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Fry puts heat on broadband

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: infrastructure, national, Steven Joyce, telecommunications - Tags: , ,

Steven Fry’s outburst on broadband in NZ, however confused, did at least succeed in putting the state of our broadband access back in the headlines for a bit. It’s an issue that the Nats would rather we forgot. Remember these empty promises back before the 2008 election?

National’s latest billboard highlights the party’s commitment to rolling out an ultra-fast broadband network, says National Party Leader John Key.

“A National Government will invest up to $1.5 billion to drive the roll-out of a ‘fibre to the home’ ultra-fast broadband network. … “National’s medium to long-term vision is for a fibre connection to almost every home, supported by satellite and mobile solutions where it makes sense.

“Our initial aim is to ensure the accelerated roll-out of fibre right to the home of 75% of New Zealanders. In the first six years, priority will be given to business premises, schools, health facilities, and the first tranche of homes.

Sadly, National’s costings for this promise were drivel:

A study commissioned by the Treasury has warned it would cost between $5.3 billion and $10.4b to connect three-quarters of New Zealand homes with fibre-optic cable using the Government’s preferred active Ethernet technology.

Former Telecom chief technology officer Murray Milner, who carried out the study, says the $1.5 billion the Government has allocated to its ultrafast broadband plan would not be sufficient to connect that number of homes. That is even if matching investment from the private sector was forthcoming and cheaper, “passive” fibre technology was used.

And so the back-peddling began. Now in the aftermath of the Fry-inspired focus on the issue, the Nats are trying to put a brave face on it:

British actor Stephen Fry’s criticism of New Zealand’s broadband does not appear to have the Government too abashed, with Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams today boasting about the “excellent progress” made in the last three years. …

Ms Adams said contracts had been locked in, the rollout was under way, and competitive wholesale prices had been secured, but it was up to the industry to ensure New Zealanders got the quality and performance they expected at prices they could afford.

“Government can help but it is industry that ultimately carries responsibility for delivery of faster broadband in the marketplace in an attractive way.” …

Prime Minister John Key yesterday defended the network. … The Government has set aside $1.5 billion for ultra-fast broadband, and aims to have the service reaching 75 per cent of New Zealand in the next 10 years.

Notice how we’ve gone from 2008 promises of the government providing broadband nirvana within six years to the 2012 reality of it’s up to “industry” within ten years. Notice how we’ve gone from “right to the home of 75% of New Zealanders” to “75 per cent of New Zealand” (whatever that means). And if you want the real detail on how vacuous those National election promises were, go read Chris Barton’s “Telecom’s new monopoly” – “We now know that it’s a promise that’s not only broken, it’s shattered”.

64 comments on “Fry puts heat on broadband”

  1. shorts 1

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7491380/nz-internet.png

    a very good remix of a cartoon doe the rounds showing our NZ reality in regards to the net and copyrighted material

    depending on where you are our broadband isn’t ‘too bad’… our ISP’s charges compared to similar countries as our own is very sobering and hard on the pocket

    • happynz 1.1

      Excellent comic! :)

      Yeah, it’s funny how the ‘news’ broadcasters come out with all sorts of crap along the lines of ‘well, he went over the cap, so his speeds were throttled back…so, actually, relative to other countries, our internet is the best in the world…’

    • Well, that’s more about the problems of disparate copyright laws that slow down expansion of internet-based media services from the USA. It would be a good reason to have an international copyright treaty that would allow people to internationalise licences to some degree- IF the one we were getting wasn’t as terrible as ACTA.

  2. mikesh 2

    If the deal is as good for Chorus as Barton (and Roger Douglas) implies then government will receive a healthy return from the consequential tax receipts.

    • tc 2.1

      You’ll find after depreciation, provisions, blown out costs and highly paid senior managers that’s very unlikely

  3. ianmac 3

    We must trust them though. They promised multiple times that they would have the books balanced by 2014,…… unless something Michael Cullen did way back gives an excuse to flunk it.
    Trust them? You sure can.

