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John Key’s patchwork ‘job machine’: user pays

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, December 28th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: brand key, cycleway, jobs, john key, Minister for Photo-ops, Public Private Partnerships, same old national - Tags:

Remember Key’s great innovative cycleway project that was his great idea for creating more jobs?  Well it seems it’s been limping along with some pretty poor planning, and inadequate government oversight: if they really cared about it, they wouldn’t be suddenly needing to look for more money to pay for it. The Weekend Herald reports:

One of the operators of the Prime Minister’s $50 million cycleway will charge mountain bikers for using public land to pay for the maintenance of the network of trails.

Bike Taupo will charge $40 for an annual membership to ride the Craters of the Moon tracks from January 1, using the money raised to fund the upkeep of the 90km stretch of New Zealand Cycle Trail it looks after.

The funding gap has emerged at other parts of the cycle network across the country after money was put forward to build the trails – but not to maintain it.

The Government is aware of the problem and says money will be sought to cover the gap in the Budget this year.

The trail came out of Mr Key’s jobs summit in February 2010.[*]

Originally devised as a Cape Reinga-Bluff track, it instead became a series of “Great Rides” the length of the country.

Bike Taupo chairman Rowan Sapsford said the organisation was among trail operators under financial pressure because of the cost of maintenance.

“Some tracks just can’t maintain the level they are built at,” he said. “The Prime Minister’s budget is for the establishment of them but not the ongoing maintenance.

The cycleways were built by contractors who failed to plan for maintenance costs:

The Weekend Herald understands the patchwork way in which the trail was constructed has created patchy need for assistance. In some areas, council partnerships cover maintenance costs while in others the Department of Conservation does the maintenance when trails pass land they administer.

Green Party cycling spokesman Kevin Hague – who has been closely involved in developing the trail – said operators were meant to have considered maintenance when pitching for the contracts.

And exactly how many jobs has it created?

Wikipedia:

Estimates for the quick-start projects estimate that each might occupy approximately 40 people in the initial construction period.[25] Prime Minister John Key noted that he expected about 500 jobs to be provided in construction of the cycleways in total, with up to 4,000 eventually created through tourism benefits the trails would bring.[20] In mid-2011, the newsletter of the New Zealand Cycle Trail reported 511 people employed on trail construction.[15] Job experiences from the Far North District were also positive – among other effects, it was reported that of 110 formerly unemployed young people who worked on the project for half a year as part of a government subsidy scheme, 80 had gone on to other work, rather than returning to the dole.[26]

So, some limited long term benefits for employment.

And the employment situation generally (following John Key’s one-big-idea cycleway project).  I previously posted about the findings of the 2013 census.

Unemployment has increased since 2006, and is back to 2001 level. It’s particularly bad for the 15-24 age group, with 18.4% unemployed (an increase from 13.3% in 2006).  These are percentages of the workforce (those in work, available for work and actively seeking work).

Those not in the labour force will include those recorded in the census as being on zero income.  This will include students, individuals supported by family or a partner: ie. some people wanting work but not eligible for benefits.  The proportion of people on zero income has increased significantly since 2006. About one third of people over 15 years are not in the labour force – up 10% since 2006.

So, the government’s hastily cobbled together cycleway proposal, while producing some benefits, has not been the magic bullet of job creation.  Meanwhile Key has continued to hop from cloud to cloud, smiling, waving…..

 [*] David Fisher, author of the above quoted NZ Herald article, put the job summit in 2010.  As the link under the typepad-liberation cartoon shows, the job summit was in February 2009.  Well spotted Tracey!

47 comments on “John Key’s patchwork ‘job machine’: user pays”

  1. Tracey 1

    Wasnt the job summit in 2009. The do fest not the talk fest

    • karol 1.1

      Good point, Tracey. I missed that. Will add a note – shonkey work by David Fisher. The typepad-liberation link under the cartoon image definitely puts the job summit as Feb 2009.

      Will add a note to the post.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        “Shonkey work”? A minor error in the piece which should have been picked up in the editing process. Let’s not slag a week or twos good work from a journalist for no proper reason. The Left is pretty crappy at its media relations to begin with.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Pretty sure it was to be a “rolling maul of on-going initiatives”. Can anyone cite a single thing that came out of this “do-fest, not talk-fest” other than talk and this watered-down cycleway?

    • thechangeling 1.3

      That was when Bill English proudly declared that: “in excess of 100,000 new jobs are being forecasted by treasury in the coming year”.
      Nothing happened at all as the unemployed figure in 2013 still sits at between 150,000 to 250,000 depending on whose stats and category you want/can/are deluded to believe.

      • David H 1.3.1

        “That was when Bill English proudly declared that: “in excess of 100,000 new jobs are being forecasted by treasury in the coming year”.

