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Choices, choices: waste at Pukekohe

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, July 6th, 2012 - 56 comments
Categories: capitalism, sport - Tags:

You know how the Government is so skint, and absolutely much get back into surplus by 2014/15, that it has cut education at every level, cut conservation, cut home insulation, cut Kiwisaver, cut Working for Families .. etc etc. They even created a new super-ministry to cut costs. And what’s the first action of Mobie Dick? $2.2 million sunk into Aussie V8s.

The Government money is in conjunction with $10.5m from the Auckland Council and will go to hosting 5 years of the V8 Supercars at Pukekohe.

But hang about, isn’t this the race that half bankrupted Hamilton after the council there spent $40m for 5 years of races? Yup.

Now, Auckland Council says they’re more clever. They wasting $10.5m and not a cent more!

It’s an outrage, of course. This is the Council that insisted on unrealistic returns from the Port, which led to the attempt to contract out the workforce to cut costs. And what do they do with those returns? Fritter them away on some stupid car race. If people want to see a car race, let them pay for it.

In Hamilton, they got 100,000 people along over the multi-day event. Repeat that in Auckland and the subsidy would be $25 per attendee per day per year.

The Council and the Government claim that the event will bring in tourism. Which is just rubbish. A few thousand fans might come from around the country, but that’s no net gain to the economy, no export earnings from that. Is anyone going to fly to New Zealand to see the V8s? Not likely. The Council estimate – and we all know these estimates are ust made up numbers that never come true – is that it will result in 50,000 more visitor nights over 5 years – so, that’s a spend of $200 from the Council per visitor night gained. Smart investment, guys.

Hearing the councilors claim that V8s would attract people to Auckland reminded me of the resident of Springfield in the South Island who enthused that the new Simpsons-style giant doughnut will attract tourists – yeah, right.

Of course, we know the rort here, even if the councilors have fallen through it. Just like PPPs, the trick is to get the government or council to sink a pile of money in with the promise that is all you’ll ask for. Then come back a little later: ‘oh, no! there were cost over-runs! It’s all going to fall over and your money will be wasted! Unless we can have a few million more…’. Then a little later, another cost over-run and the prospect of writing off a sunk cost or handing over a little more.

Every con man in history knows which way people will instinctively go: they’ll spend and spend to try to legitimise their previous mistake, rather than walk away from an obvious rip-off.

And, so this is what your government and your council, if you’re in Auckland, are doing with your money. This is why they’re cutting education and trying to cut the wages of port workers – so that the owners of an Australian racing series can make some profits and people who want to go see a race can get a big subsidy.

Finally, I can’t help but note that National’s spin on its local government reforms, which would undermine local democracy, is that councils need to stick to their knitting and not spend money on non-core services. And here they are, spending money in conjunction with a council to finance a purely commercial enterprise. I guess words are cheap.

56 comments on “Choices, choices: waste at Pukekohe”

  1. Half Crown Millionare 1

    Here we go again the right wing overseas beneficiaries are at the trough AGAIN The right wing fuckwits are always screaming about how we have to stand on our own two feet with a bit of rugged individualism, but you can get killed in the rush of these people expecting others to subsidise their lifestyles.
    Not only did the V8’s nearly bankrupt Hamilton city council but the not so well off rate payers have to pick up the massive debt. Also Waikato Regional Council has given another group of beneficiaries a large hand out for building an elitist Velodrome at a heavily subsidised private school in Cambridge. Let’s see a bit of the conservatism on the part of these bludgers. If their fix is riding round and round dressed in a stupid lycra get up good on them but don’t expect me to subsidise that or bloody V8’s when services locally and nationally are being cut
    Once again reverse socialism or as Geoffrey Palmer said so eloquently a few years ago “the needy subsidising the greedy.”

  2. andy (the other one) 2

    So you don’t like V8’s..

    Are happy with other loss making activities of council:

    The Zoo
    Trams at Wynyard quater
    Pacifica festival
    Re sanding of beaches
    The lantern festival
    Music in parks
    The art gallery
    The edge (Aotea centre)
    Libraries

    As a Ratepayer I understand that council has to be involved in all sorts of activities to make Auckland a great city FOR THE RESIDENTS as well as visitors.

    I am not sure how the V8’s have anything to do with education cuts. Just sounds like you don’t like an activity associated with the infamous ‘Waitakere man’. The Government contribution is well covered by the GST take from the weekend.

    I am glad you support cutting all funding for the arts in the Next Auckland City Budget.

