mainzeal thing, stating the parent company is the culprit andhas some chequered past, that the construction part of the busienss is thrivuing.

    I am not sure why the PM felt the need to wade in and offer his two cents…

    Interesting to that Ms Collins has said a resounding NO to more transparency for MPs through the OIA while simultaenously making it even harder to get information our of finance and other companies.

  9. grumpy 9

    We were involved in a project for a Nelson school. Mainzeal were building on “negotiated” contact.

    One of the subbies got an alternative material price for us of $46k, whereas the price he had been given by Mainzeal was $96k. He was told that if he wanted any further work from Mainzeal, that he should never get alternative pricing.

    Nek minnit, the Consulting Engineer got involved and Mainzeal’s mates dropped their material price to match ours – a 50% reduction.

    Always dodgy – even now in recievership!

    • tracey 9.1

      I have heard of attempted leaky home settlements under the Financial Assistance Package (FAP) where a building construction company agrees to settle under the FAP, so long as it is the builder who does the repair. It over inflates its estimate for the repair of which council and govt then pay 50%. I have heard one such company boast that it might even “make a profit” out of the deal.

      Of course it wont now because it went into receivership before the deal was struck… it wont make a profit BUT the council that wouldn’t entertain a settlement at 50% is now facing 100% of the claim cost.

      WHAT a mess. Still all the directors will get to keep their other directorships and even get new ones…

  10. JonL 10

    Mainzeal – that pack of pricks!
    Work on a “cut the price to the bone” to get the job, then screw out as much in variations as they can – they would charge you for farting twice, instead of the once “allowed for in the contract”
    A strategic bankruptcy…….they (or a version thereof) will be back….god help us!

    • tracey 10.1

      My father used to work for Fletchers contract dept a few decades ago and he said they were specifically trained to get the contract in a certain way so that they could ramp up the variations after it was signed.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Yeah and the small contractors who don’t have their own legal dept get subsequently screwed.

        • tracey 10.1.1.1

          and more and more companies are being set up by non builders as building companies. This means the director/owner takes the profit and no ongoing liability and the builder they use (with a License) has to carry personal liability for ten years despite earning an hourly wage only.

          We will be better off when we are back to small building companies run by builders, employing builders… speculators/investors and developers can fuck off

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            Builders need to unionise or collectivise, or they will keep getting screwed.

  11. Herodotus 11

    On a similar issue, there is concern that there are many sporting clubs also on the verge of collapse, be it be golf, rugby, league, cricket etc. especially as many were held up by the pokies. And what will be the social and community consequences.
    To keep on topic – I await to read the full story and ascertain how much of this collapse is due to leaky buildings ( botany town centre) that were constructed this century.
    Sympathies to all those unsecured creditors.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    “I will know a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.” (A sign at the Occupy protests.)

    In the beginning (400 years ago) every shareholder was PERSONALLY liable for the corporation’s actions and liabilities. Corporations got a charter by specifying precisely what their business activity was and where they would carry it out. A railroad, for example, could not engage in real estate development or own farms, mines, or towns along its lines. A bank or insurance company could not engage in share market speculation.

    Another major change was when it was legislated that the directors are ONLY responsible to the shareholders. This not only excused them from social and environmental responsibility, it made it impossible for them to do ANYTHING socially or environmentally responsible unless the directors could defend their actions in court as the most PROFITABLE course of action for the share holders.

    That’s why the so-called capital system is so fucked up. It is completely irresponsible.

    That’s why it needs to be ripped apart and re-designed along responsible guidelines.

    It’s a colossal job, but someone’s got to do it. And it ain’t gonna be Shipley, Key, English, Joyce, etc. It’s got to be us.

  13. tracey 13

    There is a misconception that a limited liability company is giving directors limited liability. In fact it is shareholders to whom it attaches. However the Companies Act is a eunuch when it comes to Directors…

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      @ tracey

      “The liability attaches to the shareholders” ??????????? Nonsense.

      Today shareholders have NO personal liability. Their shares can go down in value but not one of them can be personally sued for anything the company does. That’s why they are called “limited liability” companies.

