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Getting some accountability at PoAL

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, April 5th, 2012 - 80 comments
Categories: social democracy - Tags: ,

Darien Fenton has announced a members bill that would put public ports back on the Official Information Act. They were effectively removed in 1980′s – presumably because they were being prepared for privatisation.

It’s outrageous that billions of dollars worth of public assets can be run without any public scrutiny at all. Even more so when they’re being run against the public good by a bunch of unaccountable cowboys as is the case at PoAL.

Fenton’s called on the government to support the bill and I think they should to struggle to refuse to:

Regardless of what you think of the dispute, or where you sit on the political spectrum, it’s very hard to argue that ports’ ability to spend public money without public scrutiny is acceptable in a modern democracy.

Let’s hope the bill’s drawn soon.

As an aside, this bill had its genesis in work done by I/S over at no right turn – it’s bloody good to see Labour picking up good ideas from the wider community and running with them.

80 comments on “Getting some accountability at PoAL”

  1. james 111 1

    Getting Some profitability back into POAL
    This should be the headline will the bill deal with being competitive with your opposition, and putting a platform in place that allows you to be competitive including labour rates.

    Or will that be totally forgotten about and left off the Table. Let the rate payers of Auckland effectively subsidise the Wharfies wages by the poor return that POAL hands back to the rate payers of Auckland 2.2% versus 18% that the rate payers of Tauranga get.

    • James you should try something really unusual.  Go and read up the figures and come back with a reality based argument.  It will do wonders for your credibility.

    • Eddie 1.2

      Aren’t you running late for school? Maybe you’ll learn to do some elementary research there today.

      The post just returned a healthy $18m half-year profit for the period before it went to war with its workers. And it has signalled profits will be way down (probably non-existent, actually) as a result of its actions in the second half of the financial year.. The port’s actions have cost over $20m so far and counting. Permanent lost contracts might be $25m a year.

      All of this in an effort to transfer $6m of wealth from the workers (Auckland raterpayers) to the owners, Auckland Council. It doesn’t make any sense.

      • james 111 1.2.1

        Eddie thank you for totally justifying my position

        The Port has assets well over 200,000,000 18 million return on that assets base is less than 2%. Tauranga using the same measurement is 18%. Auckland Port isn’t performing and the profit doesn’t even cover cost of funds employed in the business

        • framu 1.2.1.1

          return on asset base?

          i was always taught that profit is income minus expenditure

          can you explain how this return based on asset base thing works? cause it sounds a bit voodoo economics to me

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.2

          Feck james.

          If you go over to the POAL website you can look up the latest financials and you will see that POAL has $721 million in assets and $320 million in liabilities.

          Where the feck did you get your figures? 

          • framu 1.2.1.2.1

            ” $721 million in assets and $320 million in liabilities”

            ahh – i think i get what james is on about now.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.2

            Out of his arse and his sums were wrong as well. 18m/200m *2 (because of half-yearly result) = 18%

        • Psycho Milt 1.2.1.3

          He gets the figures from people like Matthew Hooton, who’s keen to get the port moved off that prime central Auckland real estate so it can be re-developed. Using a return on assets figure not only helps with propaganda claiming the port should be de-unionised or privatised as it’s barely profitable, it also highlights how much the real estate the port sits on is worth.

          To people who don’t have an obvious axe to grind, the port is generating a good profit.

          • shreddakj 1.2.1.3.1

            I thought the port land wasn’t actually worth much since it is reclaimed land and development possibilities are limited?

        • Eddie 1.2.1.4

          Jesus. Maybe it’s maths class you need to get to. 18m is 9% of 200m. And that’s a half year profit. Double it for annual return.

        • Eddie 1.2.1.5

          Jesus. Maybe it’s maths class you need to get to. 18m is 9% of 200m. And that’s a half year profit. Double it for annual return.

          Not sure you’re right on the port’s equity -what else have you been right on? – think it’s higher

    • IrishBill 1.3

      You should support this bill, jimmy. It would give you the chance to OIA the port to get some facts – you’re clearly in need of some.

    • framu 1.4

      “18% that the rate payers of Tauranga get.” – evidence? – cause that sounds pretty fantastical

      even hong kong only returns around 7%

      and james – you do realise that the port is currently run as a profit seeking company dont you?

      all this bill seeks to do is bring it under the OIA just like all other council owned entities.

      Why are you so anti shareholders knowing whats going on with their investment?

    • mikesh 1.5

      This is just a red herring. Whatever opinion one may hold about the port’s profitability and how it may be improved has no bearing on the question of public scrutiny. I would suggest that James111 stick to the topic.

  2. Yes. it’s good to see ideas picked up from the wider community. But it’s premature to call for government support, I doubt they will consider their position unless the bill is drawn.

    • Even for you Petey that comment was totally inane.  Of course the Government will oppose the bill.  They are totally against transparency and access to information.  And they would sell the Ports off in a whisker if they had a chance.

