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Cullen Fund earns more for New Zealand than Asset Sales

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, December 19th, 2013 - 170 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: ,

Michael Cullen

So the Cullen Fund shows the Government that it does not have to sell strategically important assets to improve the country’s finances, all it has to do is continue investing in the fund.

From Stuff:

The “Cullen” superannuation fund has posted a return of 1.66 per cent in November, taking its overall value to $24.93 billion – roughly half the Government’s net debt.

Over the last 12 months, as world equity markets soared, it earned 27.76 per cent or about $5.5b. That was more than the Government’s asset-sales programme, which is forecast to bring in between $4.6b and $5b.

The fund’s annual return since inception in 2003 has been 9.55 per cent.

Please remind me, why did we stop contributions to the Cullen Fund and why are we selling the country’s silverware?

170 comments on “Cullen Fund earns more for New Zealand than Asset Sales”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Teaching the National Party basic economics is a waste of time: they lack the cognitive ability to apply the lesson.

  2. Ad 2

    Great stuff Mickey.

  3. Che'sCrushedSkull 3

    Please remind me, why did we stop contributions to the Cullen Fund and why are we selling the country’s silverware?

    —————–

    As stated, the Cullen fund has earned it’s returns from overseas – because there is bugger all in NZ to invest in – and if you increase the contributions to the Cullen Fund, then even more money flows overseas. That is not what NZ needs if it is truely a ‘low wage economy’ and has ‘high unemployment & under employment’ amongst of course, other things.

    Now, if power companies are the silverware, then they too, SHOULD BE returning at least what the Cullen fund is investing in – of which I doubt – but if they are – then why can’t ‘mum and dad kiwi investors’ not have the opportunity to invest in them – as they are giving the best returns – better even than the Cullen fund investments! As an aside, there is probably a better term to use to describe those public assets[what ever that means] than ‘silver ware’. ‘Nostalgia’ maybe? Anyway, the Cullen fund managers don’t describe their investments as the ‘silverware of the market’ as they sell their assets to ‘realise a profit’.

    Anyhow it doesn’t matter either way if they are sold as electricity prices are the least of peoples worries – just look at the price of oil, sorry, I mean petrol. Have a nice day.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      You didn’t get the memo I take it, let me remind you: National bad

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Nice to see some growing perception on your part pr

      • framu 3.1.2

        on this subject – theyre so fricken appalling its bordering on criminal intent

        so yes your right

        if you want to play the 1 = good, 2 = bad game, you might to pick a topic where you can actually argue that the nats have been successful

        • alwyn 3.1.2.1

          I suppose that the simplest and yet most important one will do.
          It is also the reason that New Zealand has been much more successful in the last five years than has Australia.
          National have kept the Labour and Green nutters away from the reins of Government. Long may it continue.

          • framu 3.1.2.1.1

            that doesnt make much sense

            me – “you might to pick a topic where you can actually argue that the nats have been successful”

            you – “I suppose that the simplest and yet most important one will do.”
            - which one then, you didnt specify

            “It is also the reason that New Zealand has been much more successful in the last five years than has Australia.”
            - the unspecified topic is the reason?

            no wonder you think nats are good economic managers

            aaaand considering that asset sales have been an economic clusterfuck in slow motion, thats still going…….

            • alwyn 3.1.2.1.1.1

              The third sentence is the reason Framu.
              To spell it out a little more clearly for you.

              The Nats have been successful in that they have kept the Labour and Green nutters away from the reins of Government. and that is the reason that New Zealand has been much more successful than Australia in the last five years.

              There. Is what I meant clearer this time?

              • KJT

                If success is the “communists” paying more for our milk.

                Offsetting the swath of destruction National are leaving.

                National. The party that cannot run a business, or a country.

                Even National’s MP’s are well aware that if they had been in power for the 9 years before the GFC, we would be on par with Greece.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Even National’s MP’s are well aware that if they had been in power for the 9 years before the GFC, we would be on par with Greece.

                  We would have been much, much worse than Greece. They would have been cutting taxes and increasing borrowing for the entire 9 years before the GFC. Essentially, we would have been economically devastated and then the GFC would have hit.

                  The rich would have been a hell of a lot richer though.

                • alwyn

                  Do you have any vidence for that rather incredible statement in the last sentence.
                  I’m sure you wouldn’t say such a thing if it was only your unsupported opinion would you?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The present National government and it’s massive, unneeded borrowing.

                  • KJT

                    If you had the attention span of more than a Gnat, you would remember Brash, then Key, planning to follow the “successful” policies of Ireland.

                    Fortunately for us they did not get elected until the folly of that approach was obvious, even to the greedy delusional prats that are in charge of the National party.

                    9 extra years of lolly scrambles for National’s rich mates, borrowing for unaffordable tax cuts, running down infrastructure, fucking with education, asset stripping, de-regulation, slavishly following policies that have failed elsewhere, “because they are a good idea” sic, and the financial “free for all” would have meant bankruptcy.

                    We weathered the GFC so well because Cullen paid down debt and Keating regulated the Aussie banks. Both policies National would have reversed.

                    Now National; are taking credit for the effects of coming out of recession aided by high dairy prices and an earthquake.

                    Rather fortuitous for National.

                    Even National MP’s are not stupid enough to think it was anything they did. Though they are happy to have unthinking followers give them the credit.

                    • Tracey

                      you are speaking to the ideologically blinded who still think that golden rain is the trickle down they have waited so long for.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Even National MP’s are not stupid enough to think it was anything they did.

                      I’m pretty sure that some of the are – probably most in fact – with the egos to match.

                    • KJT

                      The term “useful idiots” does come to mind.

                    • alwyn

                      In other words, and in much shorter words, you haven’t any information that any of the National MPs think any such thing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Aaron Gilmore comes to mind about the stupidity and the ego.