      It is 1840. I own 100 shares in a railroad. Sparks from our locomotive sets a town on fire. A court decides the company must pay the town’s citizens for the damage. If the company does not have enough money, I and all the other shareholders had to reach into our pockets and pay the town off. We have unlimited liability for everything our company does.

      • tracey 13.1.1

        Read it again, the LIMITED liability attaches to the shareholders, and is not rubbish, it is they who are immune by right.

        • uke 13.1.1.1

          And if they weren’t immune, they would perhaps take a bit more care around what their investment is used for…

          Personally, I don’t see why the stockholders in the hypothetical railroad company cited above shouldn’t have to pay for the town catching fire.

      • Assviper 13.1.2

        It is limited to the value of the paid up capital

  14. bad12 14

    Supply chain difficulties originating in China???, don’t think so, Leaky building issues collapsed the construction company under a mountain of debt???, only if you like fairy tales,

    The major shareholder RichinaPacific like a blood sucking leach hoovering up any monies made by the construction company along with a series of board battles between minor shareholders and directors of the boards of both the major shareholder and the construction company???, now your on the page,

    The actual debts owed by Mainzeal Construction,(not to be mistaken for Mainzeal Group LTD) are as yet an unknown, what is known is that the construction company had a line of credit with the BNZ of $20 million dollars, not known is if this is an actual debt or simply a revolving line of credit used to pay both wages, suppliers and sub-contractors,

    It appears that other than a series of actual construction contracts and the odd million dollars worth of construction equipment Mainzeal Construction was to all extents and purposes a hollow ‘shell company’, any actual cash that Mainzeal Construction made from projects recently finished such as Wellington’s turd, the International Terminal at Wellington Airport and the nearby new Z garage and BurgerKing was either used to keep the Bank(s) at bay or quickly disappeared into the parent Mainzeal Group Ltd and overall shareholding company RichinaPacific,

    That is hardly surprising as that Bloke Collins a devotee of Sir(spit)Ron Brierly of the famed asset stripping Brierly Investments was a Director of MainZeal Group Ltd alongside former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shiply,

    In 2004 Shiply joined the board of RichinaPacific where the trouble seems to have started, by 2008 minor shareholders in RichinaPacific were accusing Shiply of having ruined Mainzeal Construction as that company began to declare heavy losses, a pretty easy thing to accomplish if you also ‘own’ companies that supplied Mainzeal Construction,(not that i am accusing anyone here of actual wrongdoing, just pointing out how easy it is to ‘do’),

    It was at the 2008 RichinaPacific shareholders meeting that the minor shareholders demanded that Shiply’s head roll for the apparent troubles within Mainzeal Construction and rather than resign Shiply pointed to a number of heads in management positions that had already been sacrificed, and so,the experience in Mainzeal Construction was seriously gutted out of the company at this point,

    It took until 2010 for the major money behind RichinaPacific to remove her from the board of that company, however she remained as a director of Mainzeal Construction until her resignation in December 2012 after what appears to have been more acrimony between the shareholders and the board, presumably at the point Mainzeal construction had been truly gutted and it’s day to day business was reliant on the Bank(s) line of credit,

    Shiply thus remained as a director of Mainzeal Group Ltd until Her resignation on the 5th of this month when according to TV News last night Shiply had said She had called in the receivers,

    I have to wonder here exactly what the reported 1.8 million dollars RichinaPacific was to transfer to the MainzealGroup Ltd was to pay for, directors fees by any chance??? is this why the plug was finally pulled on Mainzeal Construction, the answer to that will be forthcoming when the receivers release the figures to show us if the Bank debt of 20 million dollars was the sum total of the construction company’s debts other than what sub-contractors are owed,

    The death of Mainzeal Construction seems to have started some time after 2004 when jenny Shiply was appointd as a director and the stormy shareholders meeting of 2008 when shareholders called for Her head to roll had little effect on the outcome 5 years later…

  15. ad 15

    What would Labour’s response be? Construction is a de-unionised, little-innovation, easily-undercut sugar rush, no matter when or where it happens. Fully agree National – led by the Great Dealmaker himself – have delivered the wrost employment record in decades. But Labour’s promised (laudable) housing construction boom is the same sugar-rush, and not a sustainable or high-salary economic fix for anything.

