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‘Bout that gurgling sound…

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

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 the value should be about $120-160k.

But at present the average price for a house is about $340k. Spot the difference? Yeah … about $200k. And that is how much asset deflation is going to happen over the next few years.

There are about 2 million residences in New Zealand and if they deflate an average of $200k each, that is about… whoa… my crap old calculator just ran outta digits… but I’m guessing it’s about $400 billion. I’m going to make another wild assed guess and say that about 30% of that is mortgaged. That makes about $120 billion that has to be repaid to banks in cold hard cash, on assets that will be worth less than the outstanding loan. That is real actual money that is effectively being thrown down a gurgling drain, never to be recovered.

Our GDP is about $150 billion, and if we assume we take a 5%pa hit on GDP, say about $8 billion each year to repay this debt down, it will take 120/8 = 15 years to unwind this debt. Add on top of that the excess $50 billion of govt debt now being predicted… and you have some idea of how long this Depression is going to last.

You might also be able to make a wild stab at the only way out of this mess. (No it does not involve tax cuts…)

53 comments on “‘Bout that gurgling sound…”

  1. Jasper 1

    This is a fallacy that continually gets perpetrated Red.

    You’ve fallen into the trap that a house should only be worth what the people can afford, based simply on what people can borrow at 3.5x their wage i.e. a 145-168K mortgage. Not true.

    Australian homes are worth 5x the average wage, and have been since the 70s. Though how much of this is boosted with the first home grant, I don’t know.

    NZ’s house prices have generally been around 5/6x the average wage since the early 80s. E.g. my parents built their house in 1979, total cost (land and materials and labour) was $22,000, single workers wage was $4000 p.a. That’s almost 6x their wage. When they sold it in 1998 for $158,000, average wage was what, $23K? Cost was still 6.8x the average.

    While NZ house prices are currently averaging $340K, it’s still only 7x the average wage.
    We don’t have that far to fall, and coupled with the double banger of net gain in migration, falling kiwi dollar, returning expats, you’ll probably find that we won’t fall that far.

    I’m not trying to talk it up. We bought our first home last year as we realised the banks would stop 100% lending and we didn’t want to get locked out again. Household income = $110K, mortgage, 230K. Recent valuation gave us $5K more, though probably caused by the amount of work we’ve done.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Nothing wrong with your numbers, but you have used ‘average wage’ while I was using the rather different ‘average household income’ number. For a ”data intensive’ analysis of the Australian and USA housing bubbles (and our numbers are not a lot dissimilar) I suggest Steven Keen’s analysis here.

      Affordability is slippery measure of house values. Imagine the silly scenario of say banks offering 2% interest rates and 100% LVR’s…. the average ‘affordable’ house price would quickly soar into the millions. Of course now the actual debt would enormous. However low interest rates are, however long the life of a loan… the principal and accrued interest has to be repaid eventually.

      Nor do I think ex-pats will be returning in large numbers in a way that will have much difference. If they have no job in the UK, selling a home into that very depressed market is not very attractive proposition. If they have no new job to come to in NZ why move? The only likely reason would be to move back in with family, or into a second home/bach/off-market rental. The housing market is a lot more elastic than most people realise.

  2. The solution….

    Ummmmm… boost average household income?

    • Observer 2.1

      YES

      • jarbury 2.1.1

        The next question is the killer though: How?

        • Chess Player 2.1.1.1

          Why is it a killer question?

          Think about what you personally could do to boost your own household income, and then do it.

          NZ’s average household income is therefore increased….

          • jarbury 2.1.1.1.1

            Get a better and higher paying job I guess. Oh crap that’s right we’re in a recession and there are virtually no jobs out there in the private sector of my field (planning) because the property bubble has popped. How about public sector, oh no that’s right all councils have gone into lock-down because of the Super-City proposal.

            Guess I’ll be lucky to keep my current job over the next 6 months.

  3. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 3

    Socialism ain’t the answer either.

    End DPB, dole and get the country more family focused to take in their relatives and for fathers to be accountable for their off-spring.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      hahahahahaha

      Oh, sweet zombie Jesus, you’re funny.

      Do that and watch as the living standards of the country drop like a stone to rock bottom. One person can barely survive on the median income of ~$27k and you’re saying that those people should support their entire family as well?

    • ripp0 3.2

      spoilsport!

