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Key breaks Kiwibank pledge

Written By: - Date published: 4:13 pm, June 2nd, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: assets, Politics, privatisation - Tags: , ,

In the May budget Key broke his pre-election promise not to raise GST.

Today, in the House, Jim Anderton foreshadowed what looks like the next unequivocal commitment that’s set for the chop.

The video is embedded below.

Key: “We won’t be cutting essential services, we’ll be growing them, and we won’t be selling Kiwibank either”

Campbell: “Sorry I just want to come in there…”

Key: “We won’t be selling Kiwibank”

Campbell: “Ever?”

Key: “No. I’ve ruled it out. We won’t be selling…”

Clark: “‘Eventually’, Bill English said…”

Key: “No, we won’t be selling Kiwibank”

So having promised no sale “ever” Key’s now committing only to no sale in the first term. Meanwhile, Bill English is clearly doing the groundwork for the sell-off if the Nats manage a second.

It’s looking more and more likely that asset sales will be the big issue next time ’round.

54 comments on “Key breaks Kiwibank pledge”

  1. Bright Red 1

    awww, that guy looks so relaxed and aspirational for new zealand. and when he makes a promise, you believe him.

    he sure could teach our pm a thing or two.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    Not just keeping Kiwibank but “growing essential services” as well. This guys got some good ideas – maybe we should let him try them!

  3. exbrethren 3

    Surprise, surprise Captain Beaky caught telling lies.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Susan , thats the category the cycleway comes under – Essential services

  5. zimmer 5

    Spread the risk, let shareholders contribute to the Capital Raising. Keeps public debt lower and gives the people who own shares a chance to make some money as well.
    Nothing wrong with that.

    • Luxated 5.1

      So by selling a sizeable portion of Kiwibank to a small proportion of the population (or people/entities offshore) you ‘spread the risk’? Pull the other one.

      To clarify. Assume that approximately half of Kiwibank is sold off (just assume, it doesn’t matter if it is half, all or ten percent in this case) which is equivalent to the ownership of half of NZ or around 2.2 million people. The only way you would find more buyers than that is if an overseas super/pension fund bought it. Ipso facto, most likely concentrating risk over a smaller number of people rather than spreading it.

      • Rich 5.1.1

        The NZ taxpayer takes all the risk anyway, for all the banks.

        If Westpac went down the tubes, we’d be bailing them out, both with the explict deposit guarantee and with the need to keep banks going.

        At least with state ownership we get to share in the profits as well.

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.1

          If Westpac went down the tubes, we’d be bailing them out, both with the explicit deposit guarantee and with the need to keep banks going.

          I hope we will then realise that it is better to bail out and support banks we own rather than banks the Aussie superannuation schemes own.

          David Cunliffe and Phil Goff are right. We own Kiwibank already. Why should we change this?

        • Luxated 5.1.1.2

          True enough, Rich.

          Which of course begs the question, why are private banks remotely desirable if taxpayers shoulder the burden regardless?

          At least with state ownership we get to share in the profits as well.

          The only argument I’d make against that is the whether or not it is necessary for a state run bank to make a profit.

          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2.1

            “The only argument I’d make against that is the whether or not it is necessary for a state run bank to make a profit.”

            It’s certainly not good for a SoE to be running at a loss, because it’d be draining the government coffers and any bad business conditions that came along would exascerbate the drain on the government further.

            Also running SoEs as businesses with a profit motive gives you the prime goal of capitalism: efficiency as a means to improve profit, and efficiency is desirable in any business, but especially state-owned ones.

          • seth 5.1.1.2.2

            Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks……..

            • gobsmacked 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Governments aren’t there for running banks ..

              No, they’re there for rescuing banks. From the people who “run” them. Into the ground.

              Was 2008 so long ago?

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2.2.2

              Many large investors, such as pension and hedge funds, take no active management in their assets whatsoever. Similarly mum and dad investors won’t be taking active management in Kiwibank, unless they buy 5%+ parcels, in which case you can’t really call them “mum and dad” any more.

            • felix 5.1.1.2.2.3

              seth: “Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks ..”

              Yeah, cos Kiwibank is such a fucking awful bank and the others are just so fucking good.

            • Luxated 5.1.1.2.2.4

              It’s certainly not good for a SoE to be running at a loss, because it’d be draining the government coffers and any bad business conditions that came along would exascerbate the drain on the government further.

              I wasn’t suggesting that it be run at a loss, merely that it doesn’t seek to take profits. In other words that over the long term the bank would neither earn nor lose the government any money.

              Also running SoEs as businesses with a profit motive gives you the prime goal of capitalism: efficiency as a means to improve profit, and efficiency is desirable in any business, but especially state-owned ones.

