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The Standard

Game on

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 2nd, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: economy, election 2011, john key, national - Tags: , ,

The weeks of the RWC were supposed to be a politics-free zone. Bread and circuses, maybe even an ABs win to take the rugby-loving part of the country into the election in an up-beat sort of mood. All of which was electoral gold for the incumbent Nats.

It didn’t turn out that way. Right out of the gate, with the chaos of the opening night, politics was forced to the front and centre. Then Murray McCully shafted Len Brown, and gave free reign to the Nats’ inner despot, “taking control” of Auckland.

And now, one of the biggest possible political bombs has been dropped in the middle of the RWC. After all their boasting, posturing and dire warnings, the Nats’ “management of the economy” has copped the big thumbs down from two international credit rating agencies.  Suddenly the National ediface is looking a bit shaky. You don’t need to take my word for it – the weekend papers are full of it. Here’s John Armstrong:

It’s game on for election as credit ratings cut

As much as Bill English downplayed yesterday’s downgrades of New Zealand’s credit rating, the double whammy from Standard & Poor’s and the Fitch ratings agency inevitably casts a big shadow over National’s claim to be the most competent manager of the economy.

Labour has been arguing – with some justification – that National has not made the hard decisions needed to address imbalances in the economy such as the mountain of private debt. On that score, the chickens have certainly come home to roost for National in the form of the rating downgrades.

John Key’s unfortunate talk of “muddling through” the fallout from the international debt crisis has come back to bite him, big time.

Labour is right.

While National has remodelled the tax system, it has refused to confront issues such as raising the age of eligibility for superannuation – something Standard & Poor’s tacitly noted.

National has instead weakened savings mechanisms such as KiwiSaver and the Cullen superannuation fund. National might argue otherwise, but selling chunks of state-owned companies and chopping back the public service do not add up to be solutions to New Zealand’s economic woes.

In contrast, Labour is walking its talk. With its capital gains tax and a yet-to-be-announced savings policy which may well contain some stick – in the form of compulsion – as well as some carrot, Labour is at least addressing the areas where the hard decisions will have to be made. …

The blowtorch is now on National. It can no longer cruise through the election campaign. It is going to have to come up with answers to satisfy the ratings agencies. And they are not answers which are going to be all that popular.

I think John is wrong about that last point. The Nats will definitely try and muddle through to the election without making tough decisions. The downgrade damage is unavoidable, but they won’t want to add to it. Anyway, Fran O’Sullivan:

Downgrade gives Key’s foes great ammunition

Putting off campaigning until after Cup no longer an option for Nats

Our admirably happy-clappy Prime Minister will not want to pass up the chance to cheer on the Vodafone Warriors at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney tomorrow night. … But what Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have done with their separate decisions to drop New Zealand by one credit rating notch is hand Key’s political opponents a useful weapon to challenge his Government’s economic management. …

But this [RWC] wonderful six-week interlude of bread and circuses does not disguise the fact that New Zealand is now facing some very big challenges which cry out for concerted Government leadership.

The Key Government is doing very little in a concerted way to tackle youth unemployment, which is back at the heights which shamefully damaged the confidence of an earlier generation in the early 1990s.

The Government remains in stalemate with the international insurers while Christchurch business leaders such as Peter Townsend warn they are getting increasingly worried about the risk of capital and talent flying out of the stricken city. There is little real urgency.

And it is too pussy-footed to make the harder policy choices that will get the country’s finances back into the black faster, raise national savings at a faster clip and shore up New Zealand for the longer term.

Even Bill English – who stressed yesterday that ratings downgrades demonstrated New Zealand is not immune to the global backdrop – has a difficult time puncturing Key’s Pollyanna-ish armour. …

It is now increasingly important that public focus does go on both National and Labour not to try to sugar-coat the fiscal realities as they each did before the 2008 election. … Three years on, and the world is on the verge of a double-dip recession. But this time round Key can’t duck shove Governmental responsibility for our finances on to Clark.

Like Armstrong, I think O’Sullivan is way too optimistic in expecting action from the Nats. Muddling through has worked brilliantly for them by the only criteria that they care about – poll ratings. Why change a winning strategy? As long as the media keep portraying Key as a “great bloke”, everything will be fine. For the Nats. Not for the country.

56 comments on “Game on”

  1. r0b 1

    “free reign” – I think I’ll leave it in and pretend the pun was deliberate. 

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The game is indeed on. There is much more bad news for National coming up in the next 8 weeks.