      I was about to suggest an increase in household income might come from leasing back a part of the property.. to say an independent-minded son or daughter stressed out or straitened in these tough times, but you just wiped away the independence part through a lack of compassion I suspect for beneficiaries…

    • Spectator 3.3

      The most practical thing the government could do to defray the cost of the DPB is to get serious about making sure liable parents pay what they owe. Only when it is no longer economic for deadbeats and deserters to dump their children and run will this situation be rectified.

  4. BLiP 4

    Clear the South Island and lease it to the Israelis?

  5. Rob 5

    There are 1.4 million dwellings in NZ, and why the 3.5x icome multiplier?

  6. Rich 6

    A “walkaway” scheme where the government swaps a mortgage in negative equity for an indefinite repairing lease with security of tenure. In return you’re freed of the overhanging debt – the bank gets this back as perpetual government stock.

    Any equity in the property gets assigned to a community housing coop that will get the use of the house when the original occupant moves out, thus building a stock of public housing.

    • Bill 6.1

      Housing Collectives in this thread and worker’s collectives in relation to Air NZ!

      You do know that although such solutions are blindingly obvious, positing them is a bit like trying to point out that the world is a globe in the face of flat earth orthodoxy?

      Was Copernicus still alive?…I’ll stop there. He was well dead before the world came around (sic) to seeing things in a more sensible light.

      Anyway. Just because Copernicus couldn’t bypass his days orthodoxies and render them impotent in his lifetime doesn’t mean to say we can’t. However, we can definitely rely on the current system’s gatekeepers to cleave to the status quo.

      Solution?

  7. Pat 7

    Respectfully, Red, I disagree that house prices will collapse like you suggest. At the end of the day, house prices are governed by supply and demand.

    Take Auckland, for example. The finance company collapses, followed by the credit crunch reducing Banks appetite for lending has seen developers become an (almost) extinct species. Most would say good riddance, but developers did perform one important function – they supplied new housing stock to the market.

    No new housing stock + kiwis returning home from overseas after losing their jobs + plus new immigrants coming to Auckland = eventual housing shortage = house prices and rents going up, even if the recession lasts longer than expected.

    This is not my own theory – this is what BNZ economist Tony Alexander foresees.

    • aj 7.1

      I would never trust what Alexander says. He was one of the many bank shills urging people to fix rate for long periods when they were up at 8 and 9 %
      Housing prices may be ‘governed’ by supply and demand but historical price collapses have ignored both.

      And the wild stab at the way out of this mess, if I may – is inflation. And thats what certain central bankers and governments are trying their damn hardest to generate at the moment. The jury is still out.

      • Lew 7.1.1

        aj,

        I would never trust what Alexander says. He was one of the many bank shills

        This is going a bit far. Bank economists are pretty scrupulously independent, and are not required to hold their employer’s policy line and (in fact, they take great pleasure in saying whatever they please, causing merry hell for the banks’ comms people, PR companies, sales leaders and the CEO, who are all tied to that line). Bank economists are despised and hated by the other parts of the bank for this very reason.

        So whatever Tony Alexander’s faults (and he has ‘em), shilling for his employer isn’t one.

        L

        • aj 7.1.1.1

          ok – but when rates were at that higher level and he was encouraging people to fix, he was wrong and he has some responsibility for the number of people now caught with high fixed term loans. He never spelt the risk out – not once – if there was a fall in interest rates. Whatever his allegiances I don’t rate his forecasting much at all.

          • Pat 7.1.1.1.1

            aj – the current break cost scandal has shown up the problems in the system, which could be easily fixed:

            1. Banks should have the same break cost calculation. They vary wildly, ASB the best, ANZ/Westpac the worst.

            2. Break costs calculations should be far easier to understand, and spelt out in plain language in the loan agreements.

            3. Why can’t banks include an online break cost calculator on their online banking platform, so you can check it daily?

          • Jasper 7.1.1.1.2

            Er, AJ.

            I’ve got all of Alexanders Weekly Overviews from about two years ago. Last year when rates were on the up, from July through to December, Alexander constantly encouraged to only fix for 1 year at the most. Same thing in 1998 when they were at 9.5% for 5 years, 11.95% floating he said to fix for 1 year at most.
            Hardly encouraging people to fix long term. Those who fixed 2+ years last year are looking for a scapegoat rather than admitting they valued having security in outgoings.