    • Urban Rascal 2.1

      F*** I’m glad someone else has the sense that you have.
      Hamilton lost that money because it was a street race shutting down large areas of productive business, atleast a major part of this.
      In comparrison Pukekohe already has a racecourse, it gets an upgrade which is great for motorsport (something we actually tend to do well) and the businesses in the area get a boost in business. I would put money on most V8 attendees spending more than $200 outside of the event in the Auckland Economy, plus it’s something that alot of people that don’t use libraries or art galleries will attend. Our biggest city should have events like this, it’s in the benefit of the cities image and that there are events for the residents.
      Wasn’t much complaint about RWC, god-forbid we complain about Rugby.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.1

        So you are stating unequivocally that the v8 races will be staged at the Pukekohe raceway? Not street racing, as was done in hamilton, or proposed for auckland(sensibly vetoed by auckland council), and wellington?

        Because if it’s being run at the track, why the need for millions of dollars of public funding? Can one of the clever apologists explain that to us ignorant plebs?

        • bbfloyd 2.1.1.1

          And another thing..if this is going to be so profitable, and receive so much valuable patronage, what is the need for public funding in the first place? Or are we looking at just another example of subsidies for the “greedy by the needy”?

          Great! so taxpayers, and ratepayers get to pay for rich boys to play with their boy toys, who will be the same ones to profit from it?

          how stupid are we…… really?

        • Urban Rascal 2.1.1.2

          Why the need for $??? towards each of these:

          The Zoo
          Trams at Wynyard quater
          Pacifica festival
          The lantern festival
          Music in parks
          The art gallery
          The edge (Aotea centre)
          Libraries

          How come noone is asked to justify my rates towards these funding choices which I never use?
          I’m not going to say the amount funded to the V8’s is right but don’t turn the event into the scapegoat when the real issue is local government funding of non-essential events/venues.
          I think the focus is being put on the event rather than on the council’s ability to fund these things

          [lprent: Amazing how identical this is to a message left this morning by someone else. I think that the order ofthe list is in fact identical.

          Trolling is a bad idea around here. I’m liable to investigate and start doing copycat bannings to show my sympathies for the tribulations of cut’n’paste blogging. ]

          • Orgo 2.1.1.2.1

            It’s called an oaf tax. It’s the means by which you compensate society for inflicting churlishness upon it.

  3. JH 3

    I do support cutting council funding for the arts. There’s a million things I would prefer the money spent on.

    There’s a reason this post is called ‘choices, choices’. It’s not about whether V8 racing is good or bad. It’s about whether it should be something the council and the government should be spending money on.

  4. I agree that this is a silly idea. Giving a public subsidy to allow oversized cars to go round and round in circles and burn up precious fuel and produce greenhouse gasses is the height of stupidity.

    I am surprised that the Councillors were not allowed to see the financial analysis because of “commercial sensitivity”.  They had the option of having the agenda item treated as a confidential item.

    Politicians are elected and paid to analyze and ask questions.  Being given a sanitized summary of the merits does not cut it. 

    • JH 4.1

      That’s an absolute outrage, that they weren’t allowed to see the financial analysis and then they went ahead and voted $10.5m away anyway.

      Just another response to the people who support this government and council funding because they like speedway – it’s the same logic as the roads of national significance, it’s great for the people of Wellsford to get a massive four-land motorway that will always been 90% empty to drive on. But that doesn’t mean it’s an optimal use of that money from a national perspective. So, do we make decisions with government money based on the interests of those who would individually benefit from a project or on whether that project delivers the most value to New Zealanders collectively that we can get for that money?

      I like cricket but I would rather see more state houses built than see cricket subsidised by the taxpayer (and, yes, I know it is). Do you prefer government money spent on speedway over more teachers?

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Councillor Cathy Casey has written to the Auditor General about it.  Her letter includes the following:

        “Yesterday at the Governing Body meeting of the Auckland Council representatives from ATEED refused to give councillors copies of the due diligence report that was commissioned from Omega on the parties to the V8 deal at Pukekohe. Instead, councillors had to rely on a 250 word précis placed in the confidential section of the meeting. A reported risk review was similarly withheld.

        I am dumbfounded that a Council Controlled Organisation can refuse to disclose to councillors a ratepayer-funded due diligence report ahead of a major decision involving $10.6m of ratepayers’ money.

        How can Auckland Council make a decision on the economic risks of the proposition without the information they need to assess the risks? Why can this information be made available to the unelected members of the ATEED Board. Ahead of yesterday’s decision it had not been seen by Auckland Councillors, the Mayor, our CEO or our CFO. I checked that fact at the meeting.”

        Bloody CCOs.  Fancy not providing the report. 