      • marsman 2.1.1

        They have already opposed the introduction of the Bill that’s why it’s gone into the ballot. See Darien Fenton’s post on Red Alert.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Why not?

      This seems like a bill that is sensible and resoundingly common-sensicle.

      Why shouldn’t Peter Dunne, for example, support it as a sign of his acceptance of good ideas up for discussion?

      • I’d guess that Peter Dunne would consider it on it’s merits if it get’s drawn from the ballot. He’s done it before, soon after the Mondayisation bill was drawn (a Labour bill) he indicated support.

        Whether he supports this one or not will depend on whether it has sufficient merit.

        If I was considering it I would start from the transparency angle as that’s an important priority, but would have to balance commercial interests against that. There’s a big difference between “organisations ranging from schools to public libraries” and competitive operations run as businesses.

        I wonder if Fenton would support similar levels of “transparency and accountability ” with unions.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.2.1.1

          Do you think up these red herrings on your own, Pete? Unions are privately owned entities. What business do you have with their internal affairs? Transparent and accountable to their members, I should bloody well hope so, but to you, not so much.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1

            “Do you think up these red herrings on your own, Pete?”

            Yeah, I’d say he does.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I am disappointed. It looks like he got the line from Whaleoil.

              • felix

                Oh, at gotcha.co.nz?

              • I beat Whale to it by half an hour, but he goes in to a lot more detail.

                Don’t unions at least owe it to their “private owners” to comply with statutory reporting requirements?

                • framu

                  what makes you think they dont?

                  and its memebrs not owners

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna said “Unions are privately owned entities”, that did seem an odd way to describe them.

                    I’m sure some unions operate properly, but there’s documented examples of union alleged malpractice:

                    Inland Revenue is chasing unionist Matt McCarten’s Unite Support Services Ltd. for $150,750 in unpaid taxes after the department forced the company into liquidation last month.

                    http://www.thelawreport.co.nz/news/4268/ird-chasing-mccartens-unite-union-over-taxes-26-july-2011/

                    • framu

                      one story about unpaid tax – whoop-de-doo

                      doesnt change the fact that it has nothing to do with the topic

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Pete George. perhaps one day you will show me exactly how much public money goes into funding unions, not.

                      Even your pathetic attempt at diversion falls over, since the appointment of a liquidator will indeed see Unite Supports Services accounts opened up to external scrutiny. Inability to pay tax is not “malpractice” by the way, that’s just another example of you regurgitating the gutter water you swim in, a baseless smear just like the baseless smear you attempted yesterday and the day before that. No wonder you are completely unelectable – not only are you ignorant of basic governance (who can forget your thinking that Mallard and Little would seek public funds), but as you keep on reminding everyone after your convenient amnesia kicks in, nasty doesn’t win elections.

                      But really, what is the point of attempting to discuss the Port of Auckland or indeed, anything at all, with you, Pete George, when all you offer in return is a Gish gallop of weasel words and diversion?

                    • felix

                      I’m sure some middle-aged white men in the South Island are decent people, but there are documented examples of such people being involved in armed white-supremacist groups.

                      etc yawn.

                • bbfloyd

                  so “mondayisation” is as significant as bringing port companies under some kind of oversight?

                  i would suggest there is no relativity between the two…..

                  rather a pathetic defense of what has been an unedifying spectacle of self serving, craven, political chameleanism up to now….

                  pete knows as well, or better than most, that peter(useless shite) dunne would never have the spine to stand up to his hero’s over anything that was truly important….

                  i know people with iq’s barely above room temperature that argue over what dunny uses to wash the stain off his tongue regularly…..

                  clue: the word “dunny” is a pointer to what is the most popular guess…

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  So, now you’ve admitted you thought it up on your own, PG, what part of “red herring” don’t you understand? We are not discussing your silly notions about unions. We are discussing the requirement that the publicly owned Port of Auckland be legally transparent accountable to its owners, rather than to a tiny minority of right wing clowns.

        • Frida 2.2.1.2

          Oh dear Pete George shows his lack of knowledge of Government yet again with another inane and nonsensical comment. Have you ever looked at the OIA Petey? More specifically, have you ever looked at the Schedules to the Ombudsmen Act where the entities subject to the OIA are listed. I think you’ll find that there are more than just “schools and libraries” which are subject to the OIA.
          Just to enlighten you because you’re probably too lazy to go and look it up. But Solid Energy (as one example) is an SOE that is clearly a commercial enterprise yet must comply with the OIA.
          Furthermore, “commercial sensitivity” is not even a reason per se to decline to disclose documents under the OIA. Relying on this reason must be balanced against the public interest in disclosure (the premise of the OIA).
          Thank goodness you never made it to Parliament, you clearly have no idea how Government works.

        • Idiot/Savant 2.2.1.3

          If I was considering it I would start from the transparency angle as that’s an important priority, but would have to balance commercial interests against that. There’s a big difference between “organisations ranging from schools to public libraries” and competitive operations run as businesses.