            The most he flubbed on was forecasting the OCR to fall to 6% mid 2009. At least he picked a fall, but up until October, no one really knew the extent of the overseas financial situation.
            In November he picked a 4.5% OCR mid 09, which was revised downwards to 2.5% in January, and then 2% where it’s been since early February.

            Economists are only as good as the data they have on hand.

        • Observer 7.1.1.2

          Not one of them predicted the recession. So while they might be scrupulously independent they are also totally undependable!

          As a past Prime Miniter of Canada once said, “if you laid every economist in the country end-to-end, you still wouldn’t reach a promise!” (P. Trudeau R.I.P.)

          • aj 7.1.1.2.1

            Jasper, thanks, even so I don’t let him off the hook. I don’t recall him once explaining how break fees could trap borrowers if/when rates fell. If it wasn’t such an oxymoron I’d say bankers had a moral duty to present all side of this equation, much as Pat has outlined.

  8. Apart from the use of many arguable variables, even if you accept the values you have proposed, it only is an issue IF people have to sell. One of the reasons that the market hasn’t crashed is that people largely haven’t been forced to sell. Clearly, those that do are faced with a buyer’s market.

    The other point worth noting is the housing bubble in NZ also got momentum from migrants hence the NZ relativities aren’t the only forces set in stone.

    • Lew 8.1

      Daveski,

      even if you accept the values you have proposed, it only is an issue IF people have to sell.

      I think the point here is that if the economy tanks like people claim it will, folks will have to sell, because they won’t be employed enough to service their mortgages.

      L

      • Daveski 8.1.1

        Even in the Great Depression, unemployment was “only” around 20-25% – still catastrophic but it doesn’t mean all the houses with negative equity (most likely mine too :)) will HAVE to be sold.

        As I’ve noted numerous times before, NZ does not have the same problems in the US particularly eg sub-prime mortgages. Moreover, whereas in the US banks have fallen over, NZ banks are still profitable and therefore able to ride out the worst of the excesses.

        It may well get worse but I would be very surprised to see RedUnLogical’s vision materialise in the extreme while still acknowledging mortagee sales are undoubtedly on the rise at present.

        • Pat 8.1.1.1

          There are a lot less mortgagee sales than there could be. The Banks are being remarkably restrained at the moment, and I have seen examples of people being 6 months or more in arrears without the Bank taking action.

          The Banks are hell bent on hanging on to their Credit Ratings, so they do not want to take a hardline and capitalise a whole heap of losses onto their balance sheets by enforcing a big number of mortgagee sales. So if someone loses their job they can get a lot of breathing space from the Bank by way of repayment holidays etc.

          Many of the mortgagee sales are investment properties where the investor has walked away or, in the case of many Asian investors, gone home.

        • andy 8.1.1.2

          Even in the Great Depression, unemployment was “only’ around 20-25% – still catastrophic but it doesn’t mean all the houses with negative equity (most likely mine too :)) will HAVE to be sold.

          20-25% unemployment = major deflation. Negative equity is not a problem for banks or you as long as you can service a loan. Imagine the downward pressure on wages and prices (of local goods and services) with that rate of unemployment. Your boss would have to offer a 20% wage reduction or let you go to stay competitive, and so would you as an employee.

          At the same time our dollar would become very unattractive and the cost of imported goods would rise taking another slice of your ever decreasing income away from your ability to service your current NZ$ debt. To many mortgagee sales would expose banks balance sheets causing the cost of borrowing money up, driving up interest rates etc.

          the list goes on, in the end deflation is a killer.

          Just sayin…

  9. Pat 9

    The way out of the mess? Farming, forestry and fishing exports into emerging economies.

    We need Chinese and Indians to get a taste for our Eskimo Pies.

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    The solution to all this would be to have tax system that punished anyone who didn’t treat a house primarily as a place you live in rather than primarily as a speculative asset, and rewarded anyone who invested in the productive sector of the economy. That way, people would buy somewhere to live for this notional 168k and invest the mythical 200k in stocks, bonds, and other productive investment vehicles.

    The problem with this approach isn’t really what people traditionally say it – you know, “capital gains tax = electoral death” etc etc. The REAL problem with this approach is trying to convince Sharon and Trevor that they won’t be ripped off for their retirement savings by the dishonest, lazy and incompetent kleptocrats who pass as our business “leaders”.

    Let’s be honest. People invest in property in a large part because they have no faith in New Zealand business and New Zealand businessmen and women.

