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Brownlee, you’re doing a heck of a job

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, April 8th, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: disaster, housing, International, national - Tags: ,

Christchurch. Quake + 45 days and counting: Homeless may have access to campervans “within a week”, with costs starting at $190 per week. Temporary houses are planned, with a decision on who gets the contract to build them expected “within a week”.

Japan. Quake + 28 days: Homeless had access to special heavy duty ShelterBox tents within two weeks of the quake. Construction of temporary houses was underway within two weeks and is proceeding with remarkable speed. The first families should move in to completed units this weekend. It is expected that these homes will be rent free for two years.

Doesn’t it make you proud to live in National’s New Zealand? Brownlee, you’re doing a heck of a job.

55 comments on “Brownlee, you’re doing a heck of a job”

  1. higherstandard 1

    So many pies, so little time….nom nom nom

    • Sookie 1.1

      LOL :) Monty, the last thing Christchurch needs is so-called leadership by a bunch of possibly corrupt, tunnel visioned, ‘laizzez faire economics rulezzz!’ twats like the Nacts. The invisible hand is not going to achieve anything except a bunch of drafty campervans and some cheap, nasty tilt-slab big box retail parks. In a disaster you need 100% intervention and ownership of the problem. The Japanese get it, and they can hardly be called socialist. Run along now, troll boy.

  2. Monty 2

    they are still clearing rubble – there is a massive building in Chch which needs to come down.  Tell us socialists what labour would have managed to have done differently by Now ?  Easy to sit on the opposition and bleat like the whinging socialists you all are looking for any angle to criticise the Goverment. 

    You make me sick.  No wonder the country has had enough of your lot and quite rightly you are sideined as irrelevant, if that is about as constructive as you can be.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      If Labour were in government, do you think that National opposition would be somehow doing something that the current Labour opposition isn’t?
       
      Cuts both ways, you know.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        a) It’s impossible to know what National would be doing if Labour were lumbered with problems on this scale
        b) It doesn’t make it good approach or a sensible approach.
         
        It may make some people feel grumpy or grumpier – what else will it achieve?

    • Um care to address the post? If you have not caught up with the latest news Japan had an even bigger earthquake but are dealing quickly and efficiently with the aftermath.

      • Bright Red 2.2.1

        micky. Monty clearly believes that all of Christchurch is covered in rubble and that is the only reason why there aren’t temporary buildings up. There isn’t, for instance, a massive bloody park in the middle of the city that recently held 30,000 and is clear of debris.
        Japan on the other hand does not have any rubble. We’ve all seen images of where those coastal towns stood and thought ‘wow, how neat and tidy’

    • Armchair Critic 2.3

      With you all the way Monty.  Bet the Japanese government hasn’t organised a visit by a British royal, had a benefit concert or played a game of cricket yet.
      /sarcasm

    • ianmac 2.4

      Monty. Do you know how many thousands of families were living in the CBD? Clearly the rubble will have to be shifted from the CBD before thinking can start about housing those families who live there, and before consideration for those few who live in the Eastern suburbs.
      Of course socialists are silly to think priority should be given from the 23 February to arranging housing.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.5

      I think you’d find socialists would put people first, not business. There would also be a significant move toward housing the homeless rather than looking for photo ops. Socialists would also look to put the unemployed into work, buiding and rebuilding, just as we did in the thirties. Socialists wouldn’t look at this disaster as an opportunity to make our rich mates richer and the poor poorer, but as a problem to be solved in a way that benefits the majority. Socialists wouldn’t call for austerity on one hand while throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at failed businesses.

      Don’t worry about feeling sick, monty. The men in white coats will be at your door any minute.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 2.6

      “they are still clearing rubble”

      And that’s not true in Japan?

    • r0b 2.7

      Feeling better now Monty? That’s all right son, let it all out, let it all out. Remember to breathe…

    • felix 2.8

      Fortunately Japan had a tsunami to help wash away all the rubble, right Monty?

    • vto 2.9

      Silly Monty. You been nailed.

      rubble indeed….