              • framu

                ahh righto – was reading that as more a conclusion or aside – aint it funny the order you put things in your mind :-)

                sorry – my bad

                still disagree with you though – but the place would be boring if we all got along

              • Tracey

                which is odd because apparently being able to bring resources tot he surface is a panacea. Was it not so for Australia?

              • Crunchtime

                Please tell us how New Zealand has been “more successful than Australia in the last five years”.

                Economically by almost every measure, NZ has done better under every Labour Government than it has under National.

                The only ones who are better off under a National Government are a small rich minority and large corporations (many of them foreign).

                The current National government is just another typically poor economic manager who is especially harsh on low and middle income earners as well as beneficiaries.

                • alwyn

                  I suppose that I could point out that New Zealand expects to get the budget back into surplus in the 2015 year, rather than continuing in the 10 years of deficits that were predicted when they got into office at the end of 2008.
                  Australia on the other hand is forecast, not to be back in surplus as their six year Labour Government promised for 2014, but to have a deficit of about $NZ51 billion next year.
                  If you prefer unemployment rates the IMF made predictions for 2014, and actuals for 2013 of
                  Australia 2013 5.6% and 2014 6%
                  NZ 2013 6.0% and 2014 5.3%
                  We are picking up n’est ce pas

                  • Tracey

                    so dredging up minerals isnt a panacea as so many in this country keep preaching????

                    Did Australia have minimal govt debt in 2008?

                    I’m just trying to recall who got us to a place that this government could borrow so heavily (50+B and rising) and still see “growth”?

                  • KJT

                    Didn’t you have a look at the census results. The falling unemployment rate is bullshit.

                    Newsflash. All those people basher got off the welfare rolls did not suddenly “find jobs”.

                    • alwyn

                      What census results do you have that are supposed to be relevant to the overall figure for 2013 and for the forecast for 2014?
                      After all the census was held on 5 March 2013, which is nine and a half months ago. If the figure you have is above 6% that shoes that the unemployment rate is dropping.
                      Actually I find it very difficult to see, from the questions asked in the Census, how they could come up with any unemployment rate at all, much less one that uses any methodology like that in the household labour survey. Have a look at the questions and see what combination of answers would lead to an interpretation that the person was unemployed and that it was comparable to the HLFS..

                    • KJT

                      You can try and spin it all you like, but less people on the dole, does not equate to less unemployed.
                      When people are being dropped off the dole for all sorts of dodgy reasons by WINZ, pushed by Basher and National determined to get the headline numbers down..

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The 10 years of deficits was a load of BS as you well know and if unemployment drops below 6% with this government in charge then it will be by accident. Blinglish is on record, after all, of saying that it’s a hoax to get unemployment below 6%.

                    • alwyn

                      Is your statement, that the 10 years of deficits is bs, to be preferred to the Treasury one, and do you have any evidence to back it up?
                      As for English saying it was a hoax. You give a link to someone else on the Standard saying that English had said it. That is hardly a reliable reference. Do you have an actual link to English actually making such a statement?

                    • KJT

                      Given treasuries strike rate, anything they say should be taken in the same vein as predictions of the “second coming”. or is it the third.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The decade of deficits would only have happened if:
                      a) Nothing changed
                      b) Treasury was actually right

                      Labour were altering the budget to address them thus no decade of deficits despite increased borrowing in the short term. As for Treasury, well, their projections aren’t all that accurate. How many times did they say that the surplus during the last Labour led government was X with it ending up being X+2b+? IIRC, it was close to every fucken year.

                      I actually recall English saying that but I can’t find any news item on the web. But you have to consider the NAIRU which has been estimated as 6% and, yes, that was the rate that I was taught at uni for NZ. So, would Bill English, who slavishly follows the free-market dogma, say anything else?

              • If Labour and the Greens are such nutters, why is it that all the government’s most successful policies are the ones it has kept from the previous Labour government?

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        John key made his living buying low and selling high, of telling people to put in an even amount over a whole year to spread he risk of low and high swings. For NZ he decided we should stop buying when the price was lowest, despite a return of more than 5% per annum (more than the price of borrowing). It is odd that he broke this golden rule just for us.

        • Ricky Rogers 3.1.3.1

          Its not odd, its simple maths.
          Cullen Fund return = 1.66% (income).
          Interest on bond debt 3.5% to 4%

          The numbers say, stop contributing to cullen fund and focus on minimising debt.
          Any genius can work that out.

          The cullen fund might return 1.66% but that is still a net loss of 2.34% against national debt.

          I’m glad you monkeys aren’t running our country, you can’t even do simple maths!!!

          [Please enlighten us. The article says the return per annum has been 9.55% which is over twice what we are paying on debt. So this is a bad thing? - MS]

        • srylands 3.1.3.2

          [deleted]

          [lprent: currently banned. ]

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.2.1

            A country is not a house/family and thus it’s budget doesn’t resemble that of a house/family no matter how much you RWNJs like to think it does.

            • Melb 3.1.3.2.1.1

              The overarching point was did you take on debt of some sort in 2010 and invest it in the stockmarket? No? Didn’t think so.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And the bit you fail to understand is that a country is not a household or an individual.

                BTW, have you heard of the Carry Trade? It’s where individuals and conglomerates borrow money cheaply and stick it in the bank at higher interest rates. When the loan is paid back at the end of it’s term the people who took out the loan have made a profit.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.3.2.2

            Are we? A lot of posters and commentors here criticized the decision to stop investing in the fund back in the day. Seriously, go back and look.

            As to your analogy, this is where the metaphor with a household budget breaks down.