          “competitive operations run as businesses” are already subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act by default, if they are majority council-owned. If you live in Christchurch, you can LGOIMA your local bus company. If you live in Dunedin, you can LGOIMA its forestry company, investment group, or the Tairei Gorge railway (its airport is already covered under the OIA). Why should ports be specifically excluded from that?

          (The reason is IMHO historical. The 4th Labour government expected all the ports to be rapidly sold, so it excluded them. Local councils had other plans. So we have council-owned assets which are excluded from public transparency)

  3. For the past few weeks I have been trying to get information out of POAL regarding the fiction that is the $91,000 average Stevedore wage.

    My original request for information from Auckland Council was then redirected to  ACIL.  Their response was that POAL was not subject to the Local Government Official Information obligations.

    I have since been directing the questions at ACIL.  The rationale is that surely ACIL would be asking these questions and it should therefore disclose the information.

    • DH 3.1

      I’m reasonable sure that the $91k is correct, it’s just not put in the proper context. The POAL release stated that the $91k was for average 49hr weeks which meant they were all doing significant overtime. They were being paid for 2548 hours each year when the standard 40hr week is only 2080hrs, not hard to rack up the $$ when you’re working regular overtime.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        False cherry picked data. “All doing significant overtime” – what 100% of the workers on the wharfs, even the ones with significant family or external commitments???

        • DH 3.1.1.1

          It looks to me to be more wilful misrepresentation than cherry picking, although they’re probably guilty of that too. When workers put in 10hrs overtime each week you’d expect them to take home a decent pay packet. They’ve distorted and misrepresented the figures to hide that the $91k is down to long hours (plus the extra in super payments etc).

          It wouldn’t surprise me if the average was 49hrs, when overtime is offered most of us are happy to take it for the extra bucks. If POAL really wanted to get that $91k down they should hire more workers & cut down on the overtime.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            If POAL really wanted to get that $91k down they should hire more workers & cut down on the overtime.

            What?! And have even more union members on site??? *puke*

  4. DH 4

    This is good to see;

    Lee lashes out at Ports of Auckland ‘incompetency’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10796780

    His comment about ACIL removing experienced POAL directors is interesting, hadn’t heard about that.

    I don’t know much about Mike Lee but I like the way he sticks up for his principles.

    • muzza 4.1

      “Lee refused calls by councillors George Wood, Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax to withdraw and apologise for what they called “offensive remarks” and he called “fair and reasonable”

      What a shock, George Wood, Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax! Christine Fletcher must have been an apology!

      Well done Mike Lee for refusing to accept the snivelling calls of the councils shills (include Fletcher in that), from causing “offensive remarks. Who or what are they trying to feign offence on behalf of!

  5. LoveIT 5

    OMGee! We’re like, O, so DETERMINED here.

    Yes, thats the word – determined.

    Determined to do what, exactly?

    Please tell me, my sides hurt.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Well, as usual the debate focussed all around Pete, how much he will enjoy it! How is it that he gets to so many? He must have some points to his favour in that so many rise to the bait!

  7. james 111 7

    Sorry have been away for a while you wanted some information on the 2.1% return this article from Bryan Gaynor really explains it well. POAL is getting hammered by POT
    As the accompanying figures show, POA has been hammered by POT in recent years: POA’s ebitda has fallen from $92.6 million in 2003 to $74.4 million, whereas POT’s has increased from $69.5 million to $95.0 million; POA’s ebitda margin has fallen from 55.3 per cent to 40.5 per cent while POT’s has increased from 47.6 per cent to 51.2 per cent; most importantly, POA’s dividend has declined from $34.5 million to $17.6 million while POT’s has increased from $22.8 million to $40.2 million.

    This is a huge concern to Auckland ratepayers as the $17.8 million POA dividend represents a return of only 2.1 per cent on POA’s $848 million 2005 takeover value.

    The biggest difference between the two companies is in terms of costs as they both have fairly similar total revenue, but POA has had total June 2011 year costs of $109.4 million compared with POT’s $90.3 million.

    This is where the argument about internal employees and outsourcing comes in, the issue at the heart of the current industrial dispute.

    In 2010, POA had total employee expenses of $51.9 million compared with only $18.5 million at POT and last year employee benefits plus pension costs were $54.9 million at POA compared with POT’s $25.3 million.

    The big difference between the two companies is in terms of contracting out.

    POA has 522 employees whereas POT has 160 permanent and 30 casual employees and, at any one time, a significant number of contractors working for it. These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.

    There is little doubt that the employees/contractors mix at POT works much better than the employees-only model at POA and it is not surprising that the current industrial dispute continues to escalate because POA and the Maritime Union have entrenched views on contracting.

    Contracting gives a port company greater ability to reduce costs when business is static or declining, as POT showed between 2003-07.

    But the poor performance of POA can also be attributed to the company’s board, management and politicians.

