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Cheap and nasty

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, August 17th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: economy, housing, national, schools - Tags: , , ,

So, the Nats finally work out what every project manager, and indeed most householders, already know. The “cheapest” tender is not necessarily the best tender (or the cheapest, in the long run). It is to weep:

Huge cost of rotten school alters Govt views on tenders

The horrendous cost of repairing a leaky Auckland school is changing the traditional Government view that the cheapest tender is the best tender.

The Ministry of Education has paid $19.5 million to repair Macleans College, which has had to remove 23 rotten buildings from its Bucklands Beach site. … More than 300 schools and 800 buildings nationwide have been affected at a total cost of at least $1.5 billion. …

The known cost of the entire leaky building saga is $11.2 billion, but the true cost is believed to be at least twice that figure

Lessons?

These costs had prompted the Government to review how it chooses tenders for taxpayer projects. “(Macleans) was the worst contract we’ve ever done and yet we got it for the cheapest price. ‘Cheapest price wins’ is a mentality that we’re changing,” he said.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce proposed new rules for Government procurement in April. He said the emphasis would shift from who can deliver the lowest costs to who can deliver the best value for money and other direct financial benefits over the life of a contract.

Imagine – just imagine – if the Nats had managed to work this out before trashing over 100 jobs at the Hillside Workshop when they went with a slightly cheaper Chinese rail tender.

Imagine – just imagine – if the Nats could consider the long terms cost and benefits over the whole range of policy portfolios. Most crucially the environment. Climate change is the leaky building fiasco on a global scale, and the Nats are still stuck with the cheapest tender.

36 comments on “Cheap and nasty”

  1. wyndham 1

    Do these structural failures not go back to the disastrous National govt. policy of removing ‘controls’ on the type of timber used? Which allowed the use of untreated pine in so many buildings and that has ended up costing taxpayers billions of dollars?
    It is amazing to me that when a massive (yes,massive) govt. cock-up on this scale occurs, there is just a shrug or two, nobody accepts blame, the minister of housing apportions cost of repairs to both individuals and taxpayers – - – and it’s all over. No responsibility. No sackings. It’s a strange system!

    • BM 1.1

      Pine in buildings has never really been treated

      It wasn’t the timber that was the issue it was the building designs and systems that failed.

      The only timber that wouldn’t have rotted would have been stuff H3 rated and upwards and that level of timber preserving has never been used in housing construction.

      If I remember correctly timber in houses was done to a H1 standard, which was mainly to stop borer not repel moisture and water.
      Kiln dried timber was supposed to achieve this level of protection without the need of applying treatment.
      By kiln drying the timber the ligin in the wood sets hard which makes the wood tough to eat for the borer.

      Timber used in the construction of houses was never ever designed to get wet.

      • wyndham 1.1.1

        Then why did the problem not arise prior to the removal of controls ?

        • BM 1.1.1.1

          Systems changed, new products were tried.

          Pretty much all houses that failed were of that monolithic look and had the exterior cladding directly attached to the timber framing.
          Unfortunately that was a popular architectural style which was the reason we had so many leaky buildings.

          There has been cases of houses with rot prior to the removal of controls, like those Tudor styled houses you used to see.
          I’ve heard of quite of few cases of people pulling off the cement board and finding rotten framing underneath or there was a style of cheap house back in the 80′s where the flooring panels failed because they got wet and turned to mush.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            But the point being that prior to the 1992 Reforms (based on the ideological idea that the industry and market would know how to deliver the best result) the kind of construction you describe was simply not permitted.

            While I agree that there was scope back in the day to carefully expand the range of prescribed methods, what they did instead was more or less throw out the old book and open the door to a flood of wild-west experimentation.

            Result = $30b fuck-up.

            The known cost of the entire leaky building saga is $11.2 billion, but the true cost is believed to be at least twice that figure

            That was just the figure in the private and commercial sector, thought to be actually closer to $22b It was estimated that there was at least another $8-11b of risk in the public sector as well. Hence my very rough $30b)

            • BM 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Thought this was quite interesting. good brief summary for people who may be interested in the leaky homes disaster

              http://www.consumerbuild.org.nz/publish/leaky/leaky-background.php

              Thought it was quite interesting that it was 1998 when kiln dried untreated timber was first used always thought it was a lot earlier.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                The stucco look came in earlier than that, along with parapets, removal of overhang and balcony’s clad with monolithic.
                Another factor was the introduction of ‘competition’ in the issuing of building consents, all of which dissapeared once the chickens cam home to roost leaving councils ( and ratepayers) as the only ones who couldnt run away

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.2

              But the point being that prior to the 1992 Reforms (based on the ideological idea that the industry and market would know how to deliver the best result) the kind of construction you describe was simply not permitted.

              The fact is that markets are useless for governing indirect relationships between multiple parties, particularly in the instance where counter-party risk is essentially hidden for a time or effectively traded on to an indirect party. The typical result: the private sector profits then walks away, the consumer loses, and the public sector has to pick up the pieces.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.2

            “Systems changed…”

            Or, as Wikipedia puts it “The Building Act 1991, which came into effect about 1994, changed buildings controls from a prescriptive system to a more self-regulated regime. In addition, the Government dropped the apprentice training system for builders and the related building trades.”

