web analytics
The Standard

CANA: Bathurst hits its own “perfect storm”

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, February 17th, 2014 - 22 comments
Categories: Mining - Tags: , , , ,

Coal Action Network Aotearoa has this characteristic story of the problems with the cost structure of opportunistic mining in NZ.  The current world price of the coal found on the Denniston Plateau has sunk considerably below Bathurst Resources’ stated break-even price and shows no signs of rising.  What is the bet that NZ is going to wind up with another unwanted hole in the ground as a shell company gets folded up? Post used with permission.

Coking coal prices since 2010.

Coking coal prices since 2010. Source: macrobusiness.com.au

When Bathurst resources started sniffing around New Zealand for something to make money from, the price of coking coal (or metallurgical coal = metcoal) was looking pretty good.

It was back in 2007/8 and the commodities world was doing high fives as the demand for steel – and coking coal – soared.  Prices soared.  Bathurst moved into New Zealand, set up with L&M’s Buller Coal, and started the process of trying to get consent to mine the beautiful and ecologically precious Denniston Plateau.

By the time Geoff Butcher, Bathurst’s economic guru, gave evidence in May 2011 to the West Coast Regional Council consent hearing, prices had soared again, to around $300 a tonne, largely due to floods in Queensland mines causing a drop in global supply. But what was Butcher’s evidence? Did he base his economic analysis on a coal price of $300 or $240? Did he venture a coal price at which the mine would break even?

More than a year later, in the Environment Court, Mr Butcher had revised his evidence down by about $30 a tonne, but was told by the judge that he had to come to an agreement with the Forest & Bird economist from NZIER, Peter Clough.

That statement, a “caucusing agreement,” signed by both experts in court, said:

 ”The project breaks even at a price of US$165, and the company is unlikely to proceed if it is only expecting to break even, so a minimum expected price for the project to proceed is perhaps $190.

“The company current view of the medium term price is $240 but PC suggests in his evidence a more likely price in the range of $165-$200.”

 As The Press’s Michael Berry reported from the Environment Court:

“If the price falls to US$160 a tonne – a 30 per cent drop on the assumption – the project’s net present value would be not much above zero and the shareholders would get nothing, his analysis says.”

 Just last week, BMA (BHP Billiton’s alliance with Mitsubishi), completed a contract with European and Indian companies for $131-$135 a tonne, a trend that experts say is expected to continue throughout 2014 due to a global oversupply of coking coal. BHP had, the week before, shed another 230 workers from its Queensland Saraji mine. Other mines are also shedding jobs.  The sector’s in trouble.

BMA did well to secure its price, given the average spot price for coking coal today is US$127, around 23% less than what Bathurst needs to break even.  And none of this is helped by the extremely strong NZ dollar that every day will push up an export price.

No wonder the company is now starting to hint that it might just delay its planned ramp-up to 1Mt of coal a year. Why would you dig up that much coal and sell it at a loss?

What has also not helped Bathurst is the low price for thermal coal, meaning they are not a very cashed-up company as their other mines built to finance Denniston are not bringing in as much money as they’d hoped. This  was the message from Forsythe Barr after BRL’s quarterly report last week:

 ”Coal production was insufficient to ensure Bathurst was cash positive and operating cash flows were a disappointing $7.3 million as a result,”

 What happens to a coal company when the prices crash?

Maybe we should look at Solid Energy’s experience. While there were quite complicated reasons cited for Solid’s demise, the reason most often quoted by both the company and the Government was the “perfect storm” of – get this:  plummeting coal prices and a strong New Zealand dollar.

Sound familiar?

Bathurst needs cash.  Last year Hamish Bohannan told investors that he was confident steel giant Stemcor would be good for the $50m in cash it had promised Bathurst.  But Stemcor is still negotiating its way out of a $1.2bn debt, something it promised to sort out last October.

Who will finance the Denniston mine?  Bathurst still hasn’t paid off its $5m loan from Westpac.

Part of the purchase arrangement, to avoid paying too much up-front, was a requirement to pay NZD$40m to L&M when they have extracted 25,000 tonnes and a further $40m when they have extracted $100m. Only then do they get to keep any profits.

Solid Energy’s “perfect storm” happened at a time when you could sell a tonne of coal for $165. Bathurst couldn’t get anything like that today. How’s it going to pay L&M with that type of income?  Can it even afford to pay its workers?

