web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Clean rivers

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, August 7th, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, sustainability, water - Tags:

 

John Key water billboard

Labour has announced its water policy.  It can be accused of being aspirational, as if that is a bad thing, but they are goals which most people would support. The headlines are that a Labour Government will:

  • ensure that all our rivers and lakes are swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering,
  • implement a resource rental on large water takes for irrigation, and set the rental at a fair and affordable price, and
  • not allow privatisation of drinking water infrastructure or supply.

The details are set out in the discussion document.  Freshwater is correctly described as a common good and a precious and finite public resource.  Clean fresh water is said to underpin much of our economic activity, and is a critical part of the clean, green brand that distinguishes us in our international markets.

The current situation is criticised.

Current systems of water allocation and management often do not encourage its best use. Labour’s will be informed by the three reports of the widely-representative Land and Water Forum from 2010 to 2012. The Forum suggested the water resource should be quantified, and the flows needed for ecological, environmental and recreational purposes determined and secured. The Forum acknowledged that iwi have rights and interests in freshwater, the nature of which need to be resolved with the Crown.

The allocation and management of our freshwater must be overseen by publicly-elected, accountable representatives. Labour will retain decision-making at local government level with central government playing a leadership role. Iwi and hapu, the public and water users must be involved in these processes.

A fair price, in the form of a resource rental, should be applied to large takes for irrigation, which comprises the largest allocated consumptive use of freshwater. This would encourage best use of water. Revenue from the resource rental would fund the likes of water management, safe rural drinking water supplies, the restoration of degraded waterways and wetlands, and new storage and irrigation schemes that are environmentally and economically sustainable.

This statement is not radical.  Quantifying and determining necessary flows and respecting iwi interests in freshwater is mainstream thinking.  And using market forces to determine a fair price for freshwater irrigation so that degraded waterways and wetlands can be improved and the safety of rural drinking water can be maintained are hardly revolutionary.

But Amy Adams thinks that it is a thinly veiled attack by Labour on rural New Zealand and the values they hold dear.   She thinks that the policy is not fair and Labour is trying to make rural New Zealand pay taxes that no other New Zealanders will have to pay.  As said by James Macbeth Dann it would be strange if toxic water was a value that Rural New Zealand holds clear.

Labour proposes that dirty rivers should be cleaned up over a generation.  This is obviously aspirational but the sort of aspiration it is hard to be grumpy about.  But Ian McKenzie from Federated Farmers managed to do this.  He is quoted as saying:

Their view of what is fair and affordable, and our view, is highly likely to be different.

“The concept that in fact we’re an untapped resource of tax is extraordinary, I don’t think anybody within the Labour caucus probably understands what they’re doing.”

Mr Mackenzie said it is simply impossible to have all freshwater at a safe, swimmable level within a generation.

It is funny how a Government who thinks that pure market forces should apply to workers should not apply to farmers.  And why attempting to clean up our waterways should be regarded as an attack on farmers and something that is unfair.

Updated:  a very cleverly digitally altered image by Chris Reid inserted.  No billboard was harmed in the making of this image …

84 comments on “Clean rivers”

  1. ianmac 1

    A mighty policy Labour. There are thousands if not millions who will support this. Nick Smith must be fuming!! Expect the Labour Party to get a good telling off. Tut tut.

  2. k j ross 2

    their policy of having rivers at a level safe enough to wade through should be promoted widely as I do not think that average New Zealanders even are aware of this and they would be horrified at these revelations that our water has turned to sh-t.The only type of policy’s that should be aspirational are this type of thing that people would widely support in theory and in practice (re implementation of policy over time). Not economic wish lists like 150000 new jobs just around the corner.
    Fed up Kiwi.

  3. Papa Tuanuku 3

    The smiling photo for this story reminds me of this post on how capitalist media do the same:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1512890695611017&set=a.1401188113447943.1073741828.100006703034000&type=1&theater

  4. Ad 4

    Labour’s spokesperson on this whoever it is better be up for it, because Amy is a fierce competitor for that no. 6 cabinet ranking and there is all to play for in that game.
    Strap your gear on Labour this won’t be The Expendables III.

  5. fisiani 5

    Labour’s claim that every drainage ditch and storm water runoff must be be of swimming pool quality is so ridiculous that no one takes it seriously. Amy Adams is quite correct in stating that it is grossly unfair to penalise the rural sector for issuse that are both rural and urban. Labour hates the rural sector and does not understand it. This is just a pathetic and desperate attempt to try to grab a few headlines from the Greens and Internet Mana as they jostle for the minor places.
    Why spend 25 billion dollars on that and not on paying better wages? Focus on the things that actually matter.

    • Zorr 5.1

      Ever hear the saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”? This is true of the cleanness of our lakes and rivers. Everything contributes to the overall pollution level of the water and effects upstream can combine to cause catastrophe further downstream.

      The rural sector is being “penalized” because currently they are getting to privatize the profit but socialize the losses (in the form of environmental effects). This lemon capitalism needs to go!

