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Auckland housing: Brown vs Smith

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, March 7th, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, capitalism, climate change, democracy under attack, Environment, housing, infrastructure, public services, public transport, sustainability, transport - Tags: ,

Nick Smith, freshly rejuvenated after is fall from grace, is now challenging Auckland council’s plan for compact housing.

Nick Smith Hypocrisy Smith wants to increase the urban sprawl to deliver more land to private developers. This will do nothing to create more affordable housing or to defuse the housing bubble.  It will add to Auckland’s transport problems.  Those that can afford to will buy or rent near the main transport routes.  The less well-off will be increasingly marginalised in the outer areas, adding costs and time to their journeys to work or to seek work, to services, and leisure activities.  For some such  things will become increasingly inaccessible. Smith’s plans for urban sprawl an the weakening of the Resource Management Act will put extra pressures on the environment and transport, doing nothing to counter the impacts of climate change.

NickSmith forked tongue

Simon Collins and Anne Gibson report in this morning’s NZ Herald online:

New Housing Minister Nick Smith is vowing to break the “stranglehold” of  Auckland Council’s policy of containing urban sprawl – a policy he says is “killing the dreams of Aucklanders” by driving up house prices. In his first major interview on how he plans to tackle the housing affordability issue handed to him in January’s Cabinet reshuffle, he said his focus would be on opening up land supply because land prices were the biggest factor putting home ownership out of reach of many Aucklanders. “There’s no question in my mind that we have to break through the stranglehold that the existing legal metropolitan urban limit has on land supply,” he said. But Auckland Mayor Len Brown hit back last night, saying Dr Smith was advocating a flawed Los Angeles model of “suburban sprawl and unbridled land availability”. “I’m pretty disappointed in the minister’s positioning, and I am disappointed because it reflects a philosophy or view of city development, and particularly development of our city, that goes back to the forties and fifties,” he said.

The excellent Auckland Transport Blog has often made the case for a more compact Auckland, as in this post on a recent report which was,

paid for by the government and Auckland into the economic competitiveness of the NZ economy. … The report has been put together by Hong Kong-based Professor Michael Enright and another expert, Michael Porter.

The post quotes Enright thus:

Professor Enright said Auckland’s first priority should be a mass transit system, including the city rail loop, followed by revitalising the CBD – calling the $45 million upgraded Aotea Square a “concrete jungle” – and an end to urban sprawl in favour of an “overall denser Auckland”.

mickysavage, responded to the RNZ report on Smith’s plans with this excellent comment:

And so Nick Smith wants to “smash” Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit even though it is shortly to be replaced by the “rural urban boundary” which he seems ok with. And the difference between the two? The MUL is slightly stronger and permits less development outside it’s boundary whereas the RUB will be slightly more permissive. But they are both designed to change Auckland into a compact urban form. The repercussions of not having a MUL are clear through experience throughout the world, more sprawl, more need to rely on a car for transport, a less economically viable city and destruction of fertile land as the city expands. Development becomes more expensive and environmental damage increases. Smith is using violent language to try and deflect criticism of the Government for not doing anything about housing affordability. Now they can blame Auckland Council. It was good for Len Brown to stand up to Smith this morning. But stand by as National gets ready to undermine environmental protection and Auckland’s right to design a unitary plan so that Auckland grows the way that locals want it to.

Smith’s plan will do nothing for housing affordability, is undemocratic, and is looking to over-ride the plans of the council, done in consultation with Aucklanders.  It aims to enable a further land grab by developers.

53 comments on “Auckland housing: Brown vs Smith”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Smith’s plan will do nothing for housing affordability, is undemocratic, and is looking to over-ride the plans of the council, done in consultation with Aucklanders.

    What Smith’s and Nationals plan will do is increase the cost of living in Auckland as all the extra infrastructure needed needs to be paid for as well as all the extra transport. Of course, they’re probably thinking of that and so see extra possibilities in clipping the ticket to make themselves and their rich mates richer.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Crystal clear. Have the ratepayer stump up for the infrastructure, the taxpayers for the roads, all built by Nick’s mates, then charge ‘what the market can stand’ for the sections, pocketing the gouged profits. Nick’s mates all win. The ratepayers and taxpayers pick up the tab. That’s how National Capitalism works. Break out the champagne.