Today’s low price of coal is all about oversupply.  But there’s also a declining demand in steel, and experts tell us that’s not going to change any time soon.

 There are some perfect solutions to Bathurst’s looming “perfect storm.”

First, Bathurst should stop right now, before they even start.

They promise 225 jobs, but that’s already out the window if they don’t “ramp up” to the one million tonnes that would produce that magic figure.  Shareholders will get nothing.  New Zealand will get nothing in terms of royalties as the company would be operating at a loss.

If the continuing oversupply of the coking coal market continues, as it’s supposed to for at least this year, and the global demand for steel continues to drop as it’s also expected to, we could well be looking at a destroyed Denniston Plateau, few – if any – jobs, and possibly more redundancies on the West Coast.

The other lesson here must be for Westpac, which has lent Bathurst $5m – more than half of its current cash reserves – which Bathurst may never be able to pay back.  Westpac may be the first NZ company to demonstrate that financing fossil fuels is a loser.

When you consider the damage this loan can do to Westpac’s reputation as the “most sustainable bank” with a big new lending programme to “Clean Tech,” what on earth is in it for them?

Perhaps it’s better to quote someone else to finish up:  Peter Huck in Friday’s NZ Herald, nails our view of Westpac’s loan to Bathurst, in light of its so-called sustainability claims:

“However, critics see this as “sustainability lite”, rearranging the deckchairs as climate change worsens. Had Westpac – indeed, most companies and governments – factored in the daunting cost of adapting to rising seas, water shortages, damage to infrastructure, disruption of supply chains in the global economy and myriad other challenges posed by climate change?”

This table below sets out the recent history of coking coal prices

Date  Coking coal price (USD) per tonne Event
2007/08 $98
2008/9 Coking coal prices treble to $300 + Global excitement around demand for steel and need for coking coal. Rockets in price predicted.Bathurst joins L&M in joint venture Buller Coal and applies for consent and concessions to mine Escarpment.
2010 $200 Bathurst buys out L&M’s share of Buller Coal, sets up in NZ.
May 2011 $330 Bathurst evidence to WCRC (Geoff Butcher) based coal price on $275/tonne.
Nov 2012 $170 Environment Court document:  Caucusing statement agreed between Geoff Butcher and Forest & Bird expert NZIER’s Peter Clough, November 2012: “The project breaks even at a price of US$165, and the company is unlikely to proceed if it is only expecting to break even, so a minimum expected price for the project to proceed is perhaps $190. The company current view of the medium term price is $240 but PC suggests in his evidence a more likely price in the range of $165-$200.” Michael Berry, The Press, reports from Environment Court:“If the price falls to US$160 a tonne – a 30 per cent drop on the assumption – the project’s net present value would be not much above zero and the shareholders would get nothing, his analysis says.”
Feb 2014 QLD Coal contracts:$127 “Analysts at Macquarie this month dropped their 2014 coking coal forecasts by 8 per cent to $US147 a tonne and for next year by 13 per cent to $US156.” – The Australian
Feb 2014 BHP Mitsubishi Alliance contracts settled at $135 Bathurst hints that it might not ramp up to 1Mt a year (quarterly report) (NZ Resources).Iron Ore, Coking coal outlook looks bleak (Mining.com)

22 comments on “CANA: Bathurst hits its own “perfect storm””

  1. Richard Down South 1

    One wonders if Westpac was pushed into lending by the Govt…

    • tricledrown 1.1

      Westpac runs the National party look at westpacs econmic solutions posted on their website in red
      The only difference word for word verbatim is that The National parties site is printed in blue.

  2. Molly 2

    Not relevant to the post, but of interest in any discussion about BHP in NZ.

    Pacific Steel in Otahuhu has been purchased from Fletchers by BHP – sale announced to staff today. And several parts will be shut down. I expect there will be more details released via the media soon.

    • Rich 2.1

      A bit relevant, the Otahuhu mill is a recycling facility and I think these are usually electrically driven (and thus don’t use coal directly). Not sure whether this will continue at Glenbrook, but given a supply of scrap, recycling is usually a cheaper source of construction steel.

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        This is relevant in that in that the Otahuhu mill is a recycling facility.

