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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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    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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