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Free Market Failure

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, February 27th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, housing - Tags:

It’s time for the National Party to issue an abject apology to the nation… for the 1992 Building Regulations that directly led to the astounding public crisis we now face.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson told the Weekend Herald the official $11 billion figure – which experts believe is half the true cost – was about what the Government spent each year on health or education.

“It’s simply ginormous. A Government who’s running very large surpluses would still struggle to find the money to help with this.

“But a Government who’s running deficits – and has a forecast track of deficits for many years out – has to just sit there with its head in its hands, saying, ‘Well, I just don’t how to do this’.”

Herald

Further down the article we find that the $11b number bandied about over the last few months was a lie; an independent PWC report commissioned by the govt put the cost at $23b, stating that 90% of homes built between 1992 and 2005 would fail badly. They determined that this affected some 89,000 homes at an average cost of $300,000. And that does not include all the commercial, industrial and public buildings that will also fail. Of course the Nats baulked at this and more or less halved the number they put out to the public at the time.

The vast majority – between 80 and 100 per cent – of homes built with monolithic claddings (seamless-looking sheets finished with paint or plaster) would fail within 15 years.

That style of building accounted for the majority of the 150,000 odd buildings erected in the 17 year period concerned… and most of them will fail, if not already, then very soon. Spending $300,000 on each to remediate/demolish and rebuild is a potential total cost in the range of $30-40b. Given that the acknowledged number attached to this crisis keeps on doubling every year or so, this projection is not unreasonable.

The govt cannot and will not be able to afford this. It will have to come out of ratepayers pockets, or the losses born directly by those ratepayers unfortunate enough to have been conned into buying one of these timebombs. $40b spread over roughly 1m urban ratepayers, over 20 years, is an average increase of $2,000 pa … on top of existing rates. So much for tax cuts.

The Minister in a rare moment of candour admits this:

If they have to face the true liability of what’s working its way through the system now, you will see rate increases in some of those areas of proportions that would make your eyes water.”

As I recall the changes to the Building Regs were controversial at the time, National was clearly warned that what they were proposing was a recipe for disaster, and that disaster has arrived with bells on. What I want is an apology from National, an admission that their incompetence created this mess.. and an open repudiation of the failed ideology that underpinned it.

56 comments on “Free Market Failure”

  1. Descendant Of Smith 1

    I’d like to see an apology from all those crap developers and builders who built the rubbish. Private enterprise at it’s worst.

    Of course some people were stupid enough to buy these homes as well.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Of course some people were stupid enough to buy these homes as well.

      Tempting to say that, after all personally I was always aware of the issue (all the units I have built were in permanent materials and my favourite by far is Timbercrete)… but then most people don’t have my level of technical education and experience.

      Labelling them ‘stupid’ is really just ‘blaming the victim’.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        I am aware of good builders who also broght what has turned out to be crap developemnts in Takapuna, Orewa, Manukau. So if sound builders were buying them what could be expected from the average Joe Mugg?
        I have heard comments over the last 10+ years of boring Brick & Tiled ‘burbs at least the buildings accepted that water will get in and have a system that allows for it to also get out naturally.
        And to JD I agree yet the JH and CHH and the likes have got away with it, also CVHH for selling under spec timber for trusses, and for $250m sales they get slapped with a $1m fine. Greatto see Karma working as Tui would say NOT !!

    • DeeDub 1.2

      You really can’t blame developers for sticking to the letter of the new laws at the time, can you? Isn’t that what regulations are there to control? Or slacken control in this case?

      As for the buyers, surely they had a right to trust and expect that the government wouldn’t do anything that would allow the erosion of building standards just to make cheap get-rich-quick developments easier for shonky developers? ie. “Everyone is building ‘em this way and the government says that’s fine so………..”

      captcha: collapse

    • prism 1.3

      Smith
      “Of course some people were stupid enough to buy these homes as well.”

      Smith is a surname that implied a competent tradesperson. You are bringing the name into disrepute with your own stupid remark. Of course people had no concept that they were buying shoddy gimcrack housing and that they couldn’t trust so-called experienced builders and entrepreneurs to build to what has been an expected standard.
      They also did not comprehend that government could be so lax, irresponsible, short-sighted and ideologically driven that they would introduce laws that would encourage such shit to happen.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Of course some people were stupid enough to buy these homes as well.