    The board’s capital management has been poor as dividend payouts have been too high. As a result, POA’s debt is much higher than POT’s and the former had net interest costs of $20.7 million in the June 2011 year compared with POT’s $10.6 million.

    POT’s senior management team has always been open, energetic and visionary while POA’s management team has been haughty and insular, and must take some of the blame for the company’s poor performance.

    Politicians have also interfered too much with POA. They have extracted too much cash in the form of dividends and this week Auckland Mayor Len Brown and former Auckland Regional Council head Mike Lee couldn’t resist having their say on the company.

    Lee made the ridiculous statement that POA and POT should act in an anti-competitive way by working together to get better rates from shipping companies. He went on to say that the shipping cartel Maersk and Fonterra “have kept prices right down by playing Tauranga off with Auckland” – yet Lee was primarily responsible for stopping merger talks between POA and POT.

    The politicians should stay out of the industrial dispute and leave POA and the Maritime Union to sort out their differences. However, the dispute looks like it will be long and ugly because Ports of Auckland must reduce its cost structure if it is to provide any competition to Port of Tauranga.

    • framu 7.1

      “These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      kind of raises many questions doesnt it

      so your saying they do it cheaper with less staff – but dont even notice the fact that “These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      carry on

    • lprent 7.2

      The big difference between the two companies is in terms of contracting out.

      Bullshit. The biggest differences are the scale of the operation, the direction of movement, the location, age of equipment, and strategic direction.

      PoT is a lot smaller in operation’s. Normally the majority of it’s traffic is export rather than the more balanced import/export loadings at PoAL with somewhat more imports than exports. PoT has a relatively shallow harbour which I suspect limits what traffic it can handle. For instance it is a lot faster to just load a vessel rather both than load and unload it.

      Each of these things affects the operations at the port and tends to make most of your actual minimal content about operations meaningless.

      Then you appear to have missed a whole pile of costs by concentrating solely on the PoT accounts. For instance are all of the labour costs listed as labour in the accounts? I’ll bet they aren’t because they are services hired from a contractor (you silly dork). Not to mention that the contractors may be directly providing the services to the shipping company and just using the ports facilities.

      When you are looking at EBITA and other such measures, the key thing to also look at is where the value is going. You can’t just compare two companies on the basis of numbers alone unless you look at their strategics.

      etc etc.

      Comparing apples with oranges is a bloody silly idea.

      In short, I’d suggest that you go and learn how to analyse balance sheets and P&L’s before you try telling a business grad such total superficial crap.

      Not to mention that Tauranga is way way past capacity, having to ration their capacity especially in Auckland, and having problems with empty containers just by even having the some of the overflow from Auckland due to the bloody stupid unlawful lockouts by PoAL. There are a hell of lot of reasons for having a port in Auckland. Not having to do the massively expensive shipping from Tauranga is one of them.

      Lee made the ridiculous statement that POA and POT should act in an anti-competitive way by working together to get better rates from shipping companies. He went on to say that the shipping cartel Maersk and Fonterra “have kept prices right down by playing Tauranga off with Auckland” – yet Lee was primarily responsible for stopping merger talks between POA and POT.

      You really are a fool aren’t you. The problem is that the shipping companies are allowed to collude in an anticompetitive way by legislation. The ports are not allowed to do so because they are subject to different legislation.

      Either both sides should be subject to the courts and the commerce commission or neither should. The current situation makes it easy for the shipping companies to do what ever they want playing one port against the other which is why they have managed to drive container costs down to close to half of the aussie ports where they are subject to anti-competitive legislation.

      Perhaps you should take some time to actually read what the issues are rather than just wanking in public.

    • KJT 7.3

      Just shows James does not know what the fuck he is talking about.

      POAL has over 800 000 box moves annually as against 500 000 in Tauranga.
      Of course Auckland’s total costs will be more than Tauranga’s.

      Labour cost per box ARE CHEAPER IN AUCKLAND.

      Claiming Aucklands costs are greater while excluding costs of contractors in Tauranga is absolute garbage.

      That Auckland needs much better management is probably correct.

      The differences in standards of co-ordination, by management, between the two ports are obvious.

      Logistics and the value of waterfront land in Auckland means Aucklands accounting ROI could never equal Tauranga, even if Auckland became much more efficient.

      And allowing Mearsk to ratchet down port costs between Auckland and Tauranga does not benefit either port, or New Zealanders.

  8. ad 8

    The fastest route to accountability is to dissolve Auckland Council Investments Ltd, making the Ports of Auckland Company directly accountable to the Council.

    While there are minor tax disadvantages to doing this, the increase in democratic accountability would be stark.

    If the Council wanted to take that a step further, it could dissolve the Ports complany completely (since it is 100% owner) and simply turn the whole thing into a Council Department, like Stormwater or Parks.

    That would erase most of its entire corporate structure, but also increase political engagement/interference. The side benefit of dissolving the Company is that the asset could never be sold off, other than through the tortuous Special Consultative Procedure for such things.