  4. Yankdownunder 4

    Stephen Frye had come up against something so illogical, that he’d not considered that there would be a “data cap”, as that is an archaic and obsolete method [one that Telecom still uses]. So, he can be forgiven for not knowing this fine point in the contractual agreement.
    NZ broadband, even with a lifted cap, does everything that Mr Frye says; drops out with out warning, slows to a crawl, and is very expensive.
    Even after the fibre optic roll out, it is estimated that NZ will be be 5 years behind technical development. NZ already pays more “than most” for an arguably below average system.
    I found it amusing that Telecom’s solution to the problem was “pay more money”. That is something that all New Zealanders have heard and unfortunately have no recourse against.

    • insider 4.1

      So the alternative to pay more is what? MAgic? Wishful thinking?

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        The alternative is a quality system, which is what the Nats promised but will not deliver.

        Pay more is BS of course. Our service here is shite and shite, no matter how Telecom talk it up, is still shite.

        • insider 4.1.1.1

          So how would you deliver this ‘quality system’ and how much will you charge?

          • mik e 4.1.1.1.1

            outsider just another broken promise from National.Korea has had high speed broadband for nearly 10 years .national has taken nearly 4 years to let a couple of small tenders.National are merely delaying to save money and also reinstating monopolies that took nearly 20 year to devolve.So in the end National are doing what they do best making wild promises they can.t deliver business as usual protect free market monopolies and cartels!

    • Actually data caps, and slowdowns or extra charges for exceeding them, are an entirely reasonable way to differentiate fees for people at home using the internet with data-intensive activities all day and people who have other things to do. (or just read text rather than downloading/streaming music or movies, or playing games online) The problem is that we pay too much for too little data at speeds that aren’t really that great, and that at most ISPs they still meter bandwidth during low-traffic hours. If we paid less for what we got now, and the low-traffic hours for each ISP were unmetered, then I’d be quite happy with data caps.

  5. Roy 5

    While I agree with Stephen Fry that NZ broadband is of a poor standard, I think we have far more serious issues to deal with before we get around to dealing with that one, like child poverty for example. It’s a pity that Stephen Fry doesn’t use his celebrity to complain about that instead.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    And to think, if we hadn’t sold Telecom and deregulated the infrastructure it would already have been done and it wouldn’t have cost the taxpayers a cent more than what they paid on their phone bills.

    • insider 6.1

      Really? What makes you think that that was guaranteed to be the case?

      • tc 6.1.1

        Not guaranteed but highly likely, if the network remained publicly owned with operators such as Telecom allowed to use/invest instead then up against global players on a level field.

        Using price/performance/technology rather than gattung’s infamous ‘confusion’ and monopoly tactics we’d have better/cheaper services rather than $10-15m p.a. CEO’s and a fat layer of overpaid management figuring out how to keep their priviledged position protected.

        • insider 6.1.1.1

          So similar to the electricity industry perhaps where the SOE heads earn million plus salaries and prices have escalated significantly and we have had major power failures due to failure to monitor and maintain key infrastructure, or poor oversight of operations?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            Nope, the CEOs pay would have been kept down to realistic levels.

            What you’re actually describing is the result of the power companies becoming state corporations that had to make a profit and pay dividends rather than being a service which had to re-invest into the network.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              rather than being a service which had to re-invest into the network.

              …and achieve social good with their delivery of power, not just profit maximisation.

          • mik e 6.1.1.1.2

            Outsider the only power failure of any significance was when the free market couldn’t deliver. The late 90s Auckland was without power for 3 months due to mad max bradford and National.
            Pete Hodgeson saved the free market by building a jet turbine Generator to meet the short fall because of drought . Not run down infrastructure that national neglected.
            Outsider get you BS right or it come back to hit you in the face.
            National is a do nothing except Spin BS so its understandable!

            • insider 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Mike you must have missed the ‘rusty shackle’ failure at Otahuhu substation in 2006 and the Newmarket transfprmer maintenance outage overload failure in 2008 both of which were described at the time as major and I believe even appeared in the newspapers.

              the 98 failure was entirely due to lack of monitoiring and maintenance by a council controlled entity over many years. I suggest you read the commission of enqiry report

              • mik e

                2 days is not 3 months.
                The commission report put the blame on no over all plan for electricity since deregulation under National .Transpower had no plan to maintain national grid.

                • insider

                  you really don;t have a bloody clue do you? Transpower had absolutely no role in the 98 failure. It was purely a local lines problem due to a lack of managment

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        The difference between the full profits being re-invested into the network (state owned) and 15% of profits being re-invested (private ownership).

        • insider 6.1.2.1

          Are there any examples in NZ or elsewhere where that has been successful in providing a low cost but technologically advanced/high level of service infrastructure?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1

            A government has to back it as a social good and provide massive assistance in making it happen eg South Korea.

            • insider 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Isn’t that what the govt (agree with it or not) is sort of doing here with UFB? Or are you saying the networks in RSK are run on a not for profit basis – which is what Draco is effectively calling for. That doesn’t sound like the corporatist Korea I’ve heard of.

              • mik e

                outsider South Korea plans its economy opposite of National who only plan their spin through an yellow press!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Surely the free market will make the best economic decisions for NZ today, for the best economic outcome for all of us for 10 years time.

                  Or not.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.2

            Yes, NZ before the sale of Telecom. There’s also the history to prove that competition in infrastructure doesn’t work.

            Quite simply, we wouldn’t have the network we have today if the government hadn’t built it.

            • insider 6.1.2.1.2.1

              You can’t seriously be saying the post office was an example of a high level of service. How well do other non corporate govt entities do on service?

              Inicdentally, I’ve heard from Telecom engineers that the approach taken pre corporatisation to dispersed NEC-based exchanges on rather than centralised switches has really hamstrung the development of IP and smart network systems in NZ (why was a bit beyond my technical payscale – I think it was to do with the complexity of progamming hundreds of exchanges rather than a single switch, and that made them vulnerable to new entrants like Telstra and Vf who could build new). So govt entities like private are not all seeing and not guaranteed to succeed.

              • Vicky32

                You can’t seriously be saying the post office was an example of a high level of service.

                It actually was! I am amused that you repeat the ACT belief that it wasn’t. I remember old Mad Dog Prebs saying years ago, that pre-sale, it took 6 weeks to get a phone, and the only colour available was black. How he expected to be believed in 1991, saying that, when people would have remembered  (and did) remember, that what he claimed was not the case, amuses me greatly.

                • insider

                  Ours was grey. Perhaps he exaggerated for effect….

                  I remember seeing touch phones in US tv programmes in the early 70s. We didn’t get them in NZ until well into the 80s whcih to me is a practical example of how far behind we were technologically.

                  But what’s the bets the post office never measured customer sat, response times etc. Why bother when you have a god given monopoly?

                  • Vicky32

                    Ours was grey. Perhaps he exaggerated for effect….

                    Exaggerated? Are you an ACToid? He lied! Ours in Rotorua, was cream, and in Wellington, puke green (both before the sale of Telecom to the septics.) As for the ‘6 week’ lie, I had had a phone connected in 1984, three years before the sale, in 24 hours. The most impressive part of the above, is that we had nice modern (for the time) phones in Rotorua in the 1960s, despite the poisons that corrupted equipment – I can’t imagine the filth doing that! (“Hey, Abner, t’ain’t no profit in that there hick town”)

                    But what’s the bets the post office never measured customer sat, response times etc.

                    Why should they have? Back then (at the time we’re talking about) the Post orifice was about service, not profit. The only people who bleat and moan about the service are 20-something business school students who are repeating what they heard Daddy quoting Prebs and Ruth Richardson say – because they weren’t alive at the time, and ACToids who have edited their own memories! :D

                    • felix

                      Too right Vicky, I happen to own a number of phones from the era in a variety of colours. (Ours was green.)