    • mik e 2.1

      Dan carter out of world cup watch Keys rhetoric change to prepare us for disappointment he an expert at that. He has been conning us for three years about this brighter future all talk and no delivery.last words in parliament and we are going to win the world cup as well will have him worrying !Ipredict

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    While the masses were being distracted with bread and circuses some REALLY NASTY stuff was being done.

    I received another alert today with respect to the sneaky tactics the government is using to widen the scope of the control their neofascist state has over the people.

    Subject: Fw: food bill

    Hi Everyone,

    This is really important – remember the Therapeutic Medicines Bill that caused a riot when the government wanted to restrict and/or delete valuable herbal remedies and alternative medicines.

    Well if you thought that was bad – this is horrendous.

    This is an urgent call to action, this will affect every living person.
    How are the lemons looking in your neighbourhood? Good? How about the smell of that birthday cake someone baked for you? Mmmmm, delicious, can’t wait till they give it to you?

    Feeling thirsty, for water perhaps? Soup kitchens? Food not bombs? Community gardens? How about all those cheap bagged fruits at roadside stalls, or that bread the op shop was giving away that the bakery didn’t want at the end of the day? You like saving seeds from your garden and sharing them with other gardeners or seed banks? food co-ops?

    How about having a wee bake sale for the community group fundraiser? You like food to be free, cheap, and accessable from a variety of sources? How about a bit of variety in the types of plants you can grow and consume? Might use Natural medicines? If you answered YES to any of the above then the Food Bill 160-2 (2010), Government Bill could have a major impact on your life.

    This is a Bill before parliament that has already passed through one reading and recommendations of the assigned committee have been made to parliament..
    This means it is due to go for its second reading at parliament with the recommendations integrated into it. It could easily be mistaken for a Bill designed with public safety in mind, but a closer look reveals that in fact this Bill would put an end to a basic right: that of freely sharing our food, seeds, and natural remedies and an end to the lemonade stand?.

    Furthermore, anyone selling their own produce would be required to gain legal authorisation to do so, at a cost of course,
    and heres the clincher : small growers and sellers at say, farmers markets, will be hit with increased costs of compliance, that would of course push up food prices hurting the growers, sellers, and buyers of produce.

    Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the too expensive basket, thus encouraging homogenisation of seed stock. This of course will provide massive market advantage? to multinational seed corporations such as Monsanto who not only can afford the costs of compliance but whose aims include narrowing and controlling the plants grown for consumption through Genetic Engineering, and controlling available seed stock by supplying seed for plants that will not self seed, thus enforcing our dependence on them. Basically it reinforces the capitalist anti-people mantra of profit over people in a very serious manner.

    Now, you may wonder why the NZ government would want to do such a thing, there are many reasons, but the reason being presented is that we (the state and thus its citizens) must comply with the the rules set out for us in an agreement with the World Trade Organisation the the NZ government is a signatory to.
    If all this seems somewhat surreal or overwhelming to you, you are not alone. This Bill is not yet law, and despite formal public submissions being closed, it is not too late for those opposed to the Bill to make our voices heard and have a very real impact on parliament as they consider its merits.

    What can we do? Well, there is plenty we can do to deal with this attack on these, our fundamental rights to sustenance. And while there is very narrow provision within the law to opt out of this proposed law being enforced upon individuals this simply is not enough, it must be stopped! This is a call out to everyone to get ready to take action.

    Sign the petition on line: http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/petition/oppose-the-new-zealand-government-food-bill-160-2/1301

    We wholeheartedly encourage everyone with the means to communicate to call a community meeting or get together with friends to discuss what you are willing to do to protect our food from their greed. Remember, the more of us that stand together, the harder we are to ignore or push around.We must take action!
    There is some helpful analysis and other useful information available here: http://nzfoodsecurity.org/

    • AAMC 3.1

      “Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the too expensive basket”

      Which is why we should all be buying and storing organic seeds, growing them and saving them, so we can ignore this law and distribute seeds if it is policed at it’s full potential.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      Signing now…

  4. AAMC 4

    English made it very clear on Q&A that he was going to do nothing in response to downgrade as they were already on the right track.

    The Narrative now sits with you Labour, don’t drop the ball. As Seumas Milne wrote in the Guardian -‘Those who grasp that the crisis is transforming politics will shape its future’

  5. Ianupnorth 5

    Remember the power of social networking – get succinct, factual and acceptable messages out there!!

  6. That’s ’cause you can’t have all circus and no bread.

  7. Anthony 7

    Labour caucus just need to keep their discipline (or get some) and not give the Nats any more free passes in the media.

