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If they didn’t want to sell it, we would all own it

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, September 5th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: act, Maori Issues, national, privatisation - Tags:

The National/Act government wants to sell essential public infrastructure assets that we all own and that returns a public dividend to a few of its mates who have the money, so some of its other mates can clip the ticket on the way.

If water-dependent assets are going to be sold to a few, Maori want their rights regarding water acknowledged and recognised. Fair enough. But if hydro-based power companies were not going to be sold, and stay in public ownership so we all have a stake in them, it becomes much easier to establish exactly what those rights are, and how they should be acknowledged and managed.

It’s private appropriation of public assets that causes the problem. Take that away and the problem is different, and the process of resolution much easier to work through.

Asset sales don’t make economic sense, cultural sense, legal sense, and increasingly political sense.

Time to stop them now, and by the way save the taxpayer a couple of hundred million dollars that otherwise flushes down the drain.

85 comments on “If they didn’t want to sell it, we would all own it”

  1. Gosman 1

    I’m not sure this logic is sound. Maori are interested in the commercial aspects of water involved in these companies. They would still have this interest even if the State was the 100 percent owner. I have yet to see any major players from the Maori side argue that interest in gaining commercial water rights would diminish if there was no asset sales.

    • mike e 1.1

      Goose Maori were Quite happy to leave water usage off the table so long as everybody benefited now only a few will benefit if it is partially privatised.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    Gosman, have you gained qualifications in logic? If so, you must surely have failed any tests. What you spout about Maori is so frightfully ignorant as to be unworthy of comment. Never fear, however, for Maori will have plenty more to say, so much that even you might care to listen.

  3. fabregas4 3

    I am not sure your understanding of Kaitiakitanga is sound. Maori understand that water is for us all. They are happy for this. But once Key and his mates try to sell it for private gain then they object.

    Try this analogy:

    I let you live in my spare house for free. All good. You rent out a room and get some money for it why shouldn’t I get a share?

    • Mr Burns 3.1

      You mean you think there are people who will let you stay in their home and not charge you?

      What sort of world do you live in?

  4. Uturn 4

    This is not a way to investigate Te Ao Māori in good faith i.e. using it as a pakeha political convenience. Clearly today is going to be wierd.

  5. captain hook 5

    these assets belong to the people of new zealand and not some transient gang of political bludgers who move in and move out taking as much as they can with them.
    why not have a referendum.
    that would be sound logic.

  6. insider 6

    What is essential infrastructure about a coal company?

    If power companies are so essential in terms of govt ownership, how do countries like the US, UK and Aus manage stable and efficient and cheap power systems without owning them?

      • insider 6.1.1

        And yet the US tends to outperform us in terms of fewer supply interruptions and their power is significantly cheaper too. And NZ performance is better now than it was under a national system.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          What bullshit assertions. ENRON anyone. US infrastructure is falling apart. They have a two trillion dollar infrastructure deficit.

          And what about the widespread blackouts experienced in the US in July in the middle of the heatwave.

          Someone is dreaming.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          …and their power is significantly cheaper too.

          I think you’ll find the correct terminology is that profits aren’t as high and power provided as a national service could do without the profits altogether.

          And NZ performance is better now than it was under a national system.

          Bollocks.

          http://www.skmconsulting.com/to-do-news/Archive/The-Auckland-CBD-Power-Failure.aspx
          http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/updated-power-outage-auckland-s-cbd-fixed-120199
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6132091/Ninety-per-cent-of-power-restored

          • insider 6.1.1.2.1

            Do you know what SAIDI, SAIFI and CAIDI are? Look them up and compare the 90s to the present to see how reliability is trending.

            But thanks for pointing out all those failures by ‘people’ owned monopolies.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you know what SAIDI, SAIFI and CAIDI are?

              Will wonders never cease? We learn things and thus do things better. Amazing111!!1

              But thanks for pointing out all those failures by ‘people’ owned monopolies.

              The failure is the business model that we’ve had forced upon us over the last three decades. Have the power companies publicly owned and run as a public service and those failures are likely to disappear.

              BTW, your distraction didn’t work. You said that NZs power system was better now, I proved that it isn’t.