    • UpandComer 1.2

      I think it’s been pointed out that Auckland’s density in people per square Kilometre is actually very light by international standards.

      I don’t know what you are complaining about. Whether or not you want faster private development, or a billion free houses for no money, you are going to have to increase the density values in Auckland and free up land regardless.

  2. geoff 2

    [deleted] Nick Smith’s forked tongue.

    [karol: agree with DTB below]

  3. vto 3

    This is all complete and utter bullshit and politics. making a big shit stink and diversions in order to mash up the legs being made on affordable housing by the greens and labour.

    Makes me sick.

    Opening up such a tiny supply of land will make diddly squat difference. Sure, it is one factor, but every single other component is in fact more of a contribution to high housing costs. These include;

    1. GST being raised put housing and land up by 2.5%.
    2. Councils recently raised development contributions by a similar amount.
    3. Monopolies and duopolies in the construction sectror e.g. cement (not concrete) is entirely held by just 2 outfits, Fletchers and Holcim.
    4. on it goes.

    So buckle up you pollies and get in the stock car as you have plenty of laps to do with Smith in the old valiant beside you. Best get yourself out of the corolla and into a hummer, or you gonna get mashed.

    btw, here is an example of local authority abuse of monopoly power – dumping a potato at the dump costs more than planting, growing, harvesting, distributing and selling it. 40c per kilo to dump a potato when you can in places buy them for less thank 40c per kilo. This an example that highlights the problem. Then apply this to the entire building situation. No wonder there is such an affordability problem – we are simply being ripped off.

  4. muzza 4

    Is this is genuine challenge?

    If yes, what is the intended outcome?

    If no, what is point of the exercise?

  5. jbc 5

    Smith demonstrates a total lack of intelligence and critical thinking.

    If land prices are the critical factor then the obvious solution would be to make more efficient use of land, surely. That’s what makes cities cities. Population density and the efficiencies of scale that come with that.

    Smith is totally missing the point of why people move to, or settle in, Auckland. It is not so that they can be 30km away from the city on a fringe subdivision. They may as well be in Hamilton. He also misses the point of why people want to be *outside* Auckland.

    Smiths answer is basically to extend the city to enclose the people that want to live in it. Why not just rename the North Island to Auckland. Job done!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      If land prices are the critical factor then the obvious solution would be to make more efficient use of land, surely. That’s what makes cities cities. Population density and the efficiencies of scale that come with that.

      QFT, there’s a reason why the high priced land in at the city centre.

      National are just reaching back to the times when Labour built state houses to house people and it was popular. This paradigm no longer applies as the costs of sprawl far outweigh the slight lessening of the houses built on the freed up land. National’s land banking mates will make a bomb though.

      • Wayne 5.1.1

        Does living in a 3 bedroom home on a 450 to 500 metre section in West Aukland really cost more than the total cost of living in say Avondale?

        Low cost houses in the West could be done for less than $400,000 (land and building), and that is for a 120 meter house, landscaped, with a garage. For a lot of people, a house on a section is a more attractive alternative than an apartment or very high density housing on say 250 meters. But you do need sections, out in the area of Swanson, and out to Kumeu. All the land on the cityside of the Hobsonville motorway should be able to turned into housing land.

        A lot of people work within 10 to 15 k of where they live and they travel by car. The difference in travel compared to a closer in suburb might be 10 k to 15 k per day, and for a car that would be an extra $30 per week (mostly fuel) – and pretty much everyone in Auckland has a car. More expensive houses closer in cost at least $500,000, so with the cost difference of $100,000 it is an interest cost of $5,500 per year. So living further out should be cheaper.