    • prism 2.10

      Monty you don’t make me sick.  You’re my favourite biscuit, chocolate covered.  Mmmm.   You are the tops in my list of momentary pleasures.   Don’t try to step into serious cuisine where you are out of your depth.

    • BLiP 2.11

      Still clearing rubble? Don’t you mean dumping convoy-long truck loads of asbestos into the harbour late at night?

    • Galeandra 2.12

      Well well,  Monty….when you’ve finished barfing, maybe you could tell us the answer:what’s the ersatz King of Canta gonna DO beside appear on TeeVee??

      Toilets, he should be good at toilets.

      • lprent 2.12.1

        Don’t be silly. You have to bend over to clean toilets. I rediscovered this again when recovering from sore ribs (and other sundry medical issues) last month.

        Gerry bending over to work on a toilet (or for that matter working at all) seems quite farfetched and unlikely.

    • Billy Fish 2.13

      “You make me sick”

      Monty – you often use terms such as this – please let us know you are seeking adequate health care for your condition. I do hope you recover.

      Oh and baaaaaaa

    • DJ 2.14

      Guess what, they’re still clearing rubble in Japan too. If Brownlee’s not up for the job they should of said so.

      Anyway you’ve always made me sick Monty. You always spit up vile.

  3. vto 3

    Yes the two different approaches and outcomes to date certainly show something..

    I imagine however it has more to do with us and our culture versus the Japanese and theirs. If another bunch of fools were in control of the NZ govt the outcome would be much the same I would surmise. The NZ way is competent but a little slower and this and that and etc etc. The Japanese have shown many times that they have an efficiency that is difficult to match. It’s in their genes.

    Extend it further a little – Haitians at one end, Japanese at the other, NZ close to the top but not atthe top.

    But all of that doesn’t mean that Brownlee couldn’t up his game and try to do it as eficiently and competently as the Japanese. He could have simply got the temporary building underway straight away. The need for a tender process is highly questionable. In fact imo it was unnecessary. Get them building straight away and simply agree to pay market rates. There would no ability for trades to charge like wounded bulls. Quantity survey would quash any such in a flash. The design and locations and contractors could be dealt with as a ‘moving feast’ (i.e. the later builds would iron out any problems the early builds).

    Brownlee could have done it another way. Blimmin’ useless..

    • r0b 3.1

      “New Zealand under National.  More competent than Haiti.”  Mmmmm.  Catchy.

      • ChrisH 3.1.1

        Counterfactual: What would be happening right now if we still had the Ministry of Works?

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          I’d like to think that our quake homeless would be moving in to the first completed units, just like those in Japan…

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            And someone would be properly organising the rebuilding of the homes.

        • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.2

          At a more fundamental level, ChrisH, I reckon the failure here is a failure to plan fully, which has resulted in a failure to act.
          Speculating:
          It seems pretty clear that the probability that a major centre in NZ (lets say 50,000+) will be seriously damaged by a major disaster (flood, earthquake, volcano, tsunami, whatever) in the next 100 years is pretty close to 100%.  We then have choices about how we respond, as a nation.  We could leave it to the invisible hand of the market, or we could do more (compared to what we have done to date) to prepare.  I have no faith in the aforementioned invisible hand (I suspect its invisibility is closely related to its lack of substance), which leaves the option of preparing better.  A Ministry of Works, with the role including immediately mobilising to aid disaster recovery, would be a significant part of better preparation.  It should have the technical skills to know what was needed and how to get these necessities in a “one stop shop”.
          I think the reason we have not prepared properly is funding.  Politicians have tended to be reluctant to fund for what they see as a hypothetical situation that will probably happen after they retire.

  4. zug zug 4

    Monty had to get his coat

    • adriank 4.1

      He’s just like Oskar Schindler: they both made shells for the Nazi’s but Monty’s actually worked, dammit!

  5. randal 5

    lets face it. the tories are cheapskates and their number one priority is lining up their mates to give them the best deals on rack renting the dispossesed.

  6. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6

    Hmm, let’s assume for a second that there’s some kind of fundamental cultural difference between New Zealand and Japan which causes very different responses to natural disasters – not that I believe that for a second, but let’s just go with the theory for a sec.