            Firstly… continued investment in the Cullen fund is nothing like maxing out your home equity, as the deficit is caused by other policies. The fund is a drop in the bucket, not the culprit. To stretch the metaphor a bit, you’re doing the equivalent of complaining that we’re still buying food with the household income when there’s a debt to service, and it’s not like we can stop Daddy gambling.

            Secondly, f I could borrow money on the same terms and conditions as the New Zealand Government, it might actually be pretty advisable for me to take out quite a large loan, if I were using said loan to start or improve a business. In the long term I’ll pay it back and if I’m a good business owner (ie. if we have a good government or at least a good budget) then I’ll be making more than enough profit to service the incredibly small interest.

        • alwyn 3.1.3.3

          John Key made his living dealing in currency. He was never a share broker or an investment adviser who would have given the type of advice you propose.

          • Tracey 3.1.3.3.1

            So his knowledge is even more limited (about business and economics than we all thought)?

            • alwyn 3.1.3.3.1.1

              In fact no, he is very good on those subjects. However you claimed that he was telling people to “put an even amount in over the whole year to even out etc”. I am merely pointing out that that might be the advice of a stockbroker or investment adviser but it would not have been done by someone giving advice in foreign exchange trading. You are clearly making it up and it is you, I am afraid, who is displaying your ignorance.

          • KJT 3.1.3.3.2

            More like a crooked poker player who got lucky, then!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2

      “Mum and Dad” investors? Won’t someone think of the mum and dad investors, those battley strugglers who comprise two percent of the population and just happen to have $18k lying (speaking of lying, have you been listening to the National Party?) around?

      I say fuck them, let these two-percenter leeches take a haircut.

    • framu 3.3

      ” and if you increase the contributions to the Cullen Fund, then even more money flows overseas.”

      yes – and then what happens?

      – “The “Cullen” superannuation fund has posted a return of 1.66 per cent in November” – oh look profit! – your a real genius arent you

      also you do know that infrastructure assets and investment funds are utterly different things that work completely differently to each other dont you?

      • Che'sCrushedSkull 3.3.1

        “…..also you do know that infrastructure assets and investment funds are utterly different things that work completely differently to each other dont you?…”

        No I didn’t actually……I just took it for granted that investment funds were a much needed ‘infrastructure asset’ in…well…..all modern economies…….and that it didn’t matter at all that they worked completely different to each other.

        One generates power and one generates profit……..much like unionists and capitalists I suppose…..you may be right then….maybe they do ‘work’ differently…..I wonder then if the ‘outcomes’ are the same?

        • framu 3.3.1.1

          one creates a product and sells it – the other invests money hoping for a return

          one is vital to all of the people and businesses in NZ being able to function on a day to day basis in a modern society – the other is a scheme to lessen govt burden for superannuation

          im guessing you do know this stuff and are being deliberately thick

          so drop it and stop playing trool games

    • felix 3.4

      “As stated, the Cullen fund has earned it’s returns from overseas – because there is bugger all in NZ to invest in – and if you increase the contributions to the Cullen Fund, then even more money flows overseas. “

      Err, “flow overseas”? I think you’ll find that more money flowed back. That’s kinda the point.

      Sorta like what happens when you let overseas investors buy all your assets, only in reverse.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 3.5

      You’re an idiot.

      The power assets are amongst the highest returning most low risk physical assets in the world.

      Where the hell do you righties get off spewing crap like that? Sure, you could have invested in Bitcoins this year for a 2000% return, but its not quite AAA rated (if that means anything), you know.

      • Lanthanide 3.5.1

        I really regret not buying bitcoins back when they were 6c each.

      • Che'sCrushedSkull 3.5.2

        “……The power assets are amongst the highest returning most low risk physical assets in the world…..”

        Compared to what?

        Kiwi Rail? Kiwi Post? Kiwi Bank? Kiwi Assure?

        “……Where the hell do you righties get off spewing crap like that? Sure, you could have invested in Bitcoins this year for a 2000% return, but its not quite AAA rated (if that means anything), you know…..”

        Compared to what…..Kiwi…..?

        “….You’re an idiot…..”

        Yeah…….so…….What was your point again?

      • Ennui 3.5.3

        I bought them at around $80s not so long ago, they crashed 50% this week…I cashed out the actual dollars on an earlier price rise months ago by selling a few…so the remainder owe me nothing. Which makes them a good investment…its a day at the races. I will sit tight and watch.

      • aerobubble 3.5.4

        The power assets are rigged to produce dividends. The energy market is not competitive. Our economy is not competitive when gouging is so widespread. Welcome to NZ.

    • greywarbler 3.6

      She’sSlushed
      It’s good for you to come here to get facts and informed opinion on your economic concerns. It is obvious that you are getting bogged down and anxious. If you read the replies and try to understand them uou’ss get the picture. But there are always some who have great difficulty with this.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.7

      because there is bugger all in NZ to invest in

      Actually, there’s a huge amount that NZ could be investing in but the returns would take decades and everyone seems to not have the patience for that.

      then why can’t ‘mum and dad kiwi investors’ not have the opportunity to invest in them

      Why should they? Why should a few people get to be bludgers on the rest of us?

      Besides, when the power companies were owned by all of us we all had an equal share and an equal return.

      Anyhow it doesn’t matter either way if they are sold as electricity prices are the least of peoples worries

      Actually, for a lot of people power prices will be the most of their worries. Not being able to afford to heat the home and thus dying of cold would be a worry.

    • Francis 3.8

      Like most other people, you focus on the principal rather than the returns. Yes, the initial amount has flowed overseas, but the 5.5 billion returned this year will flow into New Zealand, when it’s needed. That’s besides the fact that the principal amount will eventually come back into New Zealand, when it’s needed.

