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James Macbeth Dann, an introduction, and a bit about Rebuilding Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 85 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, Gerry Brownlee, housing - Tags:

No more Gerries - the campaign for change in Ilam!

No more Gerries – the campaign for change in Ilam!

Hi there. I’m James Macbeth Dann, the author of the blog Rebuilding Christchurch. You may have read it, as sometimes bits of it get quoted here. Or you may have just found your way over to the site. Anyway, I’ll be joining the authors here, so there will be re-posts of blogs from my other site. I also thought it would be worth writing a few pieces with the aim of keeping the rest of the country updated with the important things going on down in the flat city.

Why is Christchurch so important? Well, Labour lost the last election here. In what was a terrible poll for the party, we actually got even less than the national result in Christchurch. For a progressive party that tends to do best in urban electorates, losing New Zealand’s second largest city was a blow that we just couldn’t get over. Barely six months on from the quakes that shook the city to its core, you couldn’t blame the people of the city for sticking with the incumbents that had seen them through a crisis. The situation down here coming into this election couldn’t be more different; nature is no longer to blame for the state Christchurch is in.

Labour lost the last election in Christchurch, but by outlining a bold vision for how we can get people housed, in a decent job, and how we can rekindle some of that initial optimism about building back our city better, we can win the election here.

I’m not just talking the talk; I’m taking the fight to the man responsible for this mess. I’m Labour’s candidate in Ilam, going head-to-head with Gerry Brownlee. I’m looking forward to challenging him about his policies, his bluster, and his callous dismissals to the real concerns of people who’ve been doing it hard for the last 3 and a half years. But my main mission is to get the Labour message out to the people of Ilam. It is not the homogenous, rich blue electorate that you might think it is. Sure, 25% of households might earn over $100,000 a year, but in a suburb like Jellie Park, the median income is less than $20,000. The rents in the north and west of the city have gone up at crazy rates since the quakes, and it’s hitting the people who can least afford it the hardest. All the while, the minister continues to deny that there is a housing crisis. We can’t afford to be lorded over by a man so detached from the realities on the street.

Over the next few weeks and months of the campaign, I’ll try and keep you updated with my view of what’s going on down here. If you need a more regular update, you can follow me on twitter, like me on facebook, or even sign up to the campaign newsletter!

85 comments on “James Macbeth Dann, an introduction, and a bit about Rebuilding Christchurch”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Jellie Park isn’t a suburb.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Welcome James. Have always enjoyed your writing particularly your stuff about Amy Adams.

  3. weka 3

    Welcome to the Standard James.

    I’ve heard the rumour that the Chch election results in 2011 were in part due to low voter turnout. Would you say that was a factor?

    • vto 3.1

      The reason National performed so well in 2011 is exactly as James points out, namely that people in disaster circumstances crave, with no further thought, stability. They want no further change no matter the consequences. As such the incumbent flew back in – didn’t matter who the incumbent was, they simply got voted back in for this very simple reason.

      It was shown in an even starker form in the local body elections in late 2010. It was widely known that one-term mayor Bob Parker was about to be spectacularly thrown out of office, such was his uselessness. The polls indicated a complete rout…. Jim Anderton was about to fly into office…..

      … but just one month or so before these elections along came the first earthquake on September 4th. Same thing happened and the incumbent, Bob Parker, got voted back in.

      This is the way these things go. Christchurch provided two spectacular examples of people’s very strong desires in disaster circumstances – the desire for stability and absolutely no change.

      Low voter turnout? Not remotely applicable from what I saw.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Do we know what the voter turnout was for the five Chch electorates?

        btw, I’m not suggesting that stability and trauma weren’t also a factor.

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.1

          I did a rough and ready analysis which compared number of votes in 2011 compared to 2008.

          The results were:

          Christchurch Central 84.9%
          Christchurch East 83.5%
          Waimakariri 96%
          Wigram 91.8%
          Ilam 92.4%
          EDIT
          And Port Hills 90.8%

          The national total was 95.4%.

          CC and CE were strongholds and there does seem to have been a big dip in the turnout in both of these elections.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Micky, just to clarify, do you mean that the 2011 turnout in Christchurch Central was 84.9% of that in 2008?

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep in 2011 there were 28,026 party votes in Christchurch Central compared to 33,023 in 2008.