      If we don’t clean up our act, there goes our entire tourism industry. Probably worth more to this country than 25 billion dollars.

      I think it is highly disingenuous of you to claim that we (the left) should be focusing on paying better wages when you have always been a very obvious RWNJ troll voting for the side that doesn’t want full employment and has fought back against making the minimum wage reach a living wage level.

      Go jump in a lake. Please.

      • Halfcrown 5.1.1

        “Go jump in a lake. Please.”

        A very good suggestion. Preferably Lake Waikare, the red dead lake in the Waikato.

      • Chooky 5.1.2

        +100 Zorr…”If we don’t clean up our act, there goes our entire tourism industry. Probably worth more to this country than 25 billion dollars.”

        …..overseas visitors are watching us and they don’t miss anything, particularly the Europeans and ecologically minded Americans…. and they can be very critical of what they see!

        ….and once this reaches a threshold …there goes our ‘Clean Green’ ‘New Zealand Pure’ reputation and brand as well!

        ….what economist has put a long term dollar value on this ?

    • McFlock 5.2

      Labour’s claim that every drainage ditch and storm water runoff must be be of swimming pool quality

      cf:

      ensure that all our rivers and lakes are swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering

      A drainage ditch is not a river (unless you let polluters run rampant).
      You’re beneath contempt.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        I think Fisiani means the rivers he sees look like drainage ditches. His post was satirical. You can tell cos he suggested wage increases.

    • Wonderpup 5.3

      I’m a little suprised at you Fisiani: normally you can at least paraphrase the talking points that are emailed to you from HQ. These sound exactly like the same things Amy Adams was reading from this morning. (Thank goodness for radio, you can keep the talking points in front of you, and reel off numbers like you actually know what they mean!)

      Why spend money on remediating our environment? Because, after our labour, its all we have.

    • tricledrown 5.4

      Fishy Anil sucking sh*t again swimming around in the National fish bowl to long.City Councils have much higher standards than rural councils because rural councils are loaded with farmers who want to minimise costs to farmers!

    • Armchair Critic 5.5

      Who, apart from you fisiani, is talking about “swimming pool quality”?
      The policy talks about suitability for swimming and food gathering. Swimming pools are not suitable for food gathering. Your overblown exaggeration is completely ridiculous.

    • Ron Shaw 5.6

      Oh please, fisiani, this is not what is being claimed. Dairy farmers, particularly in Canterbury, are getting a massive subsidy for water use. It’s time they paid for the input they get well below market price.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.7

      Focus on the things that actually matter.

      We are focussing on the things that matter – good environment, good health and a good living standard for all. You and National, on the other hand, are only focussing on more money for rich people.

  6. Ad 6

    Bollocks Fisiani. City councils should be held responsible for Stormwater and stream quality within any urban catchment. In Auckland’s case and in any other unitary authority, they will be doubly accountable as operator and asset manager, and as regulator.

  7. philj 7

    Ecologist Mike Joy questions the real ‘profitability’ of dairy farming when the cost of cleaning up the rivers is properly costed in to the environmental balance sheet. Ignoring this reality only worsens the future cost. Yet another example of government short termism and pass the problem onto the next generation.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      It’s amazing how upset the capitalists get when you put the costs of what they do upon them.

      • weka 7.1.1

        True, and let’s put the true costs of tourism out there too (nods upwards to Zorr).

  8. Herodotus 8

    Problem with AC is that watercare is a law to itself allowing contractors to dump untested waste into waterways and the harbours.
    Many new developments have consent conditions places on them that storm water runoff must be treated before the water enters live waterways ( that is why there are numerous off line detention ponds) infill housing and houae developed pre 2000 would have storm water entering in its raw state into the system and the outlets feeding into streams or the harbour. Not sure how this policy will deal with the urban deterioration of our waterways. Sure current farming practices have a lot to answer for but there can be fingers pouted to large tracts of urban catchments.

    • John Redwood 8.1

      Hi Herodotus,
      I assume your first sentence relates to this story from yesterday’s Waikato Times http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/10354135/Desperate-need-for-trade-dumping-site
      which actually refers to the actions of an Auckland Council contractor and is nothing to do with Watercare’s activities. Over the past 12 months, Watercare has again met or exceeded all our performance targets relating to the performance of our wastewater network and to compliance with the Resource Management Act and the various consents governing our operations. We have an excellent record of which we are very proud, and much of our current and future capital investment is targeted at initiatives that will continue to enhance the quality of Auckland’s estuaries, harbours, and waterways.

  9. outofbed 9

    Great stuff Labour
    That should get the Greens over 15% woo hoo

  10. karol 10

    So,, how does Labour’s policy differ from the Green Party clean rivers policy announced a couple of weeks ago?

  11. Hayden 11

    As an aside, that has to be one of the least sincere smiles I’ve ever seen – he looks like he’s smelling a particularly rank fart. Amy, on the other hand, is grinning like someone who’s just given their boss a nice air biscuit – I like to see a bit of humour in people.