              • insider

                Make up your mind. In the one post you both accepted “We learn things and thus do things better” and ‘proved’ that it isn’t better. I’m not quite sure how a couple of isolated power cuts in isolated locations is proof that things are somehow worse than weekly rolling power cuts over months and months across a much wider geography. It seems a highly unusual proof.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  “We learn things and thus do things better”

                  That was the physical aspect. The management has gone to hell.

                  I’m not quite sure how a couple of isolated power cuts in isolated locations is proof that things are somehow worse than weekly rolling power cuts over months and months across a much wider geography.

                  /facepalm

                  You’re either truly as stupid as you make out or you’re wilfully misinterpreting what’s happening. The ones in the 1970s were planned to take into account limited resources – basic, real world economics. The latter ones were unplanned outages caused by crappy management which itself was brought about by the neo-liberal revolution we had in the 1980s.

        • mike e 6.1.1.3

          california through the 90;s and early 2000′s

    • tc 6.2

      Imagine how much cheaper it’d be without profit taking private interests and the regulatory oversight required to keep them in some form of balance.

      Aus is cheap because they burn valleys of coal and you’d be surprised how inefficient the entire system here is. The grid and distribution systems itself use SCADA type systems to ensure power keeps running with little human intervention.

      They’re very robust, proven, and incredibly forgiving as they’ve been engineered to be that way for decades as some pieces are kept many years beyond useful life.

      It’s the overhead of layers of parties, profit, beauracracy, regulation and the legal/audit costs they tow behind them that makes our power bills so large.

      We have less than 5 mill, declining industry and 75% renewable generation, bring back the NZED !

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        NZED :cool:

        • insider 6.2.1.1

          Ah yes the NZED, the days of rolling blackouts…

        • joe90 6.2.1.2

          Ah yes the NZED, the days of rolling blackouts…

          Really, when?.

          • insider 6.2.1.2.1

            The last systemic rolling blackouts in NZ were in the 1970s. These were regular and driven by long term supply insecurity rather than short term response to climate or network failures. It was a centrally planned and operated system then.

            • lprent 6.2.1.2.1.1

              I can’t remember them in Auckland (which would have been the first place hit) and I’d have been quite aware of them from at least 1974. I was delivering the Star and would read the copy either then or when I got home every day.

              • insider

                I can remember them. Television broadcast hours were cut. Power was cut in the evenings and on weekends. Aucland may have been managed differently

                • mike e

                  Outsider when did Auckland have its major black out it was after privatisation.
                  We had oil fired power stations then oil shortages and you can Guarantee it was a National govt in power then.
                  Next in the early seventies our economy was expanding.
                  Now our enegy use is declining

                  • insider

                    Which one Mike? The central city one which went on for weeks was due to the failure of a community owned monopoly company’s poor management of its assets. Basically no checking and no accountability. The 06? one was due to poor maintenance management by the state owned monopoly

                    • mike e

                      the 06 outage was only for a few hours not months

                    • mike e

                      The state owned enterprise had under invested since its break up into parts from NZED.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Right wing bullshit meme of privatisation vs public ownership.

                      The real difference is leadership and investment. That’s when the advantages of public ownership can come shining through as the assets are run for the benefit of the country.

                    • insider

                      Don’t forget to storm the barricades on your way out cv.

                      It’s you and Draco that are pushing a simplistic ‘state is great’ line – its just faith based polemic.

                      I say the evidence in nz and overseas shows things are much more mixed. You have private dominated systems that work well and some that don’t, and the same with state dominated.

                    • Socialist Paddy

                      Insider I hear there were also blackouts during the 1930s. Is this the fault of the first Labour Government?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s you and Draco that are pushing a simplistic ‘state is great’ line – its just faith based polemic.

                      Yeah sorry dickhead, that’s not my position at all. Please just speak for yourself in future.

                    • insider

                      But the Assets owned and operated by ‘we the people’ in he form of a council organisation. The kind of model being championed by a few here.

                    • Socialist Paddy

                      But the problem is these democratic institutions are set up but then a bunch of penny pinching tories get elected and make a name for themselves by cutting costs and saving on maintenance.

                      And then shyte like this happens.

                      Blame the right people insider.