      The reverse is one of the reasons why our current account is in such a bad state, and has been for a long time. While we do get the initial “investment”, all the returns flow directly out of the country. Good in the short term, bad in the long term.

  4. philj 4

    Asset sales are a collective I Q test that we failed. Albeit facilitated by a biased media. It’s called thought control.

    • Paul 4.1

      Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

    • Ennui 4.2

      We the citizens failed the IQ test…we are still looking at this as a financial issue. It most surely is not. For the millionth time I will point out it is about asset transfer of ongoing means of clipping the ticket from the people to a few wealthy individuals.

      Every time we look at this issue as an economic failure we fail the IQ test. The robber barons are laughing at how cheaply they got hold of the crown jewels, they know their true worth. Which makes us fools and them geniuses.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        I will point out it is about asset transfer of ongoing means of clipping the ticket from the people to a few wealthy individuals.

        QFT

        • Naturesong 4.2.1.1

          It’s about democratic control of infrastructure critical to the country.

          As an example, how easy is it going to be to decomission coal based power plants once they are all in private hands. Same for Solid energy.
          Doable, but the private companies now lobby the government, the owners of capital will fight tooth and nail (legal and stirring up public opinion – Democracy under attack anyone?)

          All critical infrastructure that is a natural monopoly should be democratically accountable (we also, we built the bloody stuff in the first place).
          That is
          – Power Infrastructure
          – Copper and Fibre networks
          – Rail
          – Roads
          – Bridges
          – Water supply
          – Water Waste and purification
          – Education
          – Sewage
          – Hospitals
          – etc.

          They should all be run to make zero profit. And either be free (education), or charge enough to pay for maintenance, wages, planning for future projects.
          The future planning horizon for capacity should be measured in decades rather than quarters.

          This does not preclude the use of other small businesses and contractors for specialist work. But core capabilities should reside with the state entity.

          It comes down to the role of government – should a government legislate to ensure capitalists local and overseas can make profit (and as a by product occasionally hire people, and pay tax on profit they are unable to hide).
          Or for the citizens of the country, ensuring all citizens have the opportunity to have good lives, healthy communities (both physically and mentally), learn as much as their abilities allow, make discoveries, create new technology.
          New Zealand could literally be paradise on earth. All it needs is the political will – and about 2 generations of concentrated work.

          Oh, and points to any commentator who leans toward the right if they know why this is not socialism.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            It comes down to the role of government – should a government legislate to ensure capitalists local and overseas can make profit

            That’s what both National and Labour think. It’s really the heart of neo-liberal economics. Everything that you listed is an expense upon the community as a whole but the RWNJs and economists think that a few people should make a profit out of them.

            Once it’s accepted that they are an expense then those making a profit from them are obviously bludgers of the first order as they choose to be bludgers.

          • Ennui 4.2.1.1.2

            The whole argument about necessities, utilities and monopolies is older than Adam Smith. It predates the formalised concepts of socialism such as Marxism. To call state ownership or regulation of natural monopolies etc “socialist” is to ignore this. In his treatise Smith considered any meeting of business people behind closed doors a reason to suspect they were up to no good (form a public perspective).

          • ropata 4.2.1.1.3

            +1 googolplex :)
            Please add:
            Access to capital at fair market prices … not rigged to enrich a useless bankster class
            Forex not rigged by LIBOR scams
            Insurance prices not rigged by cartels

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.2.1.1.4

            Well, what about noncritical stuff like airlines and TV stations? Could the money that the government has tied up in equity in AirNZ and TVNZ be put to better use? Do those companies have a profitable future? Seems hard to justify having millions tied up in 100% ownership of shrinking enterprises like those two when the money could get spent on teachers and nurses and policemen.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.4.1

              Well, what about noncritical stuff like airlines and TV stations?

              What makes you think that they’re non-critical?

              We really do need a cheap way to distribute information. Just because TVNZ no longer does this doesn’t mean to say that it’s not needed.

              I’m also pretty sure you’ll find that a lot of businesses would collapse if our airline wasn’t there to provide that service for them. In fact, I believe that was why the 5th Labour led government had to buy it back.

              And what you spend on teachers and nurses isn’t one off income from sales. You need to keep them on and so you need to pay them from ongoing income.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        +1

  5. Tat Loo (CV) 5

    Gamed, hyper-financialised, paper asset markets manipulated by automated high frequency trading algorithms and fuelled by billions in newly digitally printed money (how many zeroes would you like with that) from world central banks.

    Its great to see that NZ can play the Wall St game with the best of them.

    Meanwhile I saw a report earlier saying that we have 250K kids in poverty and we just must must raise the retirement age because “we cant afford not to.” Even though the RBNZ tells us that household wealth increased by $5B in the last 3 months alone.

    Add into this the asset sales debacle.

    Friends, we are being made fucking fools of.

  6. tricledrown 6

    We could end up paying no tax in fact the govt could pay us all if we put aside a small investment over time!
    The right wing fundamentalists havr no where to hide on this one.
    Compulsory Kiwisaver with govt contributions from the Cullen fund surpluses would be the way to get every body onboard.
    Come on you right whinging nutjobs gazumped again.
    Assey sales are dumb thosr assets were providing govt with
    Dividends that you dumbarse Bumptious Midden idiots Now have to make up in increased taxes.
    As you right whinging idiots continually point out that you pay more taxes than everyone else !
    Own Goal shooting one self in the foot backing a loosing horse cutting ones nose of to spite onrs face.
    Come on BM SSlands tighty almighty etc where the hell are your comments Cowards

  7. Tat Loo (CV) 7

    We can easily get sucked into this game of maximising ROI. Let’s just remember that this is what all the capitalists in the world are doing. And they are willing to consume and hollow out both people and the natural world in the process of doing so.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    “all it has to do is continue investing in the fund.”