        • higherstandard 4.1.1.1

          So did she vote for or against it, how about the other councillors and the mayor ?

          • mickysavage 4.1.1.1.1

            Don’t know.  From what I have read, Cathy, George Wood and Cameron Brewer opposed the proposal.  They make an unlikely grouping!

            • higherstandard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Anyone who voted for it without viewing a complete financial analysis should be summarily executed……. yet more largesse courtesy of the taxpayer’s tit.

              After reading the local rag at afternoon tea and seeing the ARTA pissing money away I’ve had enough.

        • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.2

          The CCO behaviour echos a sixties “catch 22” scenario.

          This would have been the perfect chance to let V8 Supercars quietly depart the NZ stage, but no, Minister Joyce and the Council charge on regardless. Andy (too) below is right about ratepayers cross subsidising all manner of things they may not personally be into, but the situation described by Cathy Casey seems appalling given the recent fall out in Hamilton.

          As a long time car racing fan I realise the sports days are numbered really in the medium term at least and this was going to be my last year following the V8s due to a change in format (COF), historics only (F5000 etc) for me now. V8 Supercars have joined F1 and NASCAR etc as corporate brands rather than genuine sport, Cochran bought out the controlling interest of the teams a year or so back and is going for as many international dates as possible.

          These events are such rip offs like other professional sports fixtures, take your picnic hampers and a six pack to Puke? Not likely, take your cards or cash for the overpriced concessions, t-shirt with that?

    • andy (the other one) 4.2

      From the 2009 season onwards, cars run on E85 fuel consisting of 85% ethanol, which while reaping the benefits of a fuel largely made from a renewable resource has seen a marked increase in fuel consumption.

      Agreed Council needs to do Due Dilligence on everything, but no one bats an eyelid at $200million plus for the CRL land buy up, or the millions spent each year pouring perfectly good Pakiri sand on Kohi beach, just to be washed away again.

      This all has a whiff of elitism, don’t like it because its, its, its just bad ok!!! And white boguns may just have some fun which is icky..

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V8_Supercars#Power

      • Zetetic 4.2.1

        You like the big cars and you want the rest of us to subsidise your tickets, we get it.

        James isn’t saying you can’t watch your races, just pay for it yourself rather than with public money, which means cuts for public services.

        • andy (the other one) 4.2.1.1

          I wont be going, too expensive. Gotta pay my rates :(

          My point is, in a modern society you don’t get to pick and choose just because you personally don’t like it.

          We all have to cross subsidise “other peoples’ events.

          Flip it around and replace’ V8’s’ with ‘Pacifica Festival’ and your argument is straight outa Kiwiblog.

          EDIT: Puke is a pretty shit venue too, but the punters take the train there :)

          • Half Crown Millionare 4.2.1.1.1

            With respect Andy, I feel you are missing the point. I love my cars and car racing, but the main point people are making is that we are in austere times and despite rates increasing at alarming rates, suddenly Auckland Council and the Government can find massive amounts of money for the V8 racing.

            I agree with what you are saying about other social events and I am all in favour of “user pays” but it is about time those on the right who preach this started to practice it.
            The only people who are going to come away making money out of this will be the V8 organisation.

            On past experience with this event, the money Auckland council is putting up is just the starters. It is well documented how state governments in Australia have ended up forking out more than was originally thought with the central government having to step in to help with the massive increase in finance required.

            After the Hamilton fiasco they ended up with $40 million in debt. What makes Auckland City Council and the Government think they are going to be any different? Watch this space as the costs based on experiences of Australian cities and Hamilton will soar. And who will pay the bill? The long suffering ratepayer.

            • andy (the other one) 4.2.1.1.1.1

              You can’t compare a dedicated race track to a street circut. Hamilton lost mega $$$ because they had to shut down streets for a week, Dig up traffic islands, take out light poles and then reinstate it all.

              Canberra gave away its V8 street race for the exact same reason and stupid hamilton thought they were smarter. I oppose any street race in Auckland

              Apples and oranges..

              The well documented part is that street circuts are money losers.

              People who make money:

              Puke bar owners
              Puke food retailers
              Puke Hotelliers
              Grid Girls
              Hot dog vendors
              NZ treasury

              • Half Crown Millionare

                Good article in the today’s Herald that blows you argument well and truly out of the water.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/news/article.cfm?c_id=9&objectid=10817712

                • andy (the other one)

                  All the races were street races, not circut races so apples and oranges again.

                  • smokeskreen

                    What happened in NSW then where it was not a street race and according to Brian Rudman’s NZ Herald article “The public cost of the race ended up $10 million more than the $35 million cap approved. To make matters worse, the estimated economic benefit was more than 24 per cent less than projected.”