                      Prebble is a bald-face liar and insider is a naive rube for believing him.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    We didn’t get them in NZ until well into the 80s whcih to me is a practical example of how far behind we were technologically.

                    Would have preferred it if they’d totally bankrupted the country instead?

                    To have touch tone phones required changing the old analogue exchanges with the new digital ones that were put in during the 1980s/90s (most were done in the 1980s BTW).

                    The time it took to get connected was determined by several things not least of which was:
                    1) The infrastructure that was already in place – it’s a little difficult to connect a phone when the nearest cable is 10km distant
                    2) When someone was available to do the work (despite the hyperbole going round we really weren’t sitting on our duffs smoking). Old analogue remember – phones had to be physically connected and disconnected. Whakamaru, which was 50km+ from the Telecom depot in Tokoroa got a scheduled run about once a month – making such a long run out just to connect one phone wouldn’t be particularly efficient – but in Tokoroa connections within a week were normal

                    Service to most customers was fine and people actually understood the physical limitations. This last has been forgotten/lost over the last three decades.

                    • jbc

                      I think there’s something else that has been forgotten: the attitudes of Telecom staff when it was a govt service. They took a while to shake.

                      I worked there as a contractor in 1991 and could not believe how they worked. The single most important thing was getting to the end of the day with your mandatory tea breaks fulfilled. Solving real technical problems: “are you crazy?” “Who’s side are you on?”… etc. I was often forcefully dragged away from my keyboard to Krispies and milky tea – even when deep in troubleshooting a problem affecting customers – because working through tea break was not setting a good example.

                      [Yes, I understand there are two sides to that situation. Both dinosaurs.]

                      I was treated well by everyone only because I was seen as naive (and I was naive).

                      The attitude of ‘doing as little as possible’ seems to pervade telecommunications providers generally, especially the ex-govt-owned ones. That is part of the problem with broadband in NZ. Telco competition is trench warfare (from positions entrenched in concrete) rather than innovative. The instinct is to dig deeper.

                      Very few countries have shaken this completely, only the ones where the trenches have been exposed by ground penetrating munitions from non-telco competition, or there is some other motive to be the best. That has not yet happened yet in NZ.

                      I’m hopeful, but not confident, that the broadband initiative will help. Lowering the cost of access to customer is one thing, the other is the conglomerate that owns Southern Cross.

                    • I don’t know if the possibly lax work culture is really the problem so much as blatant profiteering, to be honest, but neither really help.

                    • jbc

                      “I don’t know if the possibly lax work culture is really the problem so much as blatant profiteering, to be honest, but neither really help.”

                      I think they are closely related in human nature. Both involve taking as much as possible while minimizing effort.

                      Until there is both a real viable alternative for international access together with non-discriminatory access to customers then the profiteers will win.

                      If both sides are competitive then it will get very interesting.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thats all bullshit

                      You are avoiding the fact that the de facto policy of the public sector in the 1970’s was to lower unemployment by making jobs for people. The public sector wasnt there to maximise profits it was there to provide a social good.

                      Of course if you want to go to a private sector model and maximise profits you would lay a lot of people off (reduce “waste” – since these workers are clearly “waste”) and let unemployment double triple and quadruple from the previous accepted maximums for unemployment of 1.5% to 2.0%

                      Oh yeah thats exactly what we let happen.

                      Looks like the most “efficient” economy is one which doesnt need many NZ workers. Guess how thats going to work out for us long term.

                    • jbc

                      All bullshit? I’ve worked in and around telcos for 20 years and have forgotten more than I remember. My experience at Telecom’s Airedale St Exchange is not one that I will forget.

                      The desire to employ is not incompatible with providing service. I’m in a telco now that manages both very well. I liked my 100Mb/s Internet so much I joined this company.