    And hope that the fund beats the market returns, which is a very difficult thing to do that most investment managers don’t ever pull off.

  9. tricledrown 9

    Still no comment from the Right Whinging Hollow grinches.
    Cowards

  10. tricledrown 10

    Lanth that’s the pathetic spiel Dickhead Nick Smith tried with ACC .
    Borrowing bling English pushed that pathetic propaganda in 2008.
    Longterm investments something That the Right you would think would be pushing!
    No.
    Why.
    So they can keep the peasants in place while as individuals they practice longterm investment for finacial independence .
    Hypocrites.
    Its about power(sick joke)
    The filthy few just eant to laude it over the peasants.
    Results 100,000 starving children in poor health and poor education outcomes!
    While the Gringes get a Narcissistic BUZZ.

  11. Natwest 11

    I heard on the radio this morning that Cullen and Labours stroke of economic genius in buying back Tranzrail for $750m odd has reaped huge benefits for NZ, not.

    Now valued at -$500m.

    Brilliant!

    • Tat Loo (CV) 11.1

      Infrastructure to take 50% of heavy freight traffic off our highways: priceless.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      And I heard that you’re a moron.

      If the value has reversed like that then it must have something to do with the government undermining it. Probably has something to do with them building uneconomic roads for the roading lobby.

      • framu 11.2.1

        hes also only focusing on a dollar value, and missing out how the rail network fits into the wider infrastructure network and what the cost impacts of having it fail might be

        • KJT 11.2.1.1

          RWNJ’s can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Don’t confuse them by showing there are other sides to a ledger.

      • KJT 11.2.2

        The cross subsidies for trucking, a big National party funder, by the way.

        If roads were expected to make the same “opportunity cost” return as rail, or ports, there would be bugger-all trucks on the road.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.2.2.1

          That’s why I want fuel taxes that relate to paying for the roads removed and put into RUCs with the price on them related to maximum mass. Damage to the road goes up as an exponential of mass – 2^16 in fact, a doubling of mass will see 16 times more damage. Start off with a one tonne base and even a really low base rate for that means that 50 tonne trucks will pretty much disappear over night.

          • Murray Olsen 11.2.2.1.1

            I think you mean that the damage goes up as the weight to the fourth power, which is true to a first approximation. This means that doubling the weight, with the same number of axles, does 16 times the damage. A twenty ton truck with four axles will have ten times as much weight on each axle as a one ton car, and do approximately 10,000 times the damage. The road transport agency needs those mates in government or it would go broke within a week.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.2.1.1.1

              I think you mean that the damage goes up as the weight to the fourth power, which is true to a first approximation.

              Damn, you’re right :oops:

  12. tricledrown 12

    Grinches all spewing on whaleoil

  13. infused 13

    Easy solution then. Lets borrow, sorry print, another 50b and invest it in the fund.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Please remind me, why did we stop contributions to the Cullen Fund and why are we selling the country’s silverware?

    To do two things:
    1.) Impoverish NZers so that they would have to work harder for longer and
    2.) Transfer the commonwealth in the hands of the few so that those few could live as bludgers on the hard work of the rest of NZ.

  15. Saarbo 15

    Faaarrrrrr…this just shows how incredibly inept this National Party is, fucken hopeless. Good post Micky!

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      They’re neither inept nor hopeless – they’re achieving exactly what they set out to do. It’s just that it’s not in NZ’s favour but it does it make the rich richer.

  16. srylands 16

    Why are we selling the country’s silverware? Because it is tarnished.

    “While some State-owned enterprises have performed well, overall performance of the Crown’s commercial portfolio has been mediocre, with poor performance by Solid Energy, KiwiRail and Learning Media,” the Treasury said in a statement.

    “Total shareholder return across the wholly owned commercial priority companies was 3 per cent,” the Treasury said, adding that this did not include KiwiRail because of the change in its structure at the start of 2013.”

    The Treasury

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/business/9531728/SOE-performance-mediocre-Treasury

    We should sell TVNZ and the rest of the power cos while we can. Solid Energy is too far gone. NZ Post is dying.

    The Cullen Fund has performed well. It is managed by brilliant fund managers (an occupation that most commentators here deride – how ironic.).

    Unfortunately in the long run, borrowing money to invest in equities is a high risk strategy. Personaly, I woudl rather do my own investing than have the State do it on my behalf.

    • Will@Welly 16.1

      Treasury’s mantra is for us to sell everything. They are God’s arsehole. If one outfit can take credit for the state of New Zealand, and for the way National has lead us in the last 25 years, look no further than Treasury.
      Look back to 1984. When Labour won the election, they advised the incoming Government to devalue. In the weeks before the election, money had flowed out of the economy, when the Government devalued, that money flowed right back in. Who made money? The likes of John Key, money trader.
      So don’t tell me Treasury works in the best interests of New Zealand. They are in the pockets of the rich and powerful elsewhere, singing a tune that rhymes with America.

      • srylands 16.1.1

        [deleted]

        [lprent: currently banned. ]

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1

          Treasury is simply an impartial economic advisor to the government of the day.

          BS. The ideology that they follow removes all impartiality.

          It promotes prosperity and has a deep interest in equity.

          And that would be why poverty in NZ has been increasing since government started listening to them. /sarc

        • KJT 16.1.1.2

          Given treasuries strike rate so far, we may as well go back to reading chicken entrails, or replace them with a walking talking Don Brash doll saying, “cut taxes, cut Government spending, cut wages and sell everything”.

          Worked well so far hasn’t it!

        • Murray Olsen 16.1.1.3

          You have a great future in comedy, SSlands. Treasury is impartial and the GCSB acts to protect New Zealand sovereignty, right? And Gerry Brownlee has the physique of a personal trainer.