                    • andy (the other one)

                      The race was held on the STREETS of the olympic park in sydney, not a dedicated, built for purpose circut.

                      Rudman does not understand the difference and is equating two completely different things, apples and oranges in costs.

                      The costs of running street v circut is ridiculous. You have to install safety and seating.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You can’t compare a dedicated race track to a street circut.

                If they’ve already got a race-track then why is the city having to subsidise it at all?

                I tend to agree with your cross-subsidisation point (societies work through cross-subsidisation) and I mostly oppose this spending on Climate Change and sustainability grounds and would like to see the full break down of the fuel used as to it being made from renewable resources (a lot of the time ethanol isn’t).

                • I tend to agree with Andy that you can’t compare the two races.
                  The commercial sensitivity issue is troubling but I think that should be looked at on a larger scale than in regards to the V8’s. They should address a policy that allows the public to be uninformed on their contributions and it’s uses.

                  I find motorsport boring and uninteresting, but think it’s all to easy for alot of people to use this as an excuse to get up in arms about council spending because 1) they have disdain for the supporters of motorsport and 2) like me, they have no interest in the event.

                  I’m sure the council is spending millions on dozens of projects that large parts of Aucklands population will never use but we rarely hear a complaint. We should accept that in our largest city we do need to support our branding and image globally with an events programme that provides for visitors and citizens across the board. Not just the wealthier that would be more inclined to heading to Convention centre cabaret’s, Viaduct racing events and art gallery shows etc etc etc.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    We should accept that in our largest city we do need to support our branding and image globally with an events programme that provides for visitors and citizens across the board.

                    No, actually, we don’t. The city is not a commercial enterprise.

                    • Urban Rascal

                      Well ok, you don’t have to accept it of course.
                      I think all cities are enterprise. In a perfect world, not for profit and for the incentive of providing for their citizens and aiming to provide incentives for more residents and more investment. So the image of the city to societies outside of themselves is important and marketing and branding are relevant as in all enterprise.

                      The wellbeing and enjoyment of all their base market is their priority and this race will provide something to atleast 100,000 people a year plus the racing community of New Zealand with the upgrade. I’d dare to say it will provide more than some other council funded events when looking at them in proportion.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Been there done that – hello David Beckham soccer match, that wasnt supposed to lose money either, all up about $2 mill

          • felix 4.2.1.1.2

            “Flip it around and replace’ V8′s’ with ‘Pacifica Festival’ and your argument is straight outa Kiwiblog.”

            Wanna back that comparison with some numbers? What does Pacifica cost and who pays? How many attend? How much is generated in profits?

            I have no idea of any of that but I guess you must know.

            • andy (the other one) 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I don’t know about costs to rate payers for Pacifica, but they fence off the park for a week and allow profit making from vendors.

              Council has to clean up and reinstate the park.

              My comment was in relation to Z saying ‘You like the big cars and you want the rest of us to subsidise your tickets, we get it. ‘ so I said “Flip it around and replace’ V8′s’ with ‘Pacifica Festival’ and your argument is straight outa Kiwiblog.”

              Same rules apply, we all subsidise stuff we don’t go to or neccessarily like.

    • prism 4.3

      Commercial sensitivity sounds like secret deals and that pollies come out with that when carrying out public business is an excuse too often heard. We the public may have to carry out watergate type investigations if these people spending the public’s money refuse to include them in considering ‘nice to have’ projects.

      The idea of having to pay anything for holding this gas guzzling race for boffheads and then incurring an environmental charge for emissions is peculiar and just seems a bit WRONG.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        Commercial sensitivity sounds like secret deals and that pollies come out with that when carrying out public business is an excuse too often heard.

        When the people paying for something (in this case, the taxpayers) don’t get to see what they’re paying for due to Commercial sensitivity then it should automatically be dropped as there’s too much room for corruption in that secrecy.

    • smokeskreen 4.4

      Secret squirrel stuff! Councillors who are sidelined with limited information (“sanitised” by the executive?) and then expected to make an “informed” decision on $10.6 million expenditure of ratepayer monies. Who has done the analysis and negotiations in this deal? Sadly it has all the hallmarks of Hamilton’s experience.

  5. Jenny 5

    All the real petrol heads take their holidays to coincide with Bathhurst, and fly to Aussie for the week.

    Will Puke ever rival that?

