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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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  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.