        By the way the cost of additional roads, sewerage, water, power, parks, etc is all covered by the development levies of Council, which are of course part the section cost.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Does living in a 3 bedroom home on a 450 to 500 metre section in West Aukland really cost more than the total cost of living in say Avondale?

          Yes, several thousand dollars per year more as there’s far more travel involved.

          Then there’s the roads – lots of roads out west here that aren’t used anywhere near as much as the ones closer to the CBD. Those roads are needed though and so the rates go up.

          And that applies to pretty much everything. More travel, more roads, more electricity and power reticulation, more, more, more

          More expensive houses closer in cost at least $500,000

          Houses, yeah, they would be as they’re massively inefficient use of land. Apartments on the other hand can be much, much, cheaper.

          The difference in travel compared to a closer in suburb might be 10 k to 15 k per day, and for a car that would be an extra $30 per week (mostly fuel) – and pretty much everyone in Auckland has a car.

          I think you’ll find that your estimates of the Costs of running a car are out. Never mind the inefficiency of having a vehicle to go to work and then park it all day doing nothing.

          By the way the cost of additional roads, sewerage, water, power, parks, etc is all covered by the development levies of Council, which are of course part the section cost.

          1.) Do those costs actually cover the full costs involved?
          2.) What about the ongoing costs? I bet you haven’t even figured out that the costs associated with maintaining a city increases exponentially as it sprawls. That, IMO, is why rates in NZ keep going up at rates far in excess of inflation.

        • geoff 5.1.1.2

          What DTB said. Also, most people in big cities around the world do not own cars. It’s a quaint, parochial vision for the city that you’ve got there, Wayne, and it’s complete bullshit.

          • Wayne 5.1.1.2.1

            But they do own cars in places actually comparable to NZ, such as Australia, Canada and the US. By that I mean we have newish cities typically 100 to 200 years old. We are not going to replicate European cities any time soon.
            This idea we can’t grow outward at all is rather odd – we are simply talking about being the same size as Brisbane, hardly a place that is hell on earth. People there seem to be able live much the same as we do.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2.1.1

              We are not going to replicate European cities any time soon.

              Yes we will, we’ll have no choice due to economics. The delusion is over, no more cheap energy, no more of having everything you desire simply because we can’t afford it. What we can afford is still a hell of a lot more than what was true 100 years ago when Auckland was being built exactly the same way that the European cities were being built but we won’t have personal cars, we won’t have aircraft and imports will be almost non-existent.

              That’s the future that we have to look forward to. It’s going to be good in many ways but it’s not going to just be more of what we have because what we have has come to its end.

              • Wayne

                “We won’t have personal cars, we won’t have aircraft and imports will be almost non existent”.

                Seriously that is not going to happen. Hydrocarbons have a 100 years of reserves, taking into account deep sea oil, tight gas, shale and in fact normal oil fields. There is of course the still vast reserves of the Middle East.

                Doesn’t the fact that the US still produces a huge amount of oil and gas 150 years after first commercial use indicate that there is still plenty out there, even in the US.

                Sure cars will be electric, or ultra fuel efficient (20km/l), but oil, gas methane are not going to run out in the next 100 years – might be expensive though. But at forecast levels of efficiency, a litre could cost $10 and it will still be barely more expensive (in actual total quantity used by each person) than at present.

                Boeing and Airbus are making more efficient aircraft, and orders are booming. Air travel is cheaper real terms that ever before. Prices would have to more than double before they got back to the levels of the 1980’s in real terms. In my entire adult life (since the early 1970’s) an economy class ticket to the UK has never been more than around $2,200, and in recent years has often been less. But wages have increased tenfold in nominal terms since the 1970’s, as have house prices. In fact in Auckland more like twentyfold!

                And ocean fright is extraordinarily more efficient than is generally realized. As a proportion of the cost of most imports it is only a very small proportion.

                Now I know about global warming, and that will moderate the use of fossil fuels, but it is mostly going to mean reduced coal use, which is already occurring – hence the problems of Solid Energy.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fail.

                  Declining vehicle passenger kms all through the western world.