  6. smokeskreen 6

    I am not against V8 racing, but it is a risky venture to be pouring ratepayer and taxpayer monies into. The Hamilton experience with this race is well documented in the damning Audit Report on the subject. Also well documented is the experience of Australian Cities with this race. In addition to State Government funding, many also required hefty taxpayer contributions to subsidise them in hosting this, because many of the claimed benefits were exaggerated and not achieved. Don’t forget also that Australia has a much larger population base than NZ.

    Isn’t Local Government reform all about Councils sticking to “core” services? Surely this can’t be considered a “core” service.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      In addition to State Government funding, many also required hefty taxpayer contributions to subsidise them in hosting this, because many of the claimed benefits were exaggerated and not achieved.

      IIRC, there a report that showed that such sporting events invariably ended up costing the hosting city/nation far more than the supposed benefits were.

      How much did the RWC end up costing NZ?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        It cost us our dignity for starters. We looked like a country which could not organise a piss up in a brewery.

        • prism 6.1.1.1

          CV Hey don’t get us confused with those two hopheads locked in to the brewing room in the Tui advert!

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Haha. I was talking about the complete inability to transport people to and from the opening ceremony after years and years of planning.

            • prism 6.1.1.1.1.1

              CV
              Yes I was watching the Chinese opening ceremony on youtube and started thinking about the mother from South Auckland so looking forward to her son’s once in a lifetime participation in the WRC opening extravaganza. Missed it – stuck in a stationary train.

  7. Tom 7

    What an irresponsible waste of prehistoric carbon !

    As for Auckland’s City Council .. are these not the same people promoting public transport between volcanic cones ?

    They might find a Richter 7 tremor building to another Pompei while at the speedway.

    At that point it might not matter where you are .. but in the short term the residents of Tamaki Makarau have a strong and valid case about the misuse of increasingly scarce public resources.

  8. vto 8

    But wont their cars get crushed?

  9. Jim Nald 9

    The National Government doesn’t back winners, the National Government backs losers?

  10. tracey 10

    LOL vto…

    Any reason why money has to be spent on Puke race track instead of holding it at Hampton Downs? Surely that would be the prudent, cost effective thing to do???

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Thats outside of Auckland. And Waikato wont touch it …again

    • Deano 10.2

      they wouldn’t have gotten Auckland Council money for an event held outside its borders… and these things are all about the public largesse – it is the entire profit stream.

      In fact when you remember that the people behind these events are in it to make a profit and the actual event is just means to an end you see that events as just a sideshow to distract from what’s really happening: public money going straight into the pockets of the businessmen.

    • Chris 10.3

      Hampton Downs has a lot of resource consent issues. Think there is a limit on the number of people they can hold.

      It also does not have the same access to Auckland. Finally one of the big things they always trumpet is the benefit for the local economy there wouldn’t be any additional benefit at Hampton Downs as there is nothing there.

  11. Chris 11

    Can’t wait to see trickey do the inaugral lap.

    • mike e 11.1

      He will get a defence force helicopter to take him their!
      Slippery will Spin out on every corner and muddle through.
      TV3 will show it live.

  12. millsy 12

    10 million dollars can buy an awful lot of library books.

    • andy (the other one) 12.1

      Auckland art gallery cost the rate payer 50 million dollars in upgrade costs, musters 100,000 visitors. Auckland rate payers subsidise $500 per visit. That is a lot of rubbish collection and library books…

      Based on shitty facts, but sounds good without basis!

      • prism 12.1.1

        Oh stop your moaning and point making Andy the other one.

        Expressions of a culture of song, dance, memories of the past, of people and things, of grass skirts and spitfires, of a world that narrows down past your birth but continues on in a ribbon of events and artifacts. That’s Pacifica and that’s the museum and the library and other arty things that are symbols for how wonderful people can be, and sometimes how awful we can be.

        V8’s or other machines are great technological shapes and fine engineering, but they are only one dimension of all the other things we cherish, and a bloody expensive portion.

        Don’t start dissing our culture, and our expressions of being creative humans, and say we should think only of rubbish collections and drains.

      • millsy 12.1.2

        So you want to close the libararies down then, Andy?

        You should come down here and stand for the NPDC, you would fit right in with the libarary cutting clowns here.

  13. nellie 13

    The Counties Racing Club/Pukekohe Park Raceway is a privately owned track with net assets of $15m plus. The V8 Supercars Australia are now 60% owned by Archer Capital, a private Australian equity firm making profits for their investors, who value the V8 Supercar business at AU$300 million and bought their 60% share from Tony Cochrane and mates for AU$195 million. Tony Cochrane plus mates own the other 40% of V8 Supercars Australia. The organisers of this event all have loads of money. Why do they need any of ours?

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    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally 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 | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally 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 | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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