  8. U 4 United 8

    Why didn’t your lot tell Demonic Fenton that there isn’t supposed to be politics during the RWC? Why does Labour have that absurd black sign endorsing the ABs?

    • thejackal 8.1

      You mean the sign that says; WHEN THINGS LOOK BLACK, WE’RE AT OUR BEST. GO THE BOYS… OMG! Labour supports the All Blacks… Time for you RWNJ’s to fully freak right out. I guess National’s equivalent would read: WHEN THINGS LOOK RED, WE PASS THE BUCK.

  9. Cloaca 9

    Can somebody tell me that Standard & Poors got the Credit Rating right for AMI ? Why should we take any notice of an American Agency who only do things the American way – and what a stuff up American is, with no room to improve. “God Help America” should be their national anthem. Nobody else will.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      All the credit rating agencies are corrupt lackeys of the bankster occupation.

      They gave the toxic/false assets of securitized subprime mortgages (mortgages which the owners woud never be able to repay) AAA ratings: higher than NZ.

      Fuck them all.

  10. fender 10

    I thought at the time it was an odd suggestion to make RWC duration a political free time, I was rapt when Goff told phoney Key to get real, the running of the country outweighs a sporting event even if PM had ambush marketing plans.

  11. felix 11

    Key is in Australia with his new mate Peter Leech for the NRL grand final.

    He managed to find 20 minutes in his oh-so-busy schedule to chat to his other mate Murray Deaker on the radio today about how he’s a league expert now as well as an honorary all black.

    Your tax dollars hard at work.

    • queenstfarmer 11.1

      Yeah, it’s not like Helen Clark ever attended an NRL grand final featuring the Warriors.

      Oh wait, not only did she do just that, she also took 3 ministers with her:

      Prime Minister Helen Clark and three Ministers will cheer the Warriors at Sydney’s National Rugby League (NRL) grand final.

      Ms Clark confirmed yesterday she would be at Sunday’s game, with Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, Transport Minister Paul Swain, and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche.

      So that leaves the only salient part of your comment as the deliberate childish misspelling of Peter Leitch’s name, which seems appropriate for your level of discourse.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Let’s ignore the whole rest of the comment about Key appearing on the radio and putting on airs, then.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Airs is right. He even said “one of the boys” (implying an all black in the context) had texted him to let him know about Dan Carter’s injury.

          Because sure, the first concern of the all black squad is letting Johnny pisshead know what they’re up to.

          The guy is a joke.

        • queenstfarmer 11.1.1.2

          Appearing on radio? Well that’s a fair point then – after all it’s not like Helen Clark ever appeared on the radio.

          And of course Helen Clark was never “matey” with the Mad Butcher, or associated with league. I guess it was another Helen Clark who launched Peter Leitch’s autobiography, and another Helen Clark who was the honorary patron of the NZRL for 6 years while PM.

          My advice to Felix would be to stick to childish name-calling.

          • felix 11.1.1.2.1

            It’s all Key does, framer.

            I explained that below but the sentences were a bit long and you probably got distracted by a the trip-tropping of hooves.

            My advice to you is to take a course in basic reading comprehension. If you vote Labour (actually anyone but National) you might be able to take a night school class next year.

            Helen Clark is a big league fan and a long time Warriors supporter.

            Key is a tourist.

            Keep up the comparisons, they’re always enlightening.

          • AAMC 11.1.1.2.2

            It’s got nothing to do with Helen Clark this Helen Clark that, it’s about whether Key is doing an adequate job.

      • felix 11.1.2

        queenstframer, there’s plenty more in the comment but you’re too dense to absorb it.

        The comparison to Helen Clark is indeed worth looking at. Her colleagues and adversaries alike recognise and admire her tireless work ethic, attention to detail, and inside-out first-hand understanding of everything her govt did.

        In Key’s case, by contrast, these celebrity appearances are all he ever fucking does.

  12. Pro_Rata 12

    I was amused to see Key (‘Le Clef’) hosting a radio show with upbeat patter as economic rating downgrades were announced. He sounded well-coached, not surprising as Nat president Joyce is a former disk jockey.

    It gets worse .. Dan Carter is out of the world Cup.

    Nothing is inevitable, but the last time our ‘tout negres’ lost the cup, rape crisis centres were overwhelmed in the South Island and other parts of the country reported abnormally high rates of sexual assault.

    Who would wish to be a working girl, keeping the economy ticking over, in such an environment ?

  13. Leopold 13

    RWC?

