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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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    The National Government’s failure to get on top of the housing crisis is having a major impact on the quality of education a lot of school kids are getting, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are thousands of kids… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Minister celebrates while arts organisations face cuts
    Maggie Barry was full of self-congratulations for her small arts announcement in the budget, ignoring the pain that a large number of organisations are facing due to her inaction, says Arts, Culture, Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “The Budget delivered a… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Regions miss out again in Joyce’s Koru Lounge Fund
      The regions have missed out yet again with Steven Joyce offering just $10m a year for key regional development projects while trumpeting a bunch of re-heated announcements, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The dairy downturn has put… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children’s Commissioner misses out in Budget
      The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has missed out on a much needed boost in this year’s Budget, meaning they will be forced to continue their reduced monitoring role of CYFs residences, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern. … ...
    2 days ago
  • Communities miss out in Budget
    Budget 2017 has left community and NGO providers feeling exposed about the services they provide to vulnerable families especially in smaller towns and communities, says Labour’s Whānau Ora Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Approximately $40m will go into Whānau Ora to work… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget2016: Two Worlds
    Sometimes I feel as if I live in two worlds. The world created by the National Government where everything is great and they’re doing a great job and the world as seen through the eyes of child advocates, community workers,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Parekura would be proud – MTS gets boost
    The Labour Party is ecstatic that the Māori Party have shown support for one of Labour’s proudest policies, says Labour’s Māori Broadcasting Spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “The Māori Television Service was launched in 2004 by the late Hon Parekura Horomia. ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori housing in state of emergency
    The Government needs to declare a state of emergency for Māori Housing, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis. “The extra $3 million a year Māori Housing Network fund will not scratch the surface in… ...
    3 days ago
  • State house sell off in disarray after provider pulls out
     The Government should cancel its planned sell-off of state houses after the second big community housing provider pulled out leaving the process in disarray, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “It is time for the Government to back away from… ...
    3 days ago
  • Nothing in Budget to help police to solve crime
    The Police Minister has failed to make communities safer with virtually no new money in yesterday’s Budget for police to address the appalling burglary resolution rates, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It’s a disgrace there’s no money or aspiration… ...
    3 days ago
  • Blog – Budget 2016: What about ordinary working people?
    Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche For… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Real wages go backwards for next two years
    New Zealanders’ real wages will fall for the next two years as the cost of living outpaces forecast pay rises, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealanders have been doing it tough for far too long. They expect… ...
    3 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • The give with one hand – take with the other Budget
    The Minister of Health has pumped out media releases to 20 District Health Boards heralding increases in funding for their regions, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “But when you add population growth and inflation into the figures you get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    3 days ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    4 days ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    4 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    4 days ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    5 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    5 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    6 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    7 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    7 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    1 week ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago

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