                      And then explain how Enron, the pinnacle of free market enterprise, screwed things up so badly. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And then explain how Enron, the pinnacle of free market enterprise

                      Well, up to that date, Enron was the pinnacle of free market fraud.

                    • Herodotus

                      No CV Enron was also a failure of regulation e.g. Auditors, disclosure and the regulators. Also with the 401k employees pension fund
                      http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/1329
                      sad thing is I see history repeating itself. There will be more Enrons, and with the crap regulation with Kiwisaver and other pension funds many retirees and pension fund investors to incur more pain. We need more regulation and regulators with real muscle.
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10831491

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No CV Enron was also a failure of regulation

                      Sure. But only if you consider deliberate fraud, outright lying to shareholders and investors, destruction of data, and neck deep collusion between Enron’s executive management and their auditors, as ‘a failure of regulation’.

                      Me, I just call it financial fraud. Or more specifically, a control fraud.

            • joe90 6.2.1.2.1.2

              Best you start trawling the yearbooks for any references to your assertion because I reckon you’re making shit up.

              • insider

                Take it with the electricty regulator. I’m sure they’ll be fascinated by your insight and throw all their research out of the window.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2.1.3

              And you know what happened in the 1970s, yes?

          • joe90 6.2.1.2.2

            You’ll have to be a little more specific because in the seven years, 1971 – 1978, I worked for the NZED I was never aware of the rolling blackouts you describe.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Be more specific. Have you any evidence of blackouts in the seventies or not? I’m picking not.

                • Colonial Viper

                  insider’s ridicuolous penchant for assigning power failures down to private vs public ownership just shows the shallowness of right wing thinking.

                • insider

                  Have you read the paper with the big chart listing the various cuts shown in the 70s? I think not

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Yep, that’s right, I’m not wading through the document. Better things to do. Be more specific, fool.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    They weren’t cuts but public conservation measures. There’s a big difference. I certainly recall having to do the same thing since the implementation of faux competition and the profit drive.

                    • insider

                      That has got to be the biggest piece of newspeak today. There were cuts. Regular ones.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If you’ve got a limited supply then you don’t get to do everything that you want to do. Basic economics. The limited supply wasn’t due to the functioning of the state power system but basic physical limitations. Those limitations were recognised and conservation measures put in place. Same thing happens today when we get dry years.

                      If power had been in private we would have been far worse off.

                    • insider

                      You don;t get regular cuts and restrictions over three or four consecutive years in a centrally planned system just due to weather. This was a systemic failure, and that can only have been because in this case central planning did not work.

                      To sayit would have been worse if privately operated is not only slightly childish but ignores the complete lack of blackouts in similar if not worse weather circumstances in the following 40 years.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah dude because the weather never goes into 3 or 4 year wet cycles or dry cycles :roll:

                      All you’re railing against is the fact that Nature Rules OK.

                    • insider

                      Unfortunately once again the hydro inflow data just doesn’t back you up. The seventies cycles were no better or worse than the following 30 or so years.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And I’m afraid your spouting of gobbledegook doesn’t count for much.

                    • insider

                      and your continual avoidance of inconvenient facts (or ‘gobbledegook’ as you delightfully like to call them) regularly shows you up as a blowhard. Do you stick your fingers in your ear and go ‘wah wah wah I’m not listening’ at the same time?

                  • RedLogix

                    And on page 56 Table 3 of this document it states:

                    This was a period of relatively tight supply with conservation measures required in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976. This situation appeared to develop as a result of higher than anticipated demand growth over that period.

                    This clearly implies that the economy was growing more rapidly than normal … umm … which party was in government during this period in question?

                    • Carol

                      Hot water was also rationed in the 50s and, I think early 60s in Auckland. The water heating was switched off at the supply for a certain amount of time each day. In my family in my childhood, we could only get enough hot water for a couple of baths a day. People tended to not have showers installed in those days.

                      I think the unrestricted access to electricity is pretty recent….. and we may go back to rationing before too long, given peak everything.

                    • lprent []

                      The ripple control on hot water is still there. Used to get really irritated at one place in the mid 90s with a crap relay or something. Would make a loud distinct click..

                    • mike e

                      the kirk govt expanded the economy at breakneck speed something that hasn’t happened since nor likely to ever again.