                  In the USA real wages have been stagnant or falling since the mid 1980’s: except for the very elite of course.

                  • Wayne

                    I agree on real wages, but I was referring to nominal wages.

                    For instance in 1975 a secondary teacher at the top of the scale got around $6,000, but today the top of the scale is around $70,000. I wonder if teachers then were better off in real terms than today.

                    Not easy to compare individuals since most people get promotions through a career, but I imagine there could be a 70 year old teacher still teaching in the classroom who was at the top of the scale 40 years ago and never chose to go up the career ladder. They would know if their living standards have improved. I imagine “yes” since in the last 40 years there has been some real growth, and it did not all go to the top 10%.

                    But the nominal cost of airfares has remained the same and I imagine for “grab a seat” are way less than they were 40 years ago.

                    • Wayne

                      On the declining passenger miles (including NZ) it shows that a fair bit of car travel is actually quite discretionary. You can plan to do several things on a trip, you can car pool, you can work closer to home, catch the ferry rather than drive to the city (which I do more now than I used to) you can do more entertaining at home, see videos rather than go to the movies, etc, etc. But people still find their car is pretty important.

                      For instance 60% of people on the Shore work on the Shore compared to 50% twenty years ago.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nominal wages lol

                      Notice how packs of salt and vinegar chips are not just more expensive than 10 years ago, but contain fewer grams of chips.

                      That’s inflation AND deflation attacking the nominal wage at the same time

                      I’ll put it another way, if you were earning $25,000 pa in 1970 you were amongst the wealthiest people in NZ and could buy a lovely house outright in just one year.

                      Today you’re a pauper. Nominal wages lol

                    • Colonial Viper

                      People are dumping their cars as they aren’t economic. This trend will accelerate.

                      Good luck with your cornucopian energy scenarios mate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Hydrocarbons have a 100 years of reserves,

                  That may be so, doesn’t mean that we’re going to get any.

                  Doesn’t the fact that the US still produces a huge amount of oil and gas 150 years after first commercial use indicate that there is still plenty out there, even in the US.

                  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/50/USEIA-US-Oil-Production1859-2008.jpg

                  And you should probably read this.

                  Now I know about global warming, and that will moderate the use of fossil fuels, but it is mostly going to mean reduced coal use, which is already occurring – hence the problems of Solid Energy.

                  /Facepalm

        • karol 5.1.1.3

          Wayne, you have NFI of the areas you are talking about.

          Transport: In the last couple of years I moved from the New Lynn area to Henderson & then back to New Lynn. Last moVe I was looking at Swanson, Ranui, kumeu etc.

          I travel more by public transport into the city than by car. The train fare from Henderson is more than from new Lynn, plus the added time makes the longer journey a bit tiresome. Many low income people could be struggling to get to jobs etc. The public transport to and from Kumeu is very poor. The North Western motorway can be very slow during peak times, and it’s just not good for the environment.

          Housing: I am told by people in the know, that the new apartments in New Lynn(in a block of 6 or more storeys), have been selling very well. The ones with a balcony have been very popular, the ones without not so much, They are right beside the train station and bus interchange, have green spaces within walking distance, are right beside the mall and new medical centre.

  6. bad12 6

    ‘The song’ will remain the same in Auckland as far as house price inflation goes until ‘The State’ gets real and builds 30,000 rental units within the current boundaries of Auckland City,

    The current crisis is simply one of supply and demand, when the demand for property from the would be landlords is killed off prices for housing for those wishing to by a home will at the least stabilize,

    Someone highlighted the removal of 17 HousingNZ homes from the States protfolio in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham in today’s ‘Open Mike’,

    2 of those properties were sold at auction last week for 2 million dollars, here’s the plans of one of the buyers,

    This couple,both professionals already ‘own’ another property, presumably with a mortgage, they plan to build ‘their home’ on the back of the HousingNZ property they have just bought at auction, subdividing the section and leaving the ex-State house on its present site,

    They will then live in the home built at the rear of the HousingNZ section and rent out the other 2 properties,

