web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Author Archive

I’m sorry, I’m out

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 16th, 2011 - 68 comments

broken pencil

Every country that has ever sleepwalked from democracy to dictatorship has done it in the belief that it was taking extraordinary, temporary measures in response to an emergency. Seeing Labour denounce every aspect of CERA and then vote for it has shaken me to the core.

Oil spike takes off

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, April 11th, 2011 - 36 comments

petrol cost

Get ready for another petrol increase this week. Last week, the Dubai crude benchmark, which most of New Zealand’s imports are priced of, shot up over 4% in NZD terms. Unless that rise reverses right away, petrol will have to rise past $2.25 a litre. We’re now pay $160m a week for oil imports – $2b a year more than a year ago.

AMI socialises its losses

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, April 8th, 2011 - 70 comments

ami insurance

Another week, another massive corporate bailout as National reaches into our pockets to aid a company. Whatever happened to free-market ideology? Isn’t failure of bad businesses healthy? When did every financial sector company become ‘too big to fail’? We’re rewarding a bad business model and punishing good ones.

They just waste it on booze & smokes

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, April 6th, 2011 - 246 comments

foodbank

John Key says the thousands of Kiwi families turning to foodbanks to get by are made ‘poor choices’. Among the ‘poor choices’ that poor people allegedly make according to righties is spending all their money on alcohol and cigarettes, rather than on food. As with most ‘truths’ that underpin rightwing prejudice, the facts don’t back this up.

No plan, no worries?

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, April 5th, 2011 - 9 comments

unemployment

A unemployment disaster is slowly unfolding in Christchurch. For now, the tide of job losses is being partially held back by wage subsidies supporting nearly 70,000 workers, but those will be phased out by June. Then, all hell will break loose. The Government has no plan for this and, according to Key, hasn’t even bothered to understand the scope of the crisis.

A goal is not a strategy

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 pm, April 4th, 2011 - 26 comments

smoke stacks

Last year, the New Zealand Institute lambasted the Nats’ ‘aspiration’ to catch Australia by 2025 with a report entitled ‘A goal is not a strategy‘. Did the Nats change? Of course not. Yesterday, their energy strategy was released. It offers some goals but is mute on how to get there. It’s not really a strategy at all, but it serves the Nats’ purpose nonetheless.

Kiwis want buses, not holiday highways

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, April 4th, 2011 - 30 comments

bus

Kiwis are voting with their feet, or rather their arses. Patronage of public transport is skyrocketing to the point of overcrowding while state highway use is falling among except for freight. You have to wonder why the government keeps building expensive highways that will be underused when public transport is full to the brim.

Plurality support quake levy

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, April 4th, 2011 - 4 comments

shushing key

A UMR poll shows that 40% of Kiwis support paying an earthquake levy to help pay for the Christchurch rebuild. 22% prefer more borrowing, and 29% want spending cuts. Asked just whether they supported or opposed a levy – 57% supported it. Yet the Nats are choosing cuts instead.

Choices, choices

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 1st, 2011 - 21 comments

choices choices company tax vs ece r and r and borrowing small

In the last Budget, National cut the corporate tax rate to 28%, which costs $400 million a year and comes into effect today. It also cut $200 million a year from early childhood education and tertiary funding in the same Budget, while borrowing billions. When the government cuts public services it is because it chooses […]

Meltdown at Fukushima

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 31st, 2011 - 34 comments

radioactive sign

Efforts to cool the nuclear fuel rods in Fukushima’s No 2 reactor have failed. The rods have become molten and it appears some have melted through the steel reactor core into a concrete layer. Two dangers now arise: radioactive chemicals created by the concrete reacting with the nuclear fuel and the nuclear fuel pooling enough to go critical.

Cuts don’t make costs disappear

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, March 30th, 2011 - 58 comments

joker-debt-burning-fire

Key and English are trying to soften us up for big public service cuts this budget. They tell us it’ll just be ‘nice to haves’ and that the private sector will step in to fill the gap when they cut too close to the bone. The important thing to realise is that every time the public service doesn’t provide us with something either we have to buy it out of our own pockets (usually at greater cost) or we don’t get it at all.

Key’s kiss of death for Chch workers

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, March 29th, 2011 - 57 comments

closed out of business

The $6.8 million package for businesses offered last week by the government was an insult: business mentors and export junkets – just what people who aren’t allowed to access their businesses need. Now, Key and Bennett have announced they are slashing wage support and and the job loss payment. It will hammer the Christchurch economy.

Half a million protest UK budget cuts

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, March 28th, 2011 - 36 comments

cuts are not the cure

I’ve been checking out some of the amazing footage and photos from friends who were in the London ‘March for the Alternative’. 500,000 people turned out to show the depth of feeling against the slash and burn budget of the Conservative-Lib Dem government. As the Nats plan their own shock doctrine budget, I hope they’re taking notes.

Fukushima radiation skyrockets

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 pm, March 27th, 2011 - 45 comments

radioactive sign

Normally, we get 3.65 millisieverts of radiation a year. Increased cancer risk is associated with 100 millisieverts per year. Nuclear workers are only meant to get 100 millisieverts even in an emergency with protective clothing. Today, water in No 2 reactor was detected emitting 1 sievert per hour – and they’re not sure of the source.

O’Sullivan gets it right & wrong

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 27th, 2011 - 65 comments

smile-and-wave-key

Fran O’Sullivan makes some pertinent remarks about John Key’s recent performance. The fact is, he wanted to be the Party PM, head clown presiding over good times, but times aren’t good and his heart just isn’t in tackling the hard issues. However, while saying these issues matter more than the Hughes affair, O’Sullivan makes one big mistake.