                    • lprent

                      That was also about when the marsden B was meant to commission to run on oil for peak loads. Bad choice of fuel. Don’t think they could afford to run it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Sure, because if power had been privately owned, the dams would have filled up faster.

                    • Carol

                      Actually, if you look at the history of electricity in NZ, you can see it’s development really only became “sufficient” in the late 70s.

                      Also, I know when I was growing up we just didn’t have all the electricity-guzzling equipment people now take for granted:

                      in my (middleclass) house:
                      no fridge until somewhere in the mid to late 1950s;
                      no washing machine until mid to late 1960s;
                      only one radio til some time in the 60s – no record players
                      no TV til late 60s, but then only one b/w set
                      no sure when we got heaters, but mostly we just had an open fire in the living room

                      And this history shows that development of electricity supply was limited during WWII:

                      http://www.contactenergy.co.nz/web/aboutus/nzelectricityindustry

                      But World War II slowed down progress and, as a result of the huge increase in demand after the war, a 30-year hydro building programme was established. Dams were built at Tongariro, Lake Manapouri, the Mackenzie Basin and on the Clutha and Waikato rivers.

                      More power stations were built in the years between 1958 and 1978, including: Meremere (coal); Wairakei (geothermal); Marsden A (oil); New Plymouth (gas, with oil as a backup); Huntly (dual gas/oil); Otahuhu A (gas turbine) and Whirinaki (gas turbine). By 1965, the North and South Islands were linked by huge submarine electricity cables across Cook Strait.

                • lprent

                  The main blackouts I remember were in 1997. Someone let the lights go out in Auckland..

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, supply restrictions resulting in the populace having to save power but not actual power outages.

                If all those projects assessed as highly likely to proceed did in fact proceed,
                dry-year margins would likely rise to levels not seen since the late 1980s.
                Figure 43: Estimated dry-year energy supply margins (1971 to 2015)

                So, things haven’t been as good in the supply of power since the 1980s. Hmmm, broken up and commercialised in the early 1990s…

    • mike e 6.3

      Outsider Where’s the cheap in Australia get your facts upto date.
      Carbon taxes have put an end to cheap power because over 80% of Australia power is generated using coal.

  7. BernyD 7

    The politicians have always tried to divide NZ using Maori rights.

    The fact is Maori are another group of civilians in NZ who voice their beliefs.
    They have historical and documented precedents on their side when they do it.
    Their voice and opinion has just as much merit as any other group in NZ.
    It’s not about numbers it’s about civilised debate, a good idea is always worthy.

    The fact that they have a Historical precedent to help them get their beliefs heard is beneffiting everyone.

    From what I know they have never tried to claim money for the use of water.

    It’s about maintaining the water ways of NZ, which we can’t do if they are “Owned” by some third party (All the shareholders would be a third party).

    They always “Listen” to the politician but the reverse is rarely true.

    So I Bless them as Good Civilised People and hope they can help find a solution for all NZers.

  8. joe90 8

    Wow, insider was right, for two years there were outages which were so serious that twenty years later the electricity industry needed reforming.

    /

    Figure 8: Retail demand conservation measures during dry periods

    1973 – July-Sept – Supply authorities ordered to cut
    consumption by 5%. Water heating restrictions. TV broadcast
    hours reduced. Power cuts in some areas in evening peak
    periods & weekends

    1974 – Feb-July Public conservation campaign. Water
    heating restrictions. Public lighting restrictions. TV
    broadcast hours reduced. Rolling blackouts

    • Carol 8.1

      1973-4 was the time of the “oil crisis”. There was a lot of concern about long term energy shortages. I went to the UK for the first time early 73 on a ship. The ship had to go slower than usual to conserve fuel. When I got to London, the friends I stayed with were talking about just having lived through the a year or two of some 3 day work weeks. This was partly due to a miners strike but also due to the “oil crisis” of 1973:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Day_Week

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    despite insider’s rampant misdirection DTB is right. Private profit is a dead loss on the community. Add to the fact that core infrastructure like energy has to be run strategically for the benefit of the nation: our power generation needs to be 100% NZ owned and managed.

    • Poission 9.1

      Core infrastructure with natural oligarchical properties need to be managed differently.This was an argument that Gareth Morgan postulated.

      The assets and revenue (cost increases) are based on revalued asset cost (so called fair value) and not on their historical cost.This is in effect a windfall profits stream and is widely used eg airport companies.

      Morgan suggested that if the accounting change generated a capital gain constraint, that there would be two significant responses.First the assets would return across the ledger very quickly, and price increases would reduce to the cpi creating market stability for both large and small users.

      This would broaden the tax base ,and stabilize inflation from internal forcing.

      As an interesting aside Rusal the Russian alu producer,has agreed to invest in modernization of one of its plants (efficiency) following large scale protests after threats to reduce production (and jobs) due to the high cost of energy.

      The government energy supplier agreed to reduce the existing energy increases.

      Unemployment in the RF has reduced to 5.1% which is the level at the start of the GFC.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Just by coincidence Russia also happens to have one of the largest foreign currency reserves in the world, as well as one of the largest gold reserves in the world.

        And they can still send men into space. The US can’t.

        • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1

          And yet they never put a man on the moon, or successfully landed a probe on Mars, or sent probes to the outer planets, and so forth and so on if you must insist on spouting irrelevancies.
          They certainly manage to beat the US in the area of millions slaughtered in the 20th century and appalling civil rights today – not that any of this is relevant of course…. Shall we sing the Third International now?

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1

            You’ll note that Pop1 is being rather picky about what the Russian Space Program achieved.

            • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Not especially – I’m just questioning its relevance to the topic. After all, a lot of the rocket technology on both sides was due to the work of Nazi scientists and Hitler made Germany into one of the most industrially advanced and wealthy countries in Europe – that’s if you’re actually trying to make some sort of connection between technological capacity and ideology.

              • Draco T Bastard

                …that’s if you’re actually trying to make some sort of connection between technological capacity and ideology.

                If I was going to make that connection then I’d point out that a supported populace does better technologically than one that isn’t even if that support is of the authoritarian type. To put it another way, a government active in R&D and manufacture produces better results than the free-market.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2

            Pop said:

            And yet they never put a man on the moon,

            After 40 years, the US won’t again. If that makes you feel better.

        • Poission 9.1.1.2

          Just by coincidence Russia also happens to have the lowest govt debt gdp ration in the G8.

          http://www.tradingeconomics.com/charts/russia-government-debt-to-gdp.png?s=rusdebt2gdp&d1=20000101&d2=20120906

          Surprising is that the decrease occurred after suspension of the sale of strategic energy assets

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1

            Yep. Putin gave those energy oligarchs some very clear guidelines to follow…”or else”.

            • Poission 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Indeed the role of the Oligarchs is ubiquitous.There is a nice paper on the GFC and Oligarchs ie unbridled power.

              https://mitsloan.mit.edu/MSTIR/world-economy/Crisis-2008-2009/Documents/09-093%20The%20Financial%20Crisis%20of%202008.Rev.pdf

              Another ingredient that helped create the mix that nearly brought the U.S. financial industry to its knees was the cozy relationship that had built up over the years between Wall Street and Washington. As Johnson noted, “Oversize institutions disproportionately influence public policy; the major banks we have today draw much of their power from being too big to fail. [Wall Street] benefited from the fact that Washington insiders already believed that large financial institutions and free-flowing capital markets were crucial to America’s position in the world.” By the time of the crisis, 90% of all the money deposited in the United States was in 20 banks.

              It was no secret that Wall Street firms were big political contributors. The securities and investment industry—which included Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman, and Bear Stearns—gave $97.7 million to federal political candidates during the 2004 election and $70.5 million for the 2006 congressional election.