    And therein lies Aucklands ‘housing crisis’ 1000’s of such people who see their future as being landlords to others becoming the ‘owners’ of multiple properties, and thus pushing demand and prices ever higher,

    Note: Such ownership is in fact ‘unreal’ as these people are taking on multi-million dollar debts they are simply the ticket clippers for the US Banking Cartels and might upon their retirement actually ‘own’ such properties by the time they attain retirement age,

    Sadly to be 70 something and an actual multi-millionaire is simply ludicrous in terms of what they expect to be able ‘to do’ with such wealth at such an age if they are of course that ‘lucky’ as a 2% rise in interests rates any time in the next 10-15 years will wipe most of these ‘landlords’ out financially…

    • KAB 6.1

      What about the other land Housing NZ is off loading in the same street as well. The land had resource consent for 42 units but HNZ says on its web site that it is too costly to build them so it is putting land on open market for other developers. Makes a mockery of Smith saying that the land needs to be available on the fringe to push land costs down. The issue is more complex and simplistic responses by the government do not address Auckland ( and NZ’s ) housing problems. Housing NZ is one of the few agencies that could deliver affordable housing given its existing landholdings. In Auckland where it is clear that intensification will be delivered through the Unitary Plan it should be holding on to the land, not selling it. Fragmented ownership will stop the ability to aggregate enough land to deliver intensification. Government should not make the Auckland Regions’ long standing compact city policy accountable for its failures.

      • Treetop 6.1.1

        A good example of the government being a real estate agent with no social responsibility. I now know why the housing stock is falling, it is too expensive for the government to build housing on land they own.

  7. Treetop 7

    I am against dense housing due to the social problems which arise.

    1. Banging car doors.
    2. Banging front or back doors.
    3. TV/stereo/radio heard through the wall.
    4. Neighbours who do not like children playing outside.
    5. Arguments being heard.
    6. Rows of rubbish and recycling bins.
    7. Dumped furniture/white ware/car parts.
    8. Cats which come into your home (crap in your garden, then walk over your kitchen bench or hang from your curtains).
    9. Sometimes a business may be run from the premise or the person is a big Trade Me seller/buyer
    10.All of a sudden a person cannot manage the stairs due to a stroke/broken hip.

    A lot of the above can be reduced by using good quality building materials e.g, hush glass and gib solutions.

    A combination of urban sprawl and strictly limited condensed housing is the way to go. People have different needs.

    I really like the way that Housing NZ used to serve the community, before the shortage of housing occurred. My one criticism would be that there was always a shortage of housing for single people and couples.

    Healthy housing is the priority. Auckland has been sprawling for years; efficent public transport is finally catching up. The Wellington rail system has served many outer areas for decades (some daily train trips are 45 minutes or more per journey), this is why Wellington does not have the housing problem that Auckland has.

    How much condensed housing gets bulldozed compared to single or double level housing and why?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      I am against dense housing due to the social problems which arise.

      And yet if we have a look around the world where they have such housing and they’ve planned for it they don’t have any of those problems.

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        What is it that can be learnt from the rest of the world, re dense housing to avoid social problems?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Well, they have high density housing and none of the problems that you listed. This leads me to believe that there are solutions. Certainly, numerous studies have indicated that problems that did occur in high density areas were more to do with socio-economic conditions than with the high density itself.

          Here, a PDF and another PDF.

          • Treetop 7.1.1.1.1

            So as long as the poor do not live in dense housing, social problems will be minimal because the wealthy have money to be entertained away from home, go on long or short trips.

            Those on a low income already live in dense housing (over crowding) in suburbs close to the city. Auckland will have over crowding in dense high rise apartments or the poor will be expected to live in the outer suburbs, which many already do.

            Either way the poor are stuffed.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.1

              No, they’re not unless the government, both local and central, keeps stuffing up by following policies that enrich a few and impoverish everyone else.