    • Tracey 16.2

      so now you accept the treasury statements? That’s good because you may be beginning to see some truth at last.

      I didnt pick you as someone who thinks you sell the high dividend yielding companies and keep the ones dragging you down.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.3

      And that’s one of the times where Treasury is so far wrong it’s obvious that they’re not in this reality.

      Government services such as power, telecommunications, health etc aren’t supposed to make a profit.

      • srylands 16.3.1

        [deleted]

        [lprent: currently banned. ]

        • Will@Welly 16.3.1.1

          We didn’t lose the argument. We never had the discussion. We were railroaded by the neo-liberals who high-jacked the Labour Party for the own ideological benefits. Look at whose still there. This is not the country I was raised in. This is not the country our forefathers fought for. Oh, that’s right, John Key’s father didn’t fight for New Zealand.
          Originally our services were modeled on the British system, now we want to run it along the American model. If that’s the case, then lets declare ourselves a republic, but J.K. won’t have a bar of that, it’ll mean he’ll miss out on his precious knighthood.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1.2

          There’s a difference between the way things are and the way things should be. Government services should not make a profit/pay dividends.

  17. captain hook 17

    the thing about the Cullen fund is that it is very hard to sell pieces of it to your mates.
    National is all about doing back room deals and special considerations and any other euphimisms you might dream up for malfeasance and looting the treasury for your own benefit.

  18. Ricky Rogers 18

    A return of 1.66% is less than the ~4% we pay in interest on Government Bonds on our $65b of debt.

    Therefore, the most prudent financial decision would be to cash in the Cullen Fund and put it on our national debt.

    At present the Cullen Fund is the personal equivalent of having a massive mortgage and borrowing a whole pile of cash off your credit card to invest in the stock market.
    The best financial decision would be to not borrow that $25b and instead pay it off our ‘mortgage’.
    We would be better off in the long run without the Cullen fund and to simply borrow the money for superannuation as we need it.

    • Hayden 18.1

      Er…

      The “Cullen” superannuation fund has posted a return of 1.66 per cent in November, taking its overall value to $24.93 billion – roughly half the Government’s net debt.

      Over the last 12 months, as world equity markets soared, it earned 27.76 per cent or about $5.5b.

      Also…

      The fund’s annual return since inception in 2003 has been 9.55 per cent.

      Can you spot your error?

      • Ricky Rogers 18.1.1

        oops, sorry I thought that was 1.66%. I’ll admit when I make a mistake.

        However I still stand by my comment, what happens when the market drops by 27% as it inevitably will at some point?

        Just because the fund made a whole pile of money in the short term, doesn’t mean long term its the
        best option.

        Ask any financial adviser in the world anywhere and they will always tell you that paying off debt is the best financial strategy and borrowing money to take a punt while you have debt is highly risky.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.1

          What do they say about deliberately slashing your own revenue stream?

        • KJT 18.1.1.2

          Worse than borrowing for unaffordable tax cuts/current consumption, while selling the tool kit to pay the grocery bill, and claiming a surplus, for example?

        • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.3

          Ask any financial adviser in the world anywhere and they will always tell you that paying off debt is the best financial strategy and borrowing money to take a punt while you have debt is highly risky.

          That would apply to an individual but it does not apply to a nation. As a nation is a permanent entity it can ride out the slumps and get the long term average rise.

          • Ricky Rogers 18.1.1.3.1

            So you are advocating that we should borrow say $500 billion and invest it in the cullen fund because the same universal laws of financial investment don’t apply to us because we are a country.

            If its ok for $25b why would it not be ok for $500b or 10 trillion?

            • Tracey 18.1.1.3.1.1

              Oh I dunno, I suspect the current PM has made calls similar to this over the years…. at the moment he and you are the only ones who think prudence is to stop buying into the sharemarket when it is at rock bottom and only start buying when the market has climbed high again. Contrary to the very way Mr Key would have made his money.

              • Ricky Rogers

                So you are saying Key is trying to deliberately get the country to perform poorly.
                Man, that is serious conspiracy stuff.

                In reality, when you are a young single guy you are prepared to take risks because you don’t have a lot to learn.
                You can make a lot of money doing that but you can also lose a lot.
                You read about the financial traders who make millions, but you don’t often read about the ones who lose everything and believe me there are far more of the latter.

                When you grow up and run a country, you are a little more prudent because you are risking the future of the entire country. If you go bankrupt taking a risk, nobody cares. But if you sent an entire country bankrupt by making stupid financial decisions then a lot of people suffer.

                It seems odd that so many lefties are advocating for investing in the right wing capitalist share market. What is going on here?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Yeah, the problem with making up homilies as you go along is that you end up looking like a bit of a numpty, but now it’s time for your reality check: only people who’ve actually gone bankrupt learn the lessons that bankruptcy offers. The rest (of the currency trader types) often mistake their luck for skill.

                  PS: you probably got your notions about what lefties think from some righty, in which case the chances are you’ve been lied to.

        • Tracey 18.1.1.4

          so if the sharemarket is such a risky investment how come so many of the right of the political spectrum think one way to deal with issues like property prices is to encourage people into the stock market

          • Ricky Rogers 18.1.1.4.1

            Its risky to borrow to invest in the stock market.
            Its less risky to invest savings in the share-market.

            Its not rocket science.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.4.1.1

              Is it risky to sell high dividend-yield assets, thereby slashing your income, or is that just considered sub-moronic?

              • Ricky Rogers

                FFS, this forum is frustrating.

                We get far to attached to ‘owning things’. The financial side of asset sales is rather irrelevant.

                If you look at it from a purely rational perspective, the value of a power plant is that it exists in the first place. The value of a power plant that exists is much higher to a country than the value of a power plant that doesn’t exist. It generates power that we need at a price the market is willing to pay.