    A more direct comparison would be across the Tasman, where the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi in Dec 2010/Jan 2011 caused similar destruction across a much wider area. How have the culturally-similar Australians managed the recovery?

    For a start, we have some facts and figure available. The Queensland Recovery Agency has published the first of its regular monthly reports, which demonstrate tangible progress in key areas such as transport, economic impacts and rebuilding.

    Let’s take a closer look at that rebuilding report (PDF):

    “Power was lost in approximately 478,000 homes and businesses. By early March 2011 approximately 99% of affected homes and businesses had power restored.”

    So the scale of the problem in Queensland is around three times larger than Christchurch and spread across a much bigger geographic area. But despite the scale and extent, 99% are back on the grid.

    “As at 24 February 2011, insurance claims paid were estimated at $310 million. The Insurance Council of Australia estimates additional claims of $2,460 million to be paid.”

    Based on the numbers, about 15% of claimants already have money in their bank accounts from the insurance companies.

    Delving into some of the other reports, we discover that the Australians have paid out more than $725 million in recovery payments (enough to buy a whole fleet of inflatable wakas) and all but two schools have been repaired and re-opened:

    “As a result of the natural disasters, 377 schools across the state were affected. As at 3 March 2011 only 2 schools (Milperra and Rocklea) continued to operate from alternative locations. These schools are due to reopen from term 3 in July.”

    On the business front, support is continuing for small businesses affected by the floods and Cyclone Yasi:

    “The impact of the weather events on small businesses has been significant. As at 3 March 2011, 2,151 grants had been paid totalling $10,771,000.”

    And as the graphs demonstrate (PDF), the level of support for these small businesses has been increasing, not decreasing, as time has gone on.

    In short, it’s hard not to be impressed by the scale and extent of the recovery effort in Queensland. 

    And nowhere in the reports could I find reference to people being charged $190/week by their own government for a campervan, business support being scaled back within 6 weeks of the disaster, or retailers having to wait until October for temporary premises.

    Faced with the biggest civil disaster in NZ since WWII, it’s instead easy to be impressed by Brownlee’s display of ineptitude. He has demonstrated the kind of weapons-grade incompetence that should be banned by UN treaty, and I think the complete lack of momentum in the recovery needs to be laid squarely at his feet. But then, what else did we expect from a third-rate woodworking teacher?

    • Kenny 6.1

      And no doubt thousands of capable Kiwi’s helping out.

    • Red Rosa 6.2

      This is a great comment, TEISG. It should be front page news in the ChCh Press. 

      Time is passing, and Brownlee. Parker and Key do not seem to have any real grip on the situation. The city is still an appalling mess after 6 weeks. 

      When the ChCh winter really sets in, as it usually does in May, then getting to a Portaloo half way down the street in the dark and rain will be the sad lot of many in the eastern suburbs.

      This by itself will sum up the ineptitude of  those at the top.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      This difference between what happened here, in Oz and Japan in regards to disaster response highlights something intangible that we have lost over the last 30 years of neo-liberalism. That something is actually quite important and it is the status of a developed nation because that is what we no longer are. A developed nation would have the plans, processes and, yes, government departments for handling such disasters which would have been built up over time and we threw the whole lot out to save money and now that we need them we’re left scratching our heads wondering what to do.
      Why did we let the governments from the 1980s on debilitate our society?

    • This is a great comment – thanks, it has put it into perspective for me. brownlee’s ineptitude is a burden to the recovery – he is drag. There are some good on the ground initiatives like this one – I’d like these initiatives to get more airtime to show what is happening to support people and I agree your comment above deserves wider reading too. ‘The emperor has no clothes’ should be shouted from the rooftops no matter how disturbing that image may be.

    • Galeandra 6.5

      Well done TEISG, the discussion is suddenly a hell of  a lot more serious than something simply partisan political. I look forward to a long line of apologists for this government stepping forward to take credit or offer explanations about the fizzer of a reconstruction effort so far. Look at the EQC saga on TV 3 over the last week as a further example. Are all the Ministers missing-in-action?

  7. Kerry 7

    I’ve heard his appetite for mellowpuffs is second to none

  8. PeteG 8

    It was inevitable there would be mistakes, inefficiencies, frustrations and delays. EQC, Civil Defence, the Government and the Opposition could presume and prepare and plan and practice to an extent, but what has happened was largely unpredicatable. It’s easy to predict in general terms that some disasater could strike somewhere, somtime, to some extent, but there were far more unknowns than knowns.
     
    This is an enormous unprecedented urgent task. A heck-of-a big ask. They can’t and won’t get it all right – I’m sure almost everyone involved is doing as much as they can to the best of their ability. Address the problems, but not obsess over them. And try to do as much as possible to help, more so than sideline bitching.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1

      Sorry Pete, but that’s just nonsense.

      Since when is an earthquake in the Shaky Isles “largely unpredictable”? Irrespective of where the completely inevitable earthquake occurred, there would still be the need for portaloos and chemical toilets and tents and campervans and water filters and all the rest of the items that would normally fall under the heading of “contingency planning”.

      But as DTB points out up-thread, they weren’t there because of that desire to save a few bucks over the last couple of decades by winding down the public sector and selling the silverware. There was no supply of emergency items as under the dipstick neoliberal cost/benefit assessment it was too expensive to have all that “unused capital” just lying around, waiting for the earthquake we all knew was going to happen one day.

      And when you’re intent on cutting the back-office of government and bleating on about “efficiency” at the cost of resilience, the net result is people shitting in their gardens whilst waiting weeks for chemical toilets from China.

      Just like in the Third World.

      • PeteG 8.1.1

        How may portaloos and public servants should now be on standby for Wellington? Hastings? Auckland in case of volcano? Half the North Island becasue of volvano or earthquake? All of ther South Island because of earthquake?
         
        I guess if the Railways was still used as an employment mop then they could have been transferrd to actual work. And the MOW shovel sucklers would be already equipped, they’d only have to learn how to use them.
         
        No one can plan for all contingincies. Just ask the Japanese.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1.1.1

          There you go with that out-of-date neoliberal thinking … that there’s absolutely no value in any kind of contingency planning, that resourcing should be cut to the bone irrespective of the longer-term consequences, and that public servants are automatically worse at their jobs than the private sector.

          Reality doesn’t follow the neoliberal playbook, of course. Which is why both Australia and Japan are doing far better at recovering from much larger-scale disasters than the useless idiots in the Beehive.

          No-one plans for all contingencies. It’s just a pity that your lot don’t seem to plan for any of them – and lack the management skills to tidy up the mess afterwards.

          • PeteG 8.1.1.1.1

            You’re making things up, I said nothing like what you claim. And I don’t have a my lot.
             
            If there was no planning for contingencies does that mean all of Labour’s contingency plans were thrown out? Where did all their stand-by portaloos go? Or were their contingencies non-existent too?
             
            Civil defence do actually plan and prepare and practice, they’ve done that for yonks. Maybe they need more resources. The key thing is to learn from this experience.

            • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour fell prey to exactly the same neoliberal nonsense as National – although they caught the disease in a less severe fashion, so they wouldn’t be cutting off aid to small business and charging for campervans in the same cynical and short-sighted way as the Nacts.

              But here’s the thing – I’d far rather have Helen Clark and Michael Cullen in charge right now than John Key and Bill English and Gerry Brownlee. When it comes to crisis, you want people with the focus and the energy and the intellectual horsepower to actually do the damn job.

              It’s not the fact that Key and co are lazy and venal that gets me – it’s the fact that they’re a bit thick.

              • PeteG

                The last election and the ensuing polls suggest quite a few people think differently. Not everyone can be right.

                • rosy

                  I don’t think the polls suggest that at all. If you’re going to speculate about a poll result you could just as easily say voters are uncomfortable with intelligent people in government. They’d prefer to have Joe/Jane Average – people a bit more like the rest of us

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          You don’t plan for all contingencies you moron, you plan a process that can be implemented in any emergency. It won’t be perfect but it’ll be a hell of a lot better than doing no planning and praying that nothing bad happens which seems to be your, and the delusional NACT, response.