        The Glenbrook Steel mill used to have a huge recycling facility employing an electric arc furnace to smelt scrap steel, which was brought in by rail. The recycling unit at Glenbrook was much bigger than the Otuhuhu plant taking the vast bulk of New Zealand’s scrap steel waste. Built at huge expense by the taxpayers under “Thing Big”. The arc Glenbrook arc furnace and all its auxillary plant was a huge operation, employing dozens of workers, the mountain of scrap pile ran the length of three football fields. For many years the arc furnace ran in tandem with the titanomagnetite iron sand process. Under privatisation, to maximise profits this wonder of engineering was cut up for the price of all its electric cabling.

        The Glenbrook management realised that they could employ less workers and make more money producing steel from the freely available titanomagnetite iron sand resource, than from recycling scrap steel. This is only possible because the super cheap price coal which is burned in the kilns and multihearths at Glenbrook does not internalise the cost to the environment.

        Not only that, but the coal being burned at Glenbrook is currently being subsidised by the taxpayers.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        All steel mills in NZ are electrically driven but they still use coking coal. It’s the combining of carbon and iron that makes steel. The source of the carbon is the coking coal.

        • Jenny 2.1.2.1

          Recycled steel already has carbon in it.

          And, it is infinitely recyclable

          All that is missing is the will to do so.

          What happened to the vast amounts of steel scrap that used to go to Glenbrook?

          • Jenny 2.1.2.1.1

            “Steel can theoretically be recycled indefinitely, with the remelting and alloying process ensuring its quality. That requires energy, but much less than to make new steel, and it needs no new source of carbon so is generally produced in electric arc furnaces. The current global rate of steel recycling is 30%, helping keep carbon emissions from pushing ever higher. Obviously there are limits to what can be collected for reuse but it should be possible to raise it to 80%, and would be if there was a sufficient price on carbon. Failure to price environmental damage leads to massive waste because collecting material for reuse is “just not worth it”.”

            Jeanette Fitzsimmons CANA April 24, 2013

        • Jenny 2.1.2.2

          “It’s the combining of carbon and iron that makes steel. The source of the carbon is the coking coal.”

          Draco T Bastard

          “Can We Make Steel Without Coal?”

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons investigates:

          “Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA) is committed to opposing all new coal mines in order to meet that target. However, 60% of Solid Energy’s coal production in NZ is for steel making, mainly for export, and the company says that “there is no way of making new steel without coal”.

          If this is true, principled climate campaigners must either stop opposing new coking coal mines on climate change grounds, (Happy Valley, Denniston Escarpment, Mt William, Pike River) or propose a world with no new steel. (There are of course strong biodiversity reasons for opposing some of these mines but it is a different argument.)”

          “Fortunately Solid Energy’s claim is not true.”*

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons

          “Carbonscape, a NZ firm which has developed new very efficient technologies using microwaves to process wood waste into charcoal, calculate that with their process it would take 1.6BT biomass globally to replace all the coal currently used in iron and steel making. That is around 3% of the 50 B tpy of world annual biomass productivity.”

          Jeanette Fitzsimmons

          *my emphasis J.

  3. Bill 3

    But there’s also a declining demand in steel, and experts tell us that’s not going to change any time soon.

    So, if steel is used in infrastructure and construction… and if China’s demand for steel is dropping away (slowed growth in demand) while demand in Europe and India has been flat or dropping… then doesn’t that indicate that the world is on the verge of another popped bubble?

    There is no convincing argument for mining coal, gas, oil anyway, while there are compelling arguments for leaving the whole lot where it is. I’m guessing a bursting bubble might just give a nice kick in the head to those already unconvincing pro-coal/oil/gas arguments.

    Not to say I celebrate an impending ‘pop!’ because, well…we all know who is made to pay and how.

    Difference this time is that the domino falls in China and lands right on top of Australia, which in turn puts NZ deep in the shit. Bet your glad there’s a ‘Deposit Guarantee Scheme’ in place that allows banks to recoup any investment losses from your savings – if you have any.

    • adam 3.1

      The bubble burst in 2007, this is just the lag time. It’s a case of the economic blind leading the stupid off a cliff and we all get to watch.

      This is what happens when you base an economic system on wishful thinking, and a belief in ethereal processes.

      And why is coal so cheap, it’s carbon based product and in limited supply. 200-300 years at current consumption, with falling rates of quality every 20 years or so, from about now. This is madness, the lunatics are running the world and they don’t give a shit for my grandkids, grandkids.

  4. Ad 4

    I had no idea about the “caucusing agreement” and its effective threshold for an economic coal mine.
    Well researched article, appreciated.