            So, they deregulated, with the inevitable consequences that opponents of the bill predicted, and its supporters are still in complete denial about, and still determined to infect everything and everybody with this delusional brain disease called the “high trust” regulatory model.

            • BM 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Did a lot of damage the fourth Labour government, shame Lange was such a hopeless PM and let Douglas and the rest of the Act members do whatever they wanted.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Shame the incoming National government went even further than them too.

                And shame on you for supporting them.

                • BM

                  Did lead to MMP though, you’ve got to be happy about that .
                  Without National running rough shod over the peoples wishes, MMP would have never happened.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    yeah this nation is damn lucky with the MMP thing. Its going to prevent a lot of the very bad problems we see with UK and US politics, although its hardly a bed of roses itself.

                    I think the party vote threshold needs to be dropped to 3.5% however. But usual story, I do not expect either of the major parties – or even the Greens – to support such a move nowadays.

                    • BM

                      Yeah I voted MMP at the time because I was pissed at the arrogance shown by National and Labour.
                      The big “Fuck you plebs” mentality shown by the major parties of the time had to change.

                      My only complaint is having wankers like Dunne and Peters holding the balance of power and the major parties having to bow and scrape to these insignificant little turds.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                What part of who was in government in 1991 dont you understand

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Six months in a leaky house

          That addresses the history of treated timber in houses in NZ.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Contracting in this country is a dog-eat-dog, shit-fight. For the most part.

    Before the contract is signed the client looks to screw the most out of the contractor for the lowest price. After the contract is signed the contractor looks to screw as much as possible out of the client. If it all turns to custard they both look to dump as much risk as possible on the subbies.

    All founded in some idiotic belief that the invisible hand of the free-market magically delivers the best engineering. In fact in my experience the lowest price invariably delivers the lowest value, highest risk outcome.

    In the UK over the last decade a number of alternative and more intelligent contract forms have become more popular, eg http://www.ice.org.uk/ICE_Web_Portal/media/northeast/NEC_13-03-12.pdf or http://www.neccontract.com/about/index.asp

    The NEC system is based on the idea that sound Project Management principles have to be the core of the contract, not legal or commercial ones. If the project is conceived and managed correctly …then the execution, delivery and commercial outcome will be correct.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Oh wow, project and operations management is actually important for real delivery of real value, who would have thought.

  3. pollywog 3

    And now central govt is looking to play fast and loose with cutting local body development levies.

    Councils will have no choice but raise rates or sell more assets. It’s a lose lose all round for the citizenry and win win for developers and govt looking to prop them up while hoping to fix their hands tighter on council levers.

    • Greywarbler 3.1

      Interesting that ACT was behind the local government reorganisation. This outfit is a subversive entity being enabled to undermine our whole system of public control of government and maintaining reliable and fair procedures and standards. They have found an entry point to capture and control our democracy and our commons. Douglas started in Labour, was part of a subversion gang, started ACT and continued under the system of elected people’s choice political parties. Suckers you can always find when you’ve got money and speak confidently.

      Actually ACT is a terrorist group working under the umbrella of a democratic system but they are like borer beetles, a hole here and there eating away behind the walls and carpets till the place sags and falls when given a good kick. That’s their intention, they just assume a mask of concern like the French secret service operatives.

  4. BrucetheMoose 4

    When the National led government started on to downwards path of a deregulated building industry in the early 1990′s, they were clearly warned by certain industry experts and advisors, that there would be eminent risk to building standards , not only in relation to buildings, but across the construction industry as a whole. They completely ignored this advice. I personally remember one expert predicting major problems arising in ten years time. That was in 1991. Fast forward to 2001 -the Leaky Buildings disaster finally comes to the forefront of public attention.
    The Labour government spent most of it’s term trying to remedy the situation. Starting with major review of the entire building industry to determine what the fundamental problems effecting the industry were. The Building Industry Authority, the supposed regulator of the industry, was found to be inefficient and under resourced. This was disbanded and the governance brought under the new Dept. Building and Housing. The NZ Building Act and Building Code were deemed out of date and were strengthened. Under these Acts, Local Building Consent Authorities were brought into line, requiring them to be more rigorous in the quality of auditing applications for building works and in the subsequent inspection process.
    The Labour government introduced the Modern Apprenticeships Programme, an attempt to raise skills and overall attitudes, but with nearly a decade of neglect to training levels behind the industry and training institutions, this was never going to be a quick fix.
    There were many other aspects effecting the building industry that were, or needed to be addressed, the whole tendering process being one of them. This has been one of hardest to deal with, as the lowest sum generally rules. However, this was one of the key issues identified in the early stages when analysing the underlying problems effecting the building industry. More than twenty years later the government finally starts to get it – maybe.

  5. cricklewood 5

    It all comes back to that old adage that you get what you pay for. If you get a collection of quotes and ones is cheaper by a big margin they either made an error or they Will plan to come back for more. Its hard to have sympathy for people who work on lowest price.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      I could produce a book full of examples cricklewood.