    Whether there are the political numbers to do this, well, it would probably it would need another election. However none of the above requires any legislative change at all.

  9. james 111 9

    What I want to know is how come POT can do its volumes with 330 less staff than POA there are some real savings in Labour cost there alone.

    • James you are an idiot.  Tauranga has contractors too that are outside the list of employees.
       
      POAL in 2010 spent $51.9m on employees.  Tauranga spent $25.3m but a further $33,9m on contractors and $5.8m on transport contractors.  Depending on the work covered it looks like Tauranga spent MORE than Auckland on its Labour force.
       

  10. james 111 10

    What we are saying is then POA $24,900,000 profit / by 522 employees = $47,701 profit per employee
    Tauranga $57,900,000 / by 190 employees =$304,736 profit per employee given that the bottom line includes all operational labour costs if you were the employer which ownership model would you want to follow
    As Bryan Gaynor says the differences are so stark no one can argue with it not even you Micky . No not an idiot just go into things with my eyes wide open rather than a view tainted by ideaology

    • framu 10.1

      “What we are saying is”

      no – your saying that. everyone one else is pointing out that youve got a big hole in your employee numbers

      from your own quote
      “POA has 522 employees whereas POT has 160 permanent and 30 casual employees and, at any one time, a significant number of contractors working for it. These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      do you not read the replies or something?

      • james 111 10.1.1

        Framu
        Doesnt matter profit is profit records all operating costs divided by the number of employees you cant argue with the figures. Tauranga is way more efficent and productive on a proft per person basis than POA

        • KJT 10.1.1.1

          Don’t know where you studied accounting, but you should ask for your money back!

          • james 111 10.1.1.1.1

            KJT
            Those are the profit results as reported divided by the Staff numbers given that in the Profit result all operational costs are recorded . Tell me what is wrong with the figures. I know they dont make happy reading for POAL or MUNZ

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We have told you what is wrong with your figures. Sorry if that is too complicated for you.

              Whatever the profit difference. It is not due to the Labour force.

              Have a think about how much is due to land valuations for a start.

            • mickysavage 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I can’t figure out if james is really that stupid or if he is just trying to disrupt the thread …

              • Te Reo Putake

                No, he really is that stupid. And it’s backed up by science; racists have an IQ that is, on average, 4 points lower than normal people. I’d suggest Jim Jim’s homophobia has shaved off a few more points, too.
                 
                In Simpsons’ terms, he’s somewhere between Ralph Wiggum and Cletus Spuckler.

              • felix

                Not necessarily an either or…

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Tell me what is wrong with the figures.

              It’s that you’re missing half of Tauranga’s costs and then saying that because those costs have suddenly disappeared (they haven’t really) that Tauranga gets more profit.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.2

          You can’t honestly be that stupid.
                 
          Let’s say PoAL contracted out 400 of 500 staff with no change in efficiency – i.e. the 400 staff being paid directly simply move to another expense line item to perform the same amount of work. They would therefore have the same profit level on work being done by the same number of people. According to your logic, the 100 remaining employees are five times more efficient. Even they’re still only doing a fifth of the work that generates the profit.
               
          Seriously, not even you can plausibly pretend to be that dumb.

          • james 111 10.1.1.2.1

            All the costs to hire the workers will have come off before the NOP line so the profit is still the profit. Costs of contracting are taken into account in the POT bottom line. You cant tell me they dont included them as that would be breaking all auditing standards and not reporting an accurate bottom line.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1.1

              But reducing the number of direct staff which you believe means “there are some real savings in Labour cost there alone.”. The trouble is that any “savings” in the labour cost line item are balanced by a corresponding increase in the “contracting out” line item. So the “profit per employee” metric is meaningless in this context – it’s just a filter to exclude counting staff based on an arbitrary line item label, rather than any difference in type or quality of work.

        • framu 10.1.1.3

          no you cant argue with the figures your quite correct, im merely trying to point out that your figures are incorrect because your deliberately leaving out the contractors

          so the fact your not counting the contractors in your “profit per person” is bogus because your not counting all the people who have worked there.

          divide the profit of POT by ALL people who worked there – maybe some variables for hours worked and other such factors then come back with a profit per person

          • james 111 10.1.1.3.1

            Right I agree with that but that isnt POT worry anymore they belong to the Contractor all the profit can be recorded against their full time numbers as the cost of the contractor is already alowed for in the expenses. How the contractor runs his business is entirely up to him. What I am talking about is the difference in profit and return to the rate payers between the two business models and it is huge

    • Craig Glen Eden 10.2

      But james the figure 190 is not real get it! Divide what ever you like by a number thats not real and it makes the answer bullshit. James wake up. The individual numbers of contract workers would have to be added in to give any relevance to your argument.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Telecom outsourced its entire IT division , along with employees, to EDS many years ago. Now its bought them back.

