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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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    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
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