Zero is a cut

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, March 25th, 2011 - 24 comments

budget cuts

As we brace for this year’s budget it’s important to remember that no change is a cut. A dollar today buys nearly 5% less than it did a year ago and there are 1% more New Zealanders. This is the most subtle and insidious way that the Right can undermine public services, by letting inflation and population growth do the work for them.

Flat as a pancake

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, March 24th, 2011 - 58 comments

stock crash

The economy grew just 0.2% in the December quarter, enough to avoid the technical definition of recession but did it feel like that for you? No. It felt like recession because the economic pie grew slower than the population. National’s economic record is GDP per capita 5% below its peak and down another 0.6% between […]

30% of Chch workers jobless by quake

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, March 24th, 2011 - 11 comments

unemployment

62,000 Christchurch workers are now receiving special earthquake payments. Most of these workers’ businesses have been closed by the earthquake and plan to re-open at some point by 6,300 jobs are gone for good That’s about 30% of Christchurch workers out of action and 3% without the hope that their workplace will re-open.

‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 41 comments

rich-man-poor-man

The Nats want us to believe there is no other option than massive cuts to government spending. Roughly, a third of the cuts covers the earthquake rebuilding, another third covers the Nats’ tax cuts for the rich, and the last third covers the revenue loss from this neverending recession. So, how come the Nats can afford another round of tax cuts for the rich?

Armstrong on Key’s thinking

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, March 22nd, 2011 - 29 comments

stop the cuts

John Armstrong’s contacts in National are telling him that Working for Families and student loans are the targets for cuts in this year’s budget. He also reveals the real reason for National opposing the widely-supported earthquake levy: putting on a tax would be an admission that tax cuts for the rich were a mistake in the first place.

Slash and burn, Key’s choice

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 91 comments

joker-debt-burning-fire

John Key says there’ll be no new money in the Budget. The health, education, and other locked-in increases  plus the Christchurch rebuild will come from cuts elsewhere. Cuts of up to 32%. It doesn’t have to be that way. The rebuild and the shortfall can be easily covered if Key wanted to. If he chooses to slash and burn, it’s because he wants to.

Credit where it’s due

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, March 21st, 2011 - 17 comments

apprentice builder

On Friday, the government sent out a Request for Proposal for building companies to build 2,500 temporary modular homes in Christchurch. It looks like step towards the rebuilding plan I and others have been suggesting for the past couple of weeks. Now, lets see an aggressive timetable and a plan for what comes next.

The mannequin candidate

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, March 20th, 2011 - 34 comments

key with earpiece

Key was full of excuses and vague promises for Christchurch on Q+A. He ruled out a levy and indicated the rebuilding would be funded out of savage cuts to our public services. He stuck to his script. Maybe the earpiece he was wearing helped. What was being whispered in his ear? And who was telling our PM what words to mouth?

Hartevelt swipes Nats’ elitism

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, March 20th, 2011 - 30 comments

key eyes wide shut

The SST’s John Hartevelt is shocked by National’s decision to pay out millions for Christchurch rugby business while ordinary people live in shattered homes and lose their jobs with meager support. He asks whether the Nats have lost their moral-political bearings. In fact, this is a perfect example of National’s elitist philosophy.

Who’s bulldozing Christchurch business?

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, March 18th, 2011 - 60 comments

gerrybrownleeearthquakeminister

There’s a large number of reports coming out of Christchurch of businesses that have been demolished without Civil Defence consulting with the owners, as is procedure, and giving them a chance to recover vital equipment and records first. Disturbingly, some of these demolitions seem to have been carried out by ‘cowboys’ without CD approval.

Fukushima crisis deepens

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, March 17th, 2011 - 46 comments

radioactive sign

In American football, there’s a move called the ‘Hail Mary pass’ – throw the ball down field and pray. That’s what filling the Fukushima reactors with sea-water has been described as, a Hail Mary pass. It just doesn’t seem to be coming off. Reactor 3 has started emitting more radiation, 4 is on fire, the core may be breached in 2. Even 5 and 6 pose a risk.

The building blocks of new Christchurch?

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 pm, March 16th, 2011 - 96 comments

hib-system

Me & others: How come the government seems to have no plan for rebuilding Christchurch or desire to get one?
Righties: Well, um, Key’s awesome and, anyway, what’s your plan, smart-arse ?
Me: I’m not the government, rebuilding Christchurch isn’t my job. But here’s where I would start.

Re-run: Unemployment up, productivity up

Written By: - Date published: 2:42 pm, March 16th, 2011 - 8 comments

us productivity and unemployment

As I predicted in this post last year, productivity has risen sharply in the latest stats but for all the wrong reasons.The Herald gushes “NZ employers squeeze more out of fewer workers” but that’s fundamentally wrong. We’re getting less out of even fewer workers. “Labour input” fell 4.3%, while GDP fell 0.8%. Why anyone would think this is a Good Thing is beyond me.

Continuing nuke crisis in Japan

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, March 16th, 2011 - 63 comments

radioactive sign

Every day brings a new disaster from the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant. Four reactors have now experienced an explosion and/or fire and/or partial meltdown. Yesterday saw the first significant radiation release, from Reactor 4. It’s a complex situation, so I’ve tried to summarise it as it stands this morning.

Chart of the day: measuring success

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, March 15th, 2011 - 32 comments

us visitors

Earthquake news round-up

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, March 14th, 2011 - 19 comments

JAPAN-QUAKE/

The destruction wrought by the 9.0 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami is truly appalling. Untold lives have been lost. Thousands of square kilometres were obliterated by the water which swept up to 20km inland.Updates second explosion at nuke plant. New tsunami warning. 70% chance of 7+ aftershock within days.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 7

  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    2 days ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    3 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    4 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    4 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    4 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    4 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    5 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    5 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere