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Can iwi stop asset sales?

Written By: - Date published: 1:12 pm, July 9th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, privatisation, treaty settlements - Tags:

Iwi want the Nats’ asset sales put on hold until their claims to water have been settled. Key says that people can own water rights but not water. Iwi say water is a taonga, ownership of which is guaranteed under the Treaty and hasn’t been extinguished by subsequent law. Seems to me that Key thinks iwi are just another class of person. He doesn’t understand, or chooses not to understand, that iwi were sovereign groups which retain any rights that they didn’t expressly give up when they entered into the Treaty partnership.

See, under English law, people can’t own water, or indeed land. You own only rights – for example, if you own a property what you actually own is a set of rights over the land. Underneath that sits the Crown’s radical title. The Crown owns the land -the ‘radical’ in the term radical title meaning ‘root or source’. That’s basically it’s sovereignty over the land, the power to define the rights you and others have to use the land – you have no property rights but those allowed to you by the Crown as holder of radical title.

That’s where Key is starting from: the Crown’s in charge and it never said anyone has ownership rights to the water, so iwi don’t.

What Key is ignoring is that iwi had their own rules regarding rights and ownership of water before the Crown showed up and the doctrine of aboriginal title, as well as the words of the Treaty, mean that those pre-existing rules were not wiped away by the Treaty.

If you want to try to express the iwi relationship with water in terms that are compatible with English law, you could say they were sovereigns with radical title to the water, which hasn’t been subsequently extinguished by treaty, by law made by the Government empowered by the Treaty, or by abandonment.

Of course, someone will have explained that to Key. But someone else will have been in his other ear pointing out that picking a fight with Maori over the Treaty could be a good way to win some votes back and wedge the opponents of asset sales. Guess who he listened to.

38 comments on “Can iwi stop asset sales?”

  1. Plan B 1

    It may be that Key is going for a divide and conquor approach. To take something off all of us he.
    1. offers it implicity cheap to some of us
    2. Divide maori – deal with specific tribes
    3. Divide maori and non maori

    In the end he will win because of these divisions.
    If we stuck to the line that the hydro dams belong to everyone it would be better.

    Dealing with tribes individually always seemed to be part of the colonial playbook- divide and conquor- pay off elites etc.

    They like things that are not democratic and work with entities that deny our democracy.

    • Thisblogrocks 1.1

      The Claim was submitted by the New Zealand Maori Council a pan-tribal council, however specific redress as per each Iwi will be a feature of redress but only if the NZMC are successful in their claim, keeping in mind the NZMC has not lost a case against the Crown yet.

      The divide and conquer tactic is still a concern, i.e. “Hydro dams belong to everyone” Maori are not claiming they own the hyrdo dams which do already belong to everyone in NZ but not for long as it seems that argument failed as soon as the Mixed Ownership Model became an Act.

      Now Maori are asking the Crown to prove ownership of the water that drives the dams bringing to light Maori Treaty and indigenous rights that could serve to halt or even stop the sale of these assets.

      Maori traditionally never claim ownership over land, water or anything short of the kakahu on their backs, I see this a a purely legal challenge to govt actions that will negatively effect NZers for generations to come.

      All the best.

      • mike e 1.1.1

        They may not have claimed these Ideas of Anglo saxon ownership but the Crown gave them these rights and European took full advantage.
        Now Maori are sticking up for their rights.
        Racial envy is creeping in.

        • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1

          Technically those “rights” only exist courtesy of recognition by Western legal and cultural institutions, and it would only be “envy” if you clung to some weird romantic notion about tribalism having any merits over liberal social democracy.

          • mike e 1.1.1.1.1

            Tory economic tribalism you are referring to obviously. sneaking in the little racist comment.

            • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You read racism into it presumably because you’re an enemy of human rights and social equality.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2

            Um – surely if the “rights” exist only because of western niceness, then they still exist?
                     
            I mean, people can debate whether traditional Maori attitudes to (or lack of) concepts such as ownership are consistent with court challenges or are practical in an industrialised environment with massive externalities, but the fact is that Maori have a decent claim to ownership of the water – enough to demonstrate once again that the nats really haven’t thought this through.

