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Houston and the cost of sprawl

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 16th, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: housing, infrastructure, transport - Tags:

The Right’s favourite sprawl example at the moment. Sections for $50,000. Wow! But they haven’t asked why new sections in Houston are so cheap. They’ve just assumed its because Houston doesn’t have tight zoning rules. In fact, they do – but their rules encourage sprawl. And, while the land may be cheap, it means much higher living costs – particularly transport.

Take a look at this graph:

Revised_petrol_use_urban_density

New Zealand’s use is 25 GJ of petrol per person a year.

So, Houstonites are using more than three times as much petrol per head as us and its inextricably linked to their sprawl. If you’re all spread out you’ve got to drive further.

If New Zealanders used so much petrol, it would add $5,000 a year to the average household’s annual bill.

And the price of petrol has been rising at an average of 8% a year for a decade.

So the cost of sprawl in terms of energy use is massive. Add to that the cost of all the motorways, which spend most of their time largely empty and heavily congested for a couple of hours a day (Houston has the fourth worst congestion in the US – you just can’t build enough roads to get ahead of the traffic demand generated by sprawl on that scale)

WEST-HOUSTON_600

Houston is partially hedged against that rising cost – it is the centre of the Texan petro-state – the world capital of oil. When oil prices rise, there’s more work and higher incomes in Houston, which counters the higher cost of petrol (which is lower near the Texan oil fields anyway). Auckland doesn’t have that hedge.

The cost of burning more petrol. The cost of building more roads (and leveling existing houses to do it). The cost in transport time on congested roads. All those transport costs are costs that a person takes on when they buy a section on Houston, or in any sprawled city. Yes, the price tag on the land might be cheap, but the cost of owning it is anything but.

h/t Auckland Transport Blog

51 comments on “Houston and the cost of sprawl”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Auckland: The Lone Far State.
    and then there is all this National Party Social Media Roading Propaganda.
    Oil Supplies may tighten up as early as 2015 according to The Guardian.
    Duplicating all that Infrastructure and Amenities.
    Lost Productivity due to commuting.
    Isolation.
    Alienation.
    Was listening to the husky tones of Georgia (or Angel) consoling those Aucklanders stuck in a jam on the Southern Motorway for two hours this week. To requote Key and Brownlee, “hope they’re tuned to a good radio station. (The Prisoner is not from Piece of Mind, Mikey: Love your work).

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      How can we get more New Zealanders to live and work in a foreign city which has a good public transportation system?

      Once you have, you appreciate the joy of not being enslaved by your car.

      OK, comedians. I know we are exporting our best and brightest. How do we win them back?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Wait for those other spots to start collapsing faster than we are. The other possibility is by creating a country with clear leadership and a social vision for an Energy depleting future.

        Sprawl makes us just the same as the worst around the world.

        • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1.1

          carry on, unwinding the skein.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.2

          The best example is Cuba. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ending of cheap oil Cuba had to reform dramatically. Car use went way down and physical health improved dramatically, and organic community gardens that did not rely on fertilisers appeared everywhere. There is a lot of information out there on the phenomenon but a starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organopónicos and http://peakoil.com/generalideas/the-power-of-community-how-cuba-survived-peak-oil.

          • Bill 1.1.1.2.1

            True that Cuba did manage to survive the post USSR period. The problem I have with it is that it was probably only possible due to the fact that Cuba was a command economy. And relatively benign as Castro was/is in terms of dictators, the loss of political freedom and general agency that comes with a command economy is too high a price to pay. Far better than being directed by a dictatorship of one form or another (state or corporate) would be for us to empower ourselves to make the necessary changes

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Well, command economies come in all shapes, shades and sizes. NZs responses during WWII and during the 70s oil shock for instance. Muldoon era economics.

              One thing which we know is very helpful in collapse, whether gradual or rapid: social capital. You want to build lots and lots of it, and to do so early on before you need it. The details of the administrative systems can then build on that advantage.

              Nicely, it is something which makes local democracy function very well.

              • weka

                My understanding is that alot of the agricultural/horticultural changes that happened in Cuba post-Soviet support were managed collectively, not just via the dictatorship (it’s been a while since I read that history though). I agree with what you say in general Bill, but given Cuba was in that state before the loss of cheap oil, they did very well. It’s not like we would ever be in that same situation. For NZ, I see the potential for us to lose democracy very quickly if the wrong people are in power when the wrong crisis hits at the wrong time. Can you imagine Brownlee in charge if we were to have sudden ongoing food and power shortages brought on by an oil crisis?

                So, empowering ourselves. We should be doing this now, yeah? I agree with the idea of building social capital. And I think we need to be developing systems of inter-relationships and local governance too. If the current undermining of local authority by NACT continues we will be in a very sad state when the shtf. How liberals and conservatives work together strikes me as crucial, which is why the microcosm that is ts is interesting (albeit pretty depressing too).