      Can’t blame the buyers. As I’ve repeatedly said, the free-market requires one of either two things: Everyone to be omnipotent or to be highly regulated. The first is impossible so that leaves us with the second. The regulations are there to ensure that everybody is working with the same, and correct as known at the time, information so that people can trust what they’re buying without having to do a degree at university and a full research thesis on what they want to buy. A legislated decrease in standards is what lead to the leaky homes syndrome.

      National shouldn’t just be apologising for it, they should be paying the bill – all $40b.

  2. And like that’s going to happen.
    What still disgusts me is that the real problem has still not been addressed. We’ve had it’s the untreated timber, it’s the builder , it’s the style, it’s the councils, it’s the everyone else stupid but not the real reason. Cladding, cladding, cladding. It’s the cladding stupid.

  3. Having just arrived from the UK and bought a ’50s house for renovation and extension I couldn’t believe what my builder was telling me about untreated timber. It was so patently stupid that I said, “no way”, and made sure ever stick of timber he used was treated despite the relatively small extra cost.

    Perhaps while they are about it National will also apologise for the 1999 power industry reforms which have led to nice fat capital gains and dividends to the holders of power co. shares (disclosure: I made sure I grabbed all that I could afford at the time, thanks Max) ever escalating power prices and regular power shortages.

  4. Anthony Karinski 4

    Fat chance.

    Btw Labour should apologise for starting the whole mess back in 84. Without that, NZ wouldnt be where it is today. Saw Goff was unrepentant for the whole thing in an interview a while back claiming that even during the ravages of Douglas Labour always had the working class in mind. Tosser.

    • >>Anthony Btw Labour should apologise for starting the whole mess back in 84

      But this was the response to Muldoons admin.

    • prism 4.2

      Anthony K Can’t blame Labour for a law brought in by National who were very pleased to take over from Labour who were left by Muldoon with a collapsing economy while he refused to hand over the reins like the little dictator he was. When National got in they drove the changes further and harder.

    • Anthony Karinski 4.3

      I’m not saying National is not to blame for this particular crisis. But Labour is implicit as they got the ball rolling and prepared the ground for National to take things along further. In all honesty the same Labourites (among them Goff) would in all likelihood have implemented a similar policy had they stayed in power, as it fitted their ideological mantra.

      What gets me is that Goff can be so caught up in his own ego that he still claims he did it for the good of middle NZ. If that’s typical of the insight and humility he’s capable of he’s certainly not fit to run the country. Why not own up to his mistakes and on the back of that ‘profound’ insight stick it to JK and the nats. “I did this, this and this wrong and it stuffed up our country like this, this and this. I’ve learned from my mistakes and would do this, this and this instead of JK who is still repeating my mistakes” Instead he just wobbles along. Opposed to the super shitty, opposed to the gst hike etc. Will he do anything to change it if he ever forms government? Shifty, shifty and no definite answer. Fail.

      He could have offered an opposing outline of how he sees the new super city, how he would have structured and implemented it if Labour was the government – consultation, referendum? and used the media to drive a clear and definitive wedge between the nats and labour. “70% of aucklanders prefer labours alternative super city plan versus nats etc”. And make some god damn commitment as to what he will do to change the super city if he gets to govern. All quiet and uncertain on the left front.

  5. Stacktwo 5

    Great post, Redlogix. Another crack in National’s teflon, which will fail completely in much less than the life of a leaky building.

    But, Smith’s Descendant, I wouldn’t blame the buyers. Not everyone has studied building technology, and Mr and Mrs Average should have been entitled to trust the “experts” – they couldn’t even google their decision making as we can now.

  6. vto 6

    Treated timber? I hate the stuff. Anyone remember the formaldehyde (sp?) or whatever it was a couple decades ago in flooring? Seeping out and poisoning the inhabitants?

    Think it wont happen with the timber in the walls of your childrens bedrooms? All that heinous poison no going anywhere? The people that handle the stuff have to dress like spacemen to avoid poisoning.

    Avoid treated timber. It is a future poisoning hazard…

  7. Adrian 7

    Formaldehyde is a naturaly occuring component of timber, thats the “keroseny” smell you get in some wood, the problem with it was that monoclad hermetically sealed houses didn’t let it disperse into the atmosphere as it has done since the first tree fell over. Nothing to do with treatment, boron (ironicly) treatment is needed to stop borer eating your house down. Or you could use rimu.

