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The Standard

Asset sale delay likely

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 17th, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, national, Privatisation, water - Tags: , , ,

Even John Key is now admitting that the asset sale program is facing a serious legal challenge:

John Key concedes likely asset sales delay

Prime Minister John Key has conceded the first asset sale could be delayed because a legal challenge from Maori over water ownership is looking increasingly inevitable. …

The Government is due to sell 49 percent of Mighty River Power in September, but the Prime Minister now admits legal action from Maori may force the sale to be delayed. …

Court action from Maori has always been an option, but now Mr Key has gone a step further, saying it seems inevitable.  “I think we should work on the principle that there is a high probability that we will be going to court.”

Any delay will have several effects:

It will give fresh impetus to the collection of signatures for the citizen’s initiated referendum. Depending on the timing of any legal process, hearings and appeals, there is now a possibility that a referendum could be held before any assets are sold.  The mandate that Key claims would be further undermined.

It will highlight the Nat’s irresponsible “creative accounting” in booking the proceeds of the sale of the assets well before the sales were certain or the price was known.  It may even get the media looking in to the other dodgy numbers surrounding the sales.

It will increase the odds of scaring off investors, and therefore the odds that the whole sales process will turn in to a mighty flop.

It will strengthen Maori interest in water rights and increase the already incredible pressure on the Maori Party to finally stand for something and walk out of a government that has been so arrogant and dismissive.  That would leave the Nats entirely dependent on Peter Dunne, and John (currently under investigation) Banks.

Interesting times.

[update. Key has compared the odds of a delay to the odds “a meteorite will hit the Earth this afternoon” – guess he doesn’t realise there are five hundred meteor impacts a year]

62 comments on “Asset sale delay likely”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Turns out Key acknowledged in writing that Maori had “specific rights and interests” in fresh water back in 2009, yet he seems to have chosen not to recall that, or as a self-professed deal making business guru, to have factored that into the asset sales process. Looks like they have been playing the Maori Party for chumps all along.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      He advised himself that he was just one John Key and he could show himself another one to give himself a counterview.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      Fascinating how the media is now reporting about “water rights” now Key is moving into appeasement mode, having steadfastly reported about “water ownership” while Key was in wedge mode? Pathetic craven lapdogs.

    • bad12 1.3

      It may just be that National and the Maori Party have been attempting to squeeze some much needed political capital for their respective party’s out of the asset sale debacle,

      National get to inflame the ‘redneck’ attitude to Maori being given more via the Waitangi Tribunal claims while the Maori Party get to do the same with the Maori vote through Slippery dissing the Tribunal….

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        Maybe bad12 but they both then run the risk of annoying their supporters if either or both of them back down.

        The politics at play are fascinating to watch! 

        • bad12 1.3.1.1

          The history at play here,and i put a brief bit in a comment below,is utterly fascinating, the quiet patience and peaceful protest of Maori over the rivers and lakes that has gone on for 100s of years can only be applauded…

  2. Kotahi Tane Huna 2

    Just for a moment I’d like to take a pause and celebrate. a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

    Now for the bad news: this National Party has shown its willingness to play the race card. With their flagship policy in tatters (of their own making – four years to prepare for it and they still screwed it up) and their attack on education faltering, get ready for the ugliness.

    • I agree.  

      I am not sure that I would want to run an election campaign during a time when Key was blowing the racist whistle for all that it was worth.  Back in 1981 despite a government in tatters and an economy in free fall National managed to hang on because of the strength of the red neck vote stirred up over the Springbok tour.

      We could be in for a similar time. 

      • Pete 2.1.1

        I’m sure there’ll be some reactionaries, but my belief is that people are so against the asset sales that they’ll view the Maori claim – and anything else that would stymie the sales – as a good thing. However, I fear there’d be a major backlash if a deal is done that would allow the sales to go ahead – either as a share bundle or a license fee.

      • OneTrack 2.1.2

        So, who does own the water Micky?

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Yes .. but on reflection, while Key may be a slippery trader boy, I’m not sure even he has the stomach for that. It’s a mistake to paint the man as unalloyed evil; he’s just the usual mix of folly’s and delusions that all us humans are made from.