  2. Awesome eddie I think you are on the money with this post.

    • Bored 2.1

      Could not agree more, Eddie is on the ball. Lets hope the iwi are not buggered over by the Maori Party’s need for the baubles of office.

  3. ad 3

    I thought the Treaty of Waitangi commission recommendations were not binding upon the Crown?

    • toad 3.1

      They are not, as far as historical grievances are concerned. But this is arguably the creation of a new grievance by the abrogation of what is an existing property right.

      And while the Waitangi Tribunal cannot itself injunct the Government in respect of that, the High Court can.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        How is this a new grieveance when there has already been a privatisation involving water rights and energy companies in the recent past? Do the Maori people/organisations involved in this not remember Contact energy?

    • bad12 3.2

      Yeah you are right of course, the Waitangi Tribunal cannot force upon the Crown any view that it comes to after the hearing of evidence,

      However,

      After a strong recommendation from the Waitangi Tribunal that sides with the applicants, in the present case, the New Zealand Maori Council, those applicants can approach the High Court seeking relief from the Government action/inaction at the heart of the Waitangi Tribunal application,

      Should the High Court at such a point allow an injunction at that point staying the Government’s hand in asset sales there would then have to be a substantive hearing as to ‘ownership’,

      Ask a knowledgeable Maori, and most have this knowledge, for a brief precis of Whakapapa, what you will get is a recitation of Maunga, Moana,and, Awa along with Hapu and Iwi,

      These recitations simply state this is my Mountain, this is my Lake or Sea, this is my River, and these are my Family and Tribe(s),

      Such correct recitation is the force of Maori ‘ownership’ just as in Pakeha society ‘ownership’ is denoted by the correct piece of paper being able to be produced,

      Such ‘Maori Law’ isn’t the result of yesterdays ruminations, such has been the norm of Maori society since befor colonization…

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        The real problem for the Government is the decision in Paki v Attorney General which was released by the Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago.  This decision could be Ngati Apa like in terms of effect and redneck response.

        The Court held that local iwi MAY have a claim against the Crown as trustee for non navigable rivers in the country because the indigenous title to these rivers has not been extinguished.  They are taonga, preserved by the Treaty of Waitangi.

        This is a real headache for the Government and if I was a private investor thinking about Mighty River Power I would say there is a fairly significant amount of risk.

        The Waitangi Tribunal does not have jurisdiction if this argument flies.  THe Crown has an obligation as trustee to return these parts of the rivers to the beneficiaries, local iwi. 

  4. gobsmacked 4

    I can see Pita Sharples 2012 on the forecourt of Parliament, addressing the hikoi led by Pita Sharples 2004 …

    Pita 04: “It’s our foreshore – er, river! Thief! Traitor! Sell-out!”

    Pita 12: “You don’t understand … we got this deal, and it’s good for Maori, it involves a nice car and everything …”

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    “iwi” can quite likely help stop asset sales, in certain forums, but the best result will be to unite with pākehā that oppose asset sales in a combined campaign that does not allow ShonKey to play divide and rule.

  6. bomber 6

    I think this can unite Maori Nationalism with Economic Nationalism

    If you are a Pakeha who hates asset sales, you should rally around the Treaty – http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/if-you-are-pakeha-who-hates-asset-sales.html

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      Small problem with that. Economic Nationalism based in the principles of socialism grants equal social ownership of the means of production, resources and cooperative management of the economy. This is not compatible with Maori Nationalism which seeks specific authority over resources based on aristocratic hierarchy and accident of birth. It amazes me that so few people seem to see the contradiction.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        That’s true, but still does not take away from the fact that Maori still have communal institutions that are capable of representing community interests.

        Now you and I may not like the way they are run, but that’s a separate issue to the fact that they are still very potent insitutions. In a way you and I are not as isolated ‘consumer units’.

        • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1

          I have a great deal of difficulty in seeing corporate Iwi as anything better than any other self-interested and rapacious corporate entity with little interest in the desires and needs of Maoridom as a whole, or human beings in general. In most cases the “communal institutions” have very little connection with the corporate hierarchy. The slave ships fiasco pretty much underlined it for me.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            I’m not arguing with you point here. There is lots that can be said along those lines.