    Nous dansons sur un volcan! as le Comte de Salvandy observed in 1830

  14. fender 14

    OMG is TVNZ Keys propaganda machine? First hes in news item holding stolen baby at Sydney stadium talking crap then its revealed new poll has him running away with election, how can this be? Dont those polled have a clue about this governments poor results? No of course they dont TVNZ dont report relevant information, they too busy acting as Shonkeys propaganda machine.

    • Puddleglum 14.1

      The poll shows National’s support hasn’t changed – 56%.

      Labour down 1% to 29%, Greens up 3% to 9% (so Labour-Greens up 2%). Confidence in the economy has reduced – 45% say they expect it to be better in 12 months compared with 49% saying the same in August.  35% now think it will get worse compared with 31% in August.

      Key is up 6 points to 59% Preferred PM. Goff steady on 8%. 

      Edit: Oh, and ACT is on 1% (down 1 point)

      • mickysavage 14.1.1

        Confidence is the most important measure.  When the people are confident for their future they do not change their vote.  Confidence slipping normally means a reduction in support in the next month or two.  Here’s hoping.

  15. randal 15

    Of course it is game on. National have shown themselves to be a party of nowhere men. Hamburger heatley was trying to get teev time last week but he came across as a cross between a retread tyre salesman and a fairground barker.. As for TVNZ they fancy themselves as having an oversight role in the lives of all new zealanders and its about time their bums was kicked as well.

  16. HC 16

    New polls out tonight, both showing the National (Socialists) are leading and taking the election in November in great strides.

    Yeah, polls are generally conducted between 3 and 7 pm, when landline customers are phoned by polling services asking an array of questions, taking around 15 to 25 minutes.

    The likely respondents that are home then, that have landlines, who put up with such nuisance calls, even answer questions patiently and seriously for up to 25 minutes, tend to be senior citizens or mature baby boomers who have nothing much else to do, got their mortgages paid off, dislike “bludging” beneficiaries, love Don Key (wave and smile always appeals to elderly ladies), are not worried about losing jobs, do not care much about the long term future of NZ (due to not many years left to live) and tend to be a bit more on the “conservative” spectrum.

    So any surprises?

    Those that do not respond, decline to be involved, have no party preference, are not home, are too busy working and studying to survive and invest in their future, they may not even be included.

    Truly representative though in a modern “benign” dictatorship led by a catwalking, rugby uniform wearing wannabe PM. All is well in Aoteaoroa NZ. You are in safe hands, trust me and I will see you through (until I catch the plane out to Hawaii).

  17. Anne 17

    Those that do not respond, decline to be involved, have no party preference, are not home, are too busy working and studying to survive and invest in their future, they may not even be included.

    Add to that list the huge no. of people who can no longer afford landlines and who are likely to be Labour/Green voters. The poll companies claim they take that into consideration. Pfft… how can they do that when they can’t even contact them. The sheeples like to go along with winners… so it’s a given they are influenced by the “outcomes” of these polls.

    What a cynical and conniving rort!!

    • Vicky32 17.1

      Add to that list the huge no. of people who can no longer afford landlines

      That puzzles me greatly! I am on UB but will never give up my landline, as mobile calls are far too expensive. (I have a mobile too, but never use it for calling, only texting.) I could never be without a phone, for medical reasons.
      The more important thing I think, it that polling companies have phone numbers listed by addresses, and I have only twice in 15 years living here been asked to take part in a political poll. Polling companies know full well this is a state housing area, so they don’t call us! The first time, after I had given my Labour/Green answers, the woman who had called told me that her supervisor had just told her that my answers would not be used as “We have enough from your demographic”. I find that far more interesting than any assumptions about landlines – which are not necessarily true. Everyone in this State housing street, almost all of us on benefits – have landlines, mostly for the same reason that I do.

      • Anne 17.1.1

        I think most of those who don’t have landlines are part of a younger generation Vicky32. I have a landline too – which I can’t really afford any more – but this is what I am used to… Younger people on the other hand often can’t afford both a landline and a cell phone, so they choose their cell phone. These are the ones who never get polled, and they are an ever increasing portion of the population demographic. Note I also included the Greens in my comment who, I’m sure, would feature significantly among them.

        • Vicky32 17.1.1.1

          Younger people on the other hand often can’t afford both a landline and a cell phone, so they choose their cell phone.

          I believe that’s the case with my son and his flatmates, although in their case, being young health professionals, they have more money than I have ever seen in my life!
          I stick with my landline as it’s much cheaper otherwise I could never afford it. (I have just the phone, no add-ons, so $44.00 odd a month.) My mobile is a prepay, my son uses it to phone me, as we have this Best Mates thingy, otherwise it too would be unaffordable.
          I had a friend (one of many who have had such experiences) who was stretched out on her kitchen floor with an ectopic pregnancy, who nearly died because although her daughter found her, Chris was practising false economy – no landline phone, and the daughter had to struggle (at 5 years old!) to find a neighbour who was at home, to call an ambulance. My own son had an accident at 3 years old, and because the ex refused to have a phone, I had to do the same. The only number I can afford to call on my mobile is 111!

          • Anne 17.1.1.1.1

            Yep. It’s so unfair on those who can’t afford landlines (or broadband) but that’s NAct type market-forces for you. I splashed out on broadband – which is what I really can’t afford – but I wouldn’t be without it now. It has opened up a whole new world for me. I can access information that I never could before.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Broadband is far more important than a land line now. Of course, we’re finally starting to see plans that use the broadband to supply a land line as well and that starts bringing the whole lot down in price. Won’t be long before “phone” lines cease to exist.

              also cellphone calls/txts on prepay deals can be rationed according to income – landlines are a fixed “pay up, now!”

              Orcon has a mobile plan that has a zero monthly charge. Pay by the minute but charged after use rather before. I find it more convenient than pre-pay as I don’t have to worry about how much is left and when I need to top up to keep the number.

              • Herodotus

                The cost for fibre – Data package fee, wiring of data box in house and fibre from house boundary to house, then retrofit fibre internally or wireless house link. and if there is a power failure there is a phone failure as the phone runs thru the fibre box. Unlike currently that a power cut does not inpinge on the phone (Unless you have a wireless that is plugged into a power point)
                DTB go to a new sub division and see the costs that are faced. Developments I have some understanding of – the uptake of fibre is not great owing to the costs.
                Then there is the new junction boxes that have to be established around communities, and the fibre that is blown has a limit in the distance it can travel to the properties boundary. The confusion as to who does what: is it Telecom, Chorus or Worldxchange.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The confusion as to who does what: is it Telecom, Chorus or Worldxchange.

                  All caused by the stupidity of selling Telecom in the first place and then hoping that competition would make things cheaper rather than realising that competition would actually make things more expensive as it did in the 19th century. And no party anywhere, except possibly The Alliance, even considering the the rational option of bringing the whole lot back into public ownership and going back to a monopoly provider.

              • Vicky32

                Won’t be long before “phone” lines cease to exist.

                I seriously hope not! Sometimes the old tech is best – I still have two typewriters (electronic and manual, and that way I don’t have to faff around with printers and their consumables), and I for the life of me don’t understand why TV is going to go digital, forcing everyone to get set-top boxes! If it ain’t broke, why “fix” it? When it happens, I’ll keep my TV for DVDs but for the rest, I’ll revert to radio 24/7… I’m lucky sight is not as important to me as hearing…

        • McFlock 17.1.1.2

          also cellphone calls/txts on prepay deals can be rationed according to income – landlines are a fixed “pay up, now!”

      • Herodotus 17.1.2

        V32 should you be afortunate to have copper replaced with fibre, or move to an area where fibre is the only option – there will be no landline options available. As areas that have fibre have only a dataline fee structure, you cannot just get a traditional landline. So a land line is under $50/month most datalines + box cost exceed $100/month. So for these their only other option is cellphones.
        I notice that no one is reporting this out – just how great fibre to the home is. It isn’t if you only use a phone

        • Vicky32 17.1.2.1

          So a land line is under $50/month most datalines + box cost exceed $100/month. So for these their only other option is cellphones.
          I notice that no one is reporting this out – just how great fibre to the home is. It isn’t if you only use a phone

          My giddy aunt! That’s something to worry about if I have to move… Cell phone calls are jolly expensive! Now I understand how it’s possible for someone to not be able to afford a landline… which had previously not made sense to me..