      What would be interesting though is the reaction of the more reactionary elements of the National Party if Key refuses to lead them where they want to go.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.2.1

        Does he need to do any more? The line that “no-one owns the water” was a pretty clear signal. Talk-back can do the rest.

        • marty mars 2.2.1.1

          Yes, he can seed it all and stand back going “who me?… that’s not what I meant” etc. The biggest factor is, I just don’t think tangata whenua are going to sit back to be target practice for key or his minions. My feel is that the game has changed and just gone up a couple of notches.

          • ak 2.2.1.1.1

            Ae Marty. In fact it’s been notching up for a number of years.

            National crept out of it’s 2002 gutter solely on the back of the blatant media promotion of Orewa One. The Race Card is the modern National Party’s founding document – and nuclear option of last resort.

            But in 2008 young Johnny Beiber needed the Maori Party to deny a poisonous ACT domination – and thus unwittingly cemented permanent political power for Maori.

            And most crucially, the decent kiwi public liked it. Including even the final – but significant -vestiges of “old torydom”: that wistful noblesse oblige landed gentry and religio-decency brigade who vote in large numbers. Thus Brash’s race card attempt last year was a spectacular failure.

            As will be this one from Key. It’s a final, desperate flip-flop too far. The Nice man stooping to the gutter, leaving the public confused and his former proteges incensed. Beginning of the end.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.2

            I just don’t think tangata whenua are going to sit back to be target practice for key or his minions.

            Seems like AFFCO got a kicking when Iwi decided to mobilise their economic might.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Why not just start with Solid Energy ?

    • rosy 3.1

      Now why didn’t National think of that? I’d suggest a recent mine disaster may have had something to do with it – it may make them seem even more callous than they are.

  4. xtasy 4

    Yeah! Another step ahead of blocking the idiotic sale of strategic assets to the selected few, who whill only suck the blood out of consumers and the wider economy, enriching the not so “mum and dad” camouflaged investors and harming all others.

    By the way, while this dumb Nat ACT government in little ol Kiwiland is so damned stubbornly following out of fashion idiologies, listen to this news just at hand:

    ‘Financial Times Deutschland’ is reporting that the “Grand Coalition” (Conservatives and Social Democrats) that now governs Germany’s largest city Berlin, is planning to pass legislation on Tuesday, reversing the sale of half of the shares in the city’s water supply enterprise (to RWE and VEOLIA!!!), that happened a few years back.

    The German equivalent of the Commerce Commission has ruled that the water supply company has been abusing its strategic position and power and severely overcharging consumers, so that it expects the Berlin City Council (or government) to ensure that water rates will be reduced by 18 per cent this year, and by similarly more in coming years.

    The conclusion was, the privatisation of 49.9 per cent of the enterprise led to RWE and Veolia unfairly pushing up prices, merely to get the best returns for their shareholders. Now we all know who Veolia is, don’t we? They run the second or third rate train system in Auckland, likely also ripping Auckland Council and commuters off.

    So while Key and consorts are telling the NZ public (too brainwashed by dumb, commercialised media) that the energy companies must be sold up to 49 per cent, in other places the lessons have been learned, so that the pollies in charge are heading in the other direction.

    I am sure that this will not be researched and mentioned in any mainstream media in elite business and right wing political dictatorship Aotearoa NZ!?

  5. xtasy 5

    Some links for further background info re partial “asset” or water enterprise share sales in Berlin, Germany:

    http://www.canadianswinnipeg.org/apps/blog/show/5304438-secret-veolia-details-exposed-in-berlin

    http://washinternational.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/referendum-on-the-disclosure-of-the-contracts-of-the-partial-privatisation-of-the-berlin-water-utility/

    http://www.globalwaterintel.com/archive/10/12/general/10-years-of-berlins-water-ppp.html

    http://www.veoliawater.com/solutions/case-studies/berlin-wastewater.htm

    http://www.ftd.de/politik/deutschland/:verstaatlichung-berlin-vor-rueckkauf-seiner-wasserbetriebe/70064118.html
    (last link sadly only to German article, as still developing story and no English articles found).