  16. tracey 16

    Anna, the limited liability, which was what i was referring to, attaches to shareholders, that is they have limited liability as of right, not thed directors. Its just been conveniet to mythologise it as attaching to directors.

  17. That seems to be a bit of a rip-off. Mainstream news said that they got paid by Cera and then subcontracted the work out. Does this mean they were simply a middle-man creaming off taxpayer money and then getting the work done by others? And then going bankrupt? How exactly if they were paid by the Government? Am I getting the wrong end of the stick here?

  18. tracey 18

    howit should have worked is cera paid out to mainzeal ONLY when mainzeal produced certificates showing it had paid off subcontractors

    • That would be the way, otherwise it appears that they’ve just taken off with the money and ripped everyone off. If they didn’t do the work, what did they spend the money on?

  19. vto 19

    Another one bites the dust. Been going since the ’80s funnily enough….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNQRfBAzSzo

  20. bad12 20

    Obviously the law around the payment of sub-contractors need looking at again, i thought the Clark Government had revised the law so as to fix the mess where the sub-contractors got left holding the baby once the assets and profits were stripped out of the main contracting company and it collapsed,

    There’s 100’s of sub-contractors who have not been paid 100,s of 1000,s of dollars who now cannot even seek other work because the receivers have locked up all their tools and stuff on the Mainzeal building sites,

    100,000 dollar excavators are included in the stuff that the receivers have under lock and key that just doesn’t belong to Mainzeal or the receivers and something needs doing about this,

    We need a proper department of building where all monies paid to a main contractor are first lodged with such a department and where invoices of sub-contractors are also lodged so that it is they who get paid along with their employees befor the main contractor can get their hands on the money and disburse it to god knows where,

    Or in the case of Mainzeal Shiply knows where…

  21. Mosey 21

    Investigate McCully Richard Yan contact and McCully attempts to bully officials and Crown Enity Boards into supporting the Yan/Shipley China House project….

    • bad12 21.1

      Yes Richard Yan as the main shareholder in RichinaPacific has the answer to a number of questions along with Jenny Shiply which i doubt will ever be answered,

      I could speculate that with aid of directors Shiply and Collins(ex Brierly Investments)Mainzeal Construction was turned into nothing but a shell company and kept on the verge of insolvency by the transfer of any income of Mainzeal Construction being immediately swallowed by RichinaPacific which seems to be at least a reasonable summing up of the construction company up until February 5th and some what backed up by those sub-contractors now coming forward with claims that they are owed sums by Mainzeal Construction in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars,

      Mainzeal Construction tho had projects under way that appear to have been worth 100’s of millions of dollars with at least 2 of them near completion that i know of where that company would have been expected to receive final payments to the order of tens of millions and it’s damn sure right now that the BNZ owed 20 million dollars by Mainzeal construction didn’t instigate the receivership,

      Shiply appears to have been given the heave ho off of the board of Mainzeal Construction in December 2012 or should i say resigned at the request of the shareholder, so if it were planned that the shell of Mainzeal Construction be collapsed by anyone i would suggest that it is December 2012 that such a plan if there were one was finalized,

      We will get a better picture of this when the final tally of monies owed to the 100’s of sub-contractors is known,

      What is apparent tho is that Mainzeal had not a drop of cash in the bank, so assuming that at least part of the supposed 1.8 million dollars that was supposed to be forwarded from RichinaPacific to Mainzeal and wasn’t, was to pay the directors fees i have to wonder if such a non-payment of Her fees has seen Shiply as a director of Mainzeal Group Ltd toss the toys and approach the BNZ to have the plug pulled on Mainzeal Construction…

      • karol 21.1.1

        Well, according to Catherine Harris and Jason Krupp on Stuff this morning,

        Thomas Plumbing and Gas owner Harold Thomas, of Kapiti, said he had not been paid since December for work on the Coastlands Aquatic Centre in Paraparaumu. He was told by the receiver that it was working on the basis that there was no money left for unsecured creditors, such as subcontractors.

