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Aussies build trains “for a living” – that’s why their standard is better than ours

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 pm, May 4th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Economy, jobs, public transport - Tags: , ,

I was struck by the similar comments from Steven Joyce and Jim Quinn, Kiwirail CEO, that we should buy trains off somebody who “does these things for a living”, made in trying to  justify the lack of any attempt by Kiwirail to tender for local assembly of the new units for Auckland.

I’m not sure which one was the echo, but what I do know is that if New Zealand doesn’t also do these things for a living then we’ll never get near Australia’s standard. The Aussies have a completely different view about government purchasing, as I learnt from my years on the Industrial Supplies Office management committee in the 1990’s. They believe in Australian jobs for Australian money.

For a project like this in Australia, prospective tenderers would have to submit an Australian Industry Participation plan. It says:

The objective of an AIP Plan is to:
•    demonstrate how you will provide full, fair and reasonable opportunity to Australian industry to supply goods and services to your project; and
•    endeavour to maximise opportunities for Australian industry, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to participate in all aspects of the project.

and

AIP Plans must reflect actual or planned events. This is best done by identifying specific actions that will be undertaken to encourage Australian industry participation.

New Zealand has no such requirement. So the forty-eight Matangi units for Wellington have been designed and built  in Korea; Hyundai/Mitsui were “encouraged” to seek New Zealand participation in the $230m contract but there was no requirement for them to do so. New Zealand companies such as Fibreglass Developments and Trimtech have complained that they were given no real opportunity to participate.

That’s why Korea’s standard of living is also rapidly rising,  and about to match ours which is steadily declining.

Also contrary to what Joyce and Quinn say, the Australians make sure that their companies are included in any tender and build. Regarding the recent announcement in for 200 new trains in Queensland,  Queensland Rail says:

‘Queenslanders will build any new facilities for assembly and maintenance of the new fleet and there will be ongoing roles in construction and through life support for the fleet.

‘We will also support the creation of a competitive, nationally and internationally focused rail support services cluster, centred in Queensland.’

and the Premier weighs in:

‘The government’s goals with this tender are clear to create jobs for Queenslanders,’ Ms Bligh said.

It’s all too hard for Joyce and Quinn. But New Zealand should be as ambitious as the Aussies to make things – we might even catch up with them.

33 comments on “Aussies build trains “for a living” – that’s why their standard is better than ours”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    It’s all too hard for Joyce and Quinn. But New Zealand should be as ambitious as the Aussies to make things we might even catch up with them.

    And we’d find our trade deficit decreasing. Amazing that eh?

  2. eye saw 2

    thats far to sensible.

  3. ianmac 3

    A good answer for Quin and for Joyce would have been, “Yes. We should consider the possibility of a NZ opportunity to build these units. We will have a good look when the tendering process has been completed. Anything is possible.”
    Instead of, “No!”

  4. Jenny 4

    It strikes me that John Key’s bright and shiny idea of a cycle way instead of real jobs is not a new idea at all.

    It sounds a hell of a lot like one of those 1930s work schemes.

    After all is said and done John Key is a financier and his speciality was speculation on currency exchange fluctuations.

    It is no mistake that his government is actively sabotaging the real economy because he personally has no interest in it.

    The three parts of the neo-liberal programme are – privatisation, globalisation and financialisation.

    The first two are pretty well understood; privatisation undermined the material support for the welfare state and was bitterly opposed by the grass roots of the first world. Globalisation helped tighten the shackles of multinational control of the third world and was bitterly opposed by grass roots of the third world.

    But it is financialisation that is likely to in the end cause the most harm over the long term.

    This is because the move to make profit not from the production of real concrete value products, but from such things as derivatives and market speculation and foreign exchange dealings and other financial trickery of all sorts which caused the recent global market collapse, according to all pundits is leading to an even bigger speculative bubble followed by even more dramatic collapse.

    But the benificiarys of the financialisation of the economy, people like John Key, don’t give a damn, because they are still left holding on to all the private fortunes they are set to make during the bubble phase, while the public and the taxpayer wear the costs.

    John Key’s personal dream is to see New Zealand become a financial trading hub.

    So if our youth become unemployed and are reduced by WINZ to standing on shovels dressed in a sugar bags in some remote part of the back country digging paths for the cycle way. They can be proud that we let real industry be sacrificed to make New Zealand a financial trading hub, so that people like John Key can continue to live in mansions in Parnell safe behind high walls and enormous personal fortunes, without ever having to do any real productive work.