    • I’ll have a detailed post up shortly (maybe tomorrow) that provides a few interesting stats and graphs on that question.

      • weka 3.2.1

        thanks Pg.

      • vto 3.2.2

        Be interested to see that puddleglum. It may be worth evaluating the Council elections immediately after the Sept 2010 earthquake also to see whether turnout was a factor, as I mention above. That Council election swung completely around from very strong polls. Of course Jim Anderton famously commented that it would take an earthquake to stop Bob Parker being voted out, such were the polls etc….. then lo, along came an earthquake …..

        That is probably a better study of the incumbent phenomenon on display at both elections, national and local.

        • weka 3.2.2.1

          Parker was very visible immediately following the quakes too wasn’t he? More high profile than the local MPs?

  4. Marksman33 4

    Way to go James, good luck to you.From what I hear you’ll romp in.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    So Labour’s best hope is that CHC not have another quake before Sept. 20?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      One bitten, twice shy. Cantabrians are sick of Gerry and EQC, and to a lesser extent Cera and EQR.

      Another damaging quake I think would go against National.

      • vto 5.1.1

        I agree. Most especially sick of being left to deal with the complete arsehole bastards and bitches at EQC…

        And of course the theft of Canterbury’s water by farmers by way of sacking the Regional Council Ecan rankles like you wouldn’t believe …

  6. philj 6

    xox
    All the best for Christchurch. Kiwis are in support, but this Government…?

  7. philj 7

    xox
    All the best for Christchurch. Kiwis are in support, but this Government…?

  8. Awesome to have you aboard!

  9. TeWhareWhero 9

    Why Parker got voted in – there is the issue of people being worried about change in the aftermath of a disaster but far more important was his slick media persona, how he presented himself and the extent to which the media cooperated in that process. That was not accidental.

    I do not forget that before the earthquakes, all the region’s mayors, led by Bob Parker (who was likely getting his orders direct from the beehive), supported the ousting of the democratically elected regional authority ECAN. Behind this extraordinary anti-democratic move was the issuing of resource consents for the use of Canterbury’s vast water resources, and possibly, it’s on- and off-shore oil reserves. This was extraordinary not just because it was done but because most NZers did not realise the implications of it – just as they have not realised the implications of the extraordinary powers the government granted themselves on the back of the twin disasters. The elections for ECAN have been put off despite government promises that democracy would be reinstated in 2013.

    Nor do I forget that the majority of deaths in Christchurch would not have occurred had the Council acted decisively to instruct owners to remove or brace weakened masonry parapets and made sure that the poorly constructed buildings like CTV had been properly inspected – and closed. The Council was inept and / or kowtowed to business and people died as a result.

    I also recall Brownlee saying that liquefaction was ‘good for the ground’ – where he got that novel idea god only knows – and that ChCh needed to ‘get rid of all the old dungers’ – the ‘dungers’ being the remaining heritage buildings that developers hadn’t flattened before the ‘quakes. Brownlee, Parker and Marryat were the worst possible combination to have been in charge of this process – a soulless bastard, a show pony and a manager whose remuneration package was in direct inverse proportion to his competence.

    The mismanagement of Parker and the grossly overpaid CEO Marryat (a perfect example of the fact that CEO remuneration in NZ is grossly inflated and is never related to performance) plus the mismanagement of Brownlee and CERA, have meant that Christchurch’s recovery is not just slow, it’s failing on just about every front. There is no CBD in the second city of a country run by a government allegedly supportive of business. There is a great gaping hole in the heart of the city and the plans to fix it are a joke – or would be if it wasn’t having such dire consequences for so many people.

    Another example of how truly committed the government was and is to the city’s recovery is the closure of schools. The Parata Plan was not about improving education – any government with a brain and a heart would know that schools are of critical importance to a community – and if you want people to return to ChCh or move there you need the schools in place, you do not close them and lose teaching and support staff. That’s aside from the rather obvious fact that kids in ChCh have had a fair bit of disruption over the past 4 years – some stability and smaller class sizes would have gone a long way to offset some of those effects. This is laying the groundwork for charter schools.

    The parallels with New Orleans are interesting – the literal destruction of working class suburbs, use of a natural disaster to bring in swingeing political and economic change that is even more destructive of working class areas – which of course were Labour strongholds.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Good writing, thanks.