            Yet there is another side to iwi that has fiercely held onto it’s cultural and communal roots. I’ve seen it up close and personal many times and part of me admired it’s richness and strengths. Perhaps the greatest threat to this traditional way of life is in fact the modern ‘corporatised iwi’ with truckloads of money corrupting it.

      • bad12 6.1.2

        ”Economic Nationalism based upon the principles of Socialism???, pray tell me where is such a beast to be found,

        Perhaps i could be forgiven for mistaking your postulation as a call for National Socialism, it would appear to me at least that Maori have up to the point of the 49% sale of assets based upon the rivers in particular been behaving in a truly Socialist manner,

        Whilst never having expressly implied that their Mana over such has been given up to the Crown, Maori have allowed for the water use to generate electricity seeing this to be available to all and while the profits of such generation remain in the hands of the Crown, Maori could be said to have been benifitting in partnership with the rest of New Zealand from such generation and profit,

        I would dearly love for you to take your quaint notions of Socialism and it’s juxtaposition with your view of an accidental Maori hierarchy based upon birth befor the likes of the Tainui Parliament or the Ngai Tahu Rununga where i am sure your assertions would be met with deserved mirth,

        ALL those who hold positions in that Rununga and that Parliament are in fact the elected representatives of every Marae within the respective tribal Rohe,(area), AND,that Parliament and that Rununga then go on to elect/select those who manage their commercial interests,

        That to me sounds like decentralized practical Socialism of,by and for the people managing and distributing their assets and profits as those people see fit,

        i doubt if any of them would find cause nor need to apologize to any notions you may have about colonial socialism which to them has already been the means from the time the first sailing ships arrived for the removal of 99% of what they previously owned and administered under the most basic of Socialist institutions, family ties…

        • Populuxe1 6.1.2.1

          Wow Bad – you should be applauded for that wonderful impression of a patronising and arrogant twat. Bravo.
          Only some mean spirited low mentality would go out of their way to interpret “Economic Nationalism based upon the principles of Socialism” as being a call to Nazism – or perhaps that’s what passes for humour in your dark little corner of pseudo-intellectualism. Whatever, it doesn’t do you any credit.
          And no, not by any stretch of the imagination could family ties be considered a kind of decentralised socialism. Possibly you are thinking of the Mafia, or the Borgias, or some equally democratic social institution, both of which would seem to fit your criteria.
          Presumably yoou’re just trying to pick a fight, but I really can’t be arsed.

          • bad12 6.1.2.1.1

            Aw no not pseudo-intellectualism, now that really hurt not, my dark corner has just had a grand injection of humor…

          • Thisblogrocks 6.1.2.1.2

            Family ties = Whanaungatanga / hapu (extended family level tribal grouping)
            State / nation = Iwi

            Socialism:
            1. (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels Compare capitalism
            2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system.

            Traditionally I’d say it was in fact centralised socialism where a hapu or iwi would represent the state depending on the will of the kin groups within the hapu, goods were produced by the hapu and collectively traded. Common welfare was always the main concern in fact without the support of the people one could not lead even via chiefly descent, so a leader needed to be either a great orator or to have had success in war, growing crops, or any other successful actions seen as beneficial to the hapu as a whole.

            I welcome any comments or correction as this is only a product of considered thought and a dictionary definition of socialism lol

            In order to translate key Maori concepts and social structures into their best western counterpart is more about cultural awareness rather than imagination.

            However you do have a point with Iwi commercial entities who simply because of the system within which they operate are forced to become a part of the exploitation of workers and the perpetual drive for increased profits inherent in capitalism. The real challenge is balancing Tikanga with best business practice.

            Cheers.

            • Populuxe1 6.1.2.1.2.1

              The assumption that Tikanga Maori and Maoritanga are in any way binding on individual Maori is as cute as suggesting that the Ten Commandments are in any way binding on individual Christians should they choose to put their personal interests first. The assumption that a person of Maori ancestry is somehow a more morally perfect being than someone European is naive at best and patronising at worst, as is the assumption that all Maori are interested in traditional Maori concepts or indeed should be expected to be.

              • Uturn

                So you choose the “middle road” that all maori are probably divorced from their heritage, somewhat crooked, so hey, why not do as ol’ whitey wants? You imply there is no such thing as maori, since we are all individuals, and that any representation of maori culture is outdated, therefore out of context, therefore wrong.