  8. Bill 8

    I know!

    Why not retrofit all the leaky buildings with impermeable plastic and then the moisture won’t get in and…oh

  9. Adrian 9

    Boron( gasp, chemicals again) by the way, is a naturally occuring component of earth. If you want to avoid chemicals for Gods sake don’t go gardening or grow anything in it.

    [Arsenic is also a naturally occuring element. Feel free to consume liberally. Lay off the dumbass threadjack. RL]

    • RedLogix 9.1

      is a naturally occuring component of earth

      So is arsenic. Feel free to consume liberally.

      Lay off the dumbass threadjack.

  10. randal 10

    hey rdlgx.
    they need to apologise for everything.
    when national was in power in the nineties they buggered everything they touched as they blundered about in a fever pitch or irrationality that somehow meant money for all their mates.
    they buggered the : schools, the airforce, the police, the universities, everything.
    congratulations to the people who held off settling their leaky houses because now they can grill the perpertrators who cooked the whole thing up in the first place.

  11. r0b 11

    I was planning to do a post on this – but glad you beat me to it – yours is much better! “What I want is an apology from National, an admission that their incompetence created this mess.. and an open repudiation of the failed ideology that underpinned it.” Damn right.

  12. Herodotus 12

    There is no mess and accroding to Helen in 2002 this issue has ben overplayed and is not that grea, this was followed up in the remainder of the last govt by their action or more pertinently their lack of action. I see that some what to point the blame at Nat yet where was the motive to change anything from Lab, as according to est 1/10 up to 1/3 of all houses built within the Lab time in govt will not stand the test of time. This is a sorry state whereby yet again NZ is the loser from very poor politicians on all sides and govt agencies e.g. Branz NZ. The issue has grown so great that there is no real solution to remedy the issue for those trapped within the system.
    Where were the authorities re CHH and the timber , I would think on a risk-reward basis to con the market for $250m and incur a $1m fine just shows how govt agencies work for us !!

    • RedLogix 12.1

      There is no mess and accroding to Helen in 2002 this issue has ben overplayed

      And at the time pretty much in line with the official information available. HC would have been unwise to have strayed too far from that advice, especially in a matter in which she had no direct expertise. More broadly speaking I was dissapointed that the Labour Cabinet, Ministry Officials and the industry as a whole chose the very conservative line they did in the face of contradicting evidence … for so very long.

      • Herodotus 12.1.1

        No at the time many within the industry were extrememly aware of the issue and that it was far greater than initial reports. Many including govt would have been aware of this but did not want to acknowlege the fact just hoping above all hope. Sure building standards were changed (perhaps not for the best) but where is the comeback on Branz and the manufacturers and their claims on their product. There is a rumour that certain asuie coys that their records displayed flashing sales did not marry up with metres of cladding sold.
        With section sizes reducing there is a compulsion for houses to be built 2 levels to comply with site coverage rules. Most houses the 2nd level is plastered as the cost to build in brick is prohibitative. Sure many that dont leak will have weaknesses but these will be managed by the likes of having eaves, and the ground floor being brick and cavities.
        NZ runs despite what Wellington does, unfortunelty “NZ” will work away around this inspite of the many obstacles that are put in place. Perhaps this is another reason for a true version of self rule !!!
        If a house leaks treated timber does not solve the issue, it just prolongs the time before the effect of water is noticed. How is ot that pre 60′s wooden houses still survive outside the widow frames rotting away, many cases in central Ak before timber was conditioned, admittwly they did use some great native timber to build not this soft Rad Pine.

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          No at the time many within the industry were extrememly aware of the issue and that it was far greater than initial reports.

          These things take time and for every expert pointing out the potential magnitude of the problem, there were several others covering their self-interest by minimising it. By 2004/5 Labour of course DID recognise the problem and the 2005 Building Act introduced substantial changes in a direct response to the problem.

          Now of course everyone in the industry is moaning about ‘compliance costs”.

          The simple fact is that our building industry is economically locked into pinus radiata, which in the long run is entirely unsuitable for anything other than non-load bearing internal partitions and trimmings.

          Personally I’m very scathing of much of NZ’s building industry….competency, integrity and value for money are in short supply… but ultimately it was the 90′s National govt that was responsible for the 1992 Building Act. It was that govt which failed at the helm.

          While the individual Ministers and officials responsible for this debacle are long gone, the bankrupt ..gimcrack… thinking which lead directly to it, is back in power.