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      oh if u wanna extend the trajectory, it would not be illogical for things then to deteriorate from a ‘three strikes’ law to two, or even one, and from double bunking to triple ! it will be a very sad day when society descends to such a low point.

  5. prism 5

    I was shocked when a tutor at a business class I took stated that no other country in the world has risen to prosperity on the basis of agriculture rather than manufacturing as we have, and that we were only on the cusp of being a developed nation.
    The politicians don’t seem to understand strategic planning for our nation. Not being able to make very much for ourselves means that we will always being paying out for overseas firms to do it, and because we have chosen this option in the last few decades we have this national learned helplessness from politicians which they so condemn as the problem of apathy and laziness besetting beneficiaries. (Misunderstanding the situation as usual I think).

    What jobs are the young men who are often difficult yobs with anti-social tendencies going to do if there aren’t manufacturing and engineering trades for them. We need jobs, or we get more yobs, and crime and then recrimination for them not having jobs.

    A sorry state, this New Zealand, unless some politician with drive and clearsighted understanding of us as a nation that can do things, not a misty reflection of Australia, arises and ‘goes forward’ positively and thoughtfully to facilitate us to be the enterprise nation that I think Jim Bolger talked about.

  6. David Cunliffe 6

    Hi Mike – good post. Where has the ‘ambitious for New Zealand” strap line gone? They are not even ambiguous for NZ now! More like indifferent…

    This all raises questions as to whether National has any real bottle to address the fundamental issues needing to be resolved to sort out our economy in Budget 2010. Yes it must be about Kiwi jobs and creating value for NZers. No sign of that from National.

    There is a debate building on Red Alert that readers may wish to join on this. See http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/05/04/building-to-budget-2010/

    Cheers David

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      Erm cough cough cough there are signs that National is creating jobs and creating value for themselves in their political seats.

    • prism 6.2

      David Cunliffe Got the below message when tried to use link in 11.22pm post.
      PHP has encountered an Access Violation at 7C81BD02

      • Jim Nald 6.2.1

        What does Access Violation etc mean?

        • Andrew 6.2.1.1

          generally a configuration error, there must have been an update overnight that went wrong. This error normally happens when you run PHP on IIS (windows internet application server), tho not sure if it’s exclusively a windows issue. There may be some form of memory leak, or 2 different versions of a DLL somewhere.

          • lprent 6.2.1.1.1

            …not sure if it’s exclusively a windows issue.

            It almost invariably means that a executable attempted to access memory using a pointer. The memory at the address it was looking at is not in a valid allocated address range for that application. The second most common is accessing a block of memory as if it was a null-terminated string and while hunting for the null terminator the pointer ran out of a allocated address block.

            You get the same errors in *nix, but because of the more fully debugged nature of open source code (more eyes, less bugs) it is much less common. Not to mention that using OLE/COM etc as a operating system binding is pretty crap. I really notice it because I’m writing c++/c# code at work in Windows, and writing c++/c#/php at home in Linux. The windows code literally has unexplained non-repeatable crashes – I usually reboot and the issue goes away. My linux boxes don’t get rebooted for months.

            Basically I used to get that kind of junk on the WIMP stack (Windows/IIS/MySQL/PHP) all of the time when running this site. I seldom get it on the LAMP (Linux/Apache2/MySQL/PHP) stack.

            • Andrew 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Nice explanation, thanks. I stopped using PHP about 7 years ago when i decided i would go C# only … no VB.NET either thanks, that stuff is just nasty! :). C++ hasn’t been looked at since uni days which is a shame as i enjoy it.

              • lprent

                We’re pretty well off-topic. But I like php provided I write it as a programmer would rather than a web developer (ie HTML embedded in code rather than the other way around). It is pretty tight (unlike python), utterly reliable, and completely cross-platform. Pretty nice for CLI utilities as well and not bad at embedding in as a soft language inside C++ using the API entry points on the .dll/.so.

                C# is ok, but even with mono isn’t that portable which is why it isn’t a language of choice for me. It has far too many different ‘flavours’ at the framework level. Most of my C# for instance is using WPF in a way that requires windows + .Net 3.5 SP1 to be effective. In Linux I’m pretty well restricted to .Net 2.0 equivalents. I could use Silverlight on windows + mac. But moonlight on linux is a pretty different beast. etc etc.

