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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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    Submissions on the Environmental Reporting Bill are due on Thursday, but the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released theirs, calling for major changes to the bill. The full submission is here, and the key areas of concern are the...
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • On what really annoyed me about ‘The Goldfinch’
    Donna Tartt’s new book won the Pulitzer Prize today. Lots of people loved this book – and if you’re into beautiful prose there is a lot to love. But the story-telling really bugged me, and the event of it winning a...
    DimPost | 15-04
  • On what really annoyed me about ‘The Goldfinch’
    Donna Tartt’s new book won the Pulitzer Prize today. Lots of people loved this book – and if you’re into beautiful prose there is a lot to love. But the story-telling really bugged me, and the event of it winning a...
    DimPost | 15-04
  • New Fisk
    Has Recep Tayyip Erdogan gone from model Middle East 'strongman' to tin-pot dictator?...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • Maritimes magazine Autumn 2014 now online
    This edition of the Maritimes magazine covers the new Regional Maritime Federation, the offshore oil and gas industry, the 2014 Interport sports competition and much more....
    MUNZ | 14-04
  • Climate change: Action is affordable
    Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part of its Fifth Assessment report, showing the dire future we faced if we did not act to reduce emissions. Over the weekend, the IPCC released the third part...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in r...
    Date of Release: Saturday, April 12, 2014Body:  News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to those affected, FIRST Union said on Saturday.Staff at Christchurch Yarns were told yesterday that their...
    First Union Media | 14-04
  • Gordon Campbell on royalty and its tourism spin-offs
    Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal...
    Gordon Campbell | 14-04
  • World News Brief, Tuesday April 15
    Top of the AgendaWorst Climate Change Scenarios Can Be Averted, Panel Says...
    Pundit | 14-04
  • Images of women and mother blaming
    There have been a few stories in the media about New Zealand women and obesity and body image, some referenced in this editorial from the Herald on Sunday. This article blames mothers for teaching girls to put on lip gloss....
    frogblog | 14-04
  • A Matter of Time: Reflections Of A Waning Republican
    Time Lords: The historical transition of the Monarchy: from that which rules, to those who reign, was a remarkable constitutional innovation. Neither a true monarchy, nor yet a full republic, Britain’s constitutional monarchy offered its subjects something unique. "[A] constitution...
    Bowalley Road | 14-04
  • IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy
    The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions...
    frogblog | 14-04
  • Maori Party / Key fundraiser
    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04