      • vto 9.1.1

        Yes, it is. You know that one that really gets at me is the school closures and massive changes. Living in this part of the world and being entirely ensconsed in these machinations there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was the meanest nastiest part of the way this government has dealt with the people. It disgusts me.

        Children suffered immensely during the earthquakes, and still do today. Picture a 4 year old in 2010 suffering the next 3 years of their life with ongoing life-threatening earthquakes, broken houses, stressed parents. That is almost half of their lifetime. I see it. The damage is as real as the sun rising this morning…. then along comes this Nat govt and upends one of the only points of stability in their lives, their school…

        I shake my head at the callousness of Parata and Key and their supporters.

        Unbelievable.

        May karma visit upon their heads

        • Rosie 9.1.1.1

          Well said vto and TeWhareWhero. No body articulates the personal, political and community realities like the locals who have suffered, first through natural disaster and then the subsequent disaster that was the Government’s handling of the recovery. I’ve always had great respect for the way Cantabrians have shown such resilience over the last few years.

          Mr Dann, all power to you! Go hard against Brownlee and turn Ilam RED 😀

        • john 9.1.1.2

          It costs $7000 a year for each spot at a school. When you have 9,500 less children, but keep paying for those places (same teacher costs, same building costs), that is an insane waste of money that could be far better used to actually teach children – not empty spaces.

          The teachers were kept on all through 2011, despite nearly 10,000 fewer children.

          But it would be insanity to carry on paying $7000 for each of 9500 empty spaces, year after year after year.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.1

            That’s true, John. It’s an inevitable feature of governance that from time to time school closures occur as resources shift according to needs.

            Necessary as it may be, it can nonetheless be a traumatic experience for a community, especially if it’s so poorly handled that judicial review finds you’ve acted illegally with monumental incompetence, giving rise to seedy speculation as to how you manage to retain your ministerial portfolio.

            Personally I think the continued appointment of such a waste of oxygen is deliberate, designed to degrade a world class education system, so as to make privatisation seem less of a foul betrayal.

          • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2.2

            It’s not paying for “empty spaces”. It’s using the extra resources to give extra special attention to the children that remain, because, they need it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.2.1

              …the funding for the other four charter schools ranges from $9688 per student, to $21,247…

              Don’t tell John, it might cause him massive cognitive dissonance. No wait, he’s used to that.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.2.2

              John comes from the vacuous “bums on seats” Right Wing model of education so what can you expect.

              • john

                Better than the “we’ve going to spend $66m a year on children who aren’t there” model of education.

                Insanity.

                • Colonial Viper

                  How is it better?

                  Do you begrudge giving the traumatised children of Christchurch additional resources and support? If so, you are in the same camp as Brownlee and Parata.

                  It’s very sad that you think this way about innocent Kiwi kids in trouble through no fault of their own. What’s wrong with you?

                  • john

                    Because instead of wasting $66m teaching kids who aren’t there, you could have a hundred full time permanent councilors to help kids.

                    And then you could STILL build them 30 new schools.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yeah, but that option wasn’t on the table, was it?

                      The only option presented by the government was to shut the schools down.

                      If they said “we’ll shut these schools down, but put significant additional resources into counselling for kids” I’m sure the public response would have been different.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    He’s got a magical absolution from all of the consequences of his callous incompetence. It’s called “personal responsibility”, and means the exact opposite.

            • john 9.1.1.2.2.3

              If you’re going to spend $66.5m every year on extra help, you could do a hell of a lot better than simply leaving 9500 spaces empty.

              We’ve just got a new 21 class school locally for $5m. That $66.5m over 2012, 13 and 14 could build 40 new schools – 40!

              It’s total nuts to expect there should be 9500 empty spaces being paid for at $7000 each and changes shouldn’t be made.

              • Colonial Viper

                But john, you’ve just suggested building dozens of new schools for students who aren’t even there.

                How can building empty unneeded schools with no teachers or pupils make more sense to you than helping traumatised Christchurch kids who need that extra support, and need the established schools that they are familiar with and used to, not to be closed down?

                john, can you reveal to us please what you have against the people of Christchurch? You’re as dismissive of them as Brownlee and Parata.

                • john

                  So you’d spend $66m a year on teaching kids who aren’t there, but not fix up and replace damaged schools?