      I can produce a two real examples that killed people. Despite explicit written warnings.

      In both cases dumrse management destroyed their own businesses. But as usual, white collars fuckup, blue collars get fucked. (Yes that is meant to be as bitter as it sounds.)

  6. jaymam 6

    Macleans College was opened about 1980, so would have had borer-resistant framing timber. Obviously there was something wrong with the cladding or flashings for the timber to rot.
    Remuera Intermediate School was built around 1953 and much of the untreated framing was riddled with borer, but not rot that I could see.
    Around 1992 my architect was scathing about the new cladding designs that other architects were starting to use.
    Of course it is not necessary to have rot-proof timber in the framing. If the framing gets wet there are other major problems.

    • BM 6.1

      This, if the timber has got wet obviously something has gone drastically wrong.

      • joe90 6.1.1

        This, if the timber has got wet obviously something has gone drastically wrong.

        Timbers have always been getting wet, remove any window from an old weatherboard bungalow and you’ll find sound but water damaged jack-studs, lintels and bottom trimmers, but the building methods and exterior cladding of the day allowed enough ventilation to dry the framing.

        Modern design and methods – monolithic with little or no eaves, poorly thought out balustrade solutions, a reliance on compound seals rather than physical barriers and plain old piss poor skills all allowed excess moisture ingress.

        Once things got wet modern materials and their hermetically sealed finishings ensured that the moisture would never escape which in turn allowed the likes of non-traditional enemies like stachybotrys to thrive on kiln dried timbers which were never treated for infestation.

        (the reason for not treating was that kiln drying made timbers too hard for the traditional enemies to sink a tooth)

        And again, because of the well sealed systems used, moisture was able to sit for long enough to actually rot timbers which were never supposed to stay wet.

        (kiln dried timbers were always expected to be able to withstand reasonable cycles of wetting and drying)

    • ropata 6.2

      An old tradesman will tell you that all houses leak, moisture always finds a way to creep in. It’s a matter of how much, and the crucial part is allowing the moisture to exit. As he put it, allowing houses to “breathe”. Sealing every corner with silicone is not a substitute for proper joinery.

    • alwyn 6.3

      The original college did open about 1980, as you say.
      However there were new houses, or whanau opened in 1997, 2001 and 2003.
      Does anyone happen to know which of the Whanau at the school are affected?
      If it was the most recent two it would have been under a non-National Government of course.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      There’s a difference between borer an rot. Rot is caused by fungus which H1 standard is not proof against although it does help somewhat.

  7. Ed 7

    “He said the emphasis would shift from who can deliver the lowest costs to who can deliver the best value for money and other direct financial benefits over the life of a contract.”

    Of course one way to be able to assess costs over the life of a building, is to make sure the contract covers that period, by for example making the contract into something like a PPP, so that the builder is responsible for fixing mistakes. That works well for ensuring an ongoing income to the preferred winner of a tender, who can of course always fold and start again under a new name if the maintenance costs get out of hand – it seems every statement of National has to be read from a perspective of seeing how private companies can be gifted money from public funds . . .

  8. Greywarbler 8

    Nick Smith took on this untreated framing problem. Can it be that he has some creds from this?

  9. Molly 9

    I understood that Carter Holt Harvey made a concerted ( and successful) lobby to get the standards changed. Even remember a conversation at the time with a builder predicting dire outcomes from the change.

    Link to documentary article: http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/news/blasted-rotters/1060709/

  10. srylands 10

    “Imagine – just imagine – if the Nats had managed to work this out before trashing over 100 jobs at the Hillside Workshop when they went with a slightly cheaper Chinese rail tender.”

    It wasn’t a “bit cheaper”. On the locomotive tender Hillside came 6th. Across all the products with hillside there were problems with the necessary confidence in quality and delivery times.

    The only way Hillside would have worked would have been via subsidies – i.e the “corporate welfare” that is decried here.

    The idea that New Zealand can produce trains competitively is even more ridiculous than the idea that we can produce motor vehicles.

    Back to the main post – government agencies do not (and never have) simply chosen the cheapest tender. Sometimes the most expensive bid is chosen because it wins on the other metrics (quality/timeliness).

    The leaky buildings fiasco was a regulatory failure around building standards. It was not a problem with tendering processes.

  11. tracey 11

    Mcleans college had advice that the problem coukd be dealt with for much lesz but the property manager was told by higher up to notvtalk about it cos this way they could get new buildings.

    bm

    given all buildings leak having closed systems with utkd made no sense and wouldnt have got past an apprentice raised eyebrow in 1998.

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    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • When in trouble – blame the “filthy benes”!
    . . A recent Roy Morgan poll had some very disturbing news for National and it’s shrinking support-base; .   . The poll results; Right Bloc National: 43% (down 2.5%) Maori Party: 1.5% (down 0.5%) ACT NZ: (0.5%, unchanged) United...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04
  • Border ‘butchers’, absentee poll reps and West Papua’s growing strife
    A West Papuan in handcuffs at a recent “Free West Papuans” rally in Auckland. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC THE INDONESIAN parliamentary elections this week were disappointing on a number of fronts, especially for presidential frontrunner Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. His...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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