  5. Jenny 5

    Last November a TV3 interactive debate, billed under the title: “Does New Zealand Need More Mining”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Vote-Meet-the-teams/tabid/1789/articleID/322108/Default.aspx

    This debate was actually not about mining per se but about deep sea oil drilling and coal mining.

    It was very noticeable that the supporters of coal mining actively avoided any mention of climate change.

    Green Party Leader Russel Norman:

    “The International Energy Agency has said that if we want to avoid out of control climate change, more than 2 degrees, most of the existing oil and coal reserves have to stay in the ground. So it is grossly irresponsible to go and find more and start digging them up and releasing that carbon, because that means we’re giving our kids an out of control climate.”

    “The New Zealand government subsidises this business by about $50million dollars a year, for an industry that is going to discover reserves that all of the agencies are telling us we can’t afford to burn, if we take science seriously.” minutes

    Russel Norman went on to clearly state that Green Party Policy is; “NO NEW COAL MINES”

  6. The numbers they were working off were bullshit from day one and bathurst are typical exploiters – looking at the made-up positive numbers and disregarding any negative scenarios until whoops, reality hits them. Pack it up bathurst and slink off before denniston takes you all down is my advice.

  7. Jenny 7

    New Zealand used to once have a huge asbestos mining and manufacturing operation.

    The current problems being suffered by the New Zealand Coal industry reminds me of the dying days of the asbestos industry.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9732526/Miners-feel-cool-coal-price

    The only difference is that the asbestos industry would not have been bailed out by government, as has happened here with the coal industry.

  8. Tracey 8

    Thanks for this thread.

    I am sorry to see that the issue focused threads are poorly attended these days, while the personality politics ones are well commented (including me and I apologise tot hose bothering to focus on issues).

    On the other hand it shows that political strategies that focus on personalities not issues get noticed.

    • Jenny 8.1

      “I am sorry to see that the issue focused threads are poorly attended these days….”

      Tracey

      It is all to do with leadership. Or more precisely, lack of leadership.

      Witness the huge furore created by Shane Jones over Countdown Supermarket supplier arrangements.

      The truth is that Labour support the strip mining of the Denniston Plateau for coal.

      That is why Denniston and all the corrupt dealings and it and the danger it poses is a non-issue.

      CANA is an NGO with little ability to influence events other than mounting protests and occupations.

      Labour have been silent over the issue of coal mining the Denniston Plateau, and the Greens whose official policy is “No New Coal Mines” have to be careful not offend Labour or ruin any chances of a coalition arrangement.

      I think Tracey that if Moana McKey or Phil Twyford came out against Bathurst Resources even half as strong as Shane Jones has come out against Countdown, a post on the issue would be one of the hottest debated and commented on ever.

      Instead what we get by mutual agreement is this;

      The Snake Swallows the Elephant in the Room and then Flogs the dead horse of Climate Change Politics, Elections 2011

      This is the ugly face of climate change politics in this country.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        ;”…issue focused threads are poorly attended these days, while the personality politics ones are well commented (including me and I apologise tot hose bothering to focus on issues).”

        On the other hand it shows that political strategies that focus on personalities not issues get noticed.

        Tracey

        Russell Brown calls it the politics of absence. Brown says “cultivated political absence… shapes the almost unprecedented popularity of John Key”. John Key’s political success is because of this successful strategy of “de-politicising” himself. Key’s politics-free radio chat show was the perfect example.

        The media have largely just played along with the politics of absence. The election is analysed as a poll-driven horse race. Or a rugby game “of two halves” with “kicking for touch”. Who looked confident? Who had the best sound bites? Who mispronounced his/her New Zild the least or most. Restructure or “reeshrukcha”?

        The media have trivialised and objectified political debate. I give this example. The most discussed electoral contest in 2011 appears to be Auckland Central which the Herald calls “the battle of the babes” as the candidates, Jacinda Ardern and Nikki Kaye, are both relatively young women, whose Herald columns are called “Broadsides”. Do I need to say more?

        After the snake has swallowed the elephant in the room, the snake becomes the dead horse that needs some more flogging.

        Simon Johnson November 16, 2011

        Labour’s reluctance to talk about the Solid Energy Bail Out or climate change in general is an example of this politics of absence that Simon Johnson talks about.

        That this post came from an NGO and not the Greens is another example.

        And is another reason that this “issues” based post gets any attention.

