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Auckland housing market bubbling

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, November 15th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, housing - Tags:

Well that was interesting rise in price. A few weeks ago there was a notice in our mail box about the next door apartment going up for auction.

Lyn has been looking at getting her toehold into the Auckland property market over the last year. As a first home buyer she could use kiwisaver and get the first home buyer incentives. Otherwise her income was sufficient to pay the mortgage on a smallish semi-detached or apartment like mine. Easy if I tagged along with her into her first home as a tenant (and rented out my apartment)  - but then then it’d have to be big enough for two.

But either the value of the properties were too high and she couldn’t make the deposit and/or the properties are too far out and she went into that trade off between mortgage payments and petrol prices  and travel times. Effectively what this translates to in Auckland is that if you want to have a property to raise kids in, then you have to spend so much time in the car that you will seldom see them. And you’ll pay a bomb in ever rising petrol costs.

But the banks have dropped the effective required deposits down to 10% a month or so ago (while we were moving back into my apartment damnit). This naturally started the Auckland property market heating up. And an apartment next door to that of your current partner give some advantages if we don’t break up.

Next door last sold at $212k less than a year ago and no other apartments have sold for higher for over 2 years – mostly they have sold for less. It just sold for $245k this afternoon. A tidy profit to what is almost certainly a speculator.

Of course it means that my property is worth more, but that is of no use if I sell to buy inside Auckland.

You can see why the country needs a housing policy beyond National’s subsidies  to property developers like big and expensive roading contracts so they can make more development land  available – 50 or more kms from where the available jobs actually are. That is a policy designed to appeal to the very simpleminded – like David Farrar.

So it seems odd  that when we are getting rocketing unemployment, we’re now getting a speculative boom in housing prices for anywhere useful, a government fanatically trying to subsidize uneconomic subdivisions a long way from jobs, … This all sounds familar. Next up will be a relaxation in building standards and regulation “cutting red tape” in Farrar palance, ultimately leading to the council paying $6 million on a $10 million dollar apartment building for the damage caused by their lax inspections.

I think I have strayed back to the last time Bill English was making financial decisions for the country.

33 comments on “Auckland housing market bubbling”

  1. King Kong 1

    What are you complaining about, $245k would barely buy you a one bed in Mogadishu. What is unaffordable about that?

    • lprent 1.1

      A different currency and a permanent war zone perhaps?

      But seriously this is more than $4800 per square metre of the living area and more than $3200 per square metre when I add the courtyard and carparks in.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        Instead of owing your soul to the “Company Store” we have just transferred this to the our soul being posessed by the Bank.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfp2O9ADwGk
        Sure a few may have an improved livestyle/wealth but we (NZ inc.) just own a little less of NZ whilst the bank takes a greater share.
        How can any political party/govt address the issue – without losing the support of property owners ?? catch 22
        Build satellite settlements on the train line-duplicate Wellington.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          You’d still have to go out 50kms and restrict yourself to the West past Massey or the South. And unlike Wellington all the work isn’t either in the downtown or in the Hutt Valley so we’d need a lot more railways.

          Right now it’d be nice if we could just get a central city loop in so we could effectively use that as a hub to move traffic between the existing lines in different directions.

          • Jimmie 1.1.1.1.1

            Simple – move out of Auckland.

            Instead of being an Auckland pauper become a Hamilton prince.

            Move to a provincial city where house prices are 50% less than Auckland, travelling costs are much less, rates and water charges are nothing in comparison, and if you have kids they can grow up to some fresh hair.

            I’ve never been able to understand folks who are tied to Auckland – nothing but a rat race where you almost need a 6 figure income just to get by.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Little thing called a job. I enjoy my job and can’t do it from Hamilton. Would if there was a great train service from there to here…

              Schools and transport will also make many stop and think about buying 50kms from the city.

              Why not loosen up zoning and make accommodations (as has just been made for a corporate brothel) so that, say, plots that line Dominion Road, Sandringham Road, and other arterial routes to allow, say, 4 storey apartment style blocks. All would be on main bus routes so transport is easier. Even if people can’t afford to buy they can rent (more homes for rent, less rent increases etc).

              New North Road etc etc…

    • felix 1.2

      My mum told me to clean my room last night.

      “FFS woman,” I yelled, “This is already cleaner than a rubbish pile in a Brazillian slum!”

  2. pete 2

    245K? Cheap as chips!

    • lprent 2.1

      Yes, 51 square metre single bedroom apartments with two carparks and recently fixed from moronic builders and council screwups.

      Their price was depressed. I’m rather expecting them to be auctioning closer to $300k in the next few months as the current rental stock apartments around central auckland gets sucked up by owner occupiers

      • andy (the other one) 2.1.1

        If you are buying an apartment, beware of re clad buildings. A lot of them will leak again in another 10 Years.

        Also don’t buy on lease hold land, ground rents are going stupid especially the Maori Land down around Beach Road across to the strand and Body Corp fees are going up after the changes to Unit Titles Act last year, specifically for 10 year maintenance sinking funds.

        IF you buy into a Body corp property read the minutes very carefully and always be involved as an owners representative on committees. The devil is in the details.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Yep to all of these. For the first one, get a engineer to look at it.

          We had leaky balconies (weather proofing was inadequate and allowed the wood to get soaked)! and some leaky bathrooms rather than one of the eaves style problems.

        • Jackal 2.1.1.2

          Yeah! Those increases in rates for lease hold land are pretty nuts all across the country, and the result is some people having to sell their houses because they can no longer afford to rent the land their houses are on. This is especially bad for the elderly who are on fixed incomes.

          National might harp on about this being councils fault, but the increases are because rates are in most cases set by the value of the property and the land it’s on. As values increase, so do rates, and it’s pricing lots of people out of their communities. Personally I blame those damn property speculators again.

          As usual National isn’t doing anything about the main problem.

          • xtasy 2.1.1.2.1

            That is why a regulatory regime must be put into place, to stop exorbitant lease rates and general land and property values exploding. This is what is in place in many cities all over the world, but to my knowledge it was done away with, or never existed, in New Zealand.

            Increases should be limited and capped for certain time periods at least.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Despite the Council placing a notice on my LIM and paying for lawyers to be in a legal action against me for over 2 years, they still rated my home as a non leaky home. Had to fight them on that.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.3

          If you want to know if your current building or one you want to buy is a possible leaker… then spend money on having permanent probes installed. They are a useful device and can assist with maintenance. You get them read in every season and if a potential problem arises you catch it early… maybe just needs re-sealing, or a change to a flashing… all of which cost under $500.

          As for me, I ahve a leaky home. I have had it injected with Boron… so the timber treatment level is now well above minimum standard. Will be removing all cladding replacing with wooden weatherboards etc etc, eaves and so on… and keeping these permanent probes to keep an ongoing record of the performance of the home. Too many think a house is leakproof and pay little attention to maintenance…

  3. Tom Gould 3

    On Planet Key, if you cut wages you get more jobs. So if you cut house prices you get more houses, right? Only they would be in Tuakau.

  4. xtasy 4

    One has to wonder, where all that money comes from to drive up prices to present levels in Auckland. Surely, it cannot just be the “easy” loan money from banks, which may be happy to lend with only a 10 per cent deposit being made by intending buyers of residential property. Banks have become more careful, and they will only lend if the lender has good enough credentials, a good credit rating and secure income.

    With the unstable job market as it is now, the insecurity for many to rely on job security, many even struggling to get a 10 per cent deposit together, there are surely other factors involved.

    I bet that a substantial driver of the prices are:
    a) existing, cash fluid buyers and investors, who have already a nice portfolio, they can use to borrow more on, to extend their portfolios (the wealthier and rich usually experience opportunities with exponential growth prospects, i.e. the rich get richer faster);
    b) a small proportion of middle and upper middle class buyers, who have secure jobs and incomes, being professionals like teachers, doctors, nursers, technical, legal and other experts and so forth, some having secure employment with state agencies, departments, SOEs and also well established, mostly larger and stable private enterprises;
    c) expats returning home from years of well paid work overseas, with some good amounts of savings, wanting to buy first home, sometimes more;
    d) new migrants, who often also have a bit or more of cash to bring into the country, and once employed for longer, will desire to buy and invest in a home;
    e) wealthy overseas investors, some buying apartments and other accommodation on the local market, to let to their off-spring, staff or others, while they study here as overseas students, work perhaps on contracts for set periods in well paid jobs and so forth; in “down times” they may sell again to ideally make a nice gain also.

    This combined with a lack of construction for residential real estate, due for a number of reasons, creates a shortage of housing for even the cashed up prospective buyer, driving up prices AND rents.

    There are no or little controls on how high land values can go, and there is NO CGT. Hence, especially in inner city and rim areas, property prices can be driven sky high, also discouraging construction for ordinary residential purposes. Some owners sit on empty lots for years or decades, just waiting for a great cash up sale, giving them enormous gains tax free, at the expense of the community. In other countries and cities they often have control systems in places for property and real estate price growth, but not really here in NZ.

    Going green-field is not going to solve much, and will only create a Los Angeles style urban environment, which is hardly recommendable. There must be controls brought in to contain speculation with land and built up property, to ensure that development and construction does not explode to the benefit only of a few. A CGT is an essential tool to achieve this, but even more may be necessary.

    Surely, the government must start a large housing development plan, of a better type as past Housing NZ schemes. Some introduction of regulations to contain land price speculation is worth considering. Also a look is needed at building material costs. Why does NZ export raw logs to China for value added processing, and locally timber and other materials are too expensive to use for construction?

    Just to reflect on what was done in the past, have a look at the third Labour government. Yes, it would not be fitting for todays purposes, but then again, how far has NZ gone away from what used to be “normal”, “acceptable” and “sensible” decades ago. What has been achieved with laissez faire, privatisation, hands-off free-enterprise and selling out of services and state assets? Only a few have benefitted, while most struggle and are dropping down the ladder.

    Some links to study:

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

    http://ohagans.net.nz/Our_Services/Property_Investors/Property_Speculation.html

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      One has to wonder, where all that money comes from to drive up prices to present levels in Auckland. Surely, it cannot just be the “easy” loan money from banks, which may be happy to lend with only a 10 per cent deposit being made by intending buyers of residential property. Banks have become more careful, and they will only lend if the lender has good enough credentials, a good credit rating and secure income.

      The money was created by bank debt between 2000 and 2008 and is now sloshing around the system. Things like tax cuts to the rich have increased the ability of well off people to service bigger mortgages now as well; these credit worthy people have no problem getting a mortgage for $400K to $600K in Aukcland.

    • karol 4.2

      xtasy, I agree with the most of your drivers, but question this one:

      b) a small proportion of middle and upper middle class buyers, who have secure jobs and incomes, being professionals like teachers, doctors, nursers, technical, legal and other experts and so forth, some having secure employment with state agencies, departments, SOEs and also well established, mostly larger and stable private enterprises; 

      Particularly, do you have any evidence that teachers, nurses and many of the low-to-middle of the middle-classes have enough funds for buying into the Auckland housing market at the moment?  Stories I’ve been hearing includes a (woman) teacher having difficulty finding a house to buy as far out as Massey in west Auckland. And she wouldn’t even consider looking further in to the centre of the city.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        If you’re in AKL on $50K pa with $50K saved for a deposit you have shit show of buying anything bigger than a shoebox in a very average area.

      • lprent 4.2.2

        Lyn earns pretty good money, above what most teachers would get. But that is only something that has happened a few years ago. After the student loans dropped down, and after she finally put together a deposit. But she is only looking for a small apartment.

        Apartment prices for anything larger are horrendous in towards the city. If you want to something with grass in Grey Lynn then start getting a neck brace so you can look upwards easily.

      • xtasy 4.2.3

        KAROL: If a person on an individual’s single income looks at buying on her or his own, it is near impossible, even with a good salary or wage. But if it is a couple, then it is manageable, if both have secure incomes as “professionals” (over 40 or 50 k p.a. each). The central city of Auckland, and I presume also Wellington and Christchurch are not affordable for the bulk of society. That is, unless they settle for a shoebox apartment.

        I have a friend who spent his inherited money on such a shoe box studio apartment, in one of the suburbs though. It turned out to be a leaky complex, so after years of stress and legal battles, they are now fixing problems as they go. Although they will get some compensation from the council, he and others are likely to end up with a fair few thousands of costs that they need to carry themselves. Also the repairs may bring out more bad news surprises, as they go uncovering outer walls and so forth.

        The leaky home crisis is immense and immensely costly. Billions sent down the drain, and that adds to finance company collapses, bad debts of banks and financial ruin of thousands of “investors” and home owners for various other reasons. Pity one can’t sue National for changing some laws in the 1990s. But they would know how to dodge responsibility. When it comes to liability they are all suddenly poor and have nothing to show.

        I realise and accept, that the present market activity in real estate is only generated by a certain, small fraction of society. Affordability indexes tell me that about half of NZers cannot and will not be able to afford their own homes in future.

        That will likely get worse.

        In any case, a state funded and initiated housing construction plan is inevitable, as otherwise we will have endless over-crowding, huge numbers of younger and poorer people forced to rent forever and fill landlord’s pockets. Collective housing projects are quite popular and common in some European countries. They still need to save and borrow also, but lumping together gives better terms for finance, building materials, workers involved, and so forth.

        • Tracey 4.2.3.1

          People are underestimating the number of houses effectively removed fromt he Auckland housing stock due to being leaky. Experts I talk to place it at over 100,000 properties. People can’t sell or it’s not worth selling, and people won’t buy, so youtake that many houses out of a city’s stock and tell me what happens to the prices of available homes?

          In my street two bungalows went on the market 2 weeks ago and are sold already, same in an adjacent street. Dont know what they went for but they went quickly.

  5. xtasy 5

    Further to my comment above, this really exposes the problems totally:

    http://www.rs.realestate.com.au/review/feb06/article2.html

  6. Raymond A Francis 6

    Lprent, serious question, what do you think could be done to help young people (any people actually) get a house?
    I would like to see the Government and Local Government get into building houses as was done by the first Labour Government of the 30s
    But I can’t see that helps people who want or more to the point have to live in central Auckland
    Maybe we should decentralise Auckland so the jobs are not all in Auckland

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Maybe we should decentralise Auckland so the jobs are not all in Auckland

      Yep…madness to have 30% of our population living on 0.3% of our land.

    • lprent 6.2

      Ok several parts to that.

      I’d love to find a job out of Auckland. Even natives like myself only live here because that is where the work is. But in both my field and Lyn’s the jobs simply aren’t available outside of Auckland in NZ. The reason why is that you need the ecosystem that supports particular types of industries. I’ll just point to what I see.

      The companies I work for need fast and close access to prototype PCB makers, people who can engineer and build prototype cases, graphic artist firms experienced with software requirements (an artistry in itself), people who have already been through offshore certification processes, warehouses full of the components that are missing on the BOM, sales people with touchscreen panels to test, programmers like myself who are crazily versatile, etc etc.. And that is merely the start. After that the requirements keep expanding. International airports where planes land all of the time are hellishly important for getting the materials in from all over the world.

      Same with Lyn, but hers are for the sound engineers, grading systems, and stuff that I barely understand.

      The strange thing about it is that for the majority of my job I mostly need a computer, a good link, and access to somewhere that stuff from pbTech can deliver to. But I’m also building on top of the electronics from the engineers. At least once every two weeks I wind up with an updated development target – usually after a few hours of component changes or soldering, or repeated cursing.

      Sure ecosystems can start anywhere – like the graphics cluster in Wellington and the other electronics/programming cluster in Christchurch. But for sheer synergies between the ecosytems of various industries bigger is better. In Auckland you have the robotics people setting up here to feed off the electronics and programming

      These employ people, highly skilled and well paid people who primarily sell stuff offshore – effectively generating wealth. They become the clients for a whole range of other companies and organisations.

      It is the same with everything in the tech areas from biotech to those maniacs with robot forklifts.

      In central Auckland people don’t particularly need villas. What they need are apartments, lots of apartments with between 1 and 3 bedrooms. Not the damn shoeboxes with 8ft ceilings, lifts, no carpark, a lot of floors, and in central Auckland.

      They need ones with two or three stories, high studs, no lifts or swimming pools, and in the inner suburbs around the four main Auckland urban centres close to bus or train routes (when they get the bloody ring done so we can use our current lines).

      Above all that should be frigging solid and well built rather than the crap that National allowed to thrown up in the 90′s so you don’t spend time paying lawyers and housing engineers as well as your student loans.

      But the point is that people who will live in those are the increasing numbers of dinkies and one kid families of various ages who are currently buying up the villas and then rattling in them. That is the best way to suck up housing needs because it reduces the demand on the other types of in-demand housing. And they are relatively cheap per sq metre.

      The MacMansions on the outskirts of the city are pretty useless for the bulk of Auckland’s population because they can’t afford the commutes of several hours.

      BTW: The reason why people like me want to live in Central Auckland is simple logistics. It isn’t because we often work in the central city. It is because we often don’t. All of the transport systems are designed to come into the central hub. I have worked in the CBD, New Lynn, Manakau City, Albany, Ellerslie, Takapuna, Birkenhead, and a number of others. If you plot them you will find they cover much of the city. Living in the central city makes it easier to to get out to those places without moving every few years.

      • xtasy 6.2.1

        Sooo many of the apartments in central Auckland were designed and built to cater for only short, temporary tenancies. Many were – and still are – intended for, and used for, accommodating students, from other parts of NZ and very many from overseas. You will know that a large number of overseas students are from East and South Asian countries, where they are used to small homes/apartments. That was part of the thinking behind building endless blocks of largely shoe box sized apartments.

        Also were they designed for mostly young persons in general, not just students, but also very mobile central city workers, who were thought to work largely on contract basis for limited periods. These apartments were not designed for life time occupation by the same individuals. A turnover scenario was the thoughts behind it, also offering temporary, first accommodation for new, professional migrants.

        But times have changed, and now also many Kiwis consider living in or very near the central cities, not just for a few years and while “in transit”, but for more or less permanent, at least a longer period.

        With the crap quality of some blocks, they are not going to last that long. So look forward to the first ones being demolished again in ten or so years, to make room for something more appropriate. That is what I would hope, at least.

        • Tracey 6.2.1.1

          We’re into our second-ish generation of people brought up on US, not UK, television. Apartment living is what they ahve seen forever on tv shows…. that’s what they hanker for.

      • felix 6.2.2

        The reason for some of the swimming pools is fire safety. Once a building gets to a certain size, the amount of water required to be stored on site for emergencies is so large that you need a swimming pool sized reservoir to hold it, so you may as well make it a swimming pool.

  7. Tracey 7

    Many apartment blocks were built for student accomodation. Many occupied by international syudents whose families live overseas and bought them an apartment.

    I work in Auckland because it’s where my work is (in leaky buildings). One of the firms I contract for is a law firm and so needs to be near the courts and tribunal. Central is where they are.

    I concur entirely withl prent’s assessment below

    “In central Auckland people don’t particularly need villas. What they need are apartments, lots of apartments with between 1 and 3 bedrooms. Not the damn shoeboxes with 8ft ceilings, lifts, no carpark, a lot of floors, and in central Auckland.

    They need ones with two or three stories, high studs, no lifts or swimming pools, and in the inner suburbs around the four main Auckland urban centres close to bus or train routes (when they get the bloody ring done so we can use our current lines).

    Above all that should be frigging solid and well built rather than the crap that National allowed to thrown up in the 90′s so you don’t spend time paying lawyers and housing engineers as well as your student loans.”