              As any half decent mathematician/scientist/engineer will tell you, you cannot just boil everything down to a single value and still have that value mean anything, which is a fundamental problem of capitalism. It is seen that lowering the dollar value of our increases efficiency but this ignores many things which factor into the decision making process.

              The environment is a topical point which demonstrates this quite well. Take a dairy farm for example, you could buy one now pump it full of fertiliser, drain the aquifer and pollute any nearby waterways. This in the short term will look very ‘efficient’ for a capitalist perspective, you ‘externalise’ your environmental costs and then flick the farm off when yields are high. In this situation you’ve maximised your return by putting far too many cattle on the farm, had temporary high yields which you can use as a selling point and you don’t have to wear the cost of long term damage.

              The truly efficient approach in this example isn’t the one which maximises book returns in this fiscal quarter but one which sustainably provides potentially lower yields (ignoring natural variation) but does so indefinitely.

              Also you may remember a post here with a link to a talk by Dan Pink, I’ll give you a second longer one based on the same thing. The content is largely similar but Dan does briefly touch on the motivational effect of money with respect to businesses.
              http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

              Something else that needs to be addressed is that the most efficient method in terms of a dollar value often doesn’t meet the true demand for the resource. Two easy examples of this are power and health, both essential services in modern society.

              In the power industry it probably isn’t terribly efficient to provide power to an out of the way village of 100 or so people, costs could be reduced by not supplying them power at all. By taking this approach the people of the village would be forced (unless they didn’t want power at all) to supply themselves with power which causes a duplication of resources (albeit on a small scale) which could have been avoided if the power company supplied them with power in the first place.

              Health is a particularly poignant one in America at the moment. From a capitalist perspective is more efficient to not provide healthcare to the poor, they cannot afford to pay for it therefore they shall not receive it. This narrow view overlooks the fact that healthcare is a public good, we all benefit from well provisioned healthcare despite the extra initial cost. It is inefficient as a society for people to be off work or just out of society because the are sick or injured, this societal cost (good luck measuring that in dollars) is completely overlooked in the bottom line of the budget.

              Quickly wrapping my points up. By using an ineffective measure of the value of doing something we as a society optimise for the wrong things (or strongly risk doing so), as the adage goes “Garbage in, garbage out”.

              And to quickly address Seth:

              Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks ..

              I’ll give you a small quote from Raj Patel’s book, ‘The Value of Nothing’, chapter 10 note 34:

              In off-record conversation after off-record conversation, financial insiders have said they’re astounded that governments haven’t yet nationalized banks, since it is so obviously the right thing for governments to do.

              In case you are wondering you Raj Patel is, this is the short bio from the back of that same book:

              Raj Patel was educated at Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell. A former fellow at Yale and Berkeley, he is now at the university of KwaZulu-Natal. He has worked for the World Bank, interned at the WTO, consulted for the UN and protested against them all.

              Just in case you thought he might not have access to financial insiders.

            • Jason 5.1.1.2.2.5

              Nope, they do a better job at maximising shareholders returns, which is not always the same as doing a better job at running a bank. The recent fiascos in the banking sector would show that. And yes I have worked in that sector in a major international bank and do have some idea of that which I speak

  6. all_your_base 6

    That whole debate aside zimmer, what about saying one thing and doing another?

  7. bobo 7

    National will probably spin the capital raising share float as enabling kiwibank to grow its services… blah, blah.. Seems any of Keys “Pledges” have an exit clause, all this goes back to the nasty lie to get in at any cost politics of the 80s/90s. People seem to forget Labour’s pledge card in 99 they honored it in the first term, there were no nasty surprises, cute reversals, or flipflops, and from memory national were crushed to their worst defeat under blingish in 2002. Kiwis do seem to have very short memories at times when they compare this gov’s first term to that of Clarks first term in office.

  8. We can only hope you are right.

  9. vto 9

    Sometime soon the people will simply refuse to pay tax to people like English and Key. And in fact most recent govts in NZ.

    A bit like Greece perhaps, with its social unrest. This current, still fermenting, sovereign debt stench is attributable to individual people in various govts around the globe. And their personal desire for power and etc. Sooner or later (methinks sooner) people will realise that govts are not govts but in fact a group of individual people. Personal responsibility will be brought to bear on those holding those ‘offices’. Just like the trend in the corporate world. Limitation of liability is disappearing.

    Then what will Key and English do? Lead the charge against the people with the heavy jackboots of the state??? I don’t think so.

  10. Fisiani 10

    Wow. John Key says he wont sell Kiwibank ever and he never will.
    John Key says he will never raise GST TO FUND THE DEFICIT and never did

    Two complete non stories.

    You got a scoop there folks. Yeah right.

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      “John Key says he wont sell Kiwibank ever and he never will.”

      So why doesn’t he just say so?

