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Facing up to peak oil

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, June 16th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: economy, labour, national, tax, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The Government’s independent report on petrol prices is bit of a sop to be the public, really. The world oil price is driving petrol prices; any efficiencies that could be gained in New Zealand would be small and would not change the upward trend. Nor is a Fuel Watch website like Australia’s going to do anything to bring prices down. Calls by the AA and other organisations for petrol companies to hold off a few days on increases are also pretty useless the price is going up anyway, why get wound up over whether it happens on Monday or Wednesday? Like governments worldwide, Labour and National have rightly rejected removing fuel tax.

Tinkering on the margins of the price of petrol doesn’t matter. It’s going up and nothing New Zealand does will stop that. We need to acknowledge that the supply of oil is peaking and serious effort needs to go into adapting our economy a world without cheap oil.

So, it was interesting to hear both Helen Clark and John Key mention peak oil in the last few days. This morning on Breakfast, Clark said prices aren’t coming down. ‘..at some point you reach peak oil supply but we are changing our behaviour in this country, people are buying small cars, they’re looking for the fuel efficiency label and taking public transport’. In an interview with Mikey Havoc, Key said ‘I’m not in the camp that we’re at peak oil’ and proposed turning our coal reserves into diesel.

Neither is presenting a strategy to get us through peak oil with minimal pain, but at least Clark acknowledges it is real. National has shown that on this major issue, like so many others, they have no answers to offer and their head firmly in the sand.

I’m looking forward to Labour and the Greens presenting a suite of election policies that keep wages growing, so workers don’t lose out on the increased cost of fuel, and major investment in public transport so kiwis can cut their petrol use.

36 comments on “Facing up to peak oil”

  1. Oh well, at least the enquiry will settle the issue about whether the oil companies are ratcheting up pump prices at the first opportunity and then procrastinating when oil prices fall.

    Anyway, excellent post. Spot on.

  2. Studies have been done in the US. Their conclusions tend to be that petrol companies do move up quickly and down slowly but they move up less than the cost of oil. So, a spike in crude is reflected as a longer but lower bump in petrol prices.

    But the whole premise of the ‘quick up, slow down’ notion is that prices are coming down, don’t see that happening.

  3. She also mentioned it at a Labour Party fundraiser in Christchurch on Saturday. I’ll try to post a video on NewZBlog tonight if I can.

  4. T-rex 4

    Did Key really say that???

    God he’s a silly bunt. You’d think after his original stance on global warming (and recent flipflop) he’d have learnt to actually look into issues before forming a stupid opinion baesd on what he’d like, but no, same old.

    That said, I’ve no problem with his suggestion on diesel from coal if it’d be cost effective in the short term, just so long as it’s part of a transition rather than a further delaying tactic. And I doubt that’s the case, as with the ETS National is all about delaying.

  5. Lew 5

    Fischer-Tropsch fuel conversion from coal is possible (not in theory, in practice it’s used today in South Africa and was used with great success in Nazi Germany); the main reason it hasn’t been considered is that it’s energy-intensive and not economically viable until oil prices reach a certain point. Also I seem to recall that it only produces diesel and a short-chain hydrocarbon, not much use for petrol engines.

    Given NZ’s coal reserves it is a potential source of fuel – even with the high catalytic threshold, it’d be a means of converting electricity into a fuel for vehicles, though I wonder if it’s not just more sensible to go straight to electric vehicles.

    But given the high price of oil, the major problem isn’t economics, it’s pollution. There’s a lot of the coal which isn’t any use, and that by-product has to go someplace. Where do we dump it all?

    The other problem is that the current processes are fairly crude, and the R&D sunk cost of establishing plants for conversion in NZ will be massive. Is holding onto fossil fuels worth it?

    L

  6. The Labour Party is ignoring the issue. Just listen to any of Cullen’s answers in the house on the question. They’re certainly not taking any moves to steer the country away from the effects, and they’ve ignored it for years.

  7. roger nome 7

    John Key’s dismissive attitude toward the issue of peak oil is worrying, though predictable. I wonder what information he bases his sanguine outlook on?

    Being a market fundamentalist he probably looks at it being an “investment” problem, rather than a geological fact.

    People who think more investment and higher prices will spur investment and technological development, thus precluding a near-term peak should think about why oil recovery rates have been stagnant at 30-37% of oil-in-place for quite some time.

    Saudi Aramco may have some high recovery factor fields such as Abqaiq and Shaybah, but an average recovery factor range from 30-37% is assumed for the total OIIP in Saudi Arabia’s fields. The trend of the recovery factor for Saudi Aramco indicates that there has been no effect on the recovery factor by recent technological advances in producing wells.

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4153

    If the perennial denialists of the National Party win the next election, if Key’s speeches are anything to go by, they will deliver an increase in spending on roads, and likely a decrease in spending on sustainable transport infrastructure. Exactly the opposite of what this country needs going into peak oil.

  8. Stephen 8

    Could someone please tell Helen that ‘building more motorways is probably not going to help things now is it’.

  9. Phil 9

    “he’d have learnt to actually look into issues before forming a stupid opinion”

    OPEC have looked into the issue long and hard, and they don’t think we’re anywhere near peak oil either.