    The corporate info publications are all about “success” and full of gloss, but the other side of the story is how the consumer had to pay huge increases in user charges or essential water consumption.

    Wake up NZ and stop this crap happening here!

  6. Observer 6

    Xtasy

    Thanks for this great piece of news out of Berlin.

    If strategic Assets can be taken back from the clutches of the greedy in Berlin, the same could be done here.

  7. Roy 7

    Well done Maori! If the tangata whenua can stop the asset sales, all strength and support to them!

  8. bad12 8

    Who would have thunk it, the seeds of the demise of National’s second term flagship policy of asset sales may have been sown as far back as 1896,

    An engrossing picture of historical and modern day politics intertwined with judicial action now and back in the 1800’s

    Just from the point of the ‘Poukani Decision’ in Paki V Crown from the recent Court of Appeal case over ‘ownership’ of the bed of Lake Maraetai at Mangkino on the Waikato river,

    There is also i believe a Privy Council decision from the 1800’s where Wairarapa Iwi sought from the Privy Council ‘ownership’ of Wairarapa Moana, although i have as yet been unable to track down that actual Privy Council ruling it gave to the Wairarapa Iwi the ownership they sought,

    Following on from this Privy Council decision the Government of the time in what Wairarapa Maori say was a sale but the Government say was a ‘ceding’ sold the lake to the Crown for 2000 pound and what was supposed to be a substantial block of land near the lake,

    The block of land that Wairarapa Maori were eventually given was in fact the Pouakani block at Mangakino 100s of miles from the Wairarapa and part of Crown land seizures from the Maori in the King Country,

    The next action of Government was to build the dam at Mangakino creating Lake Maraetai and the actual town without consulting the Pouakani block Maori owners in any way and subsequently flooding parts of the Pouakani Block permanently under the lake,

    Fascinating history, that will never be taught in a school room, and would make an amazing movie just in that small window of time and a brilliant highlight of how Maori have quietly fought this fight over rivers and lakes over 100s of years and this particular fight has the power to bite the present day Government in the butt bigtime…

  9. Kevin 9

    Despite John Key’s rhetoric that “no one owns the water”, it is clear that Maori do in fact have rights with regard to water and that is being tested in the urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing intiated by the Maori Council.
    The government will have three options to consider as a result of the outcome of that hearing,
    1. The Waitangi Tribunal rules in favour of the Maori Council thereby providing the precedent to initiate a legal challenge to the sales via the courts which will halt the process
    2. Recognise Maori customary rights and provide for them via an allocation of shares
    3. Ignore the Tribunal recommendations and proceed with the sales regardless, only to face injuctive actions further down the track.
    Whatever the outcome of those options they are unlikely to impede the government from proceeding with the sales, however for the purchasers there will be a caveat emptor to consider.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Key’s staffers have come up with some pretty effective lines over the years (cringey cheesy, but making a headline, which is all that matters – “show me the money”, “hydra-headed monster” etc).

    But they’ve lost the plot with this “meteorite” line. It was the lead-in on the lunchtime news (TVNZ), it’ll be picked up by all media, it cries out for a piss-take … and it’s a huge hostage to fortune.

    It re-frames the issue as unpopular asset sales, being rushed through – whereas Key wants it to be “greedie Mowrees”.

    Sack whoever wrote it, John. They must be working for your successor already.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    BTW, could somebody in an opposition office PLEASE pay attention to this stuff? It’s soooo frustrating waiting for you guys to wake up.

    Simple task: 1) Go to science websites 2) Get details of meteorite hitting earth. Plenty to choose from. 3) Inform media/public that asset sales are to be delayed, because the PM has said so.

    It’s not hard.

    • Pete 11.1

      By definition, all meteorites hit the earth: “A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth’s surface”-Wiki

    • xtasy 11.2

      Yes, right! I could not agree more.

      It sadly rather seems they are mostly pre-occupied to spend time on themselves, somehow trying to work out their inner, undiscovered selves or mantras.

      Really an abysmal situation in present NZ politics. It is grim reading, when some are trying to get excited when the leading opposition party gets one or a half percentage points more support from poll to poll.