          • Macro 1.1.1.2.2

            Interestingly Cuba is the only country in the world still that not only has a high level of equity, but also lives withing it allocated carbon foot print per person. It is the living example of a steady state economy. It has a well developed health and education systems, far better for the average person than the USA.
            It is a glimpse of what the future will be like post oil – without the – the modern technologies

            • weka 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Macro, what are you meaning by allocated carbon footprint? I would guess that Cuba still uses more resources than its landbase can sustain over time (ie it’s total environmental footprint is still too high), and that it’s carbon emissions are relatively low compared to the big hitters (wiki says Cuba and NZ are on par for carbon emissions).

  2. happynz 2

    It isn’t just Houston.

    Here in the fast “developing” state of Kedah in Malaysia the car rules. Here’s why. New housing developments, called tamans, pop up out in the former rubber and oil palm plantations like mushrooms after a night’s rain. The usual taman will have several thousand terrace houses packed into a couple hundred hectares. Not so bad, but these tamans usually have no services such as shops, restaurants, clinics, supermarkets, or places of entertainment. (OK, there’s often a mosque nearby so people’s spiritual needs are met.) If anything needs to be done, it’s a case of getting in the car and travelling. It’s just too hot and sweaty (not to mention dangerous to one’s health and safety) to trek down a highway to pick up some bread and the papers. A car or motorbike is a necessity as public transport is totally shit in my city. The only saving grace at present is that petrol is relatively cheap at RM1.90 per litre (NZ$0.75).

    With the combination of housing sprawl, lack of amenities in the farflung housing estates, and cheapish petrol, yeah, cars rule (and traffic usually sucks).

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Nothing like a good mix of property development and political corruption to get the best housing outcomes for citizens. What is the financing for these new houses like?

      • happynz 2.1.1

        If you’re a Bumiputera (Malay) you’ll get a nice 5-10% discount right off the top. As for financing, I can’t say. There’s a bewidering (to me anyways) array of financial tools that are used. The Islamic banks don’t use interest as paying interest or usury is not halal or sumthin’ (I’m not all that up to speed on Quranic studies obviously) so mortages are adjusted in some manner or rather. For us non-Muslims I’ve read somewhere that mortgages go for around 6-8%. I have a sneaking hunch that a significant number of houses and apartments are purchased with cash with the cash coming from savings, family whiparounds, wedding gifts of cash, and erm…seed money from informal sources.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    All those transport costs are costs that a person takes on when they buy a section on Houston, or in any sprawled city.

    And that’s just transport. On top of that you’ve also got the extra costs to provide basic services such as sewage/storm-water/rubbish collection and even parks.

    Sprawl is massively expensive once you take everything into account.

  4. Paul Campbell 4

    Don’t forget that Houston is hot and humid as hell – a bunch of that cost is due to running your car’s air conditioner for much of the year, without that expense (and home air conditioning too) Houston wouldn’t be particularly habitable at all

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The massive power failures the US experienced last summer was very little fun for a people used to being cooled by their 140 energy slaves.

  5. Bill 5

    So okay, it’s true that more car journeys are undertaken when peope are ‘sprawled’. But local ammenities could be incorporated into housing plans – shopping precincts constructed that are central to each cluster of housing. Fairly souless – but a solution of sorts. The UK tried this post-war, with the construction of its New Towns.

    But people still commuted to main centers to get to their jobs. And that, it would seem to me, is the principle problem; the jobs. Companies have centralised their operations and rely on transport to solve any potential location problem. Meanwhile, the days of ferrying workers via company buses are long gone. (Let’s not bother mentioning the farcical public transport system in NZ) An obvious point to make is that most jobs are utterly pointless – beyond their capacity to make money for the owners/shareholders and their promise to afford workers the means to participate in society via access to cash.

    But with the likely massive increase in fuel costs (alongside other factors) putting onerous financial pressures on workers already subjected to quite deliberate incremental impoverishment, we arrive at a problem that probably won’t be solved within a market context.

    The only way I can see to solve the problem of where people might reasonably live, is to get to grips with the multiple problems/expectations associated with our job culture. I’d argue to simply get rid of it. There is no reason not to develop systems based on worthwhile production. There is no compelling reason why we couldn’t/shouldn’t allow ourselves to pursue a meaningful life free from social pressure that would have us shackle ourselves to meaningless jobs for years on end.

    Is a social wage one solution? I don’t know.

    But without the pressure to have any job at any cost, the population of NZ could spread itself throughout the country. There are many small towns with ample housing. The principle problem is the lack of meaningless jobs in such places. But when meaningless jobs are seen as such, and a reasonable life not reliant on being shackled to one…

    • The first thing you do is you upgrade public transport and if you have a transport system that does not rely on oil you make sure it is in as good shape as possible in preparation for the day oil starts disappearing and the price soars.