    Captcha; “Orinoka where”
    He’s probably in Wimbeldon Comman?

  10. djp 10

    The people in the know seem to be saying that the current oil price is not being driven by a fundamental lack of supply but by futures speculators (similar to tech stocks in the late 90′s and property a couple of years ago).

    The thing about speculative bubbles is that you know that it *will* come crashing down like a house of cards but you never know when.

  11. Daveo 11

    djp. That’s not what the oil specialist from Goldman Sachs was saying on Agenda yesterday.

  12. Stephen: June 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm: “Could someone please tell Helen that ‘building more motorways is probably not going to help things now is it’.”

    I did have to laugh at the response from the kiwiblog right when Tane W asked on KB: “”So, anyone still keen to build new motorways?’ Came the response, “Yep and a nuclear powerstation to charge my hybrid with.’

    He’ll know better than to pose rhetorical questions to the KR in future.

    Edit, djp: That’s not what the International Energy Agency are saying. Are they “in the know”?

  13. insider 13

    well roger he is probably right to be suspicious given the poor record of peakies going back 150 years.

    It’s a bit like Shrek’s donkey: “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”.

    creey captcha “undrilled market”

  14. djp 14

    Daveo,

    Well, different people say different things.

    Crude oil went from about $50 a barrel in Jan 2007 to $100 a barrel in Dec 2007. That is a 100% increase over 12 months.

    For the price increase to be based on market fundamentals it would have to be driven either huge consumption increases or huge supply decreases (or a combination) in one year. It just hasn’t happened (unless I missed the news).

  15. Draco TB 15

    OPEC have looked into the issue long and hard, and they don’t think we’re anywhere near peak oil either.

    You mean people, like Saudi Arabia where their oil reserves have remained constant or grown since the 1990s even though they’ve been pumping hundreds of millions of barrels per year, are saying that there’s no Peak Oil?

    For the price increase to be based on market fundamentals it would have to be driven either huge consumption increases or huge supply decreases (or a combination) in one year. It just hasn’t happened (unless I missed the news).

    Well, there’s certainly been an increase in demand – notably from India and China but the oil producers haven’t been increasing supply.

  16. T-rex 16

    “OPEC have looked into the issue long and hard, and they don’t think we’re anywhere near peak oil either.”

    Perhaps, but then again, they’re coining money on the back of demand and still have a lot of oil left to sell – they hardly want alternatives to be investigated too thoroughly just yet!

    Insider – take your point about the flawed predictions of the past. But the question you really should be asking is not “how much oil is left” but “how much new exploration is being done, and is it really realistic to expect new capacity to come online fast enough to meet anticipated demand growth AND depletion of existing fields”. The answer is pretty obviously no, even if you want to assume that there are still sufficient reserves to be found.

    There’s also the issue of accessibility. No one is (or perhaps “no one should be”) debating the existence of reserves (various oil sands for example), but actually getting oil and keeping it cost effective is another matter.

  17. T-rex 17

    Draco – Exactly. Asking OPEC about the viability of oil is like asking the NEI about the viability of Nuclear power. They’re hardly going to say “twilight technology, start thinking about and deploying alternatives now, we’re plenty rich enough already thanks”

  18. gobsmacked 18

    John Key will propose cutting petrol tax.

    It will be a clever (i.e. shameless and empty) pseudo-policy, which he will soon announce (sorry, “have a look at”, because “Kiwis are hurting at the pumps” and “the government can’t keep ignoring them”).

    He will call for a cut in GST or petrol tax until personal income tax cuts take effect, on Oct 1. National did the same in 2005, just days before the election. It’s a way of being populist while keeping a “responsible” fig-leaf. Key will call this “emergency relief”.

    But the election will (almost certainly) be AFTER Oct. 1, so he won’t actually need to put the policy into practice. He just needs to propose, not deliver. Cullen & co will call it the blatant politicking that it is, but most commentators will not bother with principles of long-term economic policy, but will instead tell us about “perception”. And a large chunk of the electorate will fall for it.

    You have read it here first.

  19. Stephen 20

    I can sort of appreciate that people still want to be able to use ‘individual’ transport rather than relying on public transport jafapete, and nuclear is a tricky one, rather than cut and dried I think…

  20. roger nome 21

    Phil:

    Why would you listen to what OPEC has to say about peak oil?

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4153

  21. jh 22

    The only Insider that counts is a big dipstick in all the wells. In those bib wells they have men in boats (foriegn workers) doing depth soundings…. It’s a dirty job but the pay is good.

  22. T-rex 23

    Nuclear is tricky, for sure, I have no problem with people who present it as such. But often you hear it brought out as a potential silver bullet that would solve all ills if only the damn greenies would get over themselves. Especially when you hear things like “New plants are safe” and “the waste issue is easily solved by putting it in a hole”.

  23. Stephen 24

    Yeah, there are so many contextual issues surrounding nuclear that it is almost pointless to wholeheartedly support or despise it without looking at what particular options would be applicable IN NEW ZEALAND. e.g. earthquake zones, size of plant, decommissioning costs etc etc…

  24. oilpop 25

    No to to mention the brisk economic activity that the decline of oil prices will being in the months to come, anybody who doesn’t buy some puts on oil options righ now, is missing oen of the best financial opportunities of 2008. Godspeed

  25. How do we know that the oil producing states are not just pulling an enron?

  26. Rex Widerstrom 27

    Nor is a Fuel Watch website like Australia’s going to do anything to bring prices down.

    Errr… wrong. And wrong.

    FuelWatch isn’t “a website”. It has a website, but so do BP, Shell etc. FuelWatch is a scheme that requires service stations to publish what their at-the-pump price will be for the following day. They are legally required to maintain that price for 24 hours. The prices are published in the newspaper, appear on the commercial TV station’s news bulletins (between the markets and the weather, usually) and are mentioned on the radio. TV and radio usually restrict themselves to the dozen or so cheapest.

    Thus the information is readily available and people do respond, as is evidenced by the queues at the stations advertised as cheapest.

    And it does result in lower prices. WA has had FuelWatch for years now and the prices it’s drivers are charged are consistently lower than those of the eastern states, despite WA’s incomes being amongst the highest in the country and it’s demand – especially for diesel to fuel the mining industry – being high.

    It’s failing (which is seized upon by critics) is that it won’t permit service stations to lower prices beyond those that are published by FuelWatch. So if the station across the road from the one with the cheapest fuel wants to compete by giving up it’s price-gouging ways and lowering it’s prices, it’ll be breaking the law if it does.

    Provided that restriction is removed, FuelWatch is well worth considering for NZ.

    captcha: Reading’s hitting (which, when run together, conjures an unfortunate image of Al Bundy and his morning newspaper).

  27. T-rex 28

    It’s failing (which is seized upon by critics) is that it won’t permit service stations to lower prices beyond those that are published by FuelWatch.

    I disagree, I think that’s actually a strength. If stations can react during the day, they can just all start high – there’s no competitive advantage to going low. If, however, you’ve got to stick with what you offer, then it’s a closed tender type arrangement. It’ll deliver far better results for the consumer – just not for the companies who choose to charge high. Where’s the problem?

  28. roger nome 29

    killinginthenameof:

    “How do we know that the oil producing states are not just pulling an enron?”

    What’s far more likely is that OPEC over-estimate their reserves.

    The OPEC countries decided in 1985 to link their production quotas to their reserves. What then seemed wise provoked important increases of the estimates in order to increase their production rights. This also permits the ability to obtain bigger loans at lower interest rates. This is a suspected reason for the reserves rise of Iraq in 1983, then at war with Iran.

    In fact, Dr. Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, a former senior executive of the National Iranian Oil Company, has stated unequivocally that OPEC’s oil reserves (notably Iran’s) are grossly overstated. In an interview to Bloomberg in July 2006, he stated that world oil production is now at its peak and predicted that it will fall 32% by 2020.[50]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

  29. Rex Widerstrom 30

    T-rex: you have a point. But FuelWatch is effectively massive free advertising for the cheaper servos. So to start high means their published prices, promted via FuelWatch, wouldn’t attract anybody.

    All I can say is it seems to work in WA, where we pay less than the eastern states and about 50c a litre less than NZ.

  30. T-Rex 31

    Rex – yup, I understand that, think it’s a great scheme, I just think it’s also good that they won’t let stations change their price during the day for the reasons I described above.

  31. What have the Kiwiblog crowd got to do with this?

    It is Labour who is building the motorways.

  32. expat 33

    Oh, Helens peak oil is here? Well that settles the argument then. Stop now people, go home. Peak Oil is here.

  33. roger nome 34

    Hey nice argument expat. I notice that nearly all the Tories who used to argue against me when I proposed that peak oil would be within the next 15 years are silent now. That started 3-4 years ago.

    You can start on the road to Damascus here if you like:

  34. The regions that prosper in the Post Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age will be those who have invested in intelligent uses of their electrical and solar potential – including rail, shipping and well insulated dwellings. New Zealand has failed to do this and I now rate Michael Cullen the worst Finance Minister in at least 70 years. Previous Finance Ministers can be excused for not understanding the full impacts of our use of mineral oil/gas. However the lessons of the 1970-90s were clearly there by 2000 for anyone with a will to learn. These were spelled out to him in great detail by many people and he just scoffed at them. He inherited a world in 1999 in which the prices of mineral commodities were historically extremely low. This gave him the splendid opportunity to reshape a more sustainable New Zealand and he has sqandered it in motorways, jet travel, SUVs, McMansions etc.
    Now he has surrendered entirely to the Stock Market sector with KiwiSaver, pouring funds into a black hole rather than any of the above mentioned requisites for a sustainable country. The Stock Market is based on the tragic belief that mineral oil will retail at about $US25 for ever and is now set to implode – the implosion being delayed a little by Michael pouring billions of hard-earned dollars of the average Kiwi into the brokers’ pockets to prop them up.

    Dave McA

  35. expat 36

    nome – you are deluded. you and travelerev need to form a support group.

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    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04