    Sub contracting isnt the be all by any means

  12. Fenton’s bill missed the ballot this time round.

    The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn:

    22 Illegal Contracts (Unlawful Limitation on Regulators’ Powers) Amendment Bill Hon Lianne Dalziel
    45 Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months Paid Leave) Amendment Bill Sue Moroney
    30 Lobbying Disclosure Bill Holly Walker

    Could be something worth supporting in amongst that.

    • james 111 12.1

      Definetly not worth supporting the first two anyway.How could employer pay for six months maternity leave at the moment I ask you

      • Pete George 12.1.1

        They don’t, it’s paid by Government.

        This Bill extends paid parental leave to 26 weeks, which supports the
        WHO recommendation that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended
        up to 6 months of age.

        The ability for parents to choose to care for newborn babies is an es-
        sential part of supporting families to develop nurturing relationships.
        Extending paid parental leave from the current entitlement of 14
        weeks to 26 weeks would support families and also create jobs
        across the economy as employers engage staf f to replace those on
        paid parental leave.

        As the majority of paid parental leave is uplifted by women, it has the
        added benefit of creating jobs in areas of the economy where women
        work, while supporting families and the well – being of children.

        This Bill recognises the fiscal implications of this additional entitle-
        ment, by staging the implementation of 26 weeks paid parental leave
        over the course of 3 years, adding an additional entitlement of 4
        weeks from 2012–2014.

        This sounds reasonable to me. There is likely to be fiscal resistance but it would phase in as the recovery kicks in (hopefully).

  13. Don’t know how practical it would be but on a principle of more transparency and open government this seems worth giving some attention to.

    Lobbying Disclosure Bill

    This bill seeks to bring a measure of transparency and public disclosure around the lobbying activity directed at Members of Parliament and their staff, and in so doing to enhance trust in the integrity and impartiality of democracy and political decision-making.

    It seeks to ensure that lobbying takes place in as open a way as possible, and in a way that protects the interests of the public, and to establish ethical standards for lobbying activity in New Zealand, with the prospect of sanctions if rules are broken.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/lobbying-disclosure-bill

    If it could be made to work without being too restrictive then it could be good.

    • McFlock 13.1

      how is “disclosure” restrictive?
           
      Personally I’d increase the penalty by a factor of at least ten.

  14. captain hook 14

    these kiwi soe’s seem to have become the repository for goon squads and “grabbers”.

  15. RedBaron 15

    Just read Jimmie3 at 1.11 p.m.

    Hahaha – I don’t believe that he analysed the Financials and wrote this in the few hours he had available.
    It’s the typical sort of crap written by accounts who are suddenly required to justify a decision that the Management has already taken. Contains a nod to the fact that there are other points of view but of course concentrates on those points where there is some specious rebuttal readily available.

    Come on Jimmie3. Cut and paste doesn’t take that long. Use ctrl C, ctrl V and please let us know -who did write this???

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Looks to me like he got English’s office or Treasury to help him with those numbers, judging by the accuracy.

  16. RedBaron 16

    Had a quick look at the Financials – can’t see the staff numbers broken down there although there should be disclosure on the upper salaries. That has come from somewhere else, and they are set out fairly accurately.
    The other thing that caught my eye, was the exposure to derivatives and that appears to be around interest rates.
    They have little FX exposure which, unless they are making a major offshore purchase of equipment would be as expected, the price list would be in NZ dollars I suppose.

    However, the interest bill is around $0.5m but there seems to be derivatives in place of around $4.5m.
    I haven’t perused every thing in detail so there might be a simple explanation – if there isn’t then what are they expecting??

  17. John72 17

    Today’s readings :-
    Mark 15:10 – 15 Luke 23:18 – 25 John 19:12 – 16
    The crowds were just as irrational 2000 years ago as they are today. We like to think that we are more educated now, but no one needs a martyr to arouse the rabble in this day and age. I hope that no one participating in the P.of A. dispute considers themselves a martyr. Both parties keep refering to “what is in it for me.”