      If that is promising, I do not want to know what depressing news will look like.

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_in_Australia

      List of meteorite strikes in Australia.

      • gobsmacked 11.3.1

        Impact craters aren’t relevant. Most meteorites are very small. But the point is … they hit the earth. All the time.

        The PM appointed a science advisor, but seems to prefer sci-fi movies.

      • McFlock 11.3.2

        And at 500 meteorites a year, methinks Key is being uncharacteristically pessimistic. :)

        • OneTrack 11.3.2.1

          Clutching. …. At …… Straws …

          • felix 11.3.2.1.1

            Yeah, McFlock’s the one making ridiculous claims in a time of desperation when nothing else seems to be working.

      • felix 11.3.3

        There’s no reason why NZ shouldn’t be able to catch up to Australia in meteorite strikes by 2025.

    • joe90 11.4

      Hmm, Mahuika.

  12. Carol 12

    Well, in the clip on Stuff, Key mentions meteors, repeats that no-one owns water, Maori has some rights re-water, repeats his arguments for MOM, says MP in government has achieved a lot for their people, and his governments preferred position is that the sale goes ahead in February. There’s also some scepticism from Shearer in the clip.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7290658/Key-Maori-should-negotiate-with-Government

    The argument now being put forward as in the accompanying Small & Levy article, is that Maori should deal directly with the government. he calls the Tribunal hearing over water rights “opportunistic”.

    Seems like he’s hoping the path of the meteor will go right between Maori factions and split them – back to wedge politics.

    The Maori Council’s claim over water at the Waitangi Tribunal is “opportunistic” and there should be no link made to the Mighty River share sale, Prime Minister John Key says.
    […]
    He took the Council’s claim as one for ownership of water, not just rights and interests.

    “The Maori Council are essentially saying, … as articulated by Maanu Paul when he said they own the water, that ownership means any change in the ownership structure of Mighty River.”

    That would therefore be impacted by a potential change in ownership.
    […]
    Prime Minister John Key says negotiating directly with the Government is a ”much more logical and sensible way” for Maori to resolve water rights issues than through the Waitangi Tribunal.
    [..]
    Key today rejected suggestions of growing pressure and speculation the issue was escalating into the furore created with the foreshore and seabed law which Turia walked out of Labour over.

    ”I think that’s nonsense,” Key said.

    Those calling for the Maori Party to walk away were mainly lawyer and Mana Party member Annette Sykes and Maori Council chair Manu Paul who were ”largely supporters of (Mana Party leader) Hone Harawira”, he said.

    ”That does not mean that the Maori Party should leave. I think they’ve achieved an awful lot in Government.”

    The Maori Council only represented one group within Maoridom, Key said.

    ”It’s not necessarily the view shared by many other groups within Maoridom.”

    But Key is playing a dangerous game – he may be giving oxygen to the Mana Party apart from anything else. I’m pretty sure Stuff’s earlier version of the article has Kiwi saying he could deal directly with the Iwi leaders.

    And I’m trying to work out what NAct’s great achievements have been for Maori- in employment? Wages? Cost of living?

    • Carol 12.1

      Oh, it was the Herald that mentioned Key preferring t deal directly with Iwi leaders:
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10820095

      While recent days have see support for the council’s claim from some members of Maoridom’s peak body, the Iwi Leaders Group, Mr Key said the Government had been addressing the issues around Maori rights and interests in water in discussions with iwi leaders over the last four years, “and I think that there’s no merit in the case that the Maori Council is bringing.”

      “Most of the Maori I talk to want to see a resolution to their rights and interests and they are comfortable the process the Government is taking is the right one.

      “In my view the Maori Council speaks for one group in Maori but certainly not all Maori. There are many iwi leaders who support the Government. They’ve been very supportive of what we’ve been doing over the last three or four years and they’ve seen that process as a much more logical and coherent process than any application by the Maori Council to the Waitangi Tribunal.

    • bad12 12.2

      Slippery can cry ”no-one owns water” for as long as He can still draw breath but the reality of that is totally different,

      In 1883 the Native Land Court registered Piripi Te Maari, Ramera Te Iho and 137 others as the ‘owners’ of lakes Onoke and Wairarapa….