    I too am a rare breed, a born and bred Aucklander, and I would move in a heartbeat. BUT I own a leaky home which is currently unsaleable at a rational price. So we have been “stuck” here for 3 years and counting… We bought a piece of land near Havlock (SI) but now will sell to recoup our legal and expert expenses….

    I could live anywhere in NZ, I love this country so much as a place to live, but am stranded for now.

    • xtasy 7.1

      Wow, you have money to buy land! You must have a reasonably good job or business and income. Lucky you!

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    We've all heard the claims before, that the media in New Zealand is biased in favour of the ring wing. There are numerous arguments for and against this assertion and to be fair, it's not OK to tar every journalist...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Awful
    This publication is entirely awful. It documents a meandering, process-laden legal conference call that lasted 30 interminable minutes. Sample dialogue: THE COURT: I have not been able to read the motion because I have just called you immediately. So please...
    Polity | 24-07
  • World News Brief, Friday July 25
    Top of the AgendaKerry Renews Push for Israel-Hamas Truce...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Press Release: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy. “We...
    Gareth’s World | 24-07
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Why anyone does it in the first place
    Florian Habicht’s Pulp film is warm, funny, satisfying and true. And its first few minutes are just brilliantly, awesomely exuberant. They're why people buy records and go to gigs and obsess over bands, and why people play in bands in...
    Public Address | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Accelerating the Additional Harbour Crossing project?
    Yesterday was a busy day for transport news. Alongside Gerry Brownlee’s strange airport escapade, Labour Transport Spokesman Phil Twyford dropped a bit of a bombshell in relation to the possible acceleration of the Additional Waitemata Habour Crossing (AWHC) project as...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
    Labour has been bleating about Mike Hosking being used as moderator in a TVNZ election debate. There is even the unconvincing talk that Labour may boycott the debate if Hosking takes that role....
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Neo Liberal interest rate hike
    In order to honour his commitment to keep inflation in check, and due to the gross negligence of the current Government in failing to deliver large scale housing developments in Auckland and Christchurch, the Reserve Bank Governor today increased the...
    Closing the Gap | 24-07
  • The Dark Snow team investigates the source of soot that’s acceleratin...
    Around the planet, wildfires are becoming larger and more destructive. This summer, a series of wildfires enveloped large areas of Canada’s Boreal forest, blanketing western North America with smoke. One key question is, do these fires have an effect on...
    Skeptical Science | 24-07
  • Hosking votes National
    It never ceases to amaze me just how arrogant and/or deluded the right wing media are here in New Zealand. Not only did we have TVNZ trying to portray Cameron Slater, a blogger known for his hate speech, as some...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Gerry Brownlee offers to resign
    Gerry Brownlee offered to resign as Transport Minster today after getting caught out skipping security at Christchurch airport. Prime Minister John Key says he was “really disappointed” after Gerry Brownlee bypassed airport security this morning, but he has been quick...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Step back: What WWI can teach us about Ukraine
    For the past year I have been on the World War I Commemoration Panel. The members include people as diverse as Sir Peter Jackson, Dame Anne Salmond, and Sir Bob Harvey. One of the most interesting things I have done...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • There’s a name for this…
    The latest atrocity in the Australian government's war on refugees: covering up the rate of self-harm and attempted suicide:Harrowing eyewitness accounts from the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission and a team of medical experts say there is a...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Deep State Power Crimes: An Anglo-American News Blindspot in MH-17 Coverage
    MH-17 vs Ukrainian SU-25? Russian Defense Ministry claims a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was within 5-10 km of MH-17. By Snoopman, 24 July 2014 No Brainer vs No Brainer It’s fascinating to see TVNZ’s One News ask its viewers on...
    Snoopman News | 24-07
  • UK police spied on their critics
    First, it was the family of Stephen Lawrence. Now we learn that the UK police spied on other people seeking justice from them as well:Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Gerry
    So Gerry's a complete screw up. (Again.) That sounds like something for Gerry to explain all by himself. Have fun, Gerry. Filed under: nationalGerry Brownlee...
    Polity | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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