        “When I hear things like Jenny Shipley and all these people that were directors of this company resigned the night before – that really gets up my craw,” he said

        I understand it to mean that “the night before” was when the contractors couldn’t be paid back in December.

        Interesting that the main guy, Richard Yan, also,

        … spent a few years working as a merchant banker at Bankers Trust in New York, while setting up an investment fund.

        Also, I see that this guy’s business dealings involves the acquisition of tanneries, that sound like the successor version of Astley Tanneries, after it folded in New Lynn Auckland. Astley Tanneries was a family business that was one of the original businesses (estab late 19th century) around which New Lynn developed. Like a lot of the original businesses in the area such as the brick/clay/potteries, it didn’t survive the Rogernomics international freemarket shif of the 80s-90s. The Astley Tanneries like Crown Lynn potteries were NZ developed manufacturing businesses that shifted to other countries at the end of the 20th century.

        And so, now the tanneries have ended up being run by this guy who chased profits by indulging in risky, unstable enterprises.

        • vto 21.1.1.1

          Shipley has been running an insolvent company and that is against the law.

          Action must be taken. It is clear that people in the know have known about this for some time.

          It is no wonder that people have no trust in the corporate world. One way to bring back that trust would be to enforce the law.

          What say you Shipley? Didn’t you get a damehood? Doesn’t that mean you are fina and upstanding? How about fronting up to these people? That is what a Sir Ed would do…. do you have the same mana Dame Jenny Shipley? Or are you another Sir Doug Graham?

          • Assviper 21.1.1.1.1

            You have a good point. If the company was insolvent the directors can be sued for “reckless trading”. More should be…..

            • bad12 21.1.1.1.1.1

              LOLZ, they seen you coming as they seen the Law and how to ‘circumvent’ such Law,

              The minor puppet master in this little game of smoke and mirrors, Shiply has already publicly stated,(strange to have already come up with the statement which absolves Her of responsibility on the Day She had the Bank call in the receivers you might think), that RichinaPacific had specific undertakings with the Board of Mainzeal Group Ltd to pay Mainzeal Construction 1.8 million dollars by such and such a date,

              You can bet that such an undertaking is in the form of a letter from RichinaPacific so Shiply has the excuse of having a line of solvency as stated by RichinaPacific,

              Richard Yan the major puppet master has an out because He was not a director of any of the Mainzeal group including the construction company, just the major shareholder, who also happens to be the major shareholder in RichinaPacific,

              Take the profits,pass the buck, no care, no responsibility, leave the lesser mortals like the sub-contractors and the workers with no work and not even the tools to go and find another job,

              It’s the Neo- liberal way, it’s the ‘hands off’ Slippery lead National Government way, it’s the way of Knights and Dames of the realm…

        • marsman 21.1.1.2

          Interesting also is that Richina, the parent company, is registered in Bermuda, a tax haven. These pricks have it all sewn up haven’t they, plunder then hide the loot.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.2.1

            This is all looking like a bad joke. On all of us, and particularly on the employees and subcontractors of Mainzeal.

        • thatguynz 21.1.1.3

          It would also be very interesting to know when he worked at BT and WHO he may have worked with there…. Could be some interesting correlation?

          • veutoviper 21.1.1.3.1

            Thatguynz @ 21.1.1.3

            That had also crossed my mind this morning when I read the Stuff article which provides some of Richard Yan’s background.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8276547/Mainzeal-director-silent-on-firms-failure

            I did a quick google (but don’t have time to do more at the moment) and it appears John Key joined Bankers Trust Auckland in 1988 (some fuzziness exactly when …) and remained with BT until 1995.

            Articles on Richard Yan are similarly fuzzy re his time with BT. It appears he went to Harvard Business School about 1988/89 and some time between 1989 and 1992, he worked for BT in New York and then Hong Kong.