                  Colonial Viper, can you reveal to us please what you have against the people of Christchurch?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Hey, low-life, you voted for Charter schools; you are in no position to lecture others about harm to children.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Who cares what his motivation is? Once we’ve prevented the prick from attacking any more children we’ll have time for those sorts of academic inquiries.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                So the solution is to privatise education, we know, we know.

              • Lanthanide

                “It’s total nuts to expect there should be 9500 empty spaces being paid for at $7000 each and changes shouldn’t be made.”

                Absolutely NO ONE is saying “changes shouldn’t be made”.

                What we are saying is the change of “shut the schools down and do nothing else with the money” should not be made. That is exactly the change the government made.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Johnny johnny pudding and pie,
                  Met reality and started to cry,
                  “Don’t agree with these facts I say!”
                  Then Johnny Johnny ran away.

                • john

                  Nonsense – The government is spending $1.37 BILLION dollars on new school infrastructure in Christchurch.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Wait – really?

                    Where in Christchurch are they going to put these 270 new schools?

                    • john

                      13 schools will be built on new sites and 10 rebuilt on existing sites,
                      34 schools will be overhauled and 58 partly redeveloped in a programme affecting 80 per cent of Greater Christchurch’s classrooms.

                      The Government has committed $1.37b to rebuild or refurbish a total of 115 Christchurch schools over the next 10 years (announced in 2012).

                      There will be a total of 1200 new classrooms, and 1200 repaired classrooms.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Schools threatened with closure in 2011. February 2014, after delays caused by ideology and incompetence, Parrotty announces an election bribe (to be spent over ten years, how gullible can you be?), and poor Johnny is such a fucking dupe he actually cites it as though the money was allocated three years ago.

                    What a tool.

                  • freedom

                    r e b u i l d i n g

                    got it john?

                • Colonial Viper

                  What we are saying is the change of “shut the schools down and do nothing else with the money” should not be made. That is exactly the change the government made.

                  Ahh well put.

                  Seems like English wanted his tiny surplus and the kids of Christchurch paid for it.

                  • john

                    To come to that conclusion, you’d have to dig a hole in the sand, put your head in it, then you could ignore the $1.37 BILLION being spent on Christchurch schools.

                    • vto

                      john, all your various ranting in this sub-thread above highlight your total misunderstanding of the situation ….

                      … namely that the children of Christchurch have suffered immensely and that the schools were a point of stability in their lives, especially in the east of Christchurch. Nobody expected that changes wouldn’t be needed, as the demographics have altered significantly. People have seen their communities ripped apart by earthquakes and red zones and all of that. The callousness that has been shown by the likes of Parata and Key and you is in the ugly haste shown in attending to these changes…

                      … Your ugly lot should have acknowledged two things, one, that changes were going to be needed at some point; and two, that some time was necessary to let the communities recover from the trauma before making those changes…

                      These changes could have been made a number of years after the event. That they were announced and dumped on the communities pretty much in the midst of the trauma is the ugliness and callousness of your breed of people John. You are callous and unwelcome in our community. Fuck off.

                      edit: and your claim that the same money is spent on schools with less children is just horseshit. If that is the way the system works then make an adjustment to the system for a period of time. Ffs I thought you lot were meant to be clever business types and know about efficiency and all that – idiots.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Come on vto, don’t be disingenuous: you are well aware of recent findings regarding the right wing brain.

          • Rosie 9.1.1.2.3

            @john :roll:

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.3

          Karma is far too random and uncertain a process to rely on it to deal to Tory scum. We need something more direct. For the children.

    • Ad 9.2

      Great stuff and well connected.

  10. TeWhareWhero 10

    Of course there is money being spent on ChCh schools – all of them suffered earthquake damage so they all have to be repaired and I assume a hefty part of that is insurance money. To wave a predicted spend around as an example of government largesse is stretching the boundaries of logic and credibility to breaking point.

    Of course some of the schools need to be rebuilt and changes have had to be made but on the one hand the government claims it wants to rebuild / regrow ChCh, and on the other it says it needs to close and merge schools and reduce teacher numbers because families have moved away from the city.

    People with kids will only return or move to the city if there are existing school places for them – and if the number of school places in ChCh is reduced, that may affect people’s decision to relocate.

    The question for me is, given the commitment to helping ChCh regain its pre-earthquake population and even increase it, why didn’t the government keep as many schools open as possible as a gesture of faith in the rebuild and as an acknowledgment of how important schools are to communities already under enormous stress?

    There’s also the fact that keeping teaching and support staff and their families in the city is not only good for them, it’s good for the local economy, and it’s good for the kids they work with and their families. There’s no downside.

    It was an opportunity to show some heart – to prove that all those fine sounding principles the National Party claims to stand for actually mean something – and to prove that it can think about the long term social costs and benefits.

    • john 10.1

      The opportunity was to continue to fund places for 9500 who weren’t there.

      That’s totally insane – stark raving mad.

      There is finite funding per child.

      And you want to spend $66m a year educating 9500 empty spaces, when the same money could be used to educate 9500 real children.

      • vto 10.1.1

        Piss off with your money money money driver. It is not the main factor in this issue – see the comments above.

        You callous piece of shit. Think of the children instead of your precious dollars. If you lot had any brains you could easily have adjusted the funding on a shorter term basis to accommodate the demographic change for a few short years while the children recovered… and then instigated the changes…

        … but nope, you had to charge in and further disrupt the children’s stressed lives… you callous ugly bastards… shit all over our children like that …

      • vto 10.1.2

        $66million per year? $66million per year? To save our children?

        And you wankers fraudulently include South Canterbury Finance in the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme to ensure your true-blue voters who invested in that shonky company get repaid their bad investment … to the tune of $1,700million?

        to the tune of $1,700million?

        and you begrudge $66million per year for a few short years to save our children?

        you are complete scum – go to hell arsehole john

        • john 10.1.2.1

          vto – you really don’t get it.

          The education budget is a set amount.

          If you spend $66m on educating empty spaces, then it’s not being used to educate children.

          You can come up with every excuse you like to flush $66m down the toilet, but it’s still flushing it down the toilet.

          As for the Deposit Guarantee Scheme – it effectively insured $133 BILLION of bank deposits, and largely stopped the domino collapse of the banking and finance sector.

          It collected around 3/4 of a billion dollars from those who paid to be in it, and expects to recover just on a billion dollars from SCF and others in the scheme, which means it won’t be too far from breaking even.

          • vto 10.1.2.1.1

            no, you have just shown once again that it is you who doesn’t get it. Re-read the above instead of just repeating yourself.

            and no, the banking sector would not have collapsed if SCF had been left to fail. In fact the RDGS may have even come out ahead if SCF had not been allowed in (after Key admitted it was going to fail ffs). It was simple fraudulent political gravy to national party voters. The same arseholes who don’t give a shit about the children of east Christchurch, just as long as they get more money in their pocket.

            despicable people who just don’t get it

      • TeWhareWhero 10.1.3

        John – do you actually read what people write or did your knee jerk so hard you chinned yourself and are feeling a bit confused?

        There is no ‘finite funding per child’ – if there was the political will to keep ChCh schools open with reduced rolls on the expectation that the population of the city will recover, the money would be found – and seen as an investment in the future.

        That’s what you do with social capital – you invest it in buildings and services for people – and sometimes you need to invest a bit more in a given area for a time because you know that short-term cost will yield significant long term benefits.

        Wasn’t that the logic behind funding the America’s Cup challenge?

        • john 10.1.3.1

          TeWhareWhero asks “John – do you actually read what people write? ”

          You mean like
          “Piss off with your money money money driver.”
          “You callous piece of shit.”
          “you callous ugly bastards…”
          ” shit all over our children like that …”

          TeWhareWhero says “There is no ‘finite funding per child’ –”

          Of course there is. When 9500 children left Christchurch and came to other schools (ours had Chch kids in every single class), the funding stayed at their previous schools throughout 2011.

          That was fine, but the funding is for teaching the children – you can’t continue indefinitely to fund the education of 9500 empty desks, but fail to fund 9500 real children, many of which also need much more support than the rest of their class – it was often the most traumatized families who had fled.

          • vto 10.1.3.1.1

            suck it up prick.

            and I see you still offer not a single thread of acknowledgement of the points made. And who said anything about “indefinitely”? And you offer not thought to making education funding changes to take account of those demographics. Ffs, Brownlee and this govt granted themselves effectively wartime powers to do whatever was necessary. The fact they did what they did with the children points to their ugly and mean approach.

            $66m per year for the children…… $1.7b for SCF investors…

            callous is exactly what you are

          • vto 10.1.3.1.2

            “When 9500 children left Christchurch and came to other schools …….. the funding stayed at their previous schools throughout 2011.”

            So change the bloody funding. Wtf don’t you understand about that for a short few years while the children recover? You’re saying that this govt could compulsorily acquire pretty much the entire CBD, buy out red zone houses right across the city, amongst much much more, yet it could not adjust a bloody budget in education in east Christchurch for a few short years? … that is truly a staggering proposition you have there ….

            What planet are you on? I can see what planet you are on – you just admitted it in your last post. Get out and about man – you are lost in the straight jacket of an education bureaucracy and you have consequently lost all ability to think. And be compassionate.

            Think of the children. They are the ones.

          • TeWhareWhero 10.1.3.1.3

            john – there is an education budget obviously but budgets always contain contingency and there is always scope to move money around to deal with emergencies – and you don’t get much bigger emergency than the Canterbury situation. The simple fact is that IF there had been the political will, the extra funding could and would have been found.

            Sure, it would have cost money but the government currently subsidises the private rental sector to the tune of $1.2 billion a year through accommodation supplements so money is not in short supply when the political will is there – and when the flow is from the public purse to the private pocket.

            And I’d wager that money will not be in short supply for education when – if your government of choice gets back in – charter schools take off.

            I repeat the main points: schools are critically important to communities; communities in crisis need stability and continuity; the government is committed (allegedly) to rebuilding Christchurch and the expectation is that the population will return to and probably surpass pre-earthquake levels; those people will need places at schools for their children; losing teaching and support staff in the very short term makes no sense on any level if you are going to have to replace them in the longer term.

            • john 10.1.3.1.3.1

              What makes no sense is throwing away vast sums of money on teaching empty spaces – that would be criminal, when the SAME money could actually be used on teaching children.

              We’ve had a number of school closures and mergers in our area. Pretty much every reason for keeping schools open in Chch, has already been heard here. There were protests, and petitions.

              The new school, which combined three schools, has recently opened. The kids and parents absolutely LOVE it – so much better than previous schools. Fantastic facilities that none had previously.

              As the principal said, the proof of how much better it is, is that absenteeism has never ever been so low – the kids now love to come to school.

              It’s normal for everyone to be scared of change, especially when it’s a school that people love. But that’s only because people fail to see that things could be even better – sometimes significantly better.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Which explains why international assessments reveal that New Zealand education standards have plummeted, and the National Party is importing proven failure promoted and delivered by the unemployable and John Banks.

                Or maybe you’re arguing in bad faith again.

  11. john 11

    vto says “and I see you still offer not a single thread of acknowledgement of the points made.”

    You hurl disgusting abuse, then complain that I haven’t acknowledged your points.

    Why should anyone acknowledge your existence, let alone your points, when you are such an abusive person?

    • vto 11.1

      Everything flies over your head doesn’t it john. The abuse is that foisted onto the children of east Christchurch in the midst of earthquake trauma by stripping away one of the remaining points of stability in their young lives. That is the abuse and it belongs to those like you who refuse to acknowledge this and wish it all to be about saving some money. It is you and your attitude that is the abuse. So no apology, the accusations and return-abuse stands. Tough, you rude prick – I stand on the side of what was best for the children, not those who ripped them apart more than they needed or could take.

      You are a child-abuser with your attitude and approach to this issue. I loathe people who abuse the children in our community. Piss off.

      • john 11.1.1

        You want the children to stay in the same dangerous run down schools, instead of brand new modern schools with state of the art facilities.

        Then you claim that my approach in providing these new schools would be child abuse. And that you are on the side of the children. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1

          Ah you claim to mean well and then advance so many feeble deceits, promote so many manifest failures. It’s difficult to be charitable in such circumstances; the facts exposed by Hodson & Busseri, Piff et al, etc. cannot be ignored.

          • john 11.1.1.1.1

            Yawn.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Aww, he’s getting tired. Ni’nighs little wingnut.

              • john

                A blank piece of A4 paper is more intellectually stimulating than your endless and mindless comments that have nothing to do with rebuilding Christchurch.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I note you have failed (like a feeble failure) to address a single substantive point I’ve made in the entire body of our exchanges. Deny, deflect, but most of all, repeat the same lies no matter what.

                  Maggots are useful. What’s your excuse?

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    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    4 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    4 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    5 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    6 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    6 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

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