  12. Chauncey Gardiner 12

    Framing, Tainted Love, Mothers Milk, More Babies, Marketing, and Foreign Ownership

    Once again, National is using any criticism of farming to bolster support for its own agenda (keep votes, rather looking to the long view). It’s approach is childlike and one dimensional. It paints a picture that any left leaning party is anti farming, does not know the economic realities etc. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are a small country, if we are to hold our own internationally, we as a diverse group of people have to work together not as individuals or isolated sectors. As one waxes another wanes.

    Is it any wonder John Keys party slogan is Team Key and not Team New Zealand (yes I know that one is taken). It appears to be influenced by a tiny group of wealthy individuals with vested interests in certain sectors of the economy. An analysis of who will benefit from farm sales, the changing markets etc will tell you. Do they really have an allegiance to the grass roots farmers of New Zealand or are they just skimming cream, like any true trader operating on the margins?

    As we progress through this year, particularly, the diary industry is now under the spotlight. Falling prices, foreign ownership, pollution, tainted milk seem to collide together making a metaphor for a rather less than 100% clean green rock star economy. Any criticism is not allowed, just today, National was framing the left as “attacking” the farmers by wanting to clean up the water ways? Admittedly not the best time to announcing such policy, however, there is honesty to it. National framed the debate by using words such as “attack”. Do the “Left” really want to attack one of the very foundations of our economy, or do you think they want to strengthen farming by having it part of a diversified economy that is resilient to international price wars or tainted milk?

    How do you tease apart the issues, identify the problems and come up with positive solutions that will help New Zealand move forward, after all we are all in it together, aren’t we? It’s not by pretending problems don’t exist. Unfortunately we may live in a culture of “shooting the messenger”. Again National use it to effect by saying the left are attacking the farming sector. How odd that they attack the messenger, the left.

    Note, “Attacking the messenger” is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy (i.e. National are trying to run from the problem). It’s odd how they are seen as “Hard Men & Woman”, yet run a mile if votes are not forth coming.

    So what are some of the potential problems?

    Is it a problem of tainted love? It’s no secret that the tainted dairy scandal in China has lead to increased market share for foreign companies importing into China. Almost the reverse happened recently, just even a hint of contamination or price fixing, reduced the amount of exports from certain foreign companies. This highlights how sensitive the market is in such an industry. It maybe an argument for the 5 eyes and surveillance? A hair trigger economy maybe?

    As a result of this toing and froing, China has understandably looked to improving safety not only in domestic production but imports as well. How do they achieve this? They do it via new importation standards, purchase of foreign dairy companies/farms, bulk buying foreign safe products, improving safety etc. A subtle game maybe of marketing, a jumping on tainted milk or price fixing scandals by foreign firms to re-orientate the Chinese market to buying domestic production? Good on them, culture is thousands of years old, they’re intelligent, an economic power house and deserve a healthy respect. Wouldn’t we do the same? Big respect China, well done.

    Aside, Chinese woman are being ‘aggressively’ marketed to, in order to buy powder milk formula. (creating more demand), while in the West we are trending in the opposite direction. It harks back to the days of marketing guru Torches of Freedom campaign, Edward Bernays, where he convinced woman in the 1920-30’s it was good to smoke. You could imagine the TV ads in China, they might begin “Mothers, save yourself from the suckling oppressors, buy freedom milk powder today”. Is this some perverse form of Tainted Love? Not saying that the use of infant formula does not have its place.

    With increased incomes, marketing, the relaxation of the one child policy combined with a mixing of Western and Eastern tastes its no wonder dairy is on the up in China. Why wouldn’t China want a piece of this pie, I would, particularly if it was on my own Turf? How would they go about it and who are the other international players using similar strategies………Nestle ring any bells?

    Wouldn’t you, improve efficiency, quality, safety and technology by acquiring foreign firms or investing in overseas companies/technology? Wouldn’t you send QA delegations from China to ensure that safe practices were in place (coincidentally learning all the processes and systems that have been developed). Would you allow firms to own land in China or influence the relaxing of environmental legislation (aka water, land, pollution?) in foreign lands so your companies could do better?

    Wouldn’t you consolidate? As Forbes magazine has recently highlighted, the Chinese are consolidating their industry: http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/09/26/creamy-top-for-chinas-dairy-champions-sour-milk-for-the-rest/

    “five selected domestic firms would be showered with preferential loans and tax breaks, worth as much as $4.9 billion. The idea is to create national champions that can compete with foreign infant-formula producers. As the Financial Times notes, this represents another step towards top-down industry consolidation in the wake of a 2008 scandal over melamine-tainted milk that killed six infants and turned parents off domestic formula brands”
    End

    Has NZ got a share in the ‘National Champions’, they do have investments in firms there, however, is that just giving up the IP? So do the New Zealanders who facilitate this, do they just skim off the top like any fx trader? Coincidentally will exchange rate be affected with dropping dairy prices?

