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Sick

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 pm, January 18th, 2014 - 48 comments

DPF Bain

Warning bells ringing for Nats

Written By: - Date published: 5:23 pm, December 1st, 2013 - 36 comments

planet key breaking up

On Thursday Vernon Small wrote on the Chch East by-election: “Anything above 53 per cent will look like a fine result for Labour, anything under 50 per cent a relative failure. If Doocey can attract 40 per cent of the vote National can be well-pleased. Less than 33 per cent and the warning bells will be ringing for 2014.” And we know what happened next.

Granny damning of Crazy Craig

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, November 24th, 2013 - 88 comments

colin craig

It’s not often that you’ll see a Herald editorial quoted at length here, but when they’re right, they’re right: Key [is] dead-set on forging a governing coalition with the Christian-Lite Conservative Party and its troublingly dim leader, Colin Craig. If Colin Craig is the answer to John Key’s problem, then National is in trouble.

Only 6,500 ‘mums and dads’ for Air NZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, November 23rd, 2013 - 69 comments

krusty burning money

It just gets worse. Only 6,500 ‘retail investors’ bought shares in the Air NZ asset sale. These are the so-called ‘mums and dads’ who National said would flock to buy into the asset sales. 0.15% of the population. And these are some rich ‘mums and dads’ – they bought $23,000 of shares each on average. Let’s face facts: the asset sales have failed in their own terms. National has failed New Zealand.

Tin ear or cold heart?

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, November 20th, 2013 - 239 comments

john-key finger new

Since he came to office, John Key’s government has spent over $350 billion (and borrowed over $50 billion). It has handed out taxpayer largesse to casinos, rich sailors, finance companies, and international corporations. So, why the blunt refusal to pay just $3.4 million to the Pike families and lean on the shareholders to get the cash back? Tin ear or cold heart?

Coleman’s disgracefully cowardly display

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, November 15th, 2013 - 151 comments

key principles

National’s, weird, favourite line at the moment is to say ‘we’re going to ignore the asset sales referendum and the opposition are hypocrites because they ignored the smacking referendum’. Russel Norman finally had had enough yesterday, and asked Jonathan Coleman just who had been PM when the referendum happened. Coleman’s answer was textbook cowardliness.

Is it any wonder?

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, November 13th, 2013 - 90 comments

fat ceo with all the money

Never wonder again why National is opposed to any kind of wealth tax, including capital gains tax, and would rather tax hard work instead. Never wonder again why there’s hundreds of millions of dollars for uneconomic irrigation projects but crumbs to feed hungry kids. Just look at this table of what the richest MPs won, and remember their friends are of the same class.

Rorty rorty

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, November 11th, 2013 - 89 comments

money into pocket

You’ll remember that, back in 2009, Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English was caught claiming an ‘out of town’ allowance – intended to pay for non-Wellington-based MPs’ accommodation in the capital – to pay the mortgage on his family home in Karori. Key’s solution was to let all his ministers claim the rort. Now, it turns out some of them are doubling down on the rort.

Couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, November 6th, 2013 - 98 comments

krusty burning money

National was warned not to give the main ultrafast broadband contracts to Chorus. All it would do would restore and strengthen the monopoly that had kept internet prices too high (which Cunliffe has addressed). Of course, National ignored that. And now, once again, National finds itself in a corner, about to bailout out a large corporate that is using its market power to threaten its political agenda.

Doing what works

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, November 4th, 2013 - 88 comments

david cunliffe in the sun

One of Steven Joyce’s favourite refrains is that Labour is trying to take us back to the 1970s. You know, those dark days when unemployment was near non-existent, wages were high, growth was strong despite external shocks, we had nearly no foreign debt, profits stayed here, were we one of the richest and most egalitarian countries. He’s not far wrong.

“The purists can weep”

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, November 3rd, 2013 - 105 comments

david-cunliffe-labour-mp

Labour’s new KiwiAssure policy has been welcomed by John Armstrong as good politics. And it is. But it’s also good policy – at the same time we’ve got a government hell bent on making sure electricity profits flow to overseas investors, David Cunliffe’s policy is about giving Kiwi’s the ability to ensure that any money made from their insurance stays in the country and pays for hospitals, schools, and New Zealanders’ retirement.

The test

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, November 1st, 2013 - 114 comments

david-cunliffe-labour-mp

Fairfax has decided to go a bit mental on Labour and Cunliffe. An endless stream of stories trying to tweak Cunliffe’s nose over every little thing. Part of this is covering the embarrassment of their own rogue poll. More importantly, it’s a test that all new leaders get. The wave of hypercritical stories don’t mean much in themselves, how Cunliffe’s Labour responds does.

Key says ‘damn the torpedoes’ on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, October 30th, 2013 - 44 comments

aotearoa not for sale big

The asset sales have been an unmitigated failure. They’ve raised less money than expected, they’ve cost more than twice as much as National said they would, no ‘mums and dads’ have shown up to buy the shares, and the public is waiting for its referendum. Now, it turns out that Treasury warned Key not to flood the market but Key plans to keep on flooding it.

Two-term panic gripping the rightwing punditry

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, October 26th, 2013 - 102 comments

national the sky is falling chicken

John Armstrong, Tracy Watkins, and Fran O’Sullivan all write today about National’s plunging polls and the growing likelihood that this will be the first two-term National government. They take different approaches – Armstrong: there’s nothing for Key to worry about, Watkins: there was a problem but the tide’s turning back, O’Sullivan: yeah, Key’s fucked.

The Meridian flop

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 24th, 2013 - 143 comments

aotearoa not for sale big

National’s trying to blame it on Labour and the Greens for the Meridian sale flop, which attracted only a quarter of the expected ‘mums and dads’ (rich ‘mums and dads’ who put in $18k each). But let’s just get this straight: the decision to sell was National’s. If they don’t think they’re getting the price that they should for the sales, then they should stop them.

Taking from the poor to pay the rich

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 23rd, 2013 - 119 comments

john key finger 2

In the same week the government announces a five million dollar gift to a yachting syndicate, Child Poverty Action Group has revealed that 13,000 of our poorest families have had their income slashed.

Random impertinent questions

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, October 21st, 2013 - 66 comments

question-mark

Who says the ‘threatening texts’ in the Brown/Slater/Palino came from Brown’s camp? Didn’t the threatening text push Chuang into the affidavit, after weeks of being pressured by Palino advisor, Wewege? Doesn’t that make those texts awful useful for Slater/Palino? Do you believe Palino knew nothing of the affair, as he claims? If the purpose of the affidavit had been to present it to Brown quietly and get him to resign, wouldn’t that be blackmail?

What’s the play?

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, October 16th, 2013 - 108 comments

emmerson on slater and len brown

No-one’s happy with the revelations about Len Brown’s private life, apart from Slater (himself also an adulterer) who is wallowing in all the details that Chuang seems only too happy to provide. But what’s interesting is that this is clearly a political play. Who’s behind it and what do they have to gain? The players: Slater, Slater snr, Chuang, and Palino.

Granny Herald tries to de-legitimise political opposition, again

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, October 15th, 2013 - 36 comments

granny herald in her blue frock

Yesterday, the Greens illustrated the size of the gambling concessions in the SkyCity deal with a to-scale cardboard display in Aotea Square. The visually striking move got extensive coverage on Breakfast yesterday and a rather, odd, story in the Herald, which chose to focus on the cost of the protest. What was that, presumably, outrageous cost? $3,000.

