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Where to the nation?

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, December 23rd, 2014 - 143 comments

In whose hands?

Left wing politics in New Zealand bends most of its attention and energy inwards onto the nation state. This is of course understandable because traditionally Parliament has been the prime locus of power.  But no longer; two quite distinct forces are at work to change this picture. The first is globalisation. We are in its second […]

All Antennae – No Compass

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, August 27th, 2014 - 51 comments

john-key1

Duncan Garner lets it all out of the bag.  Part of the problem is that under any normal circumstances Cabinet Minister Judith Collins would have been sacked for trading dirty secrets with Cameron Slater, the low-life blogger WhaleOil. But none of this is normal. Because the prime minister, and others in his office, have been […]

Forty Christmases

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 pm, December 25th, 2013 - 49 comments

CloudInversion

Exactly 40 years ago to the day I was having a white Christmas – on the summit of Mr Fyfe overlooking Kaikoura. Today I celebrate another Christmas, high on another mountain, in another part of the world – with a light dusting of very dry, very icy snow drifting on the wind. The decades in […]

More BS Numbers from the Right

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, March 24th, 2013 - 27 comments

money water

Today we again have the Herald’s resident ignoramus Damien Grant sounds off about something he knows nothing about. As usual just looking at numbers without understanding what they represent and leaps to wrong conclusions. For a start he tries to compare the $8000  Watercare charge for a new water supply connection with the much smaller […]

The Human Cost

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, March 23rd, 2013 - 57 comments

Bicyclenight

The funeral was a very full house and hard. You may have even seen it on Campbell Live;  The Herald gave it front page this morning.  Now comes the hard part, surviving the aftermath, the years with a hole in your heart, the family with a missing part. We never really had a cycling culture […]

The Stealth Dismantling of Environmental Protection

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 6th, 2013 - 27 comments

cow in river

To a first approximation the protection of the environment in this country is managed by two distinct entities; inside the Conservation estate it falls to DoC and outside of that it falls onto the Regional Councils. Under this government both are being slowly dismantled. Over the last month I’ve had the opportunity to talk extensively with DoC […]

Five Broken Things.

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, February 16th, 2013 - 81 comments

Universal Basic Income UBI

Yesterday I rather shamelessly threadjacked one of Irish’s posts on a Colin Espiner column in the direction of the Universal Basic Income idea. In this post I want to also shamelessly filch from Gareth Morgan’s book The Big Kahuna, specifically Ch.5 “The Five Big Issues” and wrap it into a quick read. (At some points […]

Media Medicine

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, November 28th, 2012 - 45 comments

journalisttarget

The relationship between media and politicians in this country has become incestuous and toxic. For much of the time they confine themselves to merely slanting the game with spin and framing language. We’ve learnt to live with that. But increasingly we are witnessing instances where a pack mentality dominates the story, placing journalists themselves as […]

Treachery

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, January 28th, 2012 - 701 comments

not for sale v3

Fran O’Sullivan is an enemy of the people. Her article in this morning’s Herald will forever brand her as a traitor to this country. She will be shunned and reviled by people who understand what a disgusting sell-out she has become. There is no coming back from this. The Crafar decision is a victory for […]

Two Left Feet, or a Kick Ass Combo?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 pm, January 20th, 2012 - 26 comments

“We believed in ourselves”

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, December 13th, 2011 - 48 comments

P11 Bogie FEA

Read this and weep: New rolling stock (carriages) for South Island scenic rail journeys are as good as, or better than anything I have experienced anywhere else. They rival equipment used on Switzerland’s premier scenic rail journeys, including the famed Zermatt to St Moritz Glacier Express. And, best of all, the new rail vehicles, classified […]

Creating Jobs for the Young…and not how you’d expect.

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 pm, August 20th, 2011 - 48 comments

Unemployed Youth (2)

So we can safely predict this National govt will score it’s usual epic fail around youth unemployment. And we all know the reasons why this is such a critical issue, so I’m not going to re-hash them either. It’s just that both sides in this debate keep missing the crux of the matter… what is […]

The Heart of Utoya

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, July 31st, 2011 - 46 comments

utoya-victim

So Breivik has given us an eyes wide open gaze into the abyss. Chilling isn’t it? Much has been written in the last week about the political atrocity he committed, yet this article in the Sunday Star Times today is equally wrong. Here is why. Many years ago I recall listening to a BBC correspondent […]

How to tell you have a Tory govt

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, April 16th, 2011 - 7 comments

inequality

Brian Fallow is one of the Heralds more understated columnists. Brian and I probably vote differently, but I find his articles usually worth the read. But there is understatement, and then there is deliberate obfuscation. His column today starts out workmanlike enough, repeating the PM’s case how average wages/salaries have increased in real terms around […]

Universal Income Revisited

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 pm, February 28th, 2011 - 93 comments

tax-blocks2_1

The tax system we currently have is a relic of the pre-IT age. In the days of manual clerk-handled accounts, it was impractical to reconcile tax accounts more than once a year. The introduction of PAYE in 1958 was welcomed as it eliminated the need for ordinary people to find the cash for a large […]

John “30-sec” Key…. smile and walk away.

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 pm, January 3rd, 2011 - 101 comments

The two significant things from the Herald interview: #1 The signalling by John Key of his willingness to step down. #2 The view of John Key that “essentially there is no money”. “There won’t be money for us and there won’t be money for Labour,” John Key. The significant thing about the first statement is, […]

I Owe My Soul….to the Company Store

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 65 comments

company_store

The words of this old song date back to the 1800’s when dominant and rapacious employers in small company towns would require their employees to purchase essentials from a ‘company store’. And because the employee was so badly paid, inevitably they would run up steep tab simply to keep their family fed and clothed. In […]

Free Market Failure

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, February 27th, 2010 - 56 comments

Sad-House

It’s time for the National Party to issue an abject apology to the nation… for the 1992 Building Regulations that directly led to the astounding public crisis we now face. Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson told the Weekend Herald the official $11 billion figure – which experts believe is half the true cost – […]

The Great Giveaway

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, January 31st, 2010 - 78 comments

From where I’m sitting the Left will never be back in power, not because they will never win elections, but because the power game is over. The nation state as we know it is being slowly dismembered before our eyes, the leviathan of globalisation has one flank firmly grasped, while rapidly discohering communities of self-interest […]

Good Old Fashioned Solidarity

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, November 1st, 2009 - 27 comments

Matt McCarten writes a fine opinion piece in today’s Herald. He hits four main points: 1. The neo-liberal dismantling of NZ’s egalitarian society ideal in the 80’s and 90’s. 2. The new subservience of the State to corporate interests. 3. Dramatic increases in productivity over the last 30 years that have been almost entirely captured […]

Let them drink… bottled water.

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, September 2nd, 2009 - 4 comments

Not surprised to see that the Government has confirmed the Drinking Water Subsidy Scheme is being put on hold and reviewed. The subsidy aims to improve drinking water supplies in small communities of under 5000 people, and improve life for the 9% of the population whose current supply is sub-standard. Those of us living in […]

Rape and Pillage

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, August 29th, 2009 - 51 comments

The Conservation Minister, Tim Groser is quoted today: “If you can extract wealth from that [conservation land], that’s what we should do.” Stuff and goes on to label any opposition to this clear intent as ’emotional hysteria’. While it was obvious that Brownlee was indulging in dishonest double-speak with his ‘stocktake’ earlier this week; we […]

Bridging the Big Ditch

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, August 20th, 2009 - 22 comments

Mr Key is off in Australia this week promoting further measures to bind the two countries into a single economic market, and slash red tape on trade, investment and business, and to shape the two economies into a force that can team up to position themselves for the world after the global economic crisis.. Well […]

Unassailable Evidence

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 8th, 2009 - 100 comments

Inaugural Lectures are very traditional University events; held these days to permit outstanding researchers to present an overview of their work to the wider academic community and public. Last night Prof. Tim Naish delivered a clear and decisive verdict about human induced climate change; the evidence is unassailable. Held in the very formal surrounds of […]

Break the Power of Money.

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, June 14th, 2009 - 30 comments

For some weeks our media has been distracted by various sideshows. Worth, Swineflu, Mt Albert, Flight 447 and of course David Bain, have all in turn captured our national psyche… but meanwhile the most pressing political issue, the global fiscal crisis, grinds on with little comment. The crisis response more or less worked. Historians will […]

1600 Dead Again

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, May 17th, 2009 - 32 comments

Each year and every year, around 1600 New Zealanders die prematurely because we live in cold damp houses. This “excess winter death rate” is four times higher than the road toll. They die, most especially the young, unwell, disabled and elderly, of respiratory illnesses, strokes and heart attacks because far too much of our housing […]

‘Bout that gurgling sound…

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, April 24th, 2009 - 53 comments

The average house in New Zealand should be worth about 3.5 times the average household income. (3.5 * $48k = $168k) The historic long-term rental return on most residential property was about 10%. Current rents for a typical 120m2, three bedroomed home in an average suburb is somewhere in the range of $12-16,000 pa…. ie […]

Too Big to Fail

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 pm, April 10th, 2009 - 28 comments

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one of those rare thinkers who has the priceless ability to express complex ideas in ways that are immediately accessible and concrete. I’m going to shamelessly quote and derive from a very recent article he’s written in the Financial Times. It’s so good I’m going to take each one of the […]

Ominous Trickles before the Flood

Written By: - Date published: 5:35 pm, April 5th, 2009 - 12 comments

The attack on democratic local government is taking shape in the public domain. 1. Hide was not made the Minister of Local Govt for nothing. Radical changes are planned and National chose an ACT Party frontman to deflect public reaction. The Bill about to be introduced, and likely passed, to ‘cap rates at the rate […]

Compare and Contrast

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, April 5th, 2009 - 4 comments

Prior to the last election our fearless MSM media uncritically repeated Key’s ‘NZ Sucks’ Crosby/Textor attack lines, framing an historically unremarkable rise in emigration, as evidence of Labour’s failure and general perfidy. Lots of examples abound, this being fairly typical. Of course since November emigration numbers peaked in January (and have fallen since in line […]

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    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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