                So lets take your view that, in an effort to avoid colonial cuteness, maori (whoever they are) are suddenly awarded the right to be completely self-determined in all things. Great news. Sense at last. Don’t hold your breath about any particular group caring whether they participate in the Nats plans or not, though. Why would they?

                Or you could realise that many maori acknowledge their heritage daily, in as much as pakeha try to abide by the ten commandments.

                A bloke sees his neighbour’s wife and thinks, “Wow, she looks nice. Getting involved with her would be wrong, though. No end of trouble”. So he wises up and doesn’t.

                Oh dear, he just lived one of the ten commandments. How did that happen? In your world everyone is adopting the extreme negetive position, fucking everything that moves. There’s bit of a reality disconnect.

                Thou shall not kill – legislated pakeha law. Most follow it.
                Thou shall not steal – legislated pakeha law. Most follow it.
                Thou shall not bear false witness – legislated pakeha law.

                But in your world, every pakeha is in prison for theft, murder and perjury or on their way there. So how much more are the maori who do follow their own cultural concepts morally superior/aware because the only people enforcing it is themselves?

                You’re right, not every single person in NZ who calls themselves maori is perfect. But that doesn’t mean that acknowledging reality within context is patronising, naive or oppressive. If it bothers you that much, do the right thing and hush up. Afterall, in any maori issue, only maori should speak first, when they see fit, and discussion on an internet forum disrespects all forms of traditional hierarchy.

                • Populuxe1

                  You must not quite have heard me up there on your high horse, Uturn, because you’re misrepresenting what I said.

                  So you choose the “middle road” that all maori are probably divorced from their heritage, somewhat crooked, so hey, why not do as ol’ whitey wants? You imply there is no such thing as maori, since we are all individuals, and that any representation of maori culture is outdated, therefore out of context, therefore wrong.

                  No, but there is a major disconnect between your odd construct “Maori” and the many distinct and individual iwi and hapu of the tangata whenua, including a great many urban Maori who do not identify closely with an iwi or hapu and will get diddly squat. There are also a considerable number of Maori who identify with an iwi or hapu but whose relationship with tikanga is personal, cherrypicked, and not an overly definitive factor in their daily lives. Your attempt to lump all Maori together is crass.

                  So lets take your view that, in an effort to avoid colonial cuteness, maori (whoever they are) are suddenly awarded the right to be completely self-determined in all things. Great news. Sense at last. Don’t hold your breath about any particular group caring whether they participate in the Nats plans or not, though. Why would they?

                  That doesn’t even make sense, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at. People should be free to support whatever political party they want. Why would they? Dunno. Ask

                  Paula Bennett
                  Simon Bridges
                  Aaron Gilmore
                  Tau Henare
                  Hekia Parata
                  Paul Quinn
                  Jami-Lee Ross
                  Georgina te Heuheu

                  Or you could realise that many maori acknowledge their heritage daily, in as much as pakeha try to abide by the ten commandments.

                  And that has precisely what to do with anything? “many”? Are those census figures. May Republican politicians claim to be devout Christians, but I wouldn’t buy a used car from them. Jeesh!

                  A bloke sees his neighbour’s wife and thinks, “Wow, she looks nice. Getting involved with her would be wrong, though. No end of trouble”. So he wises up and doesn’t.
                  Oh dear, he just lived one of the ten commandments. How did that happen? In your world everyone is adopting the extreme negetive position, fucking everything that moves. There’s bit of a reality disconnect.

                  You don’t get out much, do you.

                  Thou shall not kill – legislated pakeha law. Most follow it.
                  Thou shall not steal – legislated pakeha law. Most follow it.
                  Thou shall not bear false witness – legislated pakeha law.

                  Separation of church and state. Bible says some very unfortunate things about homosexuals, women, slavery, children, and people who eat shellfish, quite contrary to our laws.

                  But in your world, every pakeha is in prison for theft, murder and perjury or on their way there. So how much more are the maori who do follow their own cultural concepts morally superior/aware because the only people enforcing it is themselves?

                  That makes no sense. Have you been drinking? By the way, given the disproportionate numbers of Maori in prison, one might wonder if Maori tanga and tikanga have been of much benefit to their moral condition – after all you seem to be implying that the vast majority of Maori are all conditioned to think and behave in a certain way due to either ethnicity or culture – to use your logic.