        And all that was heard was hysterical laughter all over the land.

  2. millsy 2

    This is what happens when you rely on private sector governance models, and from what I understand, John Key’s cycleway network is largely administered by private sector organisations.

    The cycle trail network should really be administerd by DOC. Then you wouldnt have all this user pays crap. Or something equivalent to the “Walkways Commssion” that existed in the 70s and 80s.

  3. Tracey 3

    This was the evil ctu contribution prior to the summit. Note the lack of employer negativity.

    The Council of Trade Unions has today released a discussion document for the forthcoming government Jobs Summit (27 February). The document focuses on stimulating the economy, retaining jobs and worker transition, including support for those made redundant.Helen Kelly, CTU President, said that the union movement welcomes the Summit as a shared opportunity to discuss proposals which will limit the effects of the recession on jobs. It is crucial that the labour market is supported in order to capitalise on the intended benefits of interest rate cuts and tax incentives.‘It is clear that a lot of work is going into the Summit and numerous organisations and individuals are making suggestions,’ said Helen Kelly. ‘We want to make sure that concrete proposals emerge which can then be implemented. The CTU proposals are intended to be a constructive contribution.’The CTU initiatives in the discussion document include:  – Expand and bring forward infrastructure projects including regional initiatives- Implement a major jobs programme addressing environmental and social needs – Offer training subsidies and support for other options as alternatives to redundancy- Significantly expand support services for workers made redundant.The CTU also suggests the establishment of an Employment Commission or similar organisation which would support the creation and retention of jobs and support training and transitional support alongside existing programmes. The Commission could act as an effective ‘clearing house’ for generic and tailored forms of support for firms and workers.Unions want ongoing engagement after the Summit on implementation.The full discussion document can be accessed ”

    “at:http://union.org.nz/sites/union/files/CTU%20Discussion%20Paper%20for%20Summit_1.doc 

  4. MrSmith 4

    Not only that Karol the Cycle-way is killing some walkways, what used to be a walking track now will become part of the Cycle-way and then be tagged as a Cycle track, people will no longer bother walking it because it will be promoted as a Cycle-way! Bikes and walkers don’t mix you can put all the spin on it you like, things moving at different speeds in the same direction don’t mix, then throw in some moving in the other direction chaos , Johnny’s Cycle-way is starting to get some push back as people start to complain and reality sets in with less walkers as they have been around here, as usual with this government they just jump on an idea (picking winners) without any research or evaluation to the outcomes.

    Walkers are generally high value tourists that come to interact with the natural environment, Bikers are adrenaline junkies out for a race and some exercise, as far as I’m concerned they can piss off, let them find there own tracks not steal existing ones.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      It’s a reality that walkers and cyclists will finish up sharing the same space.

      Did it occur to you that a spot of ordinary courtesy and mutual consideration might be the easy answer here?

      • MrSmith 4.1.1

        That might be your idea of reality Red but realistically that’s just not going to happen is it as we see tracks closed to cycles now for parts of the year (I wonder why), oil and water don’t mix Red, you will be all for giving cars and bikes the same rights to the road then, lets just get rid of all those pesky Cycle lanes and then a few cyclists with them.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          Given that my sister-in-law was killed by a truck riding her bike near Taupo in March this year I’d like to suggest that you’ve just made a complete dolt of yourself. On the other hand you were not to know.

          I would ask however if you know how many cyclist’s killed and seriously injured by vehicles in the last ten years, compared to how many walkers were killed and seriously injured by cyclists?

          Given how adamantly you insist that ‘oil and water’ cannot mix I’d imagine you must have the answer immediately to hand.

          • MrSmith 4.1.1.1.1

            That’s right Red I wasn’t to know so why even bring it up, oh thats right it was to show me I made an ass of myself?

            Anyway Red this discussion is going Know-where, you’re obviously all pissed off the long haired beard one didn’t show up again, keep the faith and have a good night.

          • tinfoilhat 4.1.1.1.2

            I terribly sorry to hear that.

            My daughter works with Tina and said she was utterly devastated when her sister was killed. I really do think we would be better served having similar legislation to that in the Netherlands where the automobile is always thought to be in the wrong which may have led to the far better attitudes that drivers in that part of the world have in relation to cyclists.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I was pretty mean to Mr Smith. He probably made a thoughtless, throw-away comment and what I said wasn’t particularly fair.

              A few weeks after Jane was killed I had a ‘manager’ walk into the office ranting about how some ‘road rat’ cyclist had held him up for all of 15 seconds on a narrow bridge where there was no room for both. Short of standing up and taking a swing at him – all I could do was stare blankly across the room and pretend I wasn’t hearing.

              Setting aside the personal, it’s still true that our attitude to cycling in this country is still very immature, even compared to Australia – and certainly way behind much of Europe.

              As I suggested to Mr Smith at the outset some common courtesy and mutual respect would be the easy solution. Yet for some reason far too many New Zealanders seem incapable of even this anymore.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yet for some reason far too many New Zealanders seem incapable of even this anymore.

                30 years of me me me society enforced by the governments can do that to even the most reasonable of people.

            • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.1.2.2

              On Norfolk Island if you hit a cow, it’s your fault. In Brisbane there’s a path along some parts of the river, which is used by both pedestrians and cyclists. Many of the lycra clad adrenaline junkies are not very considerate of the pedestrians. In Hamburg, cyclists will run into you on the paths, then abuse you for not knowing the local rules. In Auckland I found many car drivers had a shocking attitude to cyclists. I’ve seen enough bad behaviour on all sides that I think walking and cycling tracks should be kept separate.

  5. Philj 5

    Xox
    As keen walkers, we find the footpath has been taken over by cyclists. This does create safety issues . Once upon a time, I remember feeling guilty about cycling on the footpath, expecting a police fine. Now it’s encouraged, putting walkers at risk from lycra clad speedsters. The ‘National’ cycleway was heralded as JK ‘s brilliant idea for jobs etc.. It’s been up to local ratepayers to fund a large part of it. Now we find out that maintenance is not budgeted for? The original size of the National cycle way has been scaled down to a chosen few around the country, and has resulted in a classic over promise and under deliver. I would rate a 2 out of 10 at this point of time. Is this your major achievement, your legacy John Key. Let’s not forget selling 7 billion of state assets for less than 5.

    • karol 5.1

      When I used to ride Auckland’s western cycleway, I found the opposite problem: walkers taking over the cycleway, ignoring the sings the keep left, walking in twos, threes and more stretching right across the path and glaring at me when I said politely “excuse me” so I could get passed.

      If everyone just paid attention to the keep left signs, and showed consideration for others, it’d be fine.

      Then there were people walking dogs not on leashes on the cycleway.

  6. QoT 6

    Paying to set things up and forgetting they continue to cost money is one of the defining characteristics of this government. (See also: everything they’re claiming to pay for from asset sales proceeds.)

    And yet somehow they keep trying to tell us they know how to run a business/balance a household budget!

    • adam 6.1

      God help you if you used this type of economics yourself – pay and walk away. 10 social workers, cyps, and the council would be banging on your door. Oh wait, is that what John key needs, a social worker to help him get over his lying addiction?

  7. Tracey 7

    Apparently the hobbit in auckland cost 18-24 bucks. Seens the taxpayers pay twice for this movie too

  8. tricledrown 8

    The new clutha cycleway is a complete flop as hardly anyone is using it everytime I Go by there is no one on it .

  9. Will@Welly 9

    I’m really sorry, but when these “cycleways” were announced, I was expecting something a bit more dramatic. The Otago cycle trail works because of it’s location, but you can’t expect to have 20 or 40 similar cycle trails dotted around the country performing to the same expectations. John Key, as the gambler we know he is, was hoping yet again these would be a winner.
    Having toured around the country, and met alot of overseas tourists, and fellow Kiwis, many of whom have been enthusiastic cyclists, the one thing missing on our roads is a safe network of cycleways, running from the Cape to the Bluff, and back again. Many is the time iI have shuddered at the way New Zealand drivers have approached cyclists on the open road – please do not let this descend into a debate over us verse them. What we could have done as well as building a few of these cycle trails, is implemented a proper cyclepath, which would have encouraged keen cyclists to vacation in other parts of our country. Instead, now we see the mantra of “user pays” rearing its ugly head, so instead of enjoying a convivial ride in the sunshine, enjoying fresh air, you’ll be forking out your hard earnt dosh to some unscrupulous gladfly, while the poor and the impoverished sit at home unable to ride along Mr Key’s cyclelane of national significance. Truly outstanding.

  10. TightyRighty 10

    Why don’t we see how many jobs the FTA with china, that labour negotiated, had created? That’s a cracker of a policy. Why on earth you don’t make more of that outstanding piece of work I don’t understand.

    • thechangeling 10.1

      It’s only benefited the dairy industry as FTA’s only seem to do. Manufacturing sector here contracts, more firm shut down and/or relocate offshore and unemployment/underemployment and couch camping (zero income people) groups grow. That’s neo liberal global economics as pushed and pursued by both Labour and National continuously since 1984.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Tighty almighty back peddling

  12. emergency mike 12

    These 600 odd temporary jobs are merely the first wave of the 170,000 that Key said they were going to create from 2011 to 2015. The job tsunami will be coming along any day now have some faith guys!

    • Will@Welly 12.1

      I’ve been holding my breath. Don’t know for how much longer. Someone told they saw pink elephants in the sky, and pigs that could fly, so maybe the miracle that John Key “promised” is about to eventuate. Meanwhile across the land, instead of turning water into wine, this Government’s managed to turn water into something more foul and less appealing, more in keeping with their noxious art of cheating, lying, stealing and thieving.
      So, we’ve got just over 730 days to “create” 170,000 f**ken jobs. I’ll been as keen as anyone to see what kind of daylight shines out of Mr Key’s back passage over this miracle.

  13. Ad 13

    Having just completed the Otago Rail Trail today, I am pretty confident that at least 10 Otago villages would no longer exist today without it. The Clutha Gold one will kick in – just you watch: cycling is the new golf.

    The next one to do is the Mt Cook to Oamaru five-day thing, starting by helicopter from the Hermitage.

    Almost everyone is over 40. What a relief!

    Still, Karol’s point for the other trails is answered easily thus: some cycle trails need a subsidy either from NZTA or local councils ie treated like any other road for vehicles. Key’s government was still too young at the time to re-write the GPS for transport and figure that out. Sad and dumb, sure.

    It’s time we tilted our subsidy levels away from car-focused roads towards cycling. Who knows, with a bit of sensible redistribution you might just save another of New Zealand’s regions.

    • karol 13.1

      Wouldn’t it be better to focus on everyday cycling around towns and cities? Not just the holiday special tours?

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Nope. The regions need transport support beyond petroleum too. Politically the initiative had regional mayors bowing and scraping before him. They weren’t just Nats: they understood the impact it would have economically.

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          Putting some cycleways in orto and from small towns in the regions would surely be catering to more of a need, and be more used daily, than some patchy scenic cycleways?

          • Ad 13.1.1.1.1

            Fatties from the city – like me – need to start somewhere safe.

            5% of NZ urban cyclists are urban heroes. Do it despite the risks.

            Another 25% the potentials – would do it if it was safe

            Another 15% would do it if it was safe and cool.

            The rest you’ll never convert.

            Stats from Cycle Action Auckland – their website will have it.

            You need to think of rural trails as conversion experiences for those beyond the 5%.
            Success occurs when more than Julie Ann Genter and Trevor Mallard are doing it.

            • karol 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Well I would have thought the 25%, who’d do it if safe in urban areas, would be a target to aim for: ie with safe urban cycling routes. Not all have the means to head to Arrow Town to get the experience.

              I know people who cycle only in off road cycleways in Auckland – sometimes means driving to get access.

              • Ad

                It’s not an either-or. Shift the Government Policy Statement to be less motorways and more cycling right across the country, urban and rural. Converting city folk is hard, but nothing to country folk, unless there’s practical benefit ie money in it. Everyone needs safe routes.

                • karol

                  I’m with that. More cycle and walkways (I can no longer cycle). More and better public transport, less focus on private cars on roads.

  14. The NZ Herald seemed less than impressed with this abrupt report on Dear Leader’s pet project, in December 2010; http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10692801

  15. ecossemaid 15

    Oh a National Cycle Way promoted by Mr Keys? Surely he will have to take advanatge of a photo opp/selfie to show off his latest intative and “Cycle” a part of said “New Network”? If so can, someone be on hand, to test him for “Lance Armstrong Drugs” aka “LyingDenialPoliticalSteroids”? If not, if Mr Keys manages to master cycling without his bike stablizers (huge ask)….any chance of him getting lost, using his on board “Prat Nav” ending up at the back of beyond and never coming back? Are You Thinking What I Am Hoping?” Yep, he loses his way and cycles into the sea and is never seen again, apart from being Harpooned by a passing Japanese “Research” Ship?…You have to have a dream to have a Non National Dream Come True! My Excuse & I am sticking to it!

  16. karol 16

    Meanwhile, Auckland’s the most dangerous place in the country to ride a bicycle – adds to the ACC bill. Surely a major effort for off road cycleways would be very beneficial to the economy?

  17. philj 17

    Karol, don’t make me laugh. Seems like we only do things in this mean little godzone if it is economic! Chris Hedges has some wise words for this type of thinking. Look him up on you tube.

  18. home help 18

    Last time the country needed and was capable of providing jobs that were directly able to define NZ and NZers was in the days of Think Big albeit with a few bad social consequences but a least we built things that everyone was able to benefit from .
    Now these bastards who run the country wouldnt know what a shovel is for other than pile up money in their vaults like Scrooge McDuck
    And sell our country down the fuckin drain

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      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day 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… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day 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,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day 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,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day 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… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 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. ...
    24 mins 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
    55 mins 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
    55 mins 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… ...
    2 hours 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… ...
    3 hours 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
    3 hours 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
    4 hours 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… ...
    4 hours 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… ...
    7 hours 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… ...
    7 hours 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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