                It is like being back on browsers before they standardised the strict mode and the css support.

                At least they seem to have fixed most of the memory leakage issues in C# these days that drove me nuts while they were developing the earlier versions of C#/.Net

      • sam 6.2.2

        The Red Alert website seems to have gone down- hopefully it will be back up soon…

    • just saying 6.3

      I tried to join in the debate, (twice today) David, but there was no submit button. I would have let the red alert website know but couldn’t find anywhere on it to comment on my inability to comment. So I’m telling you here. Sorry I’m a bit off-topic LPrent.

      [lprent: Thats ok – communicate where you can submit 😈 ]

  7. Jenny 7

    Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi received widespread coverage for his claims that Goldman Sachs had repeatedly profited by inflating unsustainable financial bubbles. Including the now world famous description of this huge finance company as

    “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.

    Hedge funds, derivatives, etc. all resulting in “deleveraging” of the real economy.

    How the Bubble Machine works

    Because of John Key’s preference for financialisation, over a real economy with real jobs, and real wealth creation. I would like to paraphrase Matt Taibbi, to describe John Key as “a baby (faced) vampire squid wrapped around the face of New Zealand, sticking his blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

    • Jenny 7.1

      P.S.

      Rather than just bemoan this process and it’s obvious dismal outcome. I would like to encourage every reader of The Standard to get behind the RMTU’s campaign to get this vital public transport infrastructure built here in this country.

      After all, jobs in public transport and rail are green jobs, breaking our reliance on the private automobile and the fossil fuel industry.

      If the RMTU’s campaign fails it will be another brick in the wall of the wall of the financialisation of our economy.

  8. tc 8

    Predictable from Joyce and the former Courier Post general manager who swapped one SOE for another…….real world experience anybody ?

    Nat’s leading by example again……..spurning opportunities for upskilling/job/industry growth, can’t have that now can we.

    A pragmatic gov’t would take the chance to at least make it look like they care…..not this mob.

  9. Salsy 9

    Even in the USA now there is a brand shiny new term called “Onshoring” – Wake up National

  10. jcuknz 10

    The problem comes from the indiscrimient breeding by homo sapien which is producing more people than the world can cope with. So instead of productive jobs there are are the unemployed and the speculators .. the beaurocrats pushing paper around at all levels and sectors of the ‘ecconomy’. Labour think the answer is more beaurocrats, National want more sugarbag clad fodder. Labour seek higher wages, National lower. In the desire for better standards of living we seem to have priced ourselves off the market. “More More More” so mankind cries on its way to annilation unless it comes to its senses and tailors itself to what the world can handle.

    • Jenny 10.1

      As an excuse for doing nothing this incomprehensible, confused, emotive babbling, with no internal logic, let alone reference to the real world, with the inevitable negative malthusian name checking. Is a very poor excuse for rebuttal,

      Is this the best you can do, jcuknz?

  11. RedLogix 11

    I was talking first hand with a senior engineer from the Woburn workshops last night and he confirms that at least 80% of the EMU’s could easily be built here.

    The only components he really saw an issue with would be the electric traction motors, their associated controls, and casting the wheels (which is a highly specialised business.) The rest he thought could be done here in NZ without too much trouble at all.

  12. brian 12

    it looks to me like steven joyce given the choice of creating wealth in nz and creating debt for nz has already chosen the debt option
    and as for that useless nz rail fella
    why does he still have a job
    could you imagine any major corporation being happy with management who dont want more work

  13. Alexandra 13

    Phil Goff was great this morning on nat radio, talking about Key’s flip flop on our troops in Afganistan. He clearly articulated the fickle nature of Key’s decision making on matters which impact on our national identity. He has also highlighted Labours position in regards to mining on schedule 4 land. Putting aside the ideological motives of the nats, this issue illustrates the governments sheer laziness. A transparent contracting process and the work involved in making it happen would require some focused energy by ministers, including engagement with industry stakeholders and meaningful engagement with unions. Labours alternative approach on this issue will resonate with the public in the same way as the mining debate, and Afghanistan.