          • Herodotus 12.1.1.1.1

            I still remember when this story broke Tim Manning appearing on Holmes TV1, pity this is still not available it was great viewing of the issues and how the industry was to be fixed, funny thing is that all the parties are still there except Branz and the likes of Mr Manning

  13. Frank Macskasy 13

    Over thirty years ago…

    Electricity, telephones, and rail were all state-owned.

    We built huge hydro power stations and lines to carry electricity
    around the country. We didn’t have massive power blackouts.

    We built phone lines from Stewart Islnd to Cape Reinga; the system was
    run by the post office – and it worked! (And no, I can’t recall the
    Post Office taking a month to set up a new phone. I wonder where that
    story came from? Telecom?)

    Our power and phone bills were bi-monthly and did not cripple our bank accounts.

    Our railway system ran on time and didn’t break down with monotonous
    regularity. We employed tradespeople to service the lines, carriages,
    and stations. There were actually SIGNS at each station, so passengers
    knew where to dis-embark.

    Then, in the late ’80s and ’90s, we sold the whole lot off to private
    enterprise (or turned them into several SOEs) – because “competition”
    was good. Prices would drop. Service would be more efficient.

    What we got was;

    * rising prices

    * breakdowns

    * less service

    * and automated machines telling us, “Press 27 if you want your arse scratched”.

    Once upon a time, we built all this infrastructure.

    Today, we can’t even build “Party Central” on Queen’s Wharf in Auckland.

    In other words, we can’t even organise a piss up anymore…

    • Ag 13.1

      It’s not as if we cannot afford it. People would rather spend the money on things like cars and plasma screens, and, across the English speaking world, have voted against parties that propose to restore the tax rate to a sane level.

      In the end the blame lies with the voters, who have had several opportunities to signal a return to sane policy, but who wished to have their cake and eat it too. Now we’ll get another few years of the electorate living in denial and refusing to sanction the increases in taxation required to get out of this mess. We need a proper government and proper public services. These things are necessary and cost money. Anderton was one of the few politicians honest enough to point this out in public.

    • Every word you have said is true Frank I well remember when my State advanced morgage was allowed our house was built to a very high standard.
      The building inspector was dreaded by even the best builder. Our builder called him “Your Friend ” and indeed after nearly fifty years our inexpensive “Working Class” house is the envy of many. Still in good condition . Now the houses I see are expensive ,way beyond the average wage earner and sheer crap.The next Labour government would do well to bring back some form of State Loans again with the same stringent building conditions.

      • A Nonny Moose 13.2.1

        “The next Labour government would do well to bring back some form of State Loans again”

        With the same 20% interest rate, while you’re getting all reminiscent for the “good old days”?

        • D14 13.2.1.1

          >With the same 20% interest rate, while you’re getting all reminiscent for the “good old days’?
          Nope, we had a 3% state loan and 14% second mort. in about 1983

  14. Descendant Of Smith 14

    When I said some people were stupid I actually meant “some people”. I didn’t mean to imply all people or even a majority of people. I know quite a few people who against all prevailing advice went for the lower cost cheaper option when other good builders gave them good quality advice and in some cases told them directly the houses they were looking to buy would have problems of this sort..

    I fully accept their were other people who were not given advice and who were reliant solely on their builders.

    I also have family who were in the building trade during the time that these buildings were built and have never built a leaky building in this way and actually refused to do work in many of these developments because of the lack of expertise and skill and the way the subcontracting was being carried out.

    They continued to maintain high standards regardless of any government regulation.

    I don’t see however that those who purchased these properties should take no responsibility either. Buying a house isn’t like buying a DVD player from a video shop and some care needs to be taken.

    It would be nice if the people who actually built them were held to account and were made to fix their shoddy workmanship.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      It would be nice if the people who actually built them were held to account and were made to fix their shoddy workmanship.

      Which flies in the face of how modern buildings are built. These days the ‘builder’ hardly ever actual lifts so much as a hammer. It’s almost all done by others from the site works, the foundations, the framing, the roofing, the windows, the cladding, the fitout and painting… all subcontracted.

      Usually these subbies are poorly paid and are total strawmen when it comes to attempting to sue them or hold them to account for their specific failings in workmanship. How do hold someone accountable for a $300k failure when they were only paid something like $5-20k for their portion of it?