    • aj 10.1

      Tom I take no pleasure in saying that I have been conservative during this housing boom and done nothing but pay off one mortgage on my one home.
      And I have invested – through shares – in the productive economy.
      The only reward, and not a small one, is that I have a freehold home. My investment in the productive economy has a book value about 50% less than two years ago.
      Hate to get punished for doing the right thing…..

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Hate to point it out to you but capitalism doesn’t actually work.

        Take x as a value that’s enough for someone to live comfortably on from the interest alone. Now give everyone x and have them all living on the interest. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the economy collapses under such a scenario but that’s what all the capitalists and quite a few economists keep telling us is the optimum.

        (Actually, I’m lying, I’m having a lot of fun pointing it out :P )

        • Lew 10.1.1.1

          DTB, the point of capitalism isn’t the destination (the interest return), it’s the journey (accumulating that much money).

          L

      • Jared 10.1.2

        If you purchased shares on the open market you have done nothing to further corporate investment, however if you purchased shares through an IPO or share issue then you have contributed to share capital for businesses to further reinvest. Holding shares to get a capital gain return is a fallacy in a market as small as ours. There simply isnt the volume of trading in the NZX to actually get some growth going. You would have been better off investing your money in government bonds or a property/cash fund.

  11. Pat 11

    Dollar Cost Averaging, aj. Keep plugging away at the investments and you will have your day in the sun.

    • aj 11.1

      lol actually thats what I’ve done in an index tracking fund now for about 8years. I think I still have all my ‘capital’ but the last few years gains have gone…
      Still plugging the same amount away each month…irrespective of the current value.

  12. ripp0 12

    That gurgling sound…

    I wonder whether this blog has emanated from very recent news of the World Bank suggesting how the US housing stock still has another 12.5 percent prices drop across the nation to go…

  13. Bill 13

    If only the market economy was water soluble and it rained tomorrow and the next day.

    Blissful gurgling all round instead of this emanation from us and ours going down.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Gee guys.,… I was just going to suggest that we drink our way out of the recession. (But sadly the Japs have gone and bought Lion Nathan, so that mightn’t work so well now…:-)

    • Bill 14.1

      As long as you don’t indulge in corporate lolly water then that option is still open. Who cares if such piss is owned on or off shore? There be really good bier brewed just right here….and there…..and there.

      Enjoy!

  15. CMR 16

    I perceive the formula Red has used as suspect. While it is a measure of the issue the overwhelming influence for house pricing is supply/demand. If the population continues to grow so will the demand on an already inadequate housing stock. The imponderable here is that housing is a stationary commodity and if demand grows disproportionately from one region to another, then a surfeit of housing can germinate in that latter region.

    My solution for housing is to loosen the arbitrary dictates of land use, (Local Government Act,RMA, District Plans etc..) The cost of housing is a misnomer to the extent that the value of the land needs to be subtracted from the total value. If more land is available for housing construction then the cost of that land will reduce over time.

    To summarise: Get government and especially local government out of the industry!

    • RedLogix 16.1

      If the population continues to grow so will the demand on an already inadequate housing stock.

      Yes it is true that NZ does not have the same gross oversupply as is apparent in the USA. But housing demand is more elastic than most people assume. If housing becomes unaffordable for whatever reason, occupancy rates rise to absorb the difference. Young adults stay at home longer, young couples live in the downstairs flat, grandparents move out to the family bach, a rental is taken off the market, a big garage is lined out and some beds moved in… and so on.

      This sort of thing is the norm for working class folk who have been doing it all along; it just comes as a bit of a shock to find it happening in the leafier suburbs.

      If more land is available for housing construction then the cost of that land will reduce over time.

      A decent reply to this is worth a whole post on it’s own. Suffice to say, it’s a form of ‘free market’ ideology that has no basis in reality.

  16. In response to CMR the following:

    While at some time at some place the housing market might be such that there are not enough houses to accommodate the population this I emphatically claim is not the issue in New Zealand.

    Today in Auckland 16.392 houses stretching from Manukau (3698) to Wiheke Island (660) were on sale on Trade me alone.
    For rent were 5654 properties in this city.
    That is a lot of property for sale and for rent on a population of approx. 1.3 million.

    Wellington clocked 7033 Houses for sale and 1123 for rent and equally huge amount of property for sale on a population of 473.700 (2008)

    I suggest you have a look on trade me and It will become clear that every major population centre in NZ has a huge surplus of both to buy and to rent properties.

    Even in nearby Raglan more than 10% of the local property stock is either for sale or to rent.

    5 or 6 subdivision area’s have not sold a singel section in the last two years.
    The sewer, water and power infrastructure burden of those development rests upon the residents a lot of whom are retires who wanted to retire cheaply to their extended batch and are now living under the poverty line due to the expensive developments pushed through by greedy real estate agents and the gullible city council.

    In my native Country Holland 17 million people live on an area the size of North land and believe me or not but people sometimes have to wait (I.E> live with their parents) until late into their twenties until they are able to secure even a rental. They get onto waiting lists age 16 years of age and if they get a house around their late 20s they are lucky.
    These rentals are just square boxes on top of each other anywhere from 4 to 40 floors high. No gardens, no play areas for children and yet the prices are either the same or lower that in New Zealand when we arrived here.

    Imagine our surprise when (My Kiwi) husband and I arrived back here four years ago and we found that the house prices here were much higher than Holland and the quality (Wood, weather board versus stone and concrete) was much much less than in Holland.

    Not only that but the price of your average wooden shack in NZ would buy you a medieval semi chateau in France or four 300 year old stone build beach front property on one of the most romantic Croatian Islands (Korzula) in the Mediterranean.

    And a half acre section in Raglan would have bought you a small chateau in Romania, Hungary or even Greece. That was two years ago, we now see them go for the price of a beach front property on afore mentioned Island in the Mediterranean.

    So if demand and supply were not at the bases of the ridiculous increase in house prices in NZ or the US, UK then what was?

    Well you could ask John Key because he was in New York and he was there when the Glass Steagall act was repealed and the Federal Reserve of New York under Alan Greenspan decided that a housing bubble was just what the world needed. In fact he was one of only four upon invitation only advisors to the Fed Res at the time while he was the European head for Bonds and Derivatives and the Global head for foreign Exchange for Merrill Lynch. Both departments made huge amounts of money with the same intricate (read fraudulent) products now causing the collapse of our financial system. Read here about the subprime and Derivatives crisis. This is also a nice introduction

    • jerry 17.1

      John Key is to blame for the house prices in NZ …..wtf ??

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        Actually Travellerev has a point. The housing bubble did not just happen last week; it has it’s origins in a course of action set by the banking industry in the 80′s and 90′s, t a time when John Key was very much involved at a senior, influential level, with one of the biggest players in the business.

        Did Key cause the housing bubble all by himself? No, of course not. But neither are his hands clean.

        The right has so far sucessfully defended Key by minimising or obscuring the real implications of his somewhat, shall I say, peculiar CV. For now the New Zealand public is content to let the matter slide under the carpet; but that may not last.

        • jerry 17.1.1.1

          Of course people like yourself with multiple rentals have got nothing to do with the problem ?

          • RedLogix 17.1.1.1.1

            Well no jerry.

            I actually built them from scratch. Mostly with me and my partner’s own hard work. Today we finished tiling a bathroom in the latest one.

            It’s why I usually only get time to blog much in the late weekend evenings.

            The average landlord in New Zealand is has 1.5 units, the vast majority are ordinary mums and dads who have worked very hard for what they have. The small minority of professional investors who have gone on to ten or more units generally only buy properties that for one reason or another are undervalued by the market, and to which they can add some value over time.

            In the last two years of the bubble most properties became grossly overvalued from a cash flow point of view, and most professionals had their cheque books firmly shut. Yet the property market kept on bubbling all the same without us.

            Now of course the market has returned to some semblence of sanity, not so many folks are complaining that some investors are back in the market buying again. (Not me … I think it has a ways to go down yet…)

          • Travellerev 17.1.1.1.2

            In fact I would go as far as saying that with the exceptions of a few people with too much money who where persuaded by smarmy real estate agents to buy or build expensive houses in places like “Raglan” on the assumption that it would be the new “mount” landlords such as RL are as much victims of the artificial housing bubble as the small time house buyers. It’s not as if they can up the rent to cover their losses easily (That is speaking from a tenants point of view) although I’m sure some will try.

            You might want to read this series about the recent history of what the Wall street scheisters (Where John Key had an office at the very time the housing bubble was started) have been up to in the last twenty years.

            RL I agree with you. When we arrived here four years ago we knew that he house prices could not possibly be related to income, economic growth or scarcity and that the market would collapse spectacularly. We decided to rent until that happened. Well it happened and it’s going to get far worse. We keep on waiting.