              • mike e

                poi the same people that caused the GFC(18 current or former directors of the federal reserve) are profiting because the govt has handed them 4 trillion in interest free loans

  10. Feargal 10

    Strangely enough, or maybe it’s not strange, Nationals’ Sell the Assets campaign appears to take no notice of the reason why many of our assets are/were Government owned.
    It was /is the very same reason that most responsible Companies won’t be interested now.
    If NZ was a vibrant large country filled with many consumers Private Business would have built the Dams and there Reticulation systems many many years ago. They would have also built Large Ports, Railways and alternate Transport Systems. Maintained and improved them over
    the years.
    But it wasn’t that attractive then and it isn’t now.
    It is however attractive to ” Thrash the Donkey Merchants” & “Profit few at the expense of the many Merchants” and get a quick buck
    and get out fast.
    Let’s be honest here Fat Cats. None of you then, or now, would as mentioned, build a new Port, Dam, Railway or Road off your own bat.
    Not now, just as you wouldn,t back in the latter part of the 19th Century. New Zealand wasn’t large enough in user uptake to make these things profitable enough. These Government assets weren’t Govt owned because of some ideological love of Government ownership. It was done for practical reasons. The infrastructure was considered necessary for a small group of Pacific Islands to become more in tune with the developing world economy and to encourage more settlement in NZ.
    This situation still exists. Globalist economic fairy tales re the better running of these assets. And “Why should Governments own
    Power stations”, rhetoric doesn’t stack up!
    What does stack up is the Greedy Rhetoricians lust to make a fast buck at the expense of generations of poor isolated peoples desire and bloody hard work to have more comfortable and decent Lifestyle at a reasonable cost. These reasons are just as valid today. It buggers
    belief that we should forsake these very same reasons and pay some greedy ass more, for what we have had for years.
    Not to give these assets to a bloated few money hungry Corporations. Whose interests lie far beyond a decent and equitable lifestyle
    for the peoples of these far flung Islands’.

    But that’s alright we can buy them back.Oh wait a mo, we already have. Isn’t this having to pay the thieves to get your stolen
    property back!!

    • insider 10.1

      Of course the first electric power scheme built in NZ was funded by private entrepreneurs through a public share issue

      • felix 10.1.1

        And what? How did it pan out for them?

      • lprent 10.1.2

        And from memory wound up being subsidized by the city to prevent bankruptcy. Or are you thinking of the one that was put in for the mine?

        Of course we could check ourselves if you’d put in a link, I could find out which fairy story you are peddling.

        Partial stories with unstated moralities are ok for children. But realities seldom contain nice beautiful princesses – they usually have bad PMT and neat making obsessions

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_New_Zealand#History

        While industrial use quickly took off, it was only government programmes in the first two thirds of the 20th century that caused private demand to climb strongly as well. Especially the rural areas were beneficiaries of subsidies for electrical grid systems, where supply literally was provided to create demand, with an intention to modernise the countryside. The results were notable – in the 1920s, electricity use increased at a rate of 22% per year. In fact, the ‘load building’ programmes were so successful that shortages started to occur from 1936 on, though a large number of new power stations built in the 1950s enabled supply to catch up again.[8]

        So, we have electricity in the country pretty much solely due to government action.

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    This is going to be the biggest grassroots campaign we’ve ever run. A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the stats from our voter outreach programme with the media. It’s campaign activity that’s often hidden from view, but...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Scrapped
    Wellington City Council has scrapped its "alternative giving" campaign. Good. As the article notes, the campaign was an expensive failure, with $40,000 spent to raise just $3,500 for the homeless. But despite that, its architects are still trying to pretend...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Bribery
    So, it turns out that the government blew $240,000 on hosting eleven oil company executives for a four-day junket during the 2011 rugby world cup. In Parliament today Energy Minister Simon Bridges admitted that $22,000 of that spending was on...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • All other things being equal… except they aren’t
    US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts likes to say that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race", a sentiment ACT leader Jamie Whyte would applaud going by...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Celebrating a great talent pool
    I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Labour on wages
    Great to see positive, progressive policy from Labour on wages today. The core points are: Increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Inequality: Balancing the Extremes from Credit Suisse Research Institute
    click here for this youtube clip...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours Industrial Relations policy package.” CTU President Helen Kelly said...
    CTU | 30-07
  • Inequality and Its Consequences Stiglitz and Feldstein
    click here for this youtube discusioon...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Australia’s corruption cover-up
    Wikileaks strikes again:A sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • A bottom-up plan for inequality
    Labour released its "work and wages" policy today. The headlines? Abolishing the 90-day law and increasing the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by April 2015. Those are fairly obvious ways of delivering to their core constituency, but...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...