      Worse still because the building process is deeply inter-dependent on the performance of many systems and other people, the whole exercise degenerates into a round of endless fingerpointing.

      • Descendant Of Smith 14.1.1

        I’m seeing I have to be very particular with my language today – obviously the smithing comment also refers to word smithing.

        I did think it was self evident that by people who built them I meant the actual firms/builders paid by the owner to build their house rather than the individual workers. I don’t think it is usual practice to have the workers of a firm personally liable.

        • RedLogix 14.1.1.1

          I don’t think it is usual practice to have the workers of a firm personally liable.

          You miss the point; these tasks are not done by the builder’s employees, rather they are independent sub-contractors.

          Attempting to sue even the builder, who may have made only $15-30k on the build, is not likely to yield a satisfactory outcome… assuming the company still exists or he hasn’t shot through to Aussie. If was a case a few dozen buildings going wrong in the ordinary way, you would have a case to hold individual builders responsible, but with a crisis of this scale it’s very hard to pin down any one party in the chain, designer, builder, specifiers, sub-contractors, inspectors…who could realistically make things right. No-one standing has pockets deep enough.

          In my mind the most directly culpable parties by far were the big building suppliers like Hardies who aggressively marketed these faulty systems despite abundant evidence from Canada that they would not be satisfactory. As usual with capitalism, they’ve privatised the profits and socialised the losses.

          But overarching this still remains the fact that it was a National govt, blinded by an ideology that ‘the market would sort it all out’… who set in place the regime under which this took place.

    • RedLogix 15.1

      Yes… that’s an aspect I left out in the interests of brevity.

      The problems with these building methods were well known from Canadian experience, especially in Vancouver, well before 1992.

      National could never have used the ‘no-one knew’ excuse.

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Peter Cresswell clearly knows a lot about the industry, but his conclusions are pre-formed by his libertarian viewpoint. His argument is demolished by two of his commenters, but in essence Cresswell’s argument that the crisis was caused because of regulation and by implication would not have happened if there had been no regulation at all… is just so much drivelling tosh.

      The average person has no inkling of modern building materials and science. In all complex societies we rely on specialists and we cannot enter into contracts on symmetrically informed basis. We rely on specialists telling us the truth.

      By 1990 it was apparent that the Building Codes and Regs needed updating to cope with the rapidly changing materials and methods being pushed by various big industry players, Hardies, CHH and Fletchers being the main culprits. It was argued that the ‘free market’ knew best and that the old prescriptive NZ3604 Code that mandated a limited palette of methods and materials was too ‘bureaucratic’ and restrictive.

      In its place a whole new regime that ‘described’ the desired outcomes was put in it’s place. Fundamentally this was a good idea; but as with all National govts the implemetation was a fuck up. It relied on the average Joe Public being able to trust what the information being given to them by specialists, and the gatekeeper was meant to be BRANZ.

      Unfortunately BRANZ was always an underfunded little outfit, stuck out in the backwaters of rural Porirua, with modest testing resources and less regulatory clout. Although dedicated staff did a lot of good work in many areas of research; fundamentally the big industry players seemed to have bulldozed rings around them. In particular it is very hard to understand how some Approvals were issued for systems that even at the time the was good evidence to suggest were suspect.

      This disaster occured on National’s watch. It rates even bigger than the sale of NZR and Telecom in terms of it’s deleterious effect on this nation. Only Muldoon’s raping of Labour’s first Superannuation scheme ranks higher in terms of it’s impact.

      Time they got to wear it.

      • Quoth the Raven 16.1.1

        And your conclusions are not pre-formed by your bias. What I get from your comment just been and PC’s arugment and his personal experience was that this issue is far more complex than the simple story people have put forth about ‘deregulation’. I would hope that is the image most people would get if they read around with an open mind.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Ok, so, after reading that the problem was cronyism, the wrong regulations caused by that cronyism, materials passed that shouldn’t have been also due to the cronyism and, finally, the break down of the apprentice system which stopped people learning how to build houses.

      Want to build a balustrade? The new Building Code told you (and still does) how you’re allowed to do it, right down to the size of bolts and the spacing of balusters.

      So anyone who can read can build a balustrade without going to an architect and/or a civil engineer? This guy, if he was actually supportive of a free-market, should be cheering this on.