      For instance if you had the chance in your major city to double the potential throughput of your electricity fuelled train system by digging a tunnel you would do that immediately.

      Wouldn’t you?

      • Bill 5.1.1

        For instance if you had the chance in your major city to double the potential throughput of your electricity fuelled train system by digging a tunnel you would do that immediately.

        Wouldn’t you?

        Well, no…I wouldn’t bother to be honest. The way we live determines our dispersal – or lack thereof – and it simply isn’t sustainable. What I’d do is begin the get the country ‘ahead of the curve’ in terms of reconfiguring our living arrangements and working lives to cater for the upcoming post peak world. But it’s not up to me. And it’s not up to you. It’s up to policies emanating from numerous, deeply conservative institutions. And that means there will be a panic – a flurry of inadequate policy reactions somewhere off down the track – and absolutely nothing in terms of visionary pro-active policy now.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          If we had actually conservative institutions, we’d probably all be better off. Things engineered to last, strong back up plans and redundant systems, spare capacity and a well trained competent staff.

          The most conservative people I know have 3-4 years of firewood stashed up…”just in case”…of what I’ve never quite figured out, but its simply a way of looking at things and making design choices.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            +1.

            Avoiding sprawl is a good idea if you think that energy supply will increase over time but you want to be prudent financially and resource wise. If you think energy/resources will decrease, then Bill is right. We can afford to spread out a bit and rearrange to localise pretty much everything – food production, energy production, jobs. Some manufacturing still makes sense to be more centralised, but lots can be taken back to the local level.

            Even within large cities this makes sense. Chch would be better off as a series of interlinking towns and villages rather than centralising everything. Around and between the towns would be food growing space that wasn’t being done within the town. If people think that commuting is going to be an issue in the future re transport fuels, take a look at the real costs of food miles and how fragile our current food production system is (and by that I mean what we get to eat, not whether farmers can make money exporting kai).

            There is no reason why making a living cannot be localised for most people too.

            Except as Bill points out, we’re not in charge :-)

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.2

            +1. CV

            Actually what you’ve described is the difference between ‘cautious’ and ‘reactionary’. Far too often the word ‘conservative’ is used to mean the latter when it really means the former.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.3

            well said

      • Jimmie 5.1.2

        Where does the electricity come from to fuel this public transport nirvana?

        Coal/Natural Gas/Oil? = Bad
        Nuclear = Evil
        Wind and solar = Wonderful but ineffective and minimal out put and bad for the environment (especially wind)
        Other = ????

        Saying that it is powered by electricity is all very good but you have to figure out where that electricity is to be generated from.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.2.1

          Oh noes! We might have to figure it out!!!

          You missed out a couple of categories of power generation. I expect that’s just you being a fuckwit.

          • weka 5.1.2.1.1

            Seemed like a valid question to me.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Sounds like a banal, bad faith question to me. When did the need to plan for the future suddenly become such a huge problem? When did wind and solar power become ineffective and minimal?

              When did drill it mine it sell it RoNS groupie Jimmie start to give a toss about public transport?

              • Jimmie

                Well duh – wind and solar output is intermittent at best, requires large battery storage (bad for environment), subsides to make it cost efficient, and in the case of wind turbines they kill thousands of birds every year – including rare eagles in the US.

                http://news.yahoo.com/ap-impact-wind-farms-pass-eagle-deaths-072316007.html

                I didn’t mention hydro as though it works well the red tape hupla to jump through to get new projects approved is ridiculous and many countries don’t have the water sources available.

                Geothermal is great too but is available in very limited quantities.

                So yeah for all those who want to jump on the electricity band wagon need to provide suitable cost effective generation options otherwise tis all for nought.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Yes, Jimmie, future transport options will require planning and not a little adaptation, because continued fossil fuel use will cease to be an option.

                  I note your cheer-leading for RoNS utterly fails to acknowledge this.

                • lprent

                  The most well tested and simplest way to store excess generated power is to simply pump water uphill into a dam. Small hydro lakes don’t fit because you may as well use the power directly rather than spilling. But there have been numerous examples around the world of high ponds, lakes, and dammed valleys used for the purpose.

                  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

                  Why bother with batteries?

                • Colonial Viper

                  and in the case of wind turbines they kill thousands of birds every year – including rare eagles in the US.

                  As if deep sea drilling, shale fracking and tar sands operations don’t kill massive amounts of wild life as well. The deep sea horizon spill…well the loss of wildlife there was devastating.

                  Don’t see nature loving you campaigning against deep water drilling though, strangely.

              • weka

                “When did drill it mine it sell it RoNS groupie Jimmie start to give a toss about public transport?”

                Ah, so you know him already. I was taking the comment at face value.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  It even motivated him to argue his case a little more coherently, but as usual, we need better wingnuts.