    Evidence for consolidation is shown by the Chinese push for better supervising a 128 domestic domestic producers. They want to promote quality products from these companies and rebuild consumers’ trust in the domestic market.

    Take note of the consolidation process, it flows to farms as well, not just distribution and factory production. Why the recent purchases of large farms in NZ, they are more efficient. Will China be doing the same?
    A paper by Ma, Hengyun et. al. might highlight this http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6725

    “As the number of backyard farms has dramatically declined, the share of dairy cows from backyard farms has decreased by 22.4% from 2003 to 2008. However, the herd numbers of larger dairy farms have increased. In particular, the share of dairy cows has risen by 18.8% on small farms, by 22.2% on medium farms, and by 80.8% on large farms over the same period.”

    Also note that in the UK, farm numbers are decreasing.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292011/The-truth-mega-farms-Chemical-fumes-distressed-animals-poisoned-locals.html
    Many dairy farmers believe the drive towards larger dairies- and the economies of scale they bring -is inevitable as supermarkets try to force prices down. In 1998, there were 31,753 dairy farmers in the UK.

    By 2008, this had shrunk to just 17,060, with many going into liquidation claiming that it cost more to produce milk than they could sell it for – recently as little as 25p per litre. A further 9 per cent are expected to leave the industry within the next two years

    So in Chinas case, with particularly a large number of small holdings, it maybe only a matter of time before we see increased efficiency, safety, and quality (for NZ this means greater comptetion). This maybe on a greater scale than that of the1801 United Kingdoom Inclosure (Consolidation) Act that concentrated the land into the hands of a few wealthy individuals? Is it time to say goodbye to hand down of farms through generations within New Zealand families.

    A perfect metaphor for the concentration of wealth in a few individuals who facilitate the markets?

    Many people traders, bankers and executive management benefit from changes in socio political power/economics. They ride the highs and lows, making money from the magnitude of the change without much concern for ‘grass roots’ people. They can inhabit the left and ride side of the political spectrum, putting the farmer’s against the greenies, or the dairy producer against the pig farmer etc. They hide problems and show only success. They are if you like the perfect personification of what one person defined as marketing gurus (i.e. people who reduce resistance to sales). Skimming as they go?

    You can’t tell me traders, bankers couldn’t see this price reduction coming? Ebb and flow, make money as you go ehh?

    So do I believe in Team Key, a team that is too scared or arrogant to acknowledge problems and continually frames the debate through use of big money and corporate media?
    No

    I believe in Team Aotearoa, or as Muhammad Ali so succinctly put it:

    ME WE

    Refs in no particular order (just some good background reading):

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/09/26/creamy-top-for-chinas-dairy-champions-sour-milk-for-the-rest/
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8efdb336-20d4-11e3-b8c6-00144feab7de.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/business/international/china-tightens-rules-for-foreign-made-milk-powders.html?_r=0
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/business/global/08iht-milk08.html
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-08/06/content_16875460.htm
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/838886.shtml
    http://www.china.org.cn/business/2014-05/06/content_32311916.htm
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/analysis-forecast-report-pasteurised-milk-154600563.html
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2014-03/13/content_17343269.htm
    http://www.thebullvine.com/category/latest-news/page/3/
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503458&objectid=11301925 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292011/The-truth-mega-farms-Chemical-fumes-distressed-animals-poisoned-locals.html
    http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6725

    To all those Rock Stars out there:

    Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
    The love we share
    Seems to go nowhere
    And I’ve lost my light
    For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

    (chorus)
    Once I ran to you (I ran)
    Now I’ll run from you
    This tainted love you’ve given
    I give you all a boy could give you
    Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
    Oh…tainted love
    Tainted love

    Now I know I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    You don’t really want IT any more from me
    To make things right
    You need someone to hold you tight
    And you’LL think love is to pray
    But I’m sorry I don’t pray that way

    (chorus…)

    Don’t touch me please
    I cannot stand the way you tease
    I love you though you hurt me so
    Now I’m going to pack my things and go
    Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
    Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
    Tainted love (x3)

    source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/

    • NZJester 12.1

      We have had the Hard Sell from National for to long.
      It is time for a Soft S(C)ell ;-p

  13. Lanthanide 13

    I have to say, Amy Adams really is good at spin and deflection of these things.

    Numerous times I’ve heard interviews with her on RNZ about different environmental things, in the last few months it’s generally been about rivers and water quality.

    Now, I’m not an expert on this sort of area by a long shot, but when AA is interviewed, to my ear she always makes a compelling case about how what National is doing is actually above reproach, they’re doing a better job than Labour ever did and her opponents are quibbling about minor things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

    She can convince me of these things in ways that no other national minister has managed in these sorts of interviews.

    Probably this is largely a result of me not being up-with-the-play when it comes to these conservation issues. Some of it could also be the interviewers not asking the right questions or skewering her deflections, in a way that they can skewer other minister’s answers. But I suspect a good dollop of it is her skill at this sort of misdirection.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      How do you know a National minster is lying: Their lips are moving.