            The only thing worse that the total deflation world wide of our economy will be the hyper inflation which is sure to follow.

            With the FRNY creating trillions of dollars out of thin air this is just a matter of time before that happens.

  17. Peter 18

    Your analysis is poor. You ignore supply and demand.

    We’re facing a housing shortage now, which will grow even more acute in the next few years because developers have stopped building.

    And it’s not just the number of houses, it’s the type of housing stock. Most of our houses are designed for the nuclear family unit. The nature of the family unit is changing rapidly, and it will be decades before the housing stock reflects this.

    Add the RMA and other council and government regulations forcing up prices, and you’ll soon see where it is going.

    Nowhere near your laughable figures….

    • Have a look on trade me.
      The supply way outweighs the demand in every major city in New Zealand

      • Peter 18.1.1

        Too simplistic.

        Supply of what, exactly? What type of house? Where? At what price?

        It matters not that there are streets of empty houses in, say, Ekatuhuna. The reality is that no one wants to live there.

        Analysis of housing demand in our major housing markets indicates one thing – we’re heading for a supply crunch. The reason for that is mostly to do with land regulation by government.

        Look up “Auckland land shortage critical study” on Google. There is a ton of data out there all pointing in the same direction.

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    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good riddance
    Last night, Shane Jones dropped the bombshell that he would be quitting Parliament and the Labour party to work as a "roving ambassador" for Murray McCully. Good riddance. While pegged from the beginning as a "future leader" and "high performer",...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves
    Like John Tamihere before him, Shane Jones entered Parliament burdened with the promise that he might be first Maori Prime Minister. That promise had probably left him before it emerged yesterday evening that he was walking away from politics, but...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure
    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-04
  • Exit Jones, stage north
    I will miss having Shane Jones in the Labour tent. That isn't because I agree with him on everything. Disagreeing with people is part and parcel of party politics, especially in a party that aspires to be a broad church...
    Polity | 22-04
  • World News Brief, Wednesday April 23
    Top of the AgendaObama Begins Asia Trip to Reassert Pivot...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • Herald confirms our electric trains are quiet
    The Herald yesterday ran a story on just how quiet the new electric trains are. In a polar opposite there was a lot of noise on twitter about how the article was initially presented but after getting past that it...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • ‘I told ya so’ of the day, Shane Jones edition
    I got a bit of stick during the Labour leadership contest for my criticism of Shane Jones, so I have to indulge myself a little here. Now that we know this contender for the leadership of the Labour Party was...
    DimPost | 22-04
  • Warning to Labour; the heretic hunters are driving people away
    And Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Coalitionally speaking – a look at scenarios on the right
    Back on my previous post, Alex Coleman asked me to stop looking at potential government variants on the left and look at what a National-led government would look like, especially (at least this is what I took him to mean)...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Here we may see what Men for Stealth and Robbing must endure …
    It seems a bit odd to be devoting a post to a policy proposal coming from a party with just 0.5% support in the opinion polls - a bit like taking seriously United Future's crowing over the victory it has just...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Keeping up with the Joneses pretty damn hard actually
    28/3/2014: Editorial: can Shane Jones save the Labour Party? 13 hours ago: Nat man co-funded Jones’ Labour bid 6 hours ago: Shane Jones’ loyalties questioned 19s: Shane Jones quitting – National creating role for him ‘Pacific Economic Ambassador’ Seriously, the...
    The little pakeha | 22-04
  • John Key Aspires to Mediocrity
    The Prime Ministers of New Zealand who have had lasting respect are the ones who have stood up on the global stage on points of principle. While we may be a small country and almost insignificant in a population sense,...
    Local Bodies | 22-04
  • Photo of the day: Problem not a lack of roads
    This photo from Lennart Nout on Twitter today of the morning peak shows that the problem with traffic in Auckland isn’t a lack of roads. During the off peak and during times like school holidays there is more than enough capacity available...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Climate dollars and sense – preventing global warming is the cheap option
    The IPCC has now released all three of the reports that comprise its 2014 Fifth Assessment of climate science. The first report tackled the physical changes in the global climate, while the second addressed climate impacts and adaptation, and the...
    Skeptical Science | 22-04
  • What ACT’s Jamie Whyte could learn from Albert Einstein
      stuff.co.nz   In a remarkable coincidence two Essex district court judges are arrested on the same night for riding their bicycles without lights. On the following morning they turn up at court to answer the charges. “Well, this is...
    Brian Edwards | 22-04
  • Australia’s lawless gulag