              <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10861959New Lynn units start at just $246k

              Cheaper than a house on its own patch of dirt, more convenient as well and a hell of a lot better in many ways.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.2

              BTW, I get really sick of the people who whinge but think of the poor waaaaah. The solution there isn’t cheap housing but changing the system so that there are no poor.

              • Treetop

                “… but think of the poor waaaaah.” There are too many policies which enrich a few and impoverish everyone else. Those who have the least struggle the most, I do not consider this to be whinging.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes there are. Change the policies and we no longer have the poor. Cheaper housing isn’t really going to cut it simply because there’s really no such thing. Apartments are cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain and tend to be closer to work and play but not so significantly cheaper that suddenly every poor person will be able to go out and buy.

                  • Treetop

                    My biggest concern is that changing policies anytime soon is not going to happen (so no closing the gap) and that the price of housing or the cost of rental is due to failed policy for at least the last decade. To a point WFFs bridged the gap in some households for purchasing a home or occupying a rental. The accommodation supplement benefits the owner or the bank and the AS is too low now for most areas.

                    No matter where housing is, it needs to be of a high standard and to be affordable.

        • Coronial Typer 7.1.1.2

          Manila is dense. Melbourne is dense. They’re different. One is more attractive, more resilient, more amenable to human flourishing than the other.
          But why?

          • mickysavage 7.1.1.2.1

            Open spaces, walking areas. good public transport, public art, preservation of heritage, lots of social infrastructure like galleries, sports stadia and communal places, investment in the arts, keeping cars out of areas, guess where …

            • tc 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes but struggling and becoming gridlocked as it hasn’t spent enough in the last 10years on it’s transport/roads whilst piling people into CBD/inner urban.

              Still an awesome city but let itself slide by not maintaining the spend whereas has had AKL spent SFA in the last 30 years in total.

              • Aye TC although not in relation to cars.

                The really great cities have a great train system, and the best ones have electric light rail.

                Auckland’s problem is that it killed its tram system to make way for cars. Trams are way better in that they are communal, affordable, quieter and people can relax as they travel to work. Cars are their own personal bubble where they can turn the radio on and listen to dipstick DJs and talk back hosts and burn petroleum and then require much of the inner city to be car parks so they have somewhere to store their cars. And carparks are the most ugly, destructive buildings in the inner city.

                In 1999 Auckland’s train system was ready to have the oxygen removed and put to sleep it was in such a bad way. Passenger trips were about 1 million a year.

                Then something happened. Local Government grew a pair and made some big decisions.

                Christine Fletcher and her Council (yes ex Nat MP) decided to invest huge amounts of money in Britomart. Banks then was elected but was unable to wreck what had been started. The other Councils around Auckland had elected to join with Auckland to buy the rail system off NZRail and improve it. This was really brave forward looking stuff.

                Banks had his evil way though. The Councils had agreed to light rail throughout the region including down Symonds Street where the student market would make sure that numbers were high enough to make the system viable. Banks removed Symonds Street from the planned network and this destroyed the business case for light rail. Of all his sins as a politician this particularly evil decision should have him crucified in 20 years time when people realise.

                The rest of the region stayed staunch and then Cullen decided to step in and renegotiate the deal. He also put significant money into the project.

                Since then passenger numbers have increased to 12 million. The growth should continue, especially after electric trains are introduced. If/when peak oil hits there will be a stampede and people will be thinking what were those stupid politicians doing not planning for this.

                The CRL is absolutely vital. At the same time the Council should trash some parking buildings and make car travel really uneconomic.

                Sorry bit of a rant … but Auckland could be wonderful if it can just tame its cars.

  8. xtasy 8

    Smith is a National MP and minister at heart (much more blue than “green”), and National is serving interests primarily of the various business lobbies, which includes anyone from real estate agents, land owners/dealers, developers, builders, larger construction companies, materials wholesalers, contractors, insurers, transport operators, retailers, speculators, home owners, landlords, tourism operators, service delivers and to whosoever else comes to mind.

    So naturally they continue to dream of “endless economic growth” ensuring earnings and profits for their most important supporters, paymasters and lobbyists. Workers and residents that are struggling to afford housing are not their real priority.