            So …. who knows? It has got me intrigued – nothing like a good conspiracy theory! But other priorities call at present.

  22. tracey 22

    yup, directors get big fees, shareholders get profit, and councils will be left carrying the cost of any Mainzeal leaky homes…

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      i.e. the rest of us will be responsible for picking up the pieces after Mainzeal and its directors walk off with the loot.

      • Assviper 22.1.1

        Most of the builders have already folded. Fletcher Building is only kept going by the injection of Government funding.

    • Grumpy 22.2

      Councils and Government always should have been carrying the cost.

  23. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23

    Sounds like it is nothing to do with wider economic factors. They are just trying to avoid liability on a leaky building.

    • Assviper 23.1

      Correct!

    • bad12 23.2

      This has everything to do with Neo-liberal asset strippers running companies that are only kept barely solvent until they have no use any more to the profit takers,

      You carry on believing that this is simply an effect of a leaky building,

      Me i am sitting here watching the next cab off the rank Hawkins Construction, another of New Zealand’s oldest construction companies that has had it’s shareholdings repeatedly shuffled like a deck of cards at an all night high stakes Texas Hold’em poker game…

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23.2.1

        I am not sure what you mean.

        What I am saying is that it does not look like a run of the mill business failure. The shareholder has engineered things to avoid liability principally in relation to a specific leaky building exposure.

        I am not sure neo-liberalism has much to do with this. A shareholder in a position to take security could have used exactly the same scheme under the governments of Michael Joseph Savage or Walter Nash.

        • bad12 23.2.1.1

          We are talking the same construction company here right, you know the same one that had at least 500 million dollars of work on the go as of the 5th of February and the prospects of another billion or two as it’s share of fixing 19,000 homes in Christchurch,

          Down the gurgler for the want of 1.8 million dollars according to the Director of the Mainzeal Group Ltd…

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23.2.1.1.1

            Yes we are talking the same company.

            I am saying exactly what you are saying. Mainzeal has not gone into receivership because of weakness in the economy or because it was unprofitable.

            It has gone into receivership so that the company can avoid its liability to creditors.

            If it is the fault of liberalism, it is not the fault of neo-liberalism, given that the conditions enabling the shareholder to organise this have been in existence at least since the Companies Act of 1933 and probably earlier.

            • bad12 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Now you have changed your tune from that of one leaky building to one of avoiding creditors,

              You just havn’t got a clue, no wonder LPrent attached such a handle to you, Shiply may have convinced the Bank to call in the receivers because Her directors fees hadn’t been paid by Richard Yan,

              Richard Yan might have not paid the 1.8 million to MainZeal for any number of reasons including having had a hard month at the casino,

              The bigger picture would suggest that after the machinations and gyrations surrounding the shareholding and ownership of Hawkins Construction the 2nd largest construction firm in NZ might also be standing on shaky ground,

              No worries tho ae Gormless in the future we can expect mainland Chinese based construction companies to be bidding for and building this countries larger constructions, probably bringing in their own labour and building products to do it…

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Now you have changed your tune from that of one leaky building to one of avoiding creditors

                Not sure how this is changing my tune. The people to whom Mainzeal becomes liable in relation to the leaky building will be creditors. This is who they are seeking to avoid liability to.

                Richard Yan did not pay the money to Mainzeal so that the could appoint a receiver, dumb shit.

              • halfcrown

                Well said Bad dozen

  24. Afewknowthetruth 24

    After trading at between $110 and $112 for many months (manipulated), Brent oil has risen by over 5% in the past week to $118.68 = another rise in fuel prices and a few more members of the present unsustainable economic system biting the dust.

    Without energy nothing happens. And without cheap energy everything grinds to a halt.

    No amount of money-printing by central banks is going to alter the geological reality of Peak Oil. Indeed, faster money-printing just makes the system more unstable.

    The good thing about collapse of the present global system is that it might JUST preserve a living planet for the next generation. However, it’s probably too late for that.

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  • 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
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    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
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 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
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • 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
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    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
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    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
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    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
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    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
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    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
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    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
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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