      Want to specify the timber you’re going to build your house with? The standards specified under the new Building Code told you (and still do) what timber you’re allowed to use where. Want to install a cladding system? The new Building Code told you (and still does) what hoops you have to jump through before you’re allowed to.

      Use of Carter’s and Fletcher’s dry-frame timber in wall framing was allowed because a committee of the New Zealand Standards Authority decided that it should be (and sitting on that committee were representatives of, you guessed it, Carters and Fletchers) and because the boys from BRANZ issued an “appraisal’ declaring it to be fit for that purpose.

      This is where the regulations broke down and that was due to the above mentioned cronyism. The big commercial guys had representatives on the board of BRANZ and so sub-standard materials got passed. What a surprise.

      Now, what would have happened if the people who were supposed to be doing the research were actually doing the research and not taking the research by the producers at face value?

  15. reddy 17

    what I want to know is how has this not stuck with the Nats politically. and how has it not completely failed the ideology of deregulation and hands off?

    We still haven’t paid off the fuck ups from last time we had these pricks in. How long is it going to take (if ever) to fix up mined National Parks, ACC, primary schools, superannuation, kiwisaver etc etc…

    why are the councils getting pinged with it and not the Nats? it should be linked with the doing away of apprenticeships etc etc etc…as their unwanted legacy, that after 9 years and a affable smile has been forgotten.

    • Well you may ask Reddy , It has baffled me for years . Of course people have short memories and many do not have, and do not want, a grasp of politics. Having said that the reason this bloody awful lot get away with so much is the brilliance of Textor -Crosby . The excellent continuous positive publicity T/C manage for the Nats is mind-boggling . Even at electorate level. This combined with the Right Wing media give the Nats a big advantage.
      The problem looming up is that they will be working for the Political Right (if they are not already ) in the up coming Super City elections.
      Im hoping that our people are aware of this and are taking action.

  16. Chris 18

    RedLogix – are you reading my FB posts?

    • Chris 18.1

      RedLogix – are you reading my FB posts? I posted about this very issue at about 8.30am this morning, and one hour later you are writing about it. Glad to know that someone is reading my posts!

      • RedLogix 18.1.1

        No I posted independently, but I’ve commented on the thread. Interesting to see the indefatigable McShane still defending the indefensible.

        • Chris 18.1.1.1

          Well I’m pleased that someone else other than me can see what the real issue is; the nat’s by their blinkered ideology caused this 11 billion dollar problem – they should pay it all.

  17. JMK 19

    The leaky building issue is the best argument I’ve heard against unfettered free markets.

    But, fun as it is to watch politicians pass the blame to the other parties, as a leaky home owner all I’m really interested in is who has the best plan to fix the situation. I don’t see Labour coming up with anything on this at all – when they come up with a realistic plan, they will be a credible government in waiting. Until then, I’m not too unhappy with National’s approach to the problem – they have at least tried to quantify it!

  18. yep. I was just pretty much starting to learn to analyse politics for myself at the time, and I distinctly recall the contention at the time that ‘the market will sort it out’. Specifically, that builders and developers who built shoddy buildings would be punished by the market and that the invisible hand would take care of things.

    Invisible hand all right; Jesus H, they must be tired of laughing by now…

  19. handle 21

    RB, when you say “from Canadian experience” you are assuming the numpties believe in evidence. No sign of that in other areas like climate change, public transport, education and ACC is there? Leaky buildings are a classic example of the small government bollocks we were subjected to for 15 years in a very expensive experiment (and I agree with your other examples).

    Post-1999 Labour governments also knew about this and did worse than nothing. Disbanding BRANZ so there was no government agency left to sue was downright cowardly. Maybe allowing an unsustainable property boom was out of guilt?

  20. handle 22

    Meanwhile, the invisible hand was too busy pleasuring dodgy developers and captains of industry.

  21. SPC 23

    I suppose in the end Phil Heatley found his inability to keep within the ministerial spending rules had one good point, it allowed him to escape this issue – and perhaps they needed someone really really right wing on this anyway.

    And has anyone wondered about the relationship between the super city in Auckland and leaky homes.

    One thing the super city does is bring in more ratepayers to share the cost of the local government expense.

    Another thing it does is bring in an easier course to offering these ratepayers a choice – a huge increase in their rates bill or slashing jobs – privatising services and selling assets to pay for their share of the leaky homes bill.

    With this precedent in place more of the cost of leaky homes can be offloaded onto councils nationwide – a super city in Wellington and generally slashing jobs and privatising services as the chosen (Auckland) model for affordability.