  9. Jenny 9

    Australian Government study finds that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover over the last 27 years.

    http://www.aims.gov.au/latest-news/-/asset_publisher/MlU7/content/2-october-2012-the-great-barrier-reef-has-lost-half-of-its-coral-in-the-last-27-years.

    The study found that almost half of the damage was caused by storms. Storms of course are a natural occurrence from which the coral reefs slowly recover from, but the increasing frequency of storms has seen the reefs not getting the time to recover.

    The other big killer was the Crown of Thorns Starfish, blooms of which have been linked water quality.

    The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%) according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville and the University of Wollongong.

    “The study shows the Reef has lost more than half its coral cover in 27 years. If the trend continued coral cover could halve again by 2022. Interestingly, the pattern of decline varies among regions. In the northern Great Barrier Reef coral cover has remained relatively stable, whereas in the southern regions we see the most dramatic loss of coral, particularly over the last decade when storms have devastated many reefs. “
    Dr Peter Doherty Research Fellow at AIMS

    The study clearly shows that three factors are overwhelmingly responsible for this loss of coral cover. Intense tropical cyclones have caused massive damage, primarily to reefs in the central and southern parts of the Reef, while population explosions of the coral-consuming Crown-of-thorns starfish have affected coral populations along the length of the Reef. Two severe coral bleaching events have also had major detrimental impacts in northern and central parts of the GBR.

    “Our data show that the reefs can regain their coral cover after such disturbances, but recovery takes 10-20 years. At present, the intervals between the disturbances are generally too short for full recovery and that’s causing the long-term losses,”
    Dr Hugh Sweatman

    Media contacts:

    Steve Clarke, AIMS Communication Manager, 07 4753 4264; 0419 668 497; s.clarke@aims.gov.au
    Niall Byrne, Science in Public, 0417 131 977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au

    • Jenny 9.1

      So what does the above comment about the Great Barrier Reef have to do with this post about Denniston?

      One of the big villains in the piece is Westpac

      From the above post:

      The other lesson here must be for Westpac, which has lent Bathurst $5m – more than half of its current cash reserves – which Bathurst may never be able to pay back. Westpac may be the first NZ company to demonstrate that financing fossil fuels is a loser.

      When you consider the damage this loan can do to Westpac’s reputation as the “most sustainable bank” with a big new lending programme to “Clean Tech,” what on earth is in it for them?

      Perhaps it’s better to quote someone else to finish up: Peter Huck in Friday’s NZ Herald, nails our view of Westpac’s loan to Bathurst, in light of its so-called sustainability claims:

      “However, critics see this as “sustainability lite”, rearranging the deckchairs as climate change worsens. Had Westpac – indeed, most companies and governments – factored in the daunting cost of adapting to rising seas, water shortages, damage to infrastructure, disruption of supply chains in the global economy and myriad other challenges posed by climate change?”

      A battle is brewing between environmentalists and investors over the imminent destruction of the Great Barrier Reef from coal mining activities and climate change. Westpac as well as funding Denniston has been flat out funding investment in coal mining on the Eastern Coast of Australian threatening the reef.

      Over Our Dead Bodies:

      http://overourdeadbodies.net/

      The largest coal mining complex in the world is very close to being developed in the Galilee Basin, in Queensland, Australia. It is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and a key project leading us to runaway climate change.

      Wespac involvement:

      “Since 2008, Westpac has loaned well over $1 billion to coal and gas export ports along Australia’s East Coast, many of them inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”

      http://www.marketforces.org.au/earth-to-westpac-divest/

      Last month Westpac was named the world’s most sustainable company!!! on top of Sustainable Business of the Year award they won in 2011.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/9642320/Westpac-named-worlds-most-sustainable-firm

      How can Westpac with their involvement in one of the biggest single climate crimes of the 21st Century be considered the world’s most sustainable company?

  10. Jenny 10

    “Make the Switch from Westpac!”

    Coal Action Network Aotearoa

    CANA

    It’s 2014 and we’re launching a new phase to the Westpac Dump Coal campaign with 350.org where all of you Westpac customers get to switch to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, and tell Westpac you’re doing this.

    Join other Westpac customers to make the switch April 7-12 2014

    SIGN UP TO MAKE THE SWITCH

    Our Step by Step Guide, HERE

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    4 hours ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 hours ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    10 hours ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    1 day ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    2 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    5 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    5 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    6 days ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    6 days ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    6 days ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    6 days ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    7 days ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    7 days ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere