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Cunliffe’s not so shabby question: broadband costs

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, September 18th, 2013 - 39 comments
Categories: capitalism, david cunliffe, infrastructure, john key, news, Steven Joyce, telecommunications, tv - Tags:

The MSM, especially TV One and TV 3’s 6pm news, reported on Cunliffe stumbling over the word Chorus in his first question yesterday to PM Key.

They failed to significantly report on the substance of Cunliffe’s question, that exposes Key’s prevarications on the costs to Kiwis of his Ultrafast Broadband plan.

Cunliffe lays out the importance of his question in a press release:

Kiwis will pay $150 more a year for their broadband than they should thanks to the National Government – and John Key knows it, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“John Key’s government is planning to keep the price of copper broadband services artificially high because it has a political problem and is trying to make its ultrafast broadband plan more attractive to consumers.

“The Commerce Commission’s draft determination would have cut prices for broadband by up to $12.50 a month.  But the Minister’s proposals override the independent regulator, and would keep prices higher for longer.

“John Key’s claim in Parliament today that “under every scenario consumers will pay less” is just plain wrong.  Every scenario put forward by the Government in its discussion document would see Kiwis pay more than they would under the Commerce Commission’s plan.

“This is corporate welfare.  National is once again propping up big business at the expense of Kiwi families.

Cunliffe also points out the crony capitalism involved in Key’s slippery deal:

“Embarrassingly, John Key’s former boss at Bankers Trust, Gavin Walker, is the chair of Chorus’ UFB Steering Committee.  Given the $600-million estimated subsidy involved, that is just too close for comfort.

Following this question and Key’s comments on it later yesterday, Paul McBeth and NBR staff report on the dodgy way Key operates, getting advice by phone from Chorus Chair and passing it off as official advice. (h/t Penny Bright)

At question time in Parliament today, Prime Minister John Key defended comments that Chorus may go broke if the Commerce Commission pressed ahead with plans for a sharp cut in the regulated price on the copper lines, saying Cabinet had received advice based on commercial and in-confidence briefings between Chorus and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

In his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Key said he could not recall where the advice had come from.

He said today that those briefings probably would have come after he received a phone call from Chorus chair Sue Sheldon in December last year when she shared her view on the impact of the regulator’s draft decision and gave the government “some understanding of the issues they would face.”

The article goes on to point out the significance of Cunliffe’s question, in relation to the manipulations of Joyce and Key around the comparative pricing of copper wire and brroadband connections.

He was answering the first question directed to him by the newly elected leader of the Labour Party, David Cunliffe, who asked if Key still believed Chorus would “go broke” if proposals to drop the price of copper services in line with Commerce Commission recommendations went ahead.

The new Labour leader also asked why then-ICT Minister Steven Joyce did not include base copper pricing in UFB contract negotiations.

Cunliffe’s choice is significant because he was Communications Minister in 2006 when he surprised Telecom by forcing operational separation between its core infrastructure and competitive telephony and broadband services in a move that saw prices to consumers drop.

Cunliffe is expected to campaign heavily on that record in the context of the current spat over how to price copper services in a way that doesn’t undermine the government’s desire to see consumers switch quickly to the fibre-based ultra-fast broadband network, which the government is underwriting.

So there may be more to come on this story.  I hope the MSM are paying attention.

[update] Press release from Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing.

ASX & ASIC Asked to Investigate Chorus Insolvency Speculation

Ongoing speculation of a risk that Chorus Ltd (CNU) may become insolvent has led New Zealand’s Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing to ask the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), to inquire into the company.

[…]

A spokeswoman for the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing, Sue Chetwin, also Chief Executive of Consumer NZ, said today: “We continue to be concerned that there may be information circulating in Wellington, as the Prime Minister has confirmed, about the financial viability of Chorus Ltd under the Commerce Commission’s draft determination that is not available to its shareholders or to the broader market.

 

39 comments on “Cunliffe’s not so shabby question: broadband costs”

  1. The FACTS are that you cannot have either transparency or democratic accountability without proper written records.

    Here the Public Records Act 2005 is quite pivotal.

    Unfortunately, the RULE OF LAW – ie: the implementation and enforcement of the Public Records Act 2005, is being violated in a major way at both central and local government level.

    eg: ‘the books’ are not open at central and local government level, and we aren’t given the ‘devilish detail’ of where exactly public tax and rates monies are being spent, invested or borrowed.

    New Zealand is effectively like a legislative ‘Wild West’.

    On so many pivotal fronts the RULE OF LAW is not upheld, those who make the law don’t follow it themselves, and those responsible for upholding and implementing the LAW – just ‘make it up’.

    This won’t be happening on my watch!

    Good on David Cunliffe for helping to expose more corrupt, crony capitalism!

    ‘Her Warship’ 😉

    Penny Bright

  2. Herodotus 2

    From an alternative angle, what would have been chorus’s pricing policy should they not have won the fibre tender? Should that not indicate what premium there is?
    Perhaps in reflection the govt should have owned the fibre lines we already have invested $1b into the process.
    This has the ability to save households as much if not more than the Lab &Greens power policy.
    This fibre is something that has an immediate impact on our daily lives, coupled with SNA1 whereby there is a perception that corporates come 1st.
    This is a great commencing point in differentiation between Cunliffe / Key

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Perhaps in reflection the govt should have owned the fibre lines we already have invested $1b into the process.

      The government should own the entire telecommunications sector. Having private investors has cost us $17b dollars in loss just for Telecom. Add in the other telco’s and the loss goes up.

      We are, IMO, a minimum of five years behind where we would be if telecommunications hadn’t been deregulated and sold.

      • billbrowne 2.1.1

        Yes, at a minimum Chorus should be re-nationalised, they own both the Copper mine that the NZ people paid for and the fibre mine that the NZ people are paying for.

      • srylands 2.1.2

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        That table suggests that the Crown would have recieved the same dividend stream from BNZ had it not neen sold to NAB! Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

        Same with Telecom – if it had stayed in State ownership why do you think it would have performed exactly the same over the last 23 years?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          Of course Telecom wouldn’t have “performed exactly the same”: it would have instead extracted less money out of communities, and it would not have shipped those monies overseas.

          That table suggests that the Crown would have recieved the same dividend stream from BNZ had it not neen sold to NAB! Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

          BULLSHIT.

          The Government could have recapped BNZ easy.

        • KJT 2.1.2.2

          Looking at the SOE’s over the same time period the evidence is that Telecom would have performed considerably better as under State ownership. AND the dividends would have stayed in New Zealand.

          AND. Kiwibank shows the value of a State owned bank, for keeping the banking cartels charges within reason, for one!

        • Telecom CEOs or shareholders wouldn’t be as rich, but our businesses and communities would more than make up the difference.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.4

          Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

          Actually, without the government bailout there wouldn’t have been a BNZ.

          The sale of Telecom didn’t magically make it start producing profit. It was doing that throughout the 1980s. No, what the sale did was shift that profit from being put directly back into the network and upgrading it to being dished out as dividends to the free-riding bludgers otherwise known as shareholders. which is why we’re now having to pay out even more taxpayer dollars to upgrade the network.

          Same with Telecom – if it had stayed in State ownership why do you think it would have performed exactly the same over the last 23 years?

          I don’t think it would have performed exactly the same – I think it would have performed better:
          1.) We’d already have FTTH across most, if not all, of the country
          2.) We wouldn’t have to be paying out billions to corporations to upgrade the network and
          3.) IMO, we wouldn’t be paying anywhere near as much per month for telecommunications

          Telecom is the proof that the private economic system doesn’t actually work.

          • millsy 2.1.2.4.1

            “Actually, without the government bailout there wouldn’t have been a BNZ.”

            Given the on-going social costs resulting from Ruth Richardson’s austerity package, to pay for the bailout, one wonders if it was worth keeping, especially as it is now 100% Australian owned, Bank of NZ being in name only.

        • millsy 2.1.2.5

          The old NZPO and its predessor, the Post and Telegraph department, seemed to do OK with rolling out phone lines to almost all of the country (and telegraph lines before). Not to mention other communications services. I shudder to think what would be the case if we left it up to the private sector to build our telecoms network.

          Compare and contrast with broadband today, where you are stuffed if you leave the cities.

          National’s original proposal of a single fibre to the home network, that all retailers could use was a good one, and even its watered down proposal of local fibre companies was pretty good. But Chorus was allowed to join in and the whole thing became a shambles.

          Hopefully Messiah-boy will sort it when he gets in next year.

          UFB could unlock this country’s potential in a way that we could never imagine.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.5.1

            I shudder to think what would be the case if we left it up to the private sector to build our telecoms network.

            We wouldn’t have one as the BS with paying Chorus billions to do the job, despite having the income to do it before hand, shows.

  3. Blue 3

    It was quite funny to see that although the political journalists seemed to see Question Time yesterday as some sort of victory for Key, complete with stupid Herald cartoon suggesting that Cunliffe had been ‘knocked out’, the fact is that the issue he raised got significant coverage today.

    Forcing Steven Joyce into this is nothing to sneeze at.