      National’s water standards will have it so that if you go swimming you will get sick.

  14. vto 14

    Fed Farmers complaining about having to pay to clean up their own shit is pure selfish greed and they deserve no respect for their position.

    They seem to think that WE should pay to clean up their shit….. what frikkin’ planet are they on?

  15. Dialey 15

    It’s quite simple really, my kids could swim in our local rivers, my granddaughter can’t. One generation to ruin it, one to clean it up. Aspirational, yes; doable, maybe; should we try, definitely. Well done Labour and the Greens for put up policies that want to go further than just protecting the status quo

  16. vto 16

    I m actually gobsmacked at Federated Farmers approach.

    This policy is to get rivers clean again, so us and our families can swim in them, drink from them, and fish from them.

    Federated Farmers want the rivers to get worse. They want the rivers to be their sewer to such an extent that they are unsafe to swim in, cannot be drunk from, and no fish or plant life survives.

    I cannot believe their calls… it is simply staggering and they are turning into the funny farm people.

    Ian McKenzie, from the Funny Farmers reckons this … “The concept that in fact we’re an untapped resource of tax is extraordinary, I don’t think anybody within the Labour caucus probably understands what they’re doing.”

    That he considers it a tax is just bloody out there. Out there like loony tunes stuff.

    It is to bloody clean up their shit. It is nobody else’s shit. It is their shit.

    If their business cannot withstand looking after its pollution and rubbish then it is clearly not a viable business. Time to wake up and smell the roses Funny Farmers.

    And then you get people like srylands crying about rudeness around here. For fucks sake, this shit is the rudeness. Farmers are rude in this regard.

    • mickysavage 16.1

      Yep when you think that farms depend on fresh water you would think that they should be protective of it …

  17. vto 17

    I have a whole pile of stinky rubbish that I have to take to the dump / eco transfer station this weekend. And pay for at a rate that is more expensive than buying potatoes, would you believe..

    But will be in the countryside tomorrow……

    … I might just follow the farmers lead and dump it out in the countryside tomorrow.

    keep an eye out for soiled tissue, tin cans, scraps of fish, rotting meat, plastic, all chewed by the local roaming dog first, flyng around in the wind. Look for it especially in those pristine green grass paddocks. Maybe it is time the roles were reversed.

    Now that would be rude wouldn’t it?

  18. Graham 18

    I know facts get in the way of your stories BUT the most polluted streams are urban.
    It would be a brave or stupid person to swim in the leith or the Avon or any other urban stream
    Our storm water systems are designed to pump excess rainwater into streams and harbours combine that with the tar makeup of our roads it’s a rena disaster every time it rains
    The greens know this they should ask the green mayor of Wellington
    You would have to be nuts to eat anything from the Avon

    • vto 18.1

      and this is applicable to the issue and policy how?

      Urbanites have considerably cleaned up their waterways compared to the past. Rural waterways have deteriorated since the past, are deteriorating right now, and National wants them to be allowed to deteriorate even further – to an extent that fish can’t live in them….. you know there are trout and whitebait in the Avon yes? You know that people catch and eat them yes? And you know that this year salmon were found spawning way up the headwater of the Avon for the first time, yes?

      Do you know these things Graham? They are facts Graham. Something which you lack, despite some claim to them. What are your facts again Graham?

      Or do you just throw around useless one-liners mistaking them for some kind of thought process?

      Fail Graham

      edit: oh this too Graham. “Our storm water systems are designed to pump excess rainwater into streams and harbours combine that with the tar makeup of our roads it’s a rena disaster every time it rains” is complete and utter bollocks…. if you knew the facts about modern stormwater systems Graham.

      double edit: here is a link to get you started http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact

    • millsy 18.2

      And that gives you a right to foul our rural water ways?

      Guess what mate. If I see you fouling our waterways, I will physically intervene to stop you. Clean water is more important than your profit.

      I would rather see your stock die, and you go to the wall before you pollute our waterways,

    • weka 18.3

      I have swum in the Leith. Beautiful river. Although admittedly I swim upstream from the Gardens, don’t know what it is like further down and it wouldn’t surprise me that the further it gets through town the more polluted it is. Which suggests that the issue isn’t just about storm water, but intensification as you travel downstream.

      Brian Turner has lamented the loss of the Leith fishery, not sure how bad it is now, I’ve not seen adult live fish in it, but I often miss those things. Nor can I remember why he thought it was in decline, whether pollution or other ecosystem disruption. The point here Graham is that those of us upset about the pollution of farm catchment rivers have also been upset about urban ones. It’s a false dichotomy to split urban and rural waters as if water is contained in such a way. The Leith comes from rural land before it comes from urban.

      It’s worth noting too that environmentalists have long been attempting to get urban waters cleaned up.