    If they are successful in that, it would be an easier course to affording a slashing of the top rate of tax for a certain few nationwide.

    Thus the link between the super city in Auckland, leaky homes and the May budget.

  22. Thomas 24

    Hi
    While I agree about free market ideals causing the problem 300K per house is a ridiculous overstatement. You could bowl and rebuild the overwhelming majority of houses built in the 90′s for much less than that. CHH and others should be made liable and the people trying to make their fortune out of “fixing” leaky homes should also be reined in. Customers are not totally blameless either. Many times we quoted on a building or renovation or said to customers do not do it this way it will need repairs or replacement within ten years. In most cases they would knowingly engage a cheaper builder who was prepared to cut corners. A comment was often made that “we will have sold the house within ten years” Don;t even get me started on botchups by owners or other builders we eventually repaired. Many good tradesmen have left for Australia because the “market” in NZ is rigged so real tradesmen cannot get payment commensurate with the skills required. Big companies with dodgy half trained employees get the contracts. They should be required to have a ratio of qualified to unqualified builders on site.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      Many good tradesmen have left for Australia because the “market’ in NZ is rigged so real tradesmen cannot get payment commensurate with the skills required. Big companies with dodgy half trained employees get the contracts.

      Apparently, the going rate for a qualified carpenter ATM is ~$15+GST. If the companies can’t hire carpenters at that rate, which they can’t, they hire hammer hands and say that they’re carpenters. Quality isn’t any more a part of today’s buildings than it was in 1990s. The big companies are still selling dodgy materials (materials that are banned in other parts of the world), they still take no responsibility for those materials being worthless and no one in government is doing a damned thing about it.

      They should be required to have a ratio of qualified to unqualified builders on site.

      That would be a good start.

  23. RedLogix 25

    You could bowl and rebuild the overwhelming majority of houses built in the 90′s for much less than that.

    Agreed. There are a lot of questions to be asked around this process. Of course re-cladding in permanent materials is not always as simple as it appears. For a start there may well be a lot of structural remedial work to be done, then all the details around doors, windows, decks etc will need major re-work. The reality is that repairs are always far less efficient than building new; labour costs are probably 2-3 times higher.

    At the same time $300k is a very big number and if the govt actually pulled finger and put in place an organisation capable of training people, sourcing materials and generally facilitating the process I’d agree that it could be done for less.

    Trouble is, this bunch of shiny-arses in govt can’t build a cycleway and are even on track for a fail at the RWC piss-up.

  24. Armchair Critic 26

    Great post RL, very thought-provoking.
    “Trouble is, this bunch of shiny-arses in govt can’t build a cycleway and are even on track for a fail at the RWC piss-up”
    Not to mention acknowledging they made a mistake.
    The thing that has me absolutley stumped is the litigious approach to the issue. The whole thing seems to revolve around determing who, or which ideology, is to blame, as if knowing will fix the problem. It won’t.
    Looking for multiple parties to resolve the issue is, IMO, pointless. The developers are mostly long gone, councils do not have the ability to fund this, it’s really down to whichever government has the moral courage to do the right thing, and make up for this horrible combination of mistakes National foisted upon us. Otherwise the houses will rot around their owners, losing everything except their land value and ruining their owner’s health.
    I’m guessing the $23b is an estimate of the direct costs and does not include indirect costs.

  25. Free Market never worked and only allowed monopoly by huge corporations whereby huge bonuses were given CEO’s as a reward to those who came up with the scams that made the most.

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  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • TDB New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 picks
    NZIFF is here, our picks this season are… The Dark Horse Boyhood Leviathan Is the man who is tall happy?  Hot Air Maps to the Stars Snowpiercer Toons for Tots InRealLife Print The Legend E-Team The Internet’s Own Boy: The...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Maori Party President Acknowledges Founding Co-Leaders
    Maori Party President, Rangimarie Naida Glavish, has today acknowledged the enormous contribution founding Maori Party co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have made towards building a greater nation....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Ngati Ruanui supports plans for Te Reo Maori
    Te Tumu Whakaae (Chair) of Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust said today his iwi supports Te Matawai, the Maori Affairs Minister’s new Maori language strategy....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mana Party Using Taxpayer Funds for Election Hoardings
    Reacting to the photograph posted on the WhaleOil website of a Te Tai Tokerau electorate hoarding featuring Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, which carries the House of Representatives crest and appears to have been funded by taxpayers, Jordan Williams, Executive...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • EPA Questions For Chatham Rise Phospate Mining Raise Alarm
    Alarm bells should be ringing in light of the hard questions asked by Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) of Chatham Rock Phosphate’s miningapplication....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Ngati Ruanui joins ironsand mining appeal
    Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust has applied to the High Court to join Trans Tasman Resources appeal against the decision to reject its application to mine iron sands off the south Taranaki coast....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • More victims fall foul of aggressive phone scam
    A victim of an aggressive phone scam which is targeting Inland Revenue customers for money or threatening them with deportation or prison if they don’t pay has been duped out of $6,500....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Three Strikes: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
    Crime is on the decline, not just in New Zealand but across the Western World....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Public Money? Public Entitled to Know
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are unable to find out the extent of disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti’s spending, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Parenting in an Age of Terror
    What impact does news of war and terrorism have on children? Does seeing the wreckage of downed airliners, missiles flying and gunfire in the streets affect them? What do we tell them? It is unlikely children are actually going to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • NZ Jews, Christians, and Muslims United in Call for Peace
    Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders in Wellington issued a joint statement today regarding the current conflict in Gaza and Israel:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    " Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #27: Nats back in ascendency
    Inflation and interest rate expectations fall ahead of OCR announcement tomorrow · Forecast fiscal surplus again falls sharply, and growth marginally down · Greens fall and Internet-Mana strengthens, as Sykes gets closer in Waiariki · No feasible...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • TOUGHLOVE urges more funding for Parent Support
    TOUGHLOVE has issued a challenge to all of New Zealand's political parties to state where they stand on helping parents of youth at risk. The challenge comes just ahead of the organisation's thirtieth anniversary celebrations in Auckland on Friday 25th...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Reports: Aotearoa stands in solidarity with Palestine
    Fightback supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a tactic to show solidarity with Palestinian resistance. The following reports are from demonstrations over the weekend from Fightback activists and supporters....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mental Health & Addiction Services Funding Crisis
    The funding crisis threatening the effective provision of NGO mental health and addiction services will be the main topic for debate by health spokespeople from all the main political parties at a public meeting in Penrose....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Job losses show the dangers of relying on dairy exports
    Today’s announcement from Fonterra that up to 110 jobs will be cut at its Canpac facility in the Waikato shows the dangers of relying on dairy exports to China to sustain our economy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Cambodian Workshop successful, says Labour MP/PGA President
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson is pleased with the successful outcome of the Asia Pacific Regional Parliamentary Workshop held last week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mangere College students take stance on family violence
    The students of south Auckland high school, Mangere College, became the first in the country today to implement the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign throughout the school in an effort to help prevent family violence occurring in its local community....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Fairer Deal For Parents on Benefits – Christine Rankin
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig is backing a campaign seeking to reform the way Work And Income treats shared care parents. Mr Craig confirmed his party's stance in an email to Fifty Fifty campaigner Duncan Eddy last night, stating: "I...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Kmart stamps out bullies with partnership
    23 July 2014 – Kmart has helped stamp out bullying quite literally, with active team members from stores across the country pounding the pavement on a ‘Big Walk’ for charity organisation Foundation for Youth Development (FYD), as part of Kmart...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • More momentum needed to achieve Smokefree 2025 goal
    New research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal by ASPIRE 2025 researchers suggests the Government’s goal to achieve a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 may be failing to gather the political momentum needed to ensure it is achieved. Analysis...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Fight for 26 weeks paid parental leave to go on
    The coalition to support 26 weeks paid parental leave says that public demand for six months leave with a new baby is not going away, and the group will continue to push for government to do more to support better...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Don’t Apologise for Putting Family First, Mr Cunliffe
    Family First NZ says Labour leader David Cunliffe should not be apologising for putting his family first and having some holiday time with them. “All parents need some rest and recharging time, they need family time, and most importantly they...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Referral to the Police – Wayne Walford
    On 21 July 2014, the Electoral Commission referred Wayne Walford, National Party candidate for Napier, to Police for displaying election advertising on a signwritten vehicle promoting his candidacy and the National Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • RSA condemns downing of flight MH17
    The Royal New Zealand RSA has today denounced the downing of flight MH17, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, as an act of terror....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
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