  4. tracey 4

    Good to see nbr doing serious reporting. Political journos hang your pasty faces in shame

  5. bad12 5

    Right now the price of a ‘copper wire’ connection is probably not foremost on a lot of peoples minds, however the machinations of the Prime Minister in having the ex Telecom ‘Chorus’ set it’s own prices for such internet connections is likely to become as damaging to Slippery’s Government as was the GCSB Legislation,

    i have to wonder here what the rumored involvement of both Hooten and Farrer in the recently set up group opposing the Governments involvement in ‘price fixing’ on behalf of Chorus shareholders spells for the PM,

    What could Farrar and Hooten expect to gain from the Prime Minister on this issue, a ‘back-down’ where the Commerce Commission gets to set the price of internet access for the average Kiwi household would come at the price of a messy public campaign which would see Slippery, His fingerprints already all over the deal, lose even more appeal in the wider electorate,

    Perhaps the ‘two spinners’ of the National Party message have decided to exploit the slide in Nationals popularity with a view to a little night of the long knives leadership coup in favor of their particular pet candidate,

    Having played carrot and stick with both 2 degrees and voda-phone over their initial support for the campaign against the ‘copper tax’ Slippery’s right hand man Steven Joyce is in this little drama right up to His armpits, the rumor being is that to pacify the other tel-cos He has had to earmark the best part of the old analogue tv spectrum to be dished out to them on the cheap,

    Perhaps Slippery should have listened to Ruth Richardson’s historical call that Government has no business in business, especially one as inept as this one is proving to be,

    The PM is probably busily scratching out the hairy implants from His bald spot wondering why, recently, everything He touches seems to turn to s**t and it wasn’t like that in the good old money trading days,

    At the time of course He was doing exactly what He was told to do from the big boys upstairs who have fall guys like Slippery as the well paid middle men for times when the brown stuff hits the fan,

    i can’t see any minor servant of the Government in sight to take the fall for this latest of foot in mouth brain fades from our Prime Minister…

  6. alwyn 6

    It is a bit futile complaining that the MSM are reporting this as being a fall at the first fence by Cunliffe when he set himself up for it.
    It was Cunliffe who has promoted his activities as being a battle with his talk that “the party is on a war footing” and “We are taking the fight to the Key Government”. He also claims that “Key knows I have his measure”.
    Add to this the the statement that “I’m not expecting to have his trousers around his ankles at the first meeting”, with it’s implication that it won’t be long though and you have to expect that the media will highlight the fact that it took him THREE attempts to read a dozen words of a sheet of paper before he got them right.
    Under promise David, under promise and then out-perform. You are doing it the wrong way round.
    If you want to see how the questioning works best look back at Lockwood Smith and Tony Ryall in 2005-2008.

    • framu 6.1

      yes, because stumbling over one words is totally the big story here.

      while i agree that complaining about the MSM is a little futile – i find your sticking up for shit journalism a bit weird

      Does stumbling over one word really negate all the quotes youve picked out? Really?

      Or is it just a distraction from the substance of the question and the reply it got?

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        You misunderstand what I am trying to say.
        I shall try and be a bit clearer.
        It was Cunliffe who spent his time giving quotes to the press about how he was going to take Key apart and basically saying that Key would crumble before him.
        Then he goes into Parliament and makes a fool of himself.
        I am NOT sticking up for shit journalism as you call it.
        Stumbling over a word is totally trivial. It does not however fit in with the image Cunliffe was claiming for himself as the man who would demolish Key.

        • framu 6.1.1.1

          ok – i get you now 🙂

        • karol 6.1.1.2

          Yet you quote Cunliffe as saying this:

          “I’m not expecting to have his trousers around his ankles at the first meeting”,

          And so he was not building up expectations as you claim. The line about taking on Key was for the party in the context of the leadership contest.

          To the media, he said in effect, “I know I will make mistakes, I am not expecting an instant knockout blow in the House – we are beginning a long election campaign.”
          Of course, the short term memory, drama queens in the MSM want instant results.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.2.1

            Now I am getting seriously concerned.
            Are you saying that Cunliffe will say one thing to a party audience, where he is trying to get them to vote for him, and then feed another line to the media?
            What does he actually mean then. The options appear to be
            1. The members of the party are so stupid they won’t even realise I don’t actually have any real belief that I can or will do what I am telling them.
            2. The members of the media are so stupid that they won’t find out that I was boasting about what I was going to do to Key in the party meetings.
            3. I can’t remember what I said last week.
            4. Why should I say what I mean. I’m a leading Labour politician and it’s my right to lie whenever I feel like it.
            Incidentally, everything I quoted him as saying was reported in the media, as direct quotes mostly. Are you sure that he only said it to party audiences?
            As for your interpretation that he was saying “I know I will make mistakes … ” can you show me ANY occasion when he has admitted to making a mistake?

            • karol 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Oh, alwyn, we all frame things differently to different audiences – nothing sinister about it.

              See Gordon Campbell on that.

              nd since it will be Labour Party members, unions and Labour MPs who will decide the leadership contest, it was inevitable that hating on John Key would become a default option, and an easy way of looking staunch. Yet to outsiders, the fixation the three contenders seem to have with the taking down of John Key – up to and including Shane Jones’ rant last week about torturing his testicles – is kind of embarrassing. Hopefully, it has just been campaign rhetoric. Because if the successful candidate wants to reach a wider audience and win the 2014 election, Labour will need to dial it back.

              Cunliffe said to members he can take on Key – people were especially calling for that re-election debates, etc.

              But there’s more to leadership of a team than on-on-one encounters between leaders.

        • Anne 6.1.1.3

          Cunliffe was claiming for himself as the man who would demolish Key.

          He didn’t say he was going to do it overnight and Alwyn knows it.

          Beware the worm that turns?

        • felix 6.1.1.4

          “It was Cunliffe who spent his time giving quotes to the press about how he was going to take Key apart and basically saying that Key would crumble before him.”

          alwyn, I think you’re mistaken. I can’t seem to find a quote of Cunliffe saying anything of the sort.

          I can find a couple of him say he would “take the fight to John Key” but that’s nothing at all like what you claimed.

          Would you like to rephrase?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.4.1

            alwyn is permitted his personal alternate reality…

          • alwyn 6.1.1.4.2

            You won’t find him saying those exact words but that isn’t what I was claiming.
            As you say he said he would take the fight to key.
            He also said that it would be war, although I haven’t pinned down a reference.

            He did say “Prime Minister John Key should be worried” and “John Keys got a problem”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11125165

            He also said “We will be taking the fight to the Government” and “I believe I have his number and I believe he knows I do”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11125621

            He also opined that “I’ve got his number” and “I can foot it with John Key … in any debate, anywhere, anytime”
            http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/09/13/winning-why-are-you-the-one-to-take-on-and-beat-john-key-labour-leadership-qa-14/

            If that isn’t claiming he was going to best Key rather easily I don’t know what is.
            Then he couldn’t even read out his questiom!

            • karol 6.1.1.4.2.1

              Cunliffe not only stated his questions, but as I said in my post, that and Key’s answers raised serious questions from some journalists/commentators. And Key’s answers show him to be a little on the dodgy side.

              But, as CV says, Alwyn’s comments seem to come from some ARG.

              • Arfamo

                I watched that stumble on TV One Newsotainment. It was amusing. Even David laughed at it. It’s yesterday’s news, and not really even news. Why is anyone getting their knickers in a twist over it? People are far more interested in everything else Cunliffe is saying and doing. Jesus, if we focussed on the number of stupid mis-speaks Key makes we’d never notice what else he’s up to.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  ” Why is anyone getting their knickers in a twist over it? ”

                  Lack of anything substantive to criticise I would think.

            • felix 6.1.1.4.2.2

              “If that isn’t claiming he was going to best Key rather easily I don’t know what is.”

              Then you don’t know what is.

              Every one of those statements implies being ready for a tough battle. Nothing in there about an easy besting at all.

  7. tracey 7

    And yet the pm was still exposed again… loss of memory… phone calls with the chair is direct interference in a company. Only last week srylands was hollering how they cant do this.

  8. Sable 8

    I wonder if the public at large really understand this?They are misinformed at every turn by the sleazy mainstream media and Key’s isn’t about to fess up.

    I think Cunliffe and the Greens really need a proper nationwide media campaign of their own outlining this and other shortcomings of this current government explained in terms people can readily understand.

    The only way to bypass the MSM’s lies is to take them on at their own game.

    • Anne 8.1

      Cunliffe and the Greens really need a proper nationwide media campaign of their own outlining this and other shortcomings of this current government explained in terms people can readily understand.

      That is what I thought Red Alert was going to do… 😡

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Haven’t been over to RA for years now.

        • felix 8.1.1.1

          Hilariously, despite two new posts since Sunday, redalert authors still haven’t mentioned that the NZ Labour Party has a new leader.

          Amazing.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            etc…

          • Anne 8.1.1.1.2

            Well, look who the moderating authors are… all of them ABCers. It was set up by the ABCs for the ABCs. We just didn’t know it.

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    9 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    9 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    11 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    11 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    11 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    12 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    13 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    14 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    20 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    23 hours ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #21
    SkS Highlights... El Niño to La Niña... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    4 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    9 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    11 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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