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Toby Manhire is onto it …

    http://www.listener.co.nz/uncategorized/facts-bugger-up-john-key%E2%80%99s-meteorite-analogy/

    Twitter is onto it. Even TVNZ are onto it.

    I have to go out now, but I’m guessing that when I get back this evening, everyone will be onto Key’s latest gift to the opposition. Except … the opposition, whose job it is to be onto it.

    • weka 13.1

      Did you see the sole comment on The Listener?
       

      49% partial Asset Sales.
      49% of a dumb idea is still a dumb idea.
      He’s only 1% away from being a half wit !

  14. Rupert 14

    Anyone who thinks that Key will come out second-best if the Waitangi Tribunal holds the process up is pretty detached from reality – “Maoris blocking the governments plans”? Talk about a rallying cry to National’s rump (as wrong as that is)

    • bad12 14.1

      It won’t be the Waitangi Tribunal which puts the spanner in the asset sales machine, the Tribunal will simply make a recommendation from the evidence it hears,

      Considering that Counsel for the Crown at the present Waitangi tribunal hearings have already conceded that the Crown’s belief is that Maori do have ‘rights’ to fresh water in rivers, lakes, and streams i would imagine that the Waitangi Tribunal report will be scathing of the Government, and possibly recommend that the Government cease it’s asset sales program until such ‘rights’ have been fully adjudicated,

      To this end, expect the New Zealand Maori Council to seek an injunction from the High Court saying just that, considering the Crown’s earlier concession of Maori having rights to fresh water i would expect that the High Court will be only too happy to grant such an injunction,

      At that point Slippery and National have only 3 choices, fight the New Zealand Maori Council all the way to the Supreme Court, legislate any Court decisions out of existence, or, negotiate a settlement with the New Zealand Maori Council…

    • Carol 14.2

      Mai Chen was interesting just now on RNZ-Mora’s Panel. She said there are loads of claims and papers to be looked at, and the situation is quite complex. She thinks Key is pretty good at making deals, and he may be able to negotiate deals. But she also thinks he is ignorant of all the legal issues raised by previous claims, cases etc.

      Chen also said, looking at all the legal precedents, the Treaty etc,a y4ear ago she could have predicted exactly what’s happening now with Maori groups claiming water rights. So the implication is that the government also should have bee able to predict it.

      She also said the Resource Management Act said stuff on water, and may be in breach of the Treaty – it also needs looking at.

      Chen said she has an article on the issue being published on Thursday.

      • felix 14.2.1

        “So the implication is that the government also should have bee able to predict it.”

        Listening to Tony Ryall in parliament today, it seems like the govt’s latest line is that they totes predicted it, they knew exactly what would happen and they’re wicked prepared for it and everything is going exactly to plan and if there are delays, well that’s all part of the plan too cos they definitely expected and planned for all of this. Definitely.

        And I say “line” because he repeated it three times while answering one question.

      • Uturn 14.2.2

        She thinks Key is pretty good at making deals, and he may be able to negotiate deals.

        Unless he purposely doesn’t want asset sales, then he has demonstrated no ability to negoitate or make deals over the water issue at all. His “pretty good” skill in this case, is similar to someone walking into a bank managers office and saying, “Fuck you, even if you deny my loan I’ll just rob your bank!”

        • rosy 14.2.2.1

          Or unless he purposely wants to drive the price down… i.e. a better deal for investors is more important that a good deal (relatively speaking) for the country.

  15. This article from Rawiri Taonui covers some interesting areas well.

    Apart from including the usual references to the Treaty, principles in common law and New Zealand history, a report will make international comparisons. The United States and Canada have recognised water rights in several treaties and settlements…

    Earlier in the year, Mr Key has been glib about Maori claims, derided the significance of section 9 in the State Owned Enterprise Act to the chagrin of the legal community, dismissive of possible settlements writing off allocating shares as Mr English suggested, and trivialised the tribunal. Each is less than the good faith expected of a Treaty partner.

    Maori claims to fresh water are in the interests of all New Zealanders. Selling these assets to foreign buyers may reduce our mana and control of an increasingly premium resource.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10820007

    • bad12 15.1

      State Owned Enterprises Act 1986, Section 9,

      ”Nothing in this Act permits the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”…

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Yes, as stated upthread … it was the “meteorite” on 3 News and “meteor” (sic) on One News. Duncan Garner’s report even provided a helpful little visual.

    So, so predictable.

    Day after day this happens – you hear Key’s prepared line, you can see the news story coming, hours beforehand, and then you just have wait for Labour to notice. After everybody else has.

    What can we do? Can we have a daily “NewsTips for the Opposition” thread, on the Standard? Can we feed them the soundbites? Can we write their media releases for them? It’s so obvious, and yet they’re so slow. Every bloody day.

    *weeps*

    • Uturn 16.1

      A while back I figured out that any given hierarchial organisation is several points lower in collective capability than its least capable member. This isn’t a plea for patience over the problem you highlight, just an observation that may spare you, personally, a breakdown through frustration. Even if you did hand the stuff to them on a plate, the organisation would drop it on the floor and reassemble it out of order, a day late, in the wrong format and at the wrong location.

  17. bad12 17

    The Slippery Prime Minister describes the Maori Council approach to the Waitangi Tribunal over the issue of Maori ‘ownership rights’ to fresh water as ‘opportunistic’,

    Shucks Slippery does that mean that the Maori Council has learned from the Crown who have since 1840 taken every ‘opportunity’ to dispossess Maori of everything in their possession and they have now taken the most opportune moment in their quiet battle over fresh water rights that has been ongoing since the 1800s to bend the Crown over the table and ‘demand’ cough!!!

    Save the wah,wah,wah Prime Minister, just assume the position…

  18. mike e 18

    Or Air New Zealand shares aren’t worth bugger all at the moment all airlines around the world are in dire straights .

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 18.1

      I personally would not be investing in big generator power comapnies either. energy efficiency and home based solar inverters will mean power demand will only go down. Why transfer electrons from one end of the country to the other when you can generate your own for a good price?

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    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    14 hours ago
  • Submit to the power of authority
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    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    14 hours ago
  • “Casual”
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    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    14 hours ago
  • Nepal aid effort intensifies
    Humanitarian agencies are preparing large-scale aid operations to earthquake-ravaged Nepal, with tonnes of supplies being flown into the country. Photo: AFP More than 4000 people are known to have died in the 7.8 quake on Saturday and more… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Cave Creek tragedy marked 20 years on
    Commemorations are taking place today to mark 20 years since the Cave Creek disaster that claimed 14 lives. Thirteen Tai Poutini Polytechnic outdoor recreation students and a Department of Conservation officer died when a DoC viewing platform collapsed into a… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: Back to black
    This week was yet another reminder that beneath a thin veneer of order, chaos still reigns at X Factor NZ. X Factor's Steve Broad. Photo: The X Factor NZ With the announcement this week that Dominic Bowden… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why National will Never Act on Climate Cha...
    Californians, withering in the worst drought in the state’s history, are being exhorted to leave their urine standing in the toilet, to keep their showers shorter than five minutes and to replace their lawns with rocks and cacti. Meanwhile, figures… ...
    16 hours ago
  • More thoughts on Light Rail details
    On the closed session agenda for tomorrow’s Auckland Transport board meeting is an item asking for a decision about Light Rail. Hopefully this will see the project move forward and the public provided with more information. With that in mind… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Questions and Answers – April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand?Questions to Ministers Inflation—Reports 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    17 hours ago
  • The “I” factor in political practice
    When is a Prime Minister a political person and when the voice of the nation? Opening the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on April 18, John Key said: “I feel proud of the decision to make Pukeahu… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    19 hours ago
  • A Programme of Phased Cuts in Company Tax
    Column – ACT New Zealand Over-taxing mobile capital is not a good idea not if you want jobs and higher wages anyway. Last week the ACT Leader announced a plan for a programme of phased reductions in the company… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    20 hours ago
  • Trade Minister Cheers Big Corporation Over Ordinary People
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • My other grandfather
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    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    24 hours ago
  • US: the state’s systematic violence kills another young black man
    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    24 hours ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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