                  You’re right, not every single person in NZ who calls themselves maori is perfect. But that doesn’t mean that acknowledging reality within context is patronising, naive or oppressive. If it bothers you that much, do the right thing and hush up. Afterall, in any maori issue, only maori should speak first, when they see fit, and discussion on an internet forum disrespects all forms of traditional hierarchy.

                  Well I don’t have to “hush up” because my freedom of speech is guaranteed by NZ constitutional law (not so if I were a woman on most North Island Marae, though). “But that doesn’t mean that acknowledging reality within context is patronising, naive or oppressive.” – it is when you misrepresent the context to fit the kind of romantic bullshit expounded by white people about the “other” from Rousseau to Margaret Mead. So no, not all human beings of any race or culture are perfect, but let’s not try and camouflage the fact with something as arbitrary as the colour of one’s skin giving anyone innate rights denied others.

      • bad12 6.1.3

        Psssst, it amazes me that you cannot see the contradiction in talking of Maori as though they have some duty to buy into Your view of some utopian ‘other’ planet where everything is owned by the masses who all exercise equal control and distribution of such,

        In this voting democracy it aint ever going to happen, perhaps some elite will someday seize upon this utopian ideal and ‘impose’ it upon us all, betcha tho that ‘they’ would keep all the best bits for ‘them’…

  7. RedLogix 7

    Yes.

    Moari never lost their crucial community/collective institutions, the iwi, hapu and marae. For while colonisation has set them on the back-foot for over 150 years, they fought to hold onto their communal social nature… a priceless social asset.

    And now slowly pakeha are waking to up to that which has been robbed from us and what we’ve lost when the neo-libs and corporates sold us ‘freedom’ in exchange for our communities.

  8. But as I understand this is not really about water, but the rights to a substantial percentage of shares in the 49% of Mighty River. The water issue is a vehicle only.

  9. prism 9

    Fortran
    Probably Maori are thinking on more than view. There are both the shares giving a part interest if the government is set on selling, pragmatic view, and as well the water as a taonga and so the kaitiaki role can be carried out, and the access and rights to what is becoming a scarce asset at present being supplied at little cost to those who have got fist in the queue and who make capital gain from it, so acting pragmatically and with high Maori cultural values.

    • OneTrack 9.1

      Why do we only hear about taonga and katiaki now that there is money to be made?

      I am not sure why there is so much cheer leading going on here for this claim. It sounds like a cure that is far worse than the disease.

  10. millsy 10

    So what happens if and when the WT ‘awards’ water ownership to Maori? Ill tell you.

    Rates and water charges go up because iwi will charge councils for water
    The kiwi tradition of whitebaiting will be out the door, because iwi will put a stop to that somehow
    The kiwi tradition of a summer’s day at the swimming hole will be gone because Maori will stop that
    Want to catch eels at the local creek? Nope, cant do that anymore
    White water rafting and kayaking? Nope, not unless you buy a permit from iwi.

    And so on and so forth…

    • Populuxe1 10.1

      “Taonga” is a bit of a weasel word in this context.
      I fully recognise and support Maori right to self-determination of identity as tangata whenua as regards language and culture, but I do not believe that such determination should extend to exclusionary legal preference over vital national infrastructure and resources not extended to other citizens – any more than I think Papal Infallibility should have any authority over New Zealand citizens who happen to be Catholic. In my mind, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) is redundant because it has always been superseded by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
       
      <satire> If you think about it, it would mean that several thousand Australian citizens would suddenly have more authority over New Zealand infra structure and resources because they belong to a certain Iwi of Hapu than non-Maori New Zealand citizens. I don’t believe giving significant shares in our electricity producers to the cast of The GC is any more desirable than selling them to any other off-shore corporate entity. </satire>
       

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    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    16 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    17 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    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.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    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.… ...
    18 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
    20 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
    20 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
    1 day 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,… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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

  • 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… ...
    9 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
    9 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… ...
    9 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
    9 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. ...
    10 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… ...
    10 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
    12 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… ...
    12 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… ...
    13 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… ...
    15 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… ...
    2 days 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
    3 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… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    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
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    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… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    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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