                You can’t pick up a power plant and move it to another country, therefore who own’s it is rather irrelevant so long as it exists in the first place.

                The revenue it generated for the government is minuscule relative to the value it represents to the country in generating power. (a country without power is pretty screwed).

                Now if you sell half of it, you still control it and it still has all its value to you because nobody can pick it up and take it away. But you now have a big wad of cash in your pocket that you can invest in other infrastructure that adds value to the country.

                Everyone gets far too hung up on owning stuff and the lost revenue. We can’t own everything and we are far better off owning a smaller portion of a lot of things than 100% of a small number of things.

                Think of all the lost value we have tied up in state assets. Those assets aren’t going anywhere no matter who owns them. So imagine if you could take all that money out and invest in more new assets. All of a sudden that same capital is delivering far more value to the country than having it tied up in a small number of very expensive things.

                If you have 10 power plants and you own 100% of them, then no private company will build a power plant because you have a government monopoly. You can’t get another power plant until you spend more money.

                However, if you sell a half share in your ten power plants and then use the money to build another 5 power plants, then your country now has 15 power plants for the same money that you had before even though you are only getting the revenue from 10 the country is still better off because it needs power plants more than it needs the revenue that power plants generate.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  You daft bastard, the value to the country is diminished if you convert it into profits to shareholders. Dividends = higher power prices.

                  • Ricky Rogers

                    man, you really don’t get it aye.

                    Lets say all the power plants in the country were worth $15 billion and collectively they generate $1b a year in revenue for the government.

                    Now take them all away, yip thats right, NZ no longer has power.

                    How much are they worth now to the country.
                    Pretty much the entire gross domestic product of the country (hundreds of billions) because overnight we would be 3rd world.

                    Your golden goose, or tiny little bit of revenue they generate relative to their real value to the country is so absolutely irrelevant its hardly worth half a wank.

                    If prices go up, that makes it more attractive for companies to build power plants. When more companies build power plants, supply is increased and prices go down.

                    So your fine to take the dividends so long as the Govt gets them but its not ok if anyone private gets them.
                    Who really gives a flying fuck about the dividends.
                    Its the power plants themselves that we need, not the fricking dividends.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Since the dividends are immaterial according to you (hundreds of millions though they are), you won’t mind if Labour reacquires the assets at a low price?

                      Thanks in advance.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Bingo!

                      Oh, just one question: will the private shareholders be happy when we run the companies so that they never return a dividend? Is that legal and everything?

                    • Naturesong

                      Exactly, and now we are unable to supply power to New Zealanders (who built and paid for them) at cost.

                      The real damage was done by Max Bradford, this just cements in the change.

                      They are public utilities and should not be a vehicle to generate profit.

                • Naturesong

                  Except the sale of critical infrastructure and utilities was never about the money.

                  It’s about removing the democratic governance of state owned monopolies. And now we have to spend more money to regulate them.

                  Executives are hired to maximize profits; that is their responsibility to their company’s shareholders. Even if executives wanted to forgo some profit to benefit society, they could expect to lose their jobs if they tried—and be replaced by managers who would restore profit as the top priority
                  Arneel Karnani – University of Michigan

                  And as they look to maximise profits, prices go up, increasing costs to every single user of power in New Zealand. From small and large businesses, to hospitals, schools, to people who are already struggling to pay for power, to you and me.

                • felix

                  Ricky, Ricky, Ricky.

                  “the value of a power plant is that it exists in the first place.”

                  Yes indeed. The only real value of owning a power plant is that you can use it to generate power. That’s why you build one. So you can generate power for yourself.

                  “It generates power that we need at a price the market is willing to pay.”

                  That’s where you go completely off the rails. It generates power fullstop. The market doesn’t come into it if you own the power plant and generate power for yourself.

                  We did own the ability to generate our own power. We now own about half of that ability. We now own less of the only real value of the power companies.

                  Your argument is a bit like saying it doesn’t matter whether you own the food in your garden or not as long as whoever owns it will sell your own food back to you.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You can’t pick up a power plant and move it to another country, therefore who own’s it is rather irrelevant so long as it exists in the first place.

                  You truly are a fucken moron. Of course it fucken matters who owns the power generation because individuals owning it get to charge whatever they fucken like becoming parasites on the backs of the majority of people.

                  We can’t own everything and we are far better off owning a smaller portion of a lot of things than 100% of a small number of things.

                  Actually, the state can own everything.

                  If you have 10 power plants and you own 100% of them, then no private company will build a power plant because you have a government monopoly. You can’t get another power plant until you spend more money.

                  Wow, the absolute nonsense just keeps getting worse.

                  Even if all the generators were fully privatised and competing against each other it would still be us paying for them as well as any new plants built. I know this because, lo and behold, the private owners will get the money that they spent back plus a hell of a lot in profit.

                  However, if you sell a half share in your ten power plants and then use the money to build another 5 power plants,

                  And if we kept the full 100% of the power plants and paid to build 5 more we’d have 15 as well as still owning all of them.

                  Privatisation costs us more – a lot more – than state ownership. The reason why National and Act like private ownership is because a few psychopaths get to be parasites on the rest of us. Shareholders are the biggest bludgers in the world.

    • Tracey 18.2

      ah, like Muldoon…

      so now the supporters of national think we should borrow to fund anything and pay back the debt they ran up, in part, for a tax cut for a small number at the worst possible time.

      You forgot to say how prudent it was of Labour to set up the fund in the first place and the questionable management of anyone who has borrowed so heavily you think they should sell the golden goose.

      • Ricky Rogers 18.2.1

        I wouldn’t say it was prudent. Long term Labour would have been better to pay off debt than to set up the cullen fund.