Armstrong on Nat’s attack on wages

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, October 12th, 2013 - 30 comments

simon bridges john key

John Armstrong has a good column on National’s attack on Kiwi workers today. Covering off David Cunliffe’s speech to the CTU, Armstrong talks about the way the Nats have been playing small target on their raft of small employment changes that add up to a serious attack on the wages and rights of all of […]

From failure to farce

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, October 11th, 2013 - 95 comments

aotearoa not for sale big

“John Key’s asset sales have descended from failure to farce” – that’s how Metiria Turei described the announcement that Mighty River Power will be buying back shares just five months after they were privatised. Clayton Cosgrove put it more bluntly: “It’s a good thing the government doesn’t own a brewery cos they couldn’t organise a pi .. a DRINK in one”.

Cunliffe stands strong for fair pay and your work rights

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, October 10th, 2013 - 139 comments

david cunliffe in the sun

David Cunliffe showed that he wasn’t just pandering for votes in the leadership race by reaffirming and strengthening his commitment to work rights at the CTU conference yesterday. When David is PM the minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour, the public service will set an example by paying the living wage, and the Nats’ attacks on rights will be reversed – no more Fire at Will, no more youth rates.

Shutdown 2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, October 7th, 2013 - 61 comments

house-gop-shuts-down-the-government

The US is creeping toward a week of government shut down. Held hostage by the Republicans Tea Party wing.

It will be fascinating to see what this does to the GOP. Will it split into two parties one essentially fascist and one more like the republicans of old? Or will it just dwindle away for a while?

All hail RBNZ independence! – Armstrong

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, October 5th, 2013 - 94 comments

John Armstrong

Old man Armstrong’s out on the Herald’s front lawn this morning, shaking his fist and telling those bloody kids in Labour to stop questioning whether the Reserve Bank is doing the right thing. They should sit quietly and accept whatever the Bank decides to do. This is called ‘consensus’, apparently. Problem is, Armstrong provides no justification for complete RB independence.

Simon Bridges caught fibbing again

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, October 3rd, 2013 - 15 comments

Pants on Fire

Simon Bridges has been keeping a low profile lately but he’s in the news again today, and onceagain he’s been caught being somewhat less than honest.

It turns out he’s been caught trying to bury a report showing a huge quarterly jump in electricity prices.

National’s screwed up new housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, October 1st, 2013 - 43 comments

nick smith subsidy

We know there is a massive home affordability problem, especially in Auckland. So, here’s National’s plan: don’t build any additional houses, just sell some ‘surplus’ state houses in provincial towns… where there isn’t an affordability crisis, and give 500 families these houses up to $20,000 of taxpayer money. That’s not a home affordability policy, it’s a parody of one.

How?

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, September 30th, 2013 - 85 comments

dunce cap

The Herald and John Key are whining that National will have a ‘moral mandate’ to govern after the next election if it is the highest polling party, even if it can’t form a majority and the Left can. But the Herald and Key don’t answer the critical question: how? How would a National Party that can’t secure a majority in Parliament govern?

Meridian on the block

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, September 30th, 2013 - 40 comments

Asset theft National disgrace Demo Auckland Dec 2012

If you weren’t paying attention you could easily miss the fact that Meridian shares are opening today. that’s because there’s been a lot less mainstream hoopla about it than there was with the sale of MRP. Despite the face there’s been a whole host of taxpayer funded sweeteners attached to the deal.

On merit

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, September 29th, 2013 - 35 comments

matt mccarten

Which Labour MP has Matt McCarten today described as “Another Cunliffe loyalist rewarded.” and scored 5/10?

Now, which Labour MP got the government on the ropes with a member’s bill to the point that Bill English had to threaten a rarely used and politically damaging financial veto?

On national’s smear tactics

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, September 25th, 2013 - 100 comments

john-key finger new

As Irish predicted, the Nats continued their desperate smear campaign today with the revelation that David Cunliffe doesn’t actually have a qualification he never actually claimed to have. Honestly, you couldn’t make this shit up.

Labour up 6.8% – Herald DigiPoll

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, September 25th, 2013 - 269 comments

david-cunliffe-labour-mp

Sure it’s just one poll but that’s nearly seven percent. And it’s (nearly) all come off National. This goes quite some way to explaining why National are breaking out the desperate dirty tricks…

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    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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