                      I never said that the guys I worked with we’re waste, but rather that they were clearly not much interested in delivering or improving service. Privatization did not change that much, but it did add the profit twist.

                      Most telcos behave that way overall too. Collect money from subscribers while doing as little as possible. Gattung”s cynical confusion strategy a prime example.

              • mik e

                More BS insider Telecon had years of high profit monopoly to improve its infra stucture but chose to send the money overseas to its share holders.Those exchanges with the NEC switching gear in them were the for front of technology at the time they were installed .
                Telecon has been the big bully on the block now there facing real competition they are faltering.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The Post Office, not so much. Neither was Post Bank but Telecom was making huge surpluses before any of the mid to late 1980s reforms hit and all that surplus was being used in upgrading the network.

                I’ve heard from Telecom engineers that the approach taken pre corporatisation to dispersed NEC-based exchanges on rather than centralised switches has really hamstrung the development of IP and smart network systems in NZ…

                Telcos don’t innovate – they use the technology produced by the tech companies (Motorola, Lucent, IBM, etc) available at the time. Would have preferred that NZ stay as an analogue, human based switching network instead? It certainly would have increased job availability.

                Also, that line of logic makes no sense in regards to the decentralised nature of modern networks which leads me to believe that the engineer you were speaking to was talking out his arse.

                • insider

                  Well I’d suggest you are making generalised assumptions about networks in 2012 and he was talking about specific issues to do with the capacity of Telecom’s network to competitively roll out smart network in the mid 1990s compared to that of Telstra or Vf. Given it was his job to understand that kind of thing, I’d respectfully suggest there was slightly more chance of your arse being the one doing the talking.

                  As for telcos not innovating, you’ve obviously never heard of Bell Labs…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Ah, you’re talking 1990s which was when Telecom was still putting in the digital infrastructure that was planned for in the 1980s. Changing technology etc etc.

                    As for telcos not innovating, you’ve obviously never heard of Bell Labs…

                    I suspect you’ll find your answer in the name, specifically, it’s not Bell Atlantic or Pacific (or whatever their telco name was).

                  • mik e

                    outsidere TelecoN was a private highly profitable Monopolistic company during the 90s .
                    Short term quick buck mentality 3 month balance sheet reporting to the share market encourages this behaviour of under investment by private companies. Ridiculus salaries and bonuses for CEO’s and board members also leads to this quick buck management Style, Chicargo cult economics!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As for telcos not innovating, you’ve obviously never heard of Bell Labs…

                    Was that the 100% US government owned and publicly funded Bell Labs you are referring too?

                    Tell me, what new innovative shit has the privatised profit seeking carcass of Bell Labs managed to produce in the last 20 years?

                    • insider

                      No the bell labs that were started by AG Bell and part of AT&T for most of its life, now Alcatel Lucent. Five nobel prizes mostly in physics in the last 25 years seems a reasonable contribution to science.

                  • mik e

                    So how come bell labs didn’t get the job of upgrading telecon prior to sale. NEC one the tender and besides that’s your argument would imply that telecom should have been innovative which is utter BS capacity to manufacture and develop such equipment doesn’t exist in NZ.Telecom had large enough profits to upgrade and modernise but didn’t.

      • Vicky32 6.1.3

        Really? What makes you think that that was guaranteed to be the case?

        Telecom! They are shite pure and simple (for instance, I have been trying to get to the bottom of nuisance calls for 10 days now – their csrs just tell me that for reasons of  ‘confidentialityness’ (yes, she really didn’t know the word confidentiality), she’d lose her job if she told me who was harassing me!
        If we ever  get good broadband, a huge chunk of people will still not be able to afford it.

        • insider 6.1.3.1

          To counter that I have all my services with them adn I think they are very very good. I got a free $50 credit when switching mobiles even though I wasn’t precisely eligible. They doubled my bb cap and are offering a $5 reduction monthly just for saying I’ll stay 12 months with them. On the rare occassion there has been a network issue they’ve rereouted calls to my mobile for free. Everyone has a different story and none of them reflect the full story.

