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Bully Brownlee forces SOE CEO to withdraw critical blog

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, January 12th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags: , ,

Powershop is a subsidiary of Meridian Energy, an SOE. It is the most highly rated power retailer by its customers, with 92% satisfaction. On the Powershop website, there’s a blog. On this blog, the CEO of Powershop, Ari Sargent, wrote a post on the Government’s proposed electricity sector reforms. It’s insightful, adroit, politically neutral, and scathing of ironically titled Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee’s reforms. It is called: Proposed energy sector reforms likely to increase electricity prices.

In response, Brownlee launched into a bizarre public attack on the publicly-owned company saying Powershop should “come out from behind Meridian’s skirts. When Powershop manage to achieve a significant presence in the retail domain, they’ll be able to speak with a great deal more credibility and authority.” This, of course, coming from a former woodwork teacher with no experience in the electricity sector and a year in his job as do nothing minister and inept Leader of the House. Effectively he’s saying “shut up, you bastards and stop wrecking my PR”.

More disturbing is what went on behind the scenes and it explains why when you go to Powershop’s blog now, the contents of the post are gone. Brownlee called Wayne Boyd, Chairman of Meridian Energy, and ranted and raved at him for several minutes about the Powershop blog post before Boyd could even get a word in. Brownlee, stepping miles beyond his power as minister, insisted that the post be removed because it didn’t suit Naitonal’s political purposes for the truth to be told. In contravention of the legal checks on his power, Brownlee orderd that Sargent and Powershop be muzzled for daring to speak truth to power.

Boyd (also Chairman of Telecom) failed to stand up to his minister, probably in justified fear of his job, and called Sargent telling him (in excess of Boyd’s own power) to take down the post that had so offended Brownlee. Sargent, probably in fear of his job, complied. Although he cleverly left up the comments, so we can see him rationally, responsibly and intelligently discussing the problems with the reforms with various commenters.

Of course Brownlee is an idiot as well as a bully, and his idiocy extends to not realising that you can’t really destroy anything that has been on the internet. Wikileaks has a copy of the original blog and, now, so do you. As you can see, it is a thoughtful and measured response by an expert who is clearly concerned about reforms that are directed more at PR than ensuring the future of cheap, reliably electricity.

And that’s why it had to be suppressed, of course. That’s why Gerry Brownlee was throwing his weight around behind closed doors, exceeding his legal powers under the SOE Act by bullying a Chairman to direct the CEO of a subsidiary company regarding operational matters.

SOEs are meant to be free of such political interference. It is not acceptable for ministers to behave like this.

The shame is that this is hardly an exception, more like the rule. Brownlee is fast becoming notorious for his bullying, above the law, dictatorial attitude, as are other ministers like Paula Bennett and Judith Collins.

The Right used to talk of Helengrad and spoke darkly of politicisation of the public service, although the truth was most civil servants felt their ideas were listened and valued to under Labour. Now, we have a government that is extending its reach deep into the operational aspects of independent public bodies to make them politically correct for National’s purposes. Ministers run their portfolio agencies like personal fiefdoms, while the PM is either on holiday or hamming it up for the cameras.

Welcome, to the Bully State.

41 comments on “Bully Brownlee forces SOE CEO to withdraw critical blog”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    Welcome, to the Bully State.

    Hi, you must be new here. I’ve lived here for around 10 years. Weather’s great.

  2. El Laho 2

    brownlee has always been a bully – now Ari Sargent thats a guy you want as a CEO. Great post and he suggested his own reforms – keep that guy on!

  3. randal 3

    I have been chastised for this before but anyone who achieves the girth of gerry is trying to psychologically compensate for a lack of power in their personal lives.
    I believe it is called throwing their weight around.
    any notion of right or wrong is completely irrelevant to being in charge and forcing other people to do their will.
    disgusting.

  4. Crash Cart 4

    Hell of a lot of very detailed accusations as to Brownlees actions but very little corroborating evidence to go with it.

    And no just the post being removed does nothing to corroborate “raved at him for several minutes about the Powershop blog post before Boyd could even get a word in”

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      It would corroborate someone’s claim of that though.

      JFTR, if true, what say you?

    • lprent 4.2

      You know the usual drill. The parties (Brownlee, Boyd, and Sargent) are welcome to deny it. We will happily publish a denial.

      Denials tend to drag these things out especially if you have to avoid directly lying. Of course there are usually 3rd parties to these things and everything leaks eventually so I don’t think that it is that likely we will get much of a response.

      In the meantime, I’d expect that the media will ask Brownlee as well.

    • Bright Red 4.3

      what do you want? Phone logs? Peps are really spoiled since the secret tapes.

      Eddie’s relating something he has heard, insider info. That’s one of the reasons this blog is so worth coming to. You can’t expect that insider info will come with signed affidavits.

      • Crash Cart 4.3.1

        The fact remains that this is a very serious allegation. One that I would think were it to prove true could have serious consequences to the minister involved. Sans evidence it is nothing more than hear say and can have no real effect. Brownlee can no more be found guilty for this than any other person charged with a crime with no evidence. It then comes off as a smear.

        And if either of the parties were to go public with this I doubt that the minister would have the opportunity to meat retribution. He would be so busy covering his own arse that any attempt to fire the said whistle blower would result in even more pressure.

  5. Crash Cart 5

    It would corroborate the claims if they were made by the person who made the initial blog that is true. However all I have seen is Eddies claim. The fact is that the removal of the post could indicate that the SOE themselves felt that perhaps their posting was starting to stray into the realms of political commentary and removed it them selves. I am by no means suggesting that this is what happened but what I see above has no backing substance. It could well be true but unless there is a link to a quote from the initial author to confirm he removed it from circulation due to downwards pressure or from the head of Meridian confirming that he was ranted at for minutes then it all just seems like emotive story telling.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      bro, think about it. The dude removed his blog post. If he backed down because of ministerial presure he’s hardly then going on the offensive, eh?

      • ben 5.1.1

        So the complete absence of evidence is the surest sign what Eddie says is true?

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          The only bit for which there is no evidence is the phone call by Brownlee and the subsequent call to Sargent.

          The rest is all public record. Bearing in mind the linked article comment by Brownlee to the news about Powershop, what Eddie claims happened sounds quite plausible.

          Unlike a court, politics isn’t based on evidence. It is based on credibility. Ask Winston Peters (that the right used the blogs to draw out the speculation) or Worth (where the speculation went over all blogs) or … many others.

          This sounds credible. Politically Brownlee either has to answer or attempt to ignore. If he cannot answer, then I’d suspect that it is true. If he does answer then the other parties will also wind up answering.

    • Crash Cart 5.2

      For the record if it is true then Brownlee is showing once again that this government is chronic in its lack of regard for living up to the virtues it so strongly preached at the last election. I for one have no intention of voting for them next time round but it puts me off when a blogger I respect would post such detailed and inflammatory accusations without even a link to something that might provide corroboration.

      @brightred

      If this accusation had been bought in this way against anyone on the left the first thing I would expect to see would be your self asking for some evidence, and rightly so.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1

        Not everything a blogger writes about can be linked to.

        If someone tells you something, and you trust them, and they say you can blog about it but not say their name, what’s a blogger to do?

        Like any media outlet they can publish, protect their source, run the risk of libel hearings etc, and the credibility of story will be judged by it’s readers.

        • Crash Cart 5.2.1.1

          But that isn’t like any other media outlet. This isn’t m,early reporting what may have been said. This is being pro ported as fact. With nothing to back that up. In the MSN if this were to happen it would have one word attached to it, SMEAR.

          • lprent 5.2.1.1.1

            Blogs aren’t a media outlet.

            What they do is to provide an outlet for the posters of the writers in a way that is unfettered by anything apart from the legal rules on libel (if someone wants to bring a case), suppression orders where the police are able to enforce them, and whatever the hosting company chooses to do.

            Internally, they operate as a private venue completely up to the whims of the operator of the site. Generally this makes them semi-public with some kind of rules about what other people can put on them.

            • Crash Cart 5.2.1.1.1.1

              This is true but they also set their own standards as to credability.

              The fat fish for instance is really a waste of time to even go and visit because it is full of unsubstantiated bolloks that is just people throwing crap at other people.

              The standard tends to be a place where you find people discussing a wide range of topics in depth with respect for each other. Eddie is often at the forefront of that sort of discussion. I just personally felt that this particular post was more along the lines of what fat boy would throw up.

              As you say it is completely yours and Eddies right to make the accusations. I merely pointed out the they are completely unsubstantiated. Hell you could have even edited me out if you wanted, it is another thing that I like about this place that all views are heard.

              • lprent

                Yep. In this case Eddie appears to have found something interesting in an area that appears to have some prima facie evidence, but where you couldn’t do a OIA (Official Information Act) request, and would require someone to go and ask the people concerned.

                We are part-time bloggers who use psuedonyms to protect ourselves. So we aren’t going to do that. However Eddie seems to think that it is worth pursuing so is putting it up for more public attention. So the blog gets used to put it out so that the media/politicians/public and see it has been made ‘public’. They can do it.

                As you said, the credibility of the poster is everything on particular topics. If Zetetic said it, then it would probably be ignored. If I said it on this topic so would I (and anyway I seldom post on the beltway issues). Eddie is known to be pretty good on beltway issues, and not known for going over the top. I’d expect it will get looked at by the MSM.

                BTW: He is a fat mammal – not a fish. I point this out because I’m uninterested in being regarded as a fish either – see my identicon.

  6. tc 6

    More of the same bullying, intimidating, arrogant behaviour that will go unchallenged by the media who apply the formula’ IF govt…THEN positive/nice copy only’.

    Unsure about Boyd being painted as an innocent party here……if he had bollocks he’d resign as his position is being undermined by the minister abusing his powers so effectively he’s culpable in abusing the due process instead of reminding Gerry of his boundaries.

    In fact I reckon Boyd probably enjoyed the opportunity to play Yes minister……watch those remuneration figures people….betcha wayne gets a few bones thrown at him….good boy now sit and rollover.

    • prism 6.1

      Serving the government in a senior position can be a grubby business it seems. But somebody has to do it. It may not be good for everyone who is put under pressure to resign. Politics appears to advance with a series of compromises but hopefully government does understand the need for limits to these.

  7. The reforms are bizarre.

    Meridian’s “green and clean” image has been shot by Brownlee requiring it to take a Hawkes Bay diesel powered station thereby “contaminating” the source of its power.

    If the idea was to provide geographic diversity I do not understand why a Waikato power station or a Geothermal station could not have been provided instead.

    The decision has caused consternation in the ranks of Meridian’s management.
    According to The Press

    A Government review of the electricity sector is jeopardising the green reputation of one of its biggest money-spinners. Giant state-owned South Island generator and retailer Meridian Energy’s multimillion-dollar carbon-neutral generating status will be threatened if the recommendations of a review requested by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee are adopted.

    Meridian has written about the review to its shareholding ministers, Finance Minister Bill English and State-owned Enterprises Minister Simon Power, and to Associate Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce. However, its letter has not been addressed to Brownlee.

    Meridian chief executive Tim Lusk had said it would not consider building gas-fired power stations. “Our mission statement is to be a global reference company in renewable energy. It is pretty hard to see how we would move into gas, because it would not do a lot for our brand.

    Get the feeling Brownlee may have deliberately sabotaged Meridian?

    • mouse 7.1

      I think you have hit the nail on the head Mickeysavage… I for one moved to Meridian as a vote for their renewables focus…

      I think It Irks National that Meridian have sucessfully differentiated themselves as being a renewables only Business…

      Though I think Nationals Stratergy is really very straight forward…i.e. just think of what the best policy response to events should be, then do the opposite.

  8. You guys are making big gerry look like old flatiron himself..

    Interesting to me was the stuff-link title refered to by eddie, in which the word ‘majority’ was purportedly spoken/written by the minister in regard to his intended legislative changes. Taken to mean that only the majority was for whom these changes were necessary..

    Given how a majority can amount to just one person are we left to assume that such a person is the Minister himself..?

    Also Eddie, and in no way mischievous I assure you, a lot of manufactured debate could be very good for ‘bully’ victims and amount to vigorous positive promotion of cost-cutting power retailers. Albeit discriminatory against potential customers outside of an operator’s existing coverage ambitions..

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Ministers run their portfolio agencies like personal fiefdoms,

    I’ve called National the Party of Petty Dictators before and nothing they’ve done so far has disabused me of that notion. In fact, everything they’ve done is totally characteristic of dictators including the Nanny State smear they levelled at the last Labour led government.

  10. Irascible 10

    The mind set of the NACT MPs has always been closer to those of the stasi state of East Germany than of any democracy. Brownlee is demonstrating, along with his stasi mates – Key, Bennett, Collins,English, McCully, Wong… , the arrogance of the conservative dictatorships the world over.

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    He’s making lots of enemies at the moment. The Queens Wharf debacle in Auckland is the other current mess of MED. Read the front page of the Herald and weep Aucklanders.

  12. Welcome, to the Bully State.

    No welcome to SOEland. The government owns the SOEs, examples like these are one reason why they shouldn’t. Depoliticisation of firms is a major reason for privatisation of state owned firms.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1

      Yeah but they are never really free of the influence of the state are they??

      As the above example proves, sort of like monopoly guaranteed profitised socialism for the lucky few.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      No…Ministers keeping to the rules is how you de-politicise SOE’s.

    • burt 12.3

      No Ministers keeping to the rules is how you de-politicise SOE’s.

      Putting aside the ideological issues of big-govt vs small-govt for a moment, RedLogix hits the nail on the head.

      And what is important is that we pull them up when they fail to do exactly that irrespective of which party they are in. Every time we STFU because they are from our team we are condoning what we find offensive from the other team.

    • dcnbwz 12.4

      no the government does not own the S.O.E.s. The government is an elected body supposedly acting on behalf of the will of the people. The citizens of New Zealand are the stakeholders, not any elected body.

      It’s been proven time over and around the western world that all privatisation does is at best maintain status quo with services provided whilst providing massive profits for (usually) overseas corporations. New Zealand’s experience with a number of privatised S.O.E’s is also that little or no maintenance is carried out during this ownership and assets are stripped. Assets that were provided by the previous owners i.e. the nz public.

      If the press actually did what is expected (which I know will never happen) i.e. provide neutral coverage with a decent amount of research we would not even be discussing this. It would be black and white that privatisation is NEVER in the interests of citizens and almost always in the interests of a very rich minority.

  13. The problem is Minister don’t “keep to the rules”. And what are the rules anyway? The government owns the SOEs, so they can direct them to do what they want.

    • burt 13.1

      Indeed, Darnton VS Clark shows us what happens when the rules are inconvenient.

    • Eddie 13.2

      Paul. I expect better than ignorant crap like that from you (not from burt, of course).

      A minister owns an SOE on behalf of the people of New Zealand. The SOE Act and related law establishes limits on how that ownership can be exercised. They do not have the right to reach into an SOE and direct its operational affairs. They are not allowed to run SOEs as their personal fiefdoms

      • Paul Walker 13.2.1

        Actually the Minister does not own anything on behalf of the New Zealand people. Ownership is having (residual) control rights, the New Zealand people do not have such rights. The government has these rights and thus they are the owners, plain and simple.

        • Bright Red 13.2.1.1

          Good God, Paul. Shareholding ministers do not have the right to direct operational matters of a company. They do not have personal ownershp of the companies, the shareholding goes with the office, a minister in the New Zealand Government, governing on behalf of the people of New Zelaand and under New Zealand law, most specifically the SOE Act.

          What the hell is wrong with you, you think you’re some smart-arse economist and you don’t even know how SOEs work?

          Get informed.

  14. Ron 14

    I tried to link to the Wikileaks article from my Facebook and it was blocked. Ought I be getting paranoid?

  15. What does one expect from Right -Wing governments. ? They are “The Nasty Party”completely anti- worker .Their whole purpose in life is to have money and power . History proves it . So i’ts no suprise that the National Party spawns a number of bullies among its members. they even had a Leader called Muldoon who was nothing but a vicious drunk. Remember Brownlee has a conviction for assaulting an old age pensioner. By making him a minister the Nats are showing they have learnt nothing from the Muldoon years .

    • gitmo 15.1

      Is this pseudonym channeling D4J ?

      [lprent: This IP range was on a watch list because of someone with a very similar address getting moderated the other day. I’ve removed the auto-moderate…. ]

  16. Sally Wu 16

    Word on the street is Brownlee’s friend Shipley( who is chair of Genesis) has connections to the factory farmers who would love to get their hands on the water from the Waitaki chain to pump into the factory……..Mr Brownlee is this asset swap really about increasing competition or increasing milk production………. New Zealanders should be worried.

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    21 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    21 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    21 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    22 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    23 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    23 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    23 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    24 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    2 days ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    14 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    15 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    15 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    20 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    20 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    21 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    21 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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