      Try phoning your local regional council and ask exactly what water quality monitoring goes on in the rivers and streams in your area. Most people will be surprised at how little actually happens. This is why with dairying the default position has been to wait until the pollution occurs and is obvious and then start discussing what if anything to do about it. We should all be ashamed.

      • karol 18.3.1

        Project Twin Streams – a community-based project in the Henderson area of Auckland. Started during Waitakere City Councils period of governance and is now supported by Auckland Council, local Iwi and other community groups.

        I understand that some parts of local streams are privately owned. So it must depend on getting co-operation from the owners to keep their part of the stream clean. Part of the project is to encourage sustainable households.

        • mickysavage 18.3.1.1

          It is a wonderful project. I have had something to do with it since 2001 …

          The goal is to have clean Opanuku and Oratia streams that will have fish life in them down through Henderson. A very simple proposal. I often walk past the Oratia stream most days and sometimes it looks murky and sometimes it looks muddy. Private owners do not seem to have a problem with the project. Everyone just wants the quality of the streams to be improved …

          • minarch 18.3.1.1.1

            I have planted a metric s#$t tonne of trees along that stream over the years, Ive even fallen in a couple of times !

            • karol 18.3.1.1.1.1

              Excellent service!

              The Rewarewa near New Lynn could do with a bit of a clean up – abandoned shopping trolley, etc when I last looked.

      • vto 18.3.2

        I don’t know the history weka, but I understand there is quite a decent fishery there today. Relatively.

    • mickysavage 18.4

      I think that all of our rivers should be healthy and that we should be able to eat fish caught from them even in the middle of cities. Why should we expect less?

  19. That billboard is fantastic although it needs a few more poo floating around.

    • vto 19.1

      yep, got a giggle. Is it s real one or photoshopped?

      If its not real then it should be, it is spot on.

      • mickysavage 19.1.1

        Photoshop job but all the better for it. No billboard was defaced in the making of this image …

  20. SPC 20

    Because we allow foreign companies to own farmland, TPP rules would mean that if we introduced restraint on stocking etc for water quality reasons we would have to pay farmers compensation. We would not be able to afford this.

    TPP might be incompatible with water quality, if so what would Labour’s position on TPP be?

  21. john 21

    So the Labour policy is urban polluters won’t have to pay a cent.

    Because people who don’t pollute, but do irrigate, will be taxed to pay for that urban pollution.

    It sounds like something that’s been thought up in a lunatic asylum.

    • weka 21.1

      I take it you haven’t read the actual policy then, that’s probably why what you said doesn’t make any sense.

      • john 21.1.1

        You mean the policy that attacks farmers and charges them for using water but everyone else – towns and cities, power generators, factories etc – pay nothing.

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          So you care about farmers paying if they use excessive amounts of water because their land use is unsustainable, fair enough.

          How do you feel about poor children who are hospitalised with recurring infections because they can’t wash properly because their water supply has been put on a limiter because of unpaid water bills?

          • john 21.1.1.1.1

            McFlock – You get a prize for finding the weakest ever link between a pollution charge on irrigators and poverty.

            You’re clutching at straws.

            And you’re doing it blindfolded wearing baseball mitts from the other side of the road from the hay barn.

            • ropata 21.1.1.1.1.1

              @john, ever heard of water rates? settling ponds? algal bloom? beach closures?
              cities are way more careful with their muck than filthy polluting dairy farmers

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.2

              So that would be that you care about farmers maybe losing profits if they’re charged for the water they use, but don’t care about poor people who don’t have enough water to live like human beings.

              Quite a few rural analogies ffor a JAFA, too.

              • vto

                McFlock, the farmers are not being charge for the water they use, they are being charged to clean up their own shit that they have dumped on the public.

                This is being done by way of a charge on irrigation. Labour should really frame it as a charge on pollution and a charge to pay for cleaning up the rivers.

                Call it a clean-up charge.

                • weka

                  Vto, I think there are two separate issues. Irrigation is independent of pollution, because there are people irrigating who aren’t dairy farmers. The water take is far too high, and in capitalism we control that, set limits, by putting a market price on the water. Myself, I don’t think that is the best way to do this, but it’s better than nothing. I haven’t read all the detail in the Labour policy yet, but it looks like they are aiming for the high end commercial users.

                  John, afaik currently water use on rural land is monitored voluntarily ie there might be meters and daily water limits but not authority is keeping track of what is actually being taken. Farmers (not just dairy), have demonstrated that they are not capable of working within limits and are taking too much, so we will now have regulations to do that. Otherwise we will end up in situations like overseas where water tables are dropping and rivers no longer run to the sea (actually I think that already is happening in Canty). If you have a better way of setting and maintaining limits than using the market price of water, then by all means tell us what it is.

                  • vto

                    Agreed weka, and that was kinda my point.

                    Labour have been in a bit rough in how this has been drafted and presented. Bit of a blunt hammer.