  14. Robb 14

    Why is this an issue now. Labour & the Greens had the chance with the commuter units currently being built in Korea for the Wellington Network. They could have said lets build them here but it didn’t happen. I’d love to see this sort of industry here but how would the industry survive once the trains were made in other words how could we effectively sell other trains overseas when other countries such as China & Korea can pop them out at a great rate of knots. We would have to retool as I think we are a narrower gauge than other countries and we couldn’t sell to Europe or Japan as they have high speed networks a specialist area and they have plenty.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      Labour & the Greens had the chance with the commuter units currently being built in Korea for the Wellington Network

      The contracting process for the purchase of the Matangi units was underway well before Kiwirail was brought back into govt control… basically the timing was off.

      but how would the industry survive once the trains were made

      Sure the business would be lumpy, but there is always on-going maintenance and refurbishment to keep the core business going; winning overseas contracts would just be the icing on the cake.

      We would have to retool as I think we are a narrower gauge than other countries

      The ‘Cape Gauge’ we use is common in Australia and Japan and a few places elsewhere. Besides the rail width is hardly a big ‘re-tooling’ deal…there’s only the width of the axles and bogies involved.

      Building trains is well within our capacity.

  15. how could we effectively sell other trains overseas when other countries such as China & Korea can pop them out at a great rate of knots.

    Customise them, pimp them out, luxuriate them…create some desirable point of difference.

    if we can build luxury yachts why not traincars ?

    So whats the deal with the internal fit out for these new cars ? Surely thats something NZ businesses can do ? It’s not like we’re short of excellent design and application skills.

  16. Hamish Gray 16

    Why the rehash of the same topic from the other day?

    In any case, the AIPP is mandatory, but also, ultimately pointless. Tenderers can complete them and fill out each box with a random number they pluck from thin air and their AIPP is still compliant (eg. I’m going to employ 200,000 locals to build this tin shed). It is political posturing only to satiate unions. No teeth whatsoever.

    [lprent: Perhaps you should read the about to gain an understanding on how this site operates rather than waffling about something you clearly don’t understand.

    It operates as a cooperative, and there are multiple different authors with varying viewpoints who express themselves differently at different times. So you’ll often get posts on the same topic by different authors with with anywhere from a slightly to wildly different viewpoint.

    You don’t have to read or comment on the post, that is your choice. However attempting to tell us how to run our site is a troll behaviour – see the policy for our usual responses.

    The generic answer is that if you don’t like something about how this site is run, then you’re always free to start your own blog. But attempting to tell us how to run the site merely puts you on the moderators shit-list. Repeated attempts will cause us to assist you in having time to create your own site by banning you from here. ]

    • Hamish Gray 16.1

      Iprent – thanks for the clarification, but I think your response is a gross overreaction. I’m not attempting to tell you how to run the site – I’m questioning why two such similar topics are started within 48 hours of each other.

      You explained the process, fine. But to go label me a “troll” and threaten me with banning for one question is a little extreme, no? Or is me questioning this a bannable offense?

      • lprent 16.1.1

        My role around here as sysop is to keep the site running efficiently. One part of that is to provide as a moderator, the boundaries around the comments section.

        I am one of the extremists (aka moderators) in the comments section to ensure that we don’t get flames etc. My preference is that if I have to go to the effort of reacting and writing notes, then I should massively over-react. It saves my time further down the track (and that is mostly what I’m interested in).

        My note didn’t say that you were a troll. I said that you’d exhibited a behaviour I associated with the trolls. Your comment was framed as telling us what we should do.

        Basically you got what is for me a very mild warning to ensure that there wasn’t a repeat.

  17. Hamish 17

    And the funny thing is Aussie has ordered 620 trains from – guess where – China!

  18. Jum 18

    Sitting side by side, there they were Joyce and David Bennett, yet were they singing from the same song sheet in Parliament today?

    No they were not!

    Instead, we had yesterday Joyce telling us that we were too stupid to build carriages, something we’d been doing already. We had the costings, the passion and the New Zealanders wanting a job, but no said Joyce, cleverly omitting to mention that not even China builds the engines. We intended to import the engine. All very sensible stuff. No said Joyce. He doesn’t want Kiwis to have faith in themselves.

    Yet here was Bennett, yelling like a mad thing today in Parliament, saying no to the redundancy package. Labour needed to have faith in Kiwis.

    WTF!

    What they are both though is totally lacking in any sort of plan, or care for New Zealanders’ children’s futures.

    What a sad bunch of losers. The tipping point is nigh.

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    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    12 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
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    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    13 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
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    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    14 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
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    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    20 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    23 hours ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #21
    SkS Highlights... El Niño to La Niña... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    4 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    9 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    11 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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