          There is a specialist malicious call centre you can call if you have a problem. I suspect she is right over the confidentialityness…if not right ovr the grammar

          Yes it would be wonderful to have the bb they have in other countries, but do you want all the other things that go with those countries that allow them to deliver that service? Population density is a huge issue for NZ in terms of cost. We get far fewer customers per km of cable, so same capital requirements if not more, but far fewer revenue opportunities.

          • tc 6.1.3.1.1

            You still have to go on a waiting list to get a phone on parts of the nth shore in akl and in rural areas.
            Rural’s been handed back to telecom on a plate by Joyce so wonder how that brighter telco future will go for farming kids needing decent broadband for remote schooling or researching homework…….very nicely for telecoms bottom line thanks to jackboot Joyce.

          • Vicky32 6.1.3.1.2

            There is a specialist malicious call centre you can call if you have a problem. I suspect she is right over the confidentialityness…if not right ovr the grammar

            Ma dai, that’s who I was talking to! A female with that specialist call centre. I am sure she’s right as well, about the confidentiality – someone had let slip that the calls were coming from a business. So, what we have is, confidentiality for business, beneficiary customers get f****ed…

            • insider 6.1.3.1.2.1

              So if she was right, why are you blaming Telecom? have you considered that is an issue to do with the law (be it privacy law or telco law) and not Telecom’s fault? I think TC administer the service for the whole industry. If the calls were coming from a vodafone customer, wouldn;t it be their fault?

          • mik e 6.1.3.1.3

            Its more important than building overpriced motorways given the price of oil is going up rapidly from now on.
            east Asian school children are out performing us at education because they have invested heavily in a modern broadband .
            While Key and co sit on their hands.

        • starlight 6.1.3.2

          I had that problem of those sort of calls too with telecom,state your case,tell them
          in no uncertain terms you are sick of it and you want to know where the calls are comming
          from,they can do it,i done it,and because of it got my phone number changed free of charge
          and also made it confidential,but that was a battle too,their teckies mucked it up a few times.

      • mik e 6.1.4

        Insider central planning the electricity market was always ahead of demand under the govt.
        Telephone systems were always kept up to date when it was government owned until Roger Douglas had his way deliberately making it dysfunctional + spending $2 billion on an upgrade just to sell it off as a guaranteed monopoly who’s shareholders shared windfall profits while telecoN put prices up by over 400% because there was no competition.TelecoN hardly spent a cent on infrastructure during that time,Only when faced with competition did it upgrade.Since its faced competition its profits and share price have dwindled into the doledrums .
        Now national are handing out corporate welfare to the tune of $ 1.5 billion and putting telecon back in a monopolistic position so they can rorte us again!

  7. JonL 7

    NZ broadband is ok – when it’s working! – which is not very often. The pricing schemes, however, and the use of data caps, like Australia, firmly mire it in the exploitation zone! Mates in Japan, the USA and Europe laugh, when you mention data caps and pricing schemes!

    • insider 7.1

      I similarly laugh at my overseas friends when they talk about paying congestion charges on roads, paying for local phone calls, paying to access beaches and compulsory service charges in restaurants.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        you don’t fancy moving to one of those more capitalist, privatised countries?

        • insider 7.1.1.1

          I’ve lived in some and they aer all fine in their way. But they are different. They have as much laughable about them as we have here, despite the fine qualities of their internet services. Swings and roundabouts

          • mik e 7.1.1.1.1

            Ultra Slow Roll Out of UFB
            Re Monopolising the communications industry.
            Dumb and Dumber from National!

  8. MrSmith 8

    I advised my friends to buy Telecom shares when this deal was going through as it was nothing but a tax payer rort.

    It will be interesting to see how many National party members have brought shares recently or own shares in telecom, my guess is plenty.

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    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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