        • Mac1 8.1.1.3

          Ah, PeteG, your regurgitation of sorry and old characterisations e.g. ‘shovel sucklers’ reminds me of a story told in Parliament by Richard Prebble, when he was Minister of Railways.

          I last told this story to a neighbour who pointed out the ‘fact’ to him that railway workers were so venal that they worked on Sundays just to get the double overtime. I pointed out another possible scenario- that just possibly they were working on Sunday on the railway line because there was less traffic on a Sunday to be inconvenienced. Six months later, he came out with the same story as he had before……. some never learn (assuming of course that my story was better than his.)  :-)

          Prebble’s story goes. As Minister he was written to by a railways commuter who irately pointed out that every time he travelled on the train into Wellington he saw groups of men idly standing by the track, suckling their shovels as PeteG would put it. Prebble pointed out to the commuter that it was not Railways policy to have workers engaged on working on a line at the exact same time as when a train was passing over it!

          BTW, PeteG, ever put in a day’s work with a shovel?

          • PeteG 8.1.1.3.1

            BTW, PeteG, ever put in a day’s work with a shovel?

            Yes, plenty. I grew up in the country and have done quite a bit if manual labour since a young age. I still live semi in the country, I did half a day with a shovel last weekend.
             
            The MOW sunshine gang were often referred to as shovel sucklers, by rural people who knew how to work hard.

            • Mac1 8.1.1.3.1.1

              And you never stopped for a breather? You just shovelled for two hours, took your ten minutes smoko, and then shovelled solidly for another two hours, took your lunch break and then shovelled solidly for another two hours, took a ten minute break, and then finished work with another good two hours on the shovel?

              You never leant on a shovel while another worker did another job on the spot where you were working?

              You never had to wait for another load of material to shovel, or another truck to come by to fill or for the boss to come by to detail another job?

              Rural people worked for themselves, and made these decisions. When they rested from the shovel to roll a smoke or take a breather, then they were ‘thinking about the next part of the job.” When they put the shovel down to take a breather, they were going “to get a piece of equipment” or “to make an important phone call” or “to do another job that needed doing.”  I know. I’ve been a farm worker, and I’ve emptied coal wagons and I’ve thrown coal with a shovel ten feet up into the hopper of a coal-fired furnace. Funnily, the blokes on the shovel knew how hard they worked.

    • Armchair Critic 8.2

      but what has happened was largely unpredicatable
      What do you reckon the chances are that some kind of disaster will ruin a significant population centre in NZ in the next hundred or so years?  Almost 100%?
      Sure, we can’t plan for where or when, but it’s almost certain to happen somewhere in NZ at some stage.  And we can improving our preparation on the likelihood something will happen.

  9. deservingpoor 9

    The difference between Japan and New Zealand is that in Japan when a disaster occurs, affecting thousands of people, they get on with fixing it. In New Zealand we sit around arguing about how much it will cost. The mere suggestion of charging rent to people made homeless and jobless by a major earthquake should spark a public outcry but not in New Zealand. Here it is regarded as perfectly normal.
    Apparently any kind of co-ordinated response to help our fellow human beings because its the right thing to do, is just socialism.

  10. Treetop 10

    First NZ Rail replaced the TranzCoastal rail service (Picton – Christchurch) with buses and now the tourists cannot even use the replacement bus service as that too has been canned.  NZ Rail cannot even manage a replacement bus service for tourists, disgusting management.

    Maybe the rail carriges can house a few people until the service resumes for the RWC.

  11. Hello from the UK. Here’s an interesting observation from the other side of the world: Immediately after the quake everyone seemed to pull together. The amazing community spirit was commented upon by the news media. Later the politicians get involved now you all seem to be bickering amongst yourselves. Coincidence?

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    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    15 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    15 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Fuck TV3
    TV3 has announced that they will be shitcanning Campbell Live. Oh, there'll still be a programme - but it won't have John Campbell, it'll only be four days a week, and it will almost certainly turn into the sort of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    8 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    8 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    10 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    2 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… ...
    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… ...
    3 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
    3 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… ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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
    4 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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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