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    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Charter Schools are working, why not ...
    Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day Parliament dumped the TVNZ Charter, ceremoniously, by 64 MPs to 56.   The Broadcasting Minister of the day, one J Coleman, said without too much of a smirk that the removal of the charter would have little...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Motorists passing people on bicycles and other vulnerable road users owe them a high duty of care.”...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: High cost of storm damage sign of things to come Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release National’s deal with SkyCity means that a company that flout’s New Zealand’s gambling regulations has the opportunity to greatly...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Please explain Minister… yet again Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says....
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’ A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Murray McCully must go: sign the petition to demand his resignation
    Sign the petition to demand Murray McCully resign and stand with Tania Billingsley and the thousands of women who have survived sexual assault in New Zealand. Tania Billingsley, who is at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat case, has lifted her own...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • More mining our protected places
    Today is the last day for submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) marine consent application to mine the seabed in a protected area, in our most productive fishery. I just got my submission in which you can read here. This...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Poverty and inequality denial are no reasons for celebration
    The headlines proclaim that concerns about poverty and inequality is just a lot of left wing PC guilt squawking because according to cherry picked statistics there isn’t really any inequality or poverty. Cue a rousing round of ‘we don’t know...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National breaks promise to insulate every state house Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release “It’s not just a broken promise, it’s poor economics.” National has broken its promise to insulate every...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • “World Class Welfare System” My Arse. Come Clean Nathan Guy!
    Pigs are not safe in New Zealand. How many farms do activists have to film before the Ministry of Primary Industries comes clean and admits their accreditation scheme is an absolute failure? Do activists need to do the job of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Tania Billingsley – hero
    The astounding courage exhibited by Tania Billingsley last night on 3rd Degree should put the Government to shame. Her criticism of those charged with upholding her rights is to the bone and righteous… The woman at the centre of a...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: McCully should stand down while review considers his actions Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, why I love John ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game
    If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto  Posted on July 10, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press Releases“Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • 7 reasons why online voting isn’t a solution
    Online voting is being waved around again as a means to increase participation.  Here are the 7 reasons why I think online voting is a bad idea. 1 – 21% of those asked why theory didn’t vote in 2011 gave ‘didn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Greg Presland – National and Pacifica
    John Key and National have recently been claiming that Pacifica are leaving Labour en masse and are heading towards National.  I am sorry John but there is no chance of this happening.  But Key and co have been able to get the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Police sweeping domestic violence under the carpet?
    Pressure to lower stats – MPPolice were under government orders to “minimise” the number of domestic violence charges they lay to make crime statistics look good, Labour MP Andrew Little claimed yesterday. This latest allegation of Police downplaying domestic violence...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Invite: AGM & Political Forum
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Invite: AGM & Political ForumCPAG AGM & Election Year Political Forum 08 July 2014 When: Wednesday 30 July Where: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland RSVP here! Please...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Housing figures National’s shame Monday, 07 Jul 2014 | Press Release “These figures are a shame on the Government. All New Zealanders deserve secure housing, whether renting or owning.” The number of...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: QV figures show two-track housing market The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • GUEST POST: Michael Wood – Just Structures
    The headline number at this weekend’s Labour Congress was a very good speech from David Cunliffe, the centre-piece of which was the well-received announcement on class sizes. The Congress ended on a high note, with delegates energised and positive media...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Cunliffe vs Key
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A letter to Hekia
    A letter to Hekia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Animal abuse unacceptable for pigs and consumers
    I was a kid on pig farms in the 1970s. Piglets were castrated using a scalpel without anaesthetic, wire cutters were used to trim their teeth and cut off their tails. Wire was forced through their sensitive snouts. Row upon...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A better Canterbury and a better NZ
    Labour’s first 100 days is going to be a busy time – we’ve got a lot to change!  Kick-starting the Canterbury recovery is going to be a crucial part of those first 100 days.  Labour has announced several Canterbury specific...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Dear Leader loves you! Our cult of no personality
    .   The Cult of Dear Leader . It was inevitable. The poll-rated ‘popularity’ of Prime Minister has evolved into a full-blown, carefully-choreographed, Cult of Personality the likes of which this country has never before seen. The recent National Party...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial crisis, lack of adjustment of the accommodation supplement and high housing costs show...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hard
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Low income families hit hard Council of Trade Unions – Media Release Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Government in denial over income inequality
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Government in denial over income inequality Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes National’s decision to cut nearly $2.5 million from adult and community education in Canterbury over the past five years was short-sighted and Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 | Press Release The latest Household Incomes Survey shows income inequality widening further under National, but that it is...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour Labour has been very clear that it is necessary to review and evaluate the effectiveness of Whanau Ora for Māori, says Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy? Another significant shortfall in the Government’s books suggests the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by, Labour’ Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • NZ Police to spy on people in pubs? We like our fascism casual thanks
    Ummmm. What? Undercover cops to ‘spy’ on bar patronsAn ”outrageous” initiative will see undercover police officers ”spying on patrons”, Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson says. Southern district police last month began stationing plain-clothes officers in licensed premises to ensure...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Positive and Solution Based Politics
    It has been a fascinating month – at times depressing – to be watching New Zealand politics from afar. Over here in Pakistan where I am currently working we have seen the Government begin a military offensive in North Waziristan...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Let’s be honest about National’s education policy and ‘lolly scramble...