  18. Herodotus 18

    AA rating should be an issue.Yet we are now on the same level as Japan !!!! Yet nothing that has come out from labour is a game changer. Someone name a policy with how it is to be implemented by Labour that does not follow the Neo lib conformist thinking?
    CGT requires a working group before implementation. So when would a CGT pass and when could and real revenue for the govt be received? I would say 2020, at best (pity about those self serving exemptions, to tarnish the policy, I wonder how many of these exceptions benefit current politicians? ). So how is a $5k tax free threashold to be financed?
    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/51598/labour-leader-goff-calls-tax-working-group-tackle-tax-avoidance-take-pressure-middle-classes
    Be it Lab or Nat they follow the likes of the Un, IMF, World Bank we already have had much of our sovernity usurped away from NZ and decisions are being made by faceless organisations off shore.
    Iceland are experiencing this war head on – yet very little is being reported…..
    http://michael-hudson.com/2011/04/why-iceland-voted-no/

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      As has been said, a CGT doesn’t bring in a lot of tax itself but closes one of the loopholes that allow people to avoid paying tax increasing the tax take indirectly which will be an immediate change.

  19. Pro_Rata 19

    Manly have just won the final, so Key cannot vicariously feed off the winning mana of the Warriors

    • felix 19.1

      Too late for Key, he’s publicly tied to the Warriors now.

      His oft-touted political instincts seem to be failing him lately.

  20. JJ 20

    More jealousy of our popular and competent prime minister!

  21. ak 21

    So the Jonah Key kiss of death catches the Warriors in its relentless metastasis from Pike River to Christchurch, our credit rating, Don Carter and Ali McCraw or whatever their names are…..for God’s sake keep him away from the children…

  22. Rob 22

    John Key has to be the most vacuous PM NZ
    Has ever had
    Our credit rating has just been downgraded
    That and our high dollar makes us so vulnerable
    Can we ever expect him to show leadership
    And even consider showing up?

    • happynz 22.1

      Can we ever expect him to show leadership
      And even consider showing up?

      Not likely.

      What is it with the news programmes in this country, anyway? Not a peep last night nor this morning about the credit downgrade. Just more blethering about some poll showing what a magnificent bloke John Key is. One would expect this Dear Leader stuff out of North Korea. It’s creepy when it happens here.

  23. randal 23

    of course it is game on. national and their media pals thought they had it all sown up with a gallon of hair gell and teeth whitener and it was going to be a walk in the park. By now the voters have had enough of politics lite and lighter and the attempts by national to use gimps like hamburger heatley to put a face to their policies have seriously backfired. Its all over for national.

  24. sopa 24

    .. bar the counting

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Yet another external review the last thing CYF needs
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Minister Tolley’s announcement of a Paula Rebstock-led review into Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is the last thing needed by an organisation that has demonstrated it can assess and plan for its own needs. ...
    3 hours ago
  • VIDEO: ‘My daughter’s education is my duty,’ says Vanuatu cyclone fat...
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch Ten-year-old Joana Bani tells her story at Black Sand near Vanuatu’s capital of Port Vila. Video: UNDP Pacific Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9189 Alice Clements PORT VILA (UNDP Pacific/Pacific… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • WEST PAPUA: Media restrictions over simmering struggle 50 years on
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Image: CPJ/Reuters Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9190 Bob Dietz NEW YORK (Committee to Protect Journalists/ Pacific Media Watch): One of the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects 29 new projects have been approved for $7.8 million in new funding over four years through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Primary Industries… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches
    MIL OSI - Source: New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment MBIE – Press Release/Statement: Headline: MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • National looks after everyone but taxpayers – ACT Party
    MIL OSI – Source: ACT Party – Press Release/Statement Headline: National looks after everyone but taxpayers “National is parading its indexation of welfare payments while refusing to do the same with tax brackets,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “Benefits were… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Source: New Zealand Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Many regions need by-election levels of support Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    3 hours ago
  • Changes to provide more support for families
    Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Changes to provide more support for families Additional support for families through an extension to Paid Parental Leave and an increase to the minimum wage comes into effect today, Workplace Relations and… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    3 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    Source: New Zealand Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Real changes must come from CYF review A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Politics
    3 hours ago
  • Auckland Council brings forward Ports study
    Source: Auckland Council – Auckland Council brings forward Ports study Auckland Council’s Auckland Development Committee today unanimously voted to bring forward its Ports of Auckland Study. Auckland Council deputy mayor, Penny Hulse. The study was to take place after… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • No good reason for secrecy
    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee recently returned from Iraq with an impunity agreement enabling the deployment of New Zealand troops. But he's refusing to release it:Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand First’s Succession Plan
    Last time I met a New Zealand First MP, I decided to ask him about New Zealand First’s succession plan. He replied “why would we need a succession plan? Winston Peters isn’t going anywhere” “Well, Winston Peters is not as… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    4 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    5 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    6 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    7 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    8 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    9 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    9 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    9 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    9 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    10 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    10 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    10 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    10 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    12 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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