    They want to create “growth” by plastering land between Whanagarei and Hamilton, to create the South Pacific’s mega city of a size like Sydney or bigger. Highways will interconnect wide spread “suburbs”, and only some trains will cart the have littles to work. The cross Tasman competitive mindset comes to help. So a mega city – bigger than Sydney or Melbourne – will house more hundreds of thousands or millions of additional migrants they want to allow in over coming decades. It will to them be an “achievement”. “We will be noted with a truly mega city”, they may think.

    It is the easiest way to “create” growth, by simply increasing populations and markets, and to look at resource costs later. But as profits of the owning and investing business and landlord classes are crucial to National, they do not care, whether it is short term “gain” and longer term “pain”, as they never think of the future of the kids of their kids. Me first is the highest motto and mantra.

    Irresponsibility and stupidity combined, I can only say to all this.

    • muzza 8.1

      Auckland is , in no way a city fit for 2m+ people.

      All this talk about use space more efficiently, sure yes, but the closer together the plebs have to live, the more social problems we are going to have.

      Growth by population increase, is only a medium near term outcome. Medium to long term the consequences are going to be killer!

  9. prism 9

    From the NZ Herald
    ” Developers picked to net $28m from Crown land selloff
    8:50AM Thursday Mar 07, 2013 By Alanah Eriksen

    A block of state housing land for sale in Sandringham is ripe for a townhouse development that could net a developer $28 million, a property expert … More”

  10. ad 10

    Auckland is now New Zealand’s second government: where Auckland goes, New Zealand now follows in almost every respect. Economy. Society. Culture. Infrastrucutre. It’s very close to 40% of everything now except New Zealand’s land mass and energy production.

    This is the grand contest we face not only in the Local Government elections this year, but also in 2014’s central elections:

    Do we have another moment like 1949 in which Labour sought to build a progressive and coherent Auckland, built around public transport, and squadloads of affordable hosues with price-regulated state and Council flats, or does National get in again and reinforce a wasteful, unproductive motorway-based future yet again?

    The answer depends on how well Labour has a plan, has ideals to stand for, and has a campaign that wins – both in the central and local elections. Will Labour’s hierarchy enable strong ideals and a compelling capmaign to realign Auckland Council’s politics and, finally, win in 2014 to make the great alignment?

    Because unless it does, and wins, unless Auckland government and central government are aligned, New Zealand will jsut get sucked faster and faster into Auckland to no productive effect and to the great damage of the nation. Forever.

  11. prism 11

    There is a container in Christchurch on TradeMe for $2000. Someone from Auckland should snap this up and use it to start a container park for housing there. Simple streamlined and low cost living. No leaks? as found in expensive homes still being built. Put two side by side for family togetherness, and very low rental.

    This could be done actually, and set up to provide better living conditions at affordable prices than those many now are enduring. Someone from a Housing Association or Trust desiring to serve the people’s needs for adequate lot-cost housing should do this. Not of course Housing NZ. They lost their integrity of service to the people and mojo years ago.

  12. dw 12

    I wonder, has anyone dug into the financial backgrounds of the cheerleaders for greater urban sprawl? I seem to remember the Productivity Commission (or was it Property Council) coming out recently saying that availability of land was the biggest factor in high house prices in Auckland, then surprise surprise, they recommended removing all urban limits. I wouldn’t mind betting if you looked into it, that these neo-lib fossils have a web of companies that own the landbanks on the urban fringe. Typical National crony-capitalism.

  13. prism 13

    dw
    I remember hearing someone saying that he would be happy to see housing expand from Auckland to Hamilton. I couldn’t remember the name, and couldn’t find on Radionz the particular reference so may be it was this Commission.

    This country is constantly turning over its verities, like don’t build on land which could be farmland, it’s our biggest asset, and then someone looks under the stone and finds fools gold there. And another building block for a stable society with ongoing enterprise and reasonable prosperity
    undermined.

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  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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