  6. The plan is just build road after road, basically handing over cash to Fletcher to build roads to nowhere.

    • Rosetinted 6.1

      That’s what the roading authority in Naples did – with the Mafia. So we were told in the 1970s.

  7. millsy 7

    Proponents of urban sprwal never bother to consider things like services and amenities…

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      No profit just costs for private developers considering that ‘unnecessary crap’

  8. Macro 8

    Houston will die with the collapse of oil. It is completely unsustainable.

  9. Ad 9

    Would Julia Ann Genter quickly release an alternative Government Policy Statement for Transport please.

    If there really is to be a good crack at this from late 2014, the whole industry need to know how tight the turnaround is going to be.

    Auckland has one of the highest levels of car ownership in the world, in part because it is one of the most motorway-and-road dominated cities in the world. Can it be turned around? Is there really the will?

    Without a fresh and reversed GPS, Auckland Transport and its partner NZTA Auckland will continue to do the (LTMA) job of reconciling the Auckland Plan with the current GPS. Which is a whole site better for public transport than what is in Auckland now, but it’s also a whole lot more roads.

    Julie-Ann, I know what you don’t like, and I know you like the CRL. But do you have the policy chops to turn this supertanker around? Why not come on the site and tell us.

    And could Russell please confirm that she will indeed be the Greens’ preferred transport minister, rather than presuming any Greens caucus member can do any portfolio.

    • karol 9.1

      The Greens Policy on transport is mainly a series of bullet points at the moment, with a general outline of policies for Auckland and Wellington.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        If it is going to be a Green Minister of Transport by November 2014 – and that’s a whole bunch of if’s – they will need to come in hard and come in fast.

        That means telling MoT and the transport Briefing to Incoming Ministers to get lost …

        … and having one of your own ready to go. Slapped down on the table.

        Given MoT’s running Ministerial interference for the current Minister on the City Rail Link, the new Minister should rehearse a line like: “You do not have my confidence.” ie piss off and get me a progressive police wonk who can deliver me the goods.

        Then the Minister would need to review the entire makeup of the NZTA Board. Particularly a chat about which motorway budgets can be cut for the same productivity and safety benefits.

        Then the Minister would need to have fully pre-written their own Government Policy Statement for transport … slap it on the table and start disseminating into MBIE and Treasury.

        Then have a sit down with the major City mayors for a heart to heart.

        And of course presume that the entire transport construction industry, car industry, trucking industry, and the AA – together with their media access, lobbyists, and fully vested interests, would have their guns ready for prolonged trench warfare.

        It will make the housing lobby we have seen in action over the Auckland Unitary Plan look like a walk in the park.

        Should the Greens get the transport prize in November 2014, buckle in.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          she’ll need powerful allies – and you’ve not listed any

          • Ad 9.1.1.1.1

            The progressive Mayors, Transportblog, a few media reporters on National Radio, NZHerald, Campbell Live, the usual NGO’s … and if the new Minister frames it well enough, every driver in a queue, and every public transport commuter with unsatisfactory performance.

            The playing field is tilted hard in favour of the status quo … which is why the new Minister would need to come in hard and fast, install their own people, and get the hard moves done fast inside the first 100 days.

  10. infused 10

    I find it pretty bullshit… take LA for instance. I was staying on the outskirts. It was a good 20-30 minute drive in to town, but I only went once. We had shopping complexes and everything we needed in walking distance.

    Walmarts were everywhere.

    Americans all have V8′s too. Everywhere I went. I think I saw two jappers. Hummers there, fully kitted out are only 20-30k usd.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      Say, that sounds really swell*, just a couple of questions:

      What’s a litre of gas (that’s what Americans call petrol) going for over there these days, and how much do they use?

      *transparently disingenuous.

  11. Rich 11

    Why not take Detroit as an example – you can get a section for $100 with a free house thrown in.

    http://au.businessinsider.com/cheap-detroit-homes-2011-6

    Beats 50k in Houston. Ok, you’d need to spend a few grand on guns and bullets to shoot all the neigbours, and there isn’t any paying work within 500 miles, but cheap is cheap.

  12. Kiev 12

    So that graph would be a lot more helpful if,

    a) Auckland was on it
    b) It was current – that graph relates to a 1989 report/study.

  13. Lloyd 13

    If you want to get data on the relationship between urban density and energy Google “Newman and Kenworthy”.

    Every person who wishes to have input into urban design should know the relationship between density of cities and the fuel use per person that Newman and Kenworthy discovered.

    I bet Bill English has never heard of them.

    If you haven’t, look them up today, rather than tomorrow.

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  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland
    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped four days after it began and one month ahead of schedule after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: A Strange Road
    It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • More proof
    Adam Bennet in the Herald reports: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. But...
    Polity | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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