                    Perhaps they need to go back and fine-tune it and re-frame it so it conveys and achieves what is intended, namely cleaning up the rivers.

                    edit: “Otherwise we will end up in situations like overseas where water tables are dropping and rivers no longer run to the sea (actually I think that already is happening in Canty). ” this is most definitely already happening. Witness Rakaia Huts being flooded more as the gravel is not flushed out at the mouth due to lower river flows and more mouth blocks, so it builds up and floods surrounding land.

                    • weka

                      I still think the irrigation charge is not a defacto tax on pollution. It’s a cost in its own right. Haven’t been watching the MSM, so not sure how Labour has come across, but the policy PDF is interesting. I don’t consider it to be extreme of course. If I had my way there would be a moratorium on all new dairy farms until the existing ones got their shit together so to speak :twisted: And no new big irrigation schemes, which are by definition unsustainable. There are other ways to provide farmers with water for sustainable practice.

              • dave

                farmers want the poor people to pay for there pollution vto is correct labour wants the polluter to pay which is only fair .

              • minarch

                “Quite a few rural analogies ffor a JAFA, too.”

                you really are running on empty aren’t you ?

                next itll be “get offa my land you stinking townies”

                Jafa lol…… :-)

                • McFlock

                  it fucks me off a bit that he’s full of apparent concern for southern issues like bridges and farms when he patently doesn’t care about the effects of user-pays water in his back yard.

    • disturbed 21.2

      Is this John Key again?

      Someone else said “john”is John Key, and what he said here sounds jst like him, overstating the case and twisting the facts to suit his agenda.

      The other day he returns from China to the Flare-up called Lochinvar, and when he was asked for his response to deep pubic upset he said “it’s ridiculous such a small bit of land” ????

      Has he ever seen it or even read about it? “a small piece of land” phooey!

      “It is one of the largest most significantly productive holdings in the North Island.” and a model of our collective achievement so read on.

      That was stated by MSM the same day but maybe john doesn’t read the news.

      If you studied Lochinvar as we did as we watched it grow into a highly successful farm it was assisted by massive public funding to make the land productive as a scientific project when DSIR spent millions testing combinations of additives into the soil to make things grow rapidly.

      So Kiwis like us, spent millions to get the land productive and you come along and say “its good for us to sell to overseas investors”.

      Sorry john move on now your time has come as you promised if we get negative you’ll just pack up and go, well we will help move your stuff to get you away as fast as we can to help save what you haven’t destroyed of this once proud, strong, free society our fighting men fought to save that you have set about to destroy, you are beneath contempt.

      • dave 21.2.1

        we will even escort you to the plane and wish you well in exile in Hawaii just don’t come back.

  22. john 22

    Why should NZ have two $70 million businesses when we could just have one?

    Such is the logic behind trying to stop foreign investment in NZ.

    You’d prefer to kill off $95m spend on jobs, goods and services, in NZ, if it stops a foreign company earning $5m.

    Such simplistic thinking would kill off 25% of all jobs in NZ if we stopped foreign investment.

    • ropata 22.1

      might stop aussie banks from sucking 5 billion out of the economy every year
      and foreign-owned power co.s sucking out even more
      and foreign-owned telcos sucking out even more

      and the usa-owned national govt from selling out even more

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2

      It’s a good thing no-one has proposed we stop foreign investment then. The proposal simply tightens restrictions on the sale of land. It’s a pity you had to rely on charity to learn that when the facts are so readily available.

      • vto 22.2.1

        Exactly OAB.

        This issue is about foreign ownership of land. Foreign investment is a different beast altogether (though some overlap).

        A tenant community is generally always a weaker community than an owned community. This is why people like John Key always own assets like property.

        In fact, the far right always go on about how breaking the Commons so that individual people have been able to own their own land has been at the forefront of recent centuries advancements. People take more responsibility, people take more pride, work harder, reap the benefit of the efforts etc. Yet this very principle, at the core of the belief systems of people like John, is completely ignored when it comes to foreign ownership of land in Aotearoa.

        If the principles at the core of John’s belief systems are correct about the benefits of individual ownership of land then they must apply equally to the issue of New Zealand ownership of land.

        … apologies to the righties if that is too much to follow ….

    • millsy 22.3

      Youre not very patriotic are you?

      You want 100% of NZ sold overseas.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.4

      You’d prefer to kill off $95m spend on jobs, goods and services, in NZ, if it stops a foreign company earning $5m.

      We could spend that $95m without selling ourselves to the highest bidder.

      Why do all you RWNJs want to turn us into the serfs and slaves of foreign corporations?

  23. dave 23

    water is valuable public resource it is not infinite should treated with respect and cared for. no group has the right to game huge profits at the expense of the environment future generations load costs on to tax payers struggling former middle class,since farmers don’t pay tax ( capital gain on there farms like any land lord)but use all services the rest of us pay for .so the farmers want a free ride tax payer funded existence to destroy pollute and game the system wow what values they have per-fact nation party voter.

  24. Sable 24

    Its amazing that anyone really expects much from NZ’s MSM. They have shown again and again that they are supporters of a right wing world view and really little more than scribes for corporate interests. Objectivity and fairness are not concepts they embrace so its no surprise they do not value the environment but instead see it as something to be exploited and pillaged.