      Some of us would like to know what John Key intends, not what Fisiani invents.

      But if you have evidence for your claim, please share.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1

        The japanese PM just resigned because he broke an election promise – good to see someone taking a ‘non story’ seriously

    • SPC 10.2

      Did he not say before the election

      Tax cuts north of $50.
      He saw no need to increase GST.

      Then after the election

      The tax cuts promised could only be finally delivered when they were affordable.
      The tax reform package would be fiscally nuetral (the $400M cost of a 33% tax rate over the $150,000 thresh-hold was not covered).
      No one would be worse off with the introduction of GST.
      GST was an essential part of tax reform.

      From no need to increase GST to an increase in GST being an important part of tax reform.

      Apparently all he did was form a TWG which favoured GST being increased. What’s next a SWG to prepare the way for the promise not to change Super to be broken as well?

  11. Lanthanide 11

    “John Key says he will never raise GST TO FUND THE DEFICIT and never did”

    Um, if GST weren’t being raised, the government would have to borrow even more money for their taxcuts. You know borrowing = increasing deficit, right? And so raising GST allows them not to borrow, in other words when you connect the dots it means the reduce the size of the deficit by raising GST, which is what “fund the deficit” means.

    Next own goal?

  12. Dan 12

    This is small change compared to the foreshore issue. Clark over-reacted to the prospect of legal claims on the foreshore, and lost the election.
    Key has overpromised on the foreshore, and if the Tuhoe shambles is any indication, will roll over to the Brash brigade, and show the Maori Party the back door.
    Of all his promises, wasn’t tax cuts “north of $50” his promise? Yeah, right.

    To offer Kiwibank to the Mum and Dad investors who already are the main strength of the bank shows he is quite out of touch.

    Why look for oil off White Island? The Nact party is snake oil personnified.

    • seth 12.1

      I got tax cuts of $90 per week, so he wasn’t lying.

      Did you not realise that a tax cut is dependent on how much tax you actually pay in the first place?

      • Lanthanide 12.1.1

        If you got tax cuts of $90/week, then you’re earning around $115,000, which is more than twice the “average wage” of about $48k.

        He said “tax cuts north of $50 for those on the average wage”. Sorry, try again, and this time actually do the maths first.

      • felix 12.1.2

        He promised north of $50 a week for the average worker, genius.

        edit: beaten to it.

      • kaplan 12.1.3

        With the core of your argument ripped to shreds can you please come back and repost incorporating the term ‘so he was lying’.
        Thanks.

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Fools, have you never heard of non core promises?

    They did John Howard no harm. After brmaking* them in his first term, the voters happily lined up to give him three more.

    [Since you never intend to keep your non core promises you are in fact breaking them by the very act of uttering them, hence “brmaking”]

    • Non core promises are an interesting concept Rex.

      They suggest that you can make a promise and as long as most swinging electors do not mind you do not get hurt if you break them.

      This is logical but totally immoral IMHO.

      It relies on enough of the electorate being sufficiently stupid to not worry when our politicians lie.

      • Lazy Susan 13.1.1

        “This is logical but totally immoral IMHO” – agreed but it also corrosive as far as a society’s value system is concerned.

        The example being set is that lieing (or breaking promises if you want to be very generous) is fine, as long as you can get away with it. Not a great way to build a functional society.

    • Marty G 13.2

      In NZ promises on state assets are core promises. The nats had to make it or the election was at risk.

  14. Lanthanide 14

    “Despite all our principalled statements…”

  15. SPC 15

    He’s building up for the big one, breaking his promise not to make any changes to Super.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      He’s building up for the big one, breaking his promise not to make any changes to Super.

      Yep. Here’s that promise:

      “Today let me make a pledge: National will retain all the superannuation entitlements and eligibility rules that our senior citizens currently enjoy. We will keep this pledge and I will resign as Prime Minister, and as a member of our Parliament, rather than break it.”

      (Speech, Wellington, 2008)

      Now, us dumb public might think that really means “no changes”. But it shouldn’t take a good Spinner very long to come up with an “Out”. Sure, Key said “Entitlements”, “Eligibility Rules”, OK, but … still room to manoeuvre. Throw a little dust in the eyes. And away we go.

      “A courageous decision” – Fran O’Sullivan. “Tough but fair” – Guyon Espiner. “Labour did something or other in the ’80’s” – David Farrar.

      etc.

      • mickysavage 15.1.1

        This is I think the most cynical bit of politics Key has engaged in.

        He refuses to fund the Cullen fund, or to maintain taxes or to consider increasing the age of retirement.

        Something will give within the next ten years, nothing is more certain.

        There will not be enough money in the coffers to maintain current superannuation rights.

        His refusal to do anything about the next three years is an exercise in ostrichism and a guarantee that the problem will be worse.

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1

          Yes, it is appalling that Key made that promise. IMO if he manages to get a 2nd, and potentially even 3rd term, he’d have to step aside in the 3rd to make good on his promise, because by then it will be necessary to at least increase the entitlement age, as every other 1st world country has been doing.

          And since we’re living longer anyway, and have generous kiwisaver, I really don’t have a problem with that.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    The problem with this argument is that no-one has defined what Key meant by “selling”. In Keys statement did he rule out “selling” Kiwibank in terms of not letting the entity be sold lock stock and barrel to private interests? Or did he rule out selling any part of it, not even a single share?

    Its hard to tell from the 14 seconds provided above. However, note that in the interview Key did not rule out selling shares in Kiwibank. It seems to me that he was ruling out selling Kiwibank lock stock and barrel, as is the common understanding of “selling” something. For instance, I don’t think many people would consider they had sold their stamp collection if they sold 5 stamps out of 100.

    So long only a minority shareholding is put up for sale, then I don’t think most people would consider that Kiwibank had been “sold”. Hence there is no contradiction in my mind.

    I guess if you want to see a contradiction, you will disagree.

    • jc 16.1

      Politicians call it plausible deniability. The public call it lying.

    • SPC 16.2

      Yeah, like well Super itself is not changed if its denied to those under 70, just the age of entitlement … Politician for “clarification” and “elaboration” …..

      Or its understood as a retirement pension, so if someone is still working ….

      Of course if there is an affordability issue, then the universal and unchanged Super should be means tested. No one who needs it will face any change.

      So its only universal if you are poor, over 70 and have retired – but no susbstantive change to Super …

    • Lanthanide 16.3

      “For instance, I don’t think many people would consider they had sold their stamp collection if they sold 5 stamps out of 100.”

      We’re not talking about a stamp collection. Or indeed, any kind of collection.

    • Marty G 16.4

      balancing on the head of a pin that small is quite a skill, ts.

    • Armchair Critic 16.5

      The problem is that John Key says one thing and does something else.

  17. jcuknz 17

    It is a disgusting wriggle. Though I don’t object to residents raising money for KB by buying shares to make KB stronger, with provisos that shares must be sold if the person moves overseas and only to a NZ resident.

    Perhaps he will never sell KB becuase he will get rolled before he has the chance?

    >>>Sometime soon the people will simply refuse to pay tax<<< Wishful thinking vto becuase except for the self employed the majority of people have no way not to pay tax …. wages have PAYE deducted before you get it and shops will not sell goods unless you pay the stipulated price. Perhaps you can suggest how most of us can do it?

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      I don’t know if it’s easy to build in rules that shares must be owned by NZ citizens. But if it is a reasonable thing to do, I’m all for it.

      A probably much easier thing to manage would be only allowing Kiwisaver schemes (or the super fund) from buying Kiwibank shares, and no one else. As there are only some 30-40 kiwisaver schemes and a single super fund, that would be easy to vet. It seems to be the best of all possible worlds if you are dead-set on selling shares in a SoE.

      “wages have PAYE deducted before you get it and shops will not sell goods unless you pay the stipulated price.”

      PAYE is deducted from your salary because your employer co-operates with IRD. They could simply not report your salary, or pay you cash under the table. Shops could simply choose not to charge GST and cease all GST returns to the government.

      Obviously this would take businesses to make these tax decisions, rather than purely private citizens, but I’m just pointing out that a widespread revolt against taxes is entirely possible. It’ll just never happen because we aren’t insane – I doubt even the nutjobs in the USA will ever manage to abolish taxes like they want to (or if they did, everything would fall apart within 3 months anyway).

  18. gingercrush 18

    Surprise surprise a politician lies. Sorry but cite me a politician that has told the truth all the time?

    Anyway I only commented to say what a shitty leaders debate Campbell’s one was. It was just awful. Clark on the attack, Key looked worse than he did the previous debate (which was probably the shittiest of the three). Useless questions. Only decent thing about it was having Linda Clarke on the panel-thing afterwards.

  19. Jim Nald 19

    haha … the man keeps duping the NZ public
    they keep falling for him
    before NZ’s downfall

  20. kriswgtn 20

    You wait until the yanks with their ships are allowed back in

    Gone by lunchtime ring a bell
    ding dong

    • Jason 20.1

      That one I can;t see happening – not for a very long time. Only if the US change thier policy of non-confirmation policy on Nuclear weapons.

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    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… ...
    15 hours 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… ...
    15 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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… ...
    17 hours 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… ...
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    18 hours 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… ...
    18 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).&hellip; ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    10 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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… ...
    17 hours 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
    18 hours 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… ...
    2 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
    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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… ...
    7 days 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… ...
    7 days 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
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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