    Let’s be honest about National’s education policy shall we? It’s got nothing to do with student achievement, that’s the bait National are using, what National’s Charter School fetish and National Standard league table obsessions are all about is injecting a...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
  • Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions Police are being instructed to charge fewer people in order to meet National’s crime reduction targets, Labour says. “Front line police and others in the...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
  • Its the economy stupid
    A poll being conducted on the Massey Birdwood Settlers website asks the question - Its Election Year - what will you base your vote on?...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Global Thinking Needed to Spark New Zealand’s Digital Future
    Giving Kiwi digital innovators the tools to help them think globally from day one is how New Zealand will become world-leader in the digital economy, says the Internet Party....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application
    The seafood industry strongly opposes Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, saying it will have “significant and irreversible adverse effects on the marine environment.” In its submission to the Environmental Protection...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Māori Parenting Course already a hit
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has commended programmes that rise up out of the community that work ‘with’ families, as opposed to interventions that do things ‘to’ families. She was speaking as guest of honour at the recent launch...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Royal visit no king hit
    Support for a Kiwi Head of State is still high after April's royal tour....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Captioning to give hard of hearing community greater access
    New Zealand political programmes on TV will soon be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Able is pleased to announce that from Wednesday 23rd July, it will be providing closed captions for TV ONE’s Q+A, TV3’s 3rd...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Conservatives Law and Order Policy Based on Mythology
    “The Conservative Party’s Law and Order current slogan ‘Stand for Something’ should be changed to ‘Stand for Anything’ says Kim Workman, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, in its latest ‘Smart on Crime’ blog....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Billingsley reminds us that sexual abuse can be prevented
    Tania Billingsley’s choice to have name suppression lifted and to talk about the wider issue of rape culture that facilitated her assault has highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence in New Zealand and reminds us that it can be prevented....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • 90 jobs lost in the Waikato as NZ Post closes mail centre
    New Zealand Post has confirmed that 90 jobs will be lost when it closes its Waikato mail processing centre. The confirmation comes after NZ Post announced in June last year that it would be closing its Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Award for excellence in International Development journalism
    VSA is proud to launch its award for excellence in International Development journalism. VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in International Development....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Marchers Keep Maui’s to the fore
    After successful marches around the country, Maui’s dolphin campaigners continue their pressure on the Government with a march to John Key’s electorate office in Kumeu on Sunday 13 July at 10am, leaving from the Kumeu Arts Centre at 10.30, 300...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • ESC announcement ‘shamefully late’, says safety campaigner
    The government announcement that Electronic Stability Control will become compulsory on new vehicles is effectively locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, says the car review website dogandlemon.com. Electronic Stability Control detects...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee. “Let’s replace the barbed wire of refugee camps with our own No. 8 wire mentality. Let’s be there for some of our planet’s most vulnerable...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Internet Party Wades in to Fix Sick Waterways
    New Zealand’s waterways will be cleaned up and much higher standards set on water quality in a 10-year plan to be introduced by the Internet Party by 2016....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Time for Kiwis to start punching above weight in Humanity
    Acknowledgments and warm greetings to you all. I would especially like to welcome the relatively new representative from the UNHRC Thomas Albrecht..welcome to our part of the world, the Deputy CE for Immigration Nigel Bickle and the Ian Axford...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • SSC Releases Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) Reports
    The Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) reviews released by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today include the full reviews of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Treasury....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?
    The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • President of PGA to attend Workshop for Arms Trade Treaty
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson will be attending a Workshop next week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to promote signature and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Calls for Government Intervention Premature But Inevitable
    The Taxpayers’ Union is reacting to calls for a Crown Manager to be appointed to shepherd Auckland Council through its budget crisis, with disappointment. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Seeking Sanctuary
    What would you do if you were forced to flee your home because of war or persecution?...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration
    Child Poverty Action Group says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand's poorest children should expect a far greater level of ambition for their well-being....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Cyclists want answers from political parties
    Cyclists are calling for better protection, following the Coroner's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly, held in Hamilton this week. Mrs Farrelly was killed after being struck by a truck near Taupo on March 16 last year....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Malaysian embassy employee
    Police are continuing to support Tania who has recently applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved. Police did not oppose this course of action as we wanted to support...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity
    Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Margaret Mahy boat unveiled on anniversary of ship bombing
    Greenpeace is naming a new boat after one of New Zealand’s best known children’s authors, Margaret Mahy, at a ceremony today on the 29th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland harbour....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • ACC announces schools in sexual violence prevention pilot
    ACC has announced the nine secondary schools and facilitators who will pilot its new sexual and dating violence prevention programme....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • PISA results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels
    PISA financial literacy results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels for young New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles
    The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is urging the Government to consider a suite of NZPI-developed guiding principles on freshwater quality issues when it implements its upcoming freshwater reforms....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Labour Party Policy a Mixed Bag
    The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) would welcome any review of insurers’ response to the Canterbury earthquakes, rejects the Labour Party’s proposal for another regulator of the industry and supports its policy of transferring levies...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
Images of the election
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere

1951

Robert Muldoon: The Grim Face of Power - Part One

Gallery - Norman Kirk The First 250 Days

The Hollow Men

Revolution (part one) - Fortress New Zealand

Revolution (part two) - The Grand Illusion

Dawn Raids

Tarawera

In a Land of Plenty

Someone Else's Country

Patu!

Bastion Point - The Untold Story

Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story

The Shadow of Vietnam

Try Revolution

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