    When a reugee was murdered at its Manus Island gulag in February, the Australian government tried to blame the victims and pretend that its prisoners were responsible for the violence. Since then, we've learned that the opposite was the case,...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • John Key hates transparency
    Over the weekend, the Greens proposed greater Ministerial transparency, with quarterly public declarations of meetings, overseas travel, gifts and hospitality. Its a great idea, which would help restore confidence in our system of government. So naturally, John Key opposes it:Prime...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Access: Who Are Disabled New Zealanders?
    Disabled people are part of every community and grouping in New Zealand. However, most surveys do not ask about us, and we’re poorly understood for various reasons. Let’s start fixing that together.How manyOfficial Census results every five years or so...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • The GCSB has a credibility problem
    Last month, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave evidence to the European Parliament, in which he revealed that the NSA were "advising" their "partners" on how to interpret mass-surveillance-enabling "loopholes" into their spy-laws. New Zealand was specifically mentioned as having received...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Green bonds set to help finance green economy
    Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars...
    frogblog | 22-04
  • Mahurangi Matters on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry
    To date there has been limited media coverage on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry. Fortunately Karyn Scherer, from the local Warkworth newspaper Mahurangi Matters, is one of the few reporters attending the BoI.  She writes in her opinion piece:...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Porn and Politics in the US of A
    What is with Kansas? My former colleague at UCLA Seth Masket, writing at The Mischeifs of Faction, has published a graph he made which compares per-capita usage of online porn to vote shares in the last Presidential election. Because... why...
    Polity | 22-04
  • New Fisk
    Another ‘sham’ election is over, so what now for Algeria?The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Shane Jones confirms everyone’s suspicions
    So, it turns out that Shane Jones' campaign for the Labour leadership was funded by a Nat. Which is hardly surprising - the loudest voices talking up Jones' ability and "leadership potential" have always been on the right. But actually...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Nerdy praise for The Nation
    A lot of the attention heaped on our current affairs shows is all about the interviews. But the investigative reports on TV3's The Nation are making really good moves to bring more actual evidence to New Zealand's discussion of current...
    Polity | 21-04
  • The Greens Stand Alone
    Earth's Last Champion: The history of the twenty-first century will be shaped by an increasingly bitter struggle between the two great remaining “metanarratives” – Neoliberalism and Ecologism. If the Greens did not exist as a political option we would have...
    Bowalley Road | 21-04
  • The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change
    The combination of a recently acquired desktop video magnifier and a kindle has for the time being restored some ease to my reading. Hence this review. I was drawn by the title The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values,...
    Hot Topic | 21-04
  • Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
    Anti-fluoridation activists often claim fluoridating chemicals used for water treatment are contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides. I have written about this before in Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?, Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride? and Hamilton –...
    Open Parachute | 21-04
  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs
    That we have a trade in synthetic cannabinomimetics is not, as most of the country currently seems to believe, a consequence of the Psychoactive Substances Act passing last July. That business existed before July and, indeed, was substantially larger and looser....
    Public Address | 21-04
  • Boyd-Wilson
    Don’t get raped. That’s essentially what the message has been, the last few days. The Boyd-Wilson path is pretty notorious in Wellington and it’s in the news again with two attacks committed there in as many days. The police response...
    The little pakeha | 21-04
  • I am still holding out for a three-way
    David, Winston, and the Greens up a tree. G O V E R N I N G. Some of the commentary over Easter has focused on a supposed strategic conundrum for the Greens. If Peters is in a position to...
    Polity | 21-04
  • How rail was saved in Auckland
    Next Monday will be a historic day for transport in Auckland as for the first time the city will have electric trains carrying fare paying passengers. Electrifying the rail network is something that has been talked about for 90 years,...
    Transport Blog | 21-04
  • What makes a national day? Not the Anzacs
    There will be much talk on Friday of “national identity”. Just one year short of the original baptism of the Anzacs, jingoism will be in fashion. Some will say, and many will think, it is our real national day. The...
    Colin James | 21-04
  • ‘What they see is what they get’
    What they see is what they get … “Part of it is, I think, is, I suspect … I’m a pretty laid back, sort of down-to-earth hopefully approachable guy, and, … and, I think kind of again, what they see...
    The Political Scientist | 21-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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