        All the time we have any debt, we are better of paying it off than what we are creating investment funds.

        It would be very prudent if we have had have cleared all our debt.

        Debt is a buffer, the level of debt will go up and down over time. When you clear your debt you invest and save, if you haven’t cleared your debt you focus on clearing your debt until its gone.

        What on earth are you calling the golden goose?
        Power companies?
        Your joking right….

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1.1

          Earth to fuckwit. What debt? Cullen paid it all off.

          • Ricky Rogers 18.2.1.1.1

            Fuckwit to Dickface..
            No he didn’t, we never ever had $0 national debt, not in the last 100 years anyway.
            I’m calling your bluff, prove it!

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.1.1.2

            Ricky Rogers would prefer to be paying off debt costing 4%, rather then making investment returns of over 20%.

            The financial stupidity of these RWNJs is underwhelming.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1.1.2.1

              …and typical. Low intelligence is a gateway trait to right wing dogma.

            • Ricky Rogers 18.2.1.1.2.2

              If you can show me an investment fund that pays 20% consistently for 20 years in a row then I’ll change my mind. But it doesn’t exist anywhere on the planet.

              You can’t take result from a very small period of time and extrapolate that out to make long term investment decisions for a country unless you want to lose a lot of money.

              Yes it made 20% in one hit, but that isn’t a long term return. Long term it will be closer to the average for the associated level of risk which I can assure you is not 20%.
              Some years it might lose 20%.

              The only businesses that return 20% are cocaine shipping businesses and I can assure you that they are quite risky operations.

              I’m bloody glad you are not in charge of our purse strings Colonial Viper.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Speaking of long term investment decisions, the New Zealand Left makes better ones, as our history demonstrates.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ricky Rogers only ponzi schemes pay 20% consistently for 20 years.

                But of course, the Cullen fund doesn’t need to make a single cent more for the next 4 years and it will still beat your stupid idea to pay debt off first. Financial moron.

        • Tracey 18.2.1.2

          no the cullen fund. Nice way to avoid having to give any credit to labour for the fund. It kind of shines a light onto your perspective on things.

  19. tricledrown 19

    Sslands borrowing everyone else printed money printed money being given away at 1/2 % while borrowing bling english borrows at 5.5%.

  20. tricledrown 20

    Sslands get your economic comic knowledge from sarah palin.

  21. tricledrown 21

    So Michael Cullen has a Phd in economic history with honours.
    Tory toiletrolls have gossip magizine knowledge.
    The difference shows without the Cullen fund the ACC fund and Now Kiwisaver.
    Assets built by largly labour govts.
    You sick rwnj toiletrolls would be paying heaps more tax.

  22. tricledrown 22

    Rick Rogers .
    Because of lost income from asset sales you will be paying more tax to make up shotfall.
    Because of private ownership prices of electricity will Go up.
    Cartels will form and they will collude to force up prices by lowering the amount of electricity generated,no brainer.
    Cartels virtually are gouging this country .

  23. Rich 23

    The assets sales could never have *earnt* anything and have in fact lost NZ money by reducing the value of the assets (both the parts that were sold and the remainder that were in public hands).

    Even without that, selling an asset doesn’t make you money – it just turns it into cash. Accountancy 101.

  24. tricledrown 24

    Ratfest.
    Infrasructure.have roads made any profit no
    1 lane of motorway from the harbour bridge to Auckland Airport would cost more than $750 million the economic benefits would be a fraction of what the railnetwork would return.
    Natwest learn some economics before you put up you feeble theorries.

  25. tricledrown 25

    Ratfest.
    Infrasructure.have roads made any profit no
    1 lane of motorway from the harbour bridge to Auckland Airport would cost more than $750 million the economic benefits would be a fraction of what the railnetwork would return.
    Natwest learn some economics before you put up you feeble theories.

  26. newsense 26

    And live from the bear-pit that is parliament and raging Bill English is Paddy Gower’s pugilistic politician of the year ‘cos it don’t matter about the money, it’s how you look a man in the eye and talk complete shit. Honestly Patrick. Have you seen the numbers on asset sales or do you just make shit up?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinion-Politician-of-the-Year—Bill-English/tabid/1382/articleID/325632/Default.aspx

    Honestly dude are you a political journalist or more in the Don King mold?

    Cos if you wanna call white black and night day that’s the profession. Cullen Fund that the finance minister stopped contributions to makes more than the flagship asset sales policy, and much less than was forecast etc etc In any other job that’d make you anything but employee of the month. But you’re the political journo, we just have to live here.

  27. tricledrown 27

    Gower golumb grinch

  28. Stephen 28

    “the fastest way to get rich is to make someone else poor” National has always appealed to the upper middle class, or higher. Exactly the kind of people who want the government to sell those sorts of assets, they cant buy them if they’re not for sale.

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    Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 18-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Date of Release: Friday, April 18, 2014Body:  The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions."Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    First Union Media | 17-04
  • Could this man be Prime Minister of New Zealand?
    If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as...
    Brian Edwards | 17-04
  • Movies, feminism and postfeminism
    So, a confession: I've never really liked biographical movies about women I otherwise admire. I'm not entirely sure why - there's something about the cliches they indulge in, the Hollywood-isation. (She lapses into total vagueness revealing, yet again, that she...
    The Hand Mirror | 17-04
  • Barabbas – An Easter Story
    "All I know is that he died and I live. Maybe it’s what lies at the heart of that day."  “YOU’RE A HARD MAN TO FIND!”, exclaimed the sharp-featured young fellow, setting a jug of wine upon the table. “I’ve...
    Bowalley Road | 17-04
  • Low Traffic Forecast For Costly Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
          Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a lesser extent to population growth. To...
    Real Climate | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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