    This is why good marketing is so important from the left in election years and also in general. And yet its sadly lacking whilst the right do seem to understand how to sell themselves. Certainly they are bolstered up by our dirty MSM but they still seem to have more savvy in this respect.

    Time to beat them at their own game or face another three years of corporatisation and Americanization of New Zealand.

    • aerobubble 24.1

      Its worse than that. Financial wealth is based in value, that companies have some means of extracting wealth. Now we know that there is great growing wealth inequality, that is coming from somewhere. So what aspect of our lives have changed over the last thirty years that this value has been extracted from. Well it must have something to do with computers and finance, but at the heart of it all is we ‘the people’ are still the economy. I believe its the growing information imbalance that is core of ability of big finance to trade in trillions of dollars. Take going shopping, its easier now to track your behavior, to track your preferences, and so trade on the information imbalance.
      Take our rivers. Cutting back government means rivers could be polluted, had we know earlier we’d have launched into stopping dairy. But the information imbalance meant banks could loan more money to farmers to build dairy up. Our ignorance was their opportunity, that opportunity led to high land prices, high amounts of debt and high levels of pollution. And it will continue to get worse. Our wealth inequality means a few have huge money power to manipulate media, to distract, to misinform, to malign the debate, and create extraction of wealth from those imbalances. Take our rivers again, the pollution is now value since it represents real exports of real dairy products and is traded thanks to Fonterra trading scheme as yet another financial product.

      That’s to say, bad forms of capitalism require imbalances of nature, of information, energy in order to create financial wealth. That the massive growing wealth inequality is directly linked to the deregulation and under resourcing of government, that first starts with creating obscene extraction of wealth and then moves onto more direct problems like the Pike River Mine disaster.

      We now live on the boundary between eating our environment and watching our environment collapse, all to sustain the massive virtual wealth imbalance built around at its core information asymmetry.

      Three things happened, thirty years ago. Huge surpluses of cheap high energy liquid non-renewable fuels came on the market, a oxymoronic conservative revolution began to muddle any independent criticism, and big media under the likes of Murdoch started up the propaganda.

      We had the classic, fuel, heat and oxygen necessary to eat the Earth multiple times over.

      And its not going to stop anytime soon. Information asymmetry is now normalized business.
      From apps, to operation systems, to copyright… ..the list goes on, only specialists even understand how to fix the system, let only be able to explain why its so bad for us all.

      • Sable 24.1.1

        Agreed. I believe there is a need for independent sites like this one but also conventional media that are willing to tell the truth. The challenge is putting this in place and sustaining it.

        • aerobubble 24.1.1.1

          I disagree. Waiting for someone else won’t do it. Don’t use store cards, use cash, avoid contracts, avoid value added. Remember when your bank offers you all these features, you are not only paying for them but the adverts, the pay of the PR, the time it takes to understand, and the lawyers who write the fine print. They do not make a profit until the costs are first recouped.

          Its pretty simple what we all need to do, endevour to minimize our exposure to bad capitalism.
          Media, society, will change when enough people have changed their behaviour because the corporates NEED mass consumption of their services to create and sustain the information asymmetry

  25. reason 25

    From a link I read here yesterday …….

    /Foreign investors are not great for employment – they only employ 17% of the workforce, despite owning a large proportion of the economy. Foreign ownership does not guarantee more jobs. In fact, it quite often adds to unemployment. TNCs have made tens of thousands jobles. —-Business demography statistics: Major industry by overseas equity (ANZSIC 06) 2000 -13, Statistics New Zealand

    /Foreign ownership does nothing to improve New Zealand’s foreign debt problem. In 1984, total private and public foreign debt stood at $16 billion, equivalent to less than half New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product, and worth $50 billion in March 2013 dollars. As of March 2013, it was $251 billion, equivalent to well over 100% of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product, despite all of the asset sales and takeovers. ———-International Investment Position, National Accounts —— Statisti

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1401/S00011/who-owns-nz-foreign-control-key-facts-updated.htm

    national stand for more shit …………

  26. Ennui 26

    I really like the policy announcement re water quality and setting a fair price for use of the resource, about time.

    I would as a fisherman also like Labour, the Greens or any left party to reverse the privatization of our waterways by stealth. We inland anglers, and many sea anglers have found deliberate obstruction to public access and denial of any access to rivers and beaches, effectively privatizing fisheries. This is often done in conjunction with “tourist’ operators such as guides, exclusive lodges etc. We pay a license fee for the upkeep of our whole fishery, to be denied the best parts of it is wrong.

    Stand up for free access to water, and legislate for that access to water, and you get my vote.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • @akltransport – Please fill in a form
    Social media has become an important tool for many organisations in how they engage with their customers. It’s become a tool for both marketing and customer service, and there are a number of examples organisations who do it right. Some...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – On The Left Special!
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere