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Key Govt asset stripping state housing

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, April 25th, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: assets, class war, cost of living, housing, labour, mana-party, phil twyford, poverty, Privatisation, Public Private Partnerships, same old national - Tags:

Simon Collins in today’s NZ Herald reports on some damning revelations that Phi Twyford exposed via an OIA (Official Information Act) request for documents.

National government state house sales Tamaki Housing Group

Some of the intent to use finance gained at the expense of the government’s run-down of state housing never eventuated.  However, there is evidence that the government is planning to continue running down state housing to the benefit of non- government entities, including some from overseas.

Housing New Zealand considered using an insurance payout for Christchurch earthquake damage to meet an unexpected demand to pay higher dividends to the Government in 2011, official letters disclose.

The heavily edited letters, provided to Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford under the Official Information Act, show that the corporation also slowed down its repairs and maintenance to fund an unexpected $45 million jump in the dividend required that year – from $63 million agreed in the agency’s statement of intent to $108 million.

The documents also reveal that Housing NZ plans to raise $383 million in the three years to June 2016 by selling or leasing state houses to community and iwi groups and “the possible introduction of third party equity via possible overseas providers”.

This is the first time anyone has mentioned foreign companies being involved in planned state house sales, and Mr Twyford said it might point to possible public/private partnerships to redevelop state housing.

“They have reduced the net number of state houses by 700 in the last 12 months. They are using it as a cash cow in the middle of a housing shortage.”

This clearly shows the government approach to state housing: to run it down at a time when housing unafforability is hitting those on low incomes the hardest.  And the plan is to hand over more of the operations of “social” and other rental housing to non-government or private entities. This will increase the unaffordability of housing for those on low incomes.

I would like to see the Labour Party match the Mana and/or Green Partys’ policies of increasing state housing.  The Green Party policy states:

* Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.

* Maintain an income related rental policy of 25% of income for Housing New Zealand Corporation tenants.

The Mana Party policy states:

* Build 20,000 more state houses within the next two years.  This will start to deal with the current crisis in housing availability for low income people, and will also create jobs and training opportunities.

* Maintain income related rents at no more than 25% of income for state, local government and community and iwi social housing.

Good work Mr Twyford on the OIA.  I’m still waiting to see a strong commitment from Labour to increase the state housing stock.

state housing

Micky Savage crowd

 

54 comments on “Key Govt asset stripping state housing”

  1. Sacha 2

    Govt finding a way for global financiers to clip the ticket again at our expense. Charming.

  2. greywarbler 3

    A worthy subject for Anzac Day karol. The men and women who died or were wounded in the wars that we have fought were fighting for a NZ that was a good place to live in where people had rights and weren’t under the yoke of harsh oppressors. Unfortunately the actions of successive governments have resulted in their falling into this category, for many in NZ. And their first thought is not for the betterment of all NZs, including the absolute need for secure and warm housing.

    Housing that provides secure and comfortable living and amenities is a basic need, second only to food and water for people who are part of society. Without a place of their own, even a secure room with additional attractive amenities attached, people become outsiders.

    And about private interests. This happened in Britain and there were notable cases of corruption some years ago. Private landlords creaming off money and having neglected slums for poor and needy people. We know what will happen. And right wing governments don’t care to do a better job for their electors than the private rankrenters do for their customers.

    Labour – you have to start doing something immediately you get in about this. Not just promise 10,000 new houses a year. Work with the bad system and take out the pus.

    • the pigman 3.1

      The situation with ex-council housing in London is atrocious. I spent 2 years living in such a place owned by a witch, paying 1600 quid a month for a 2 bedroom place in Bethnal Green. She had picked up numerous other Council flats in the area/Hackney and took almost 2 months to send someone when the washing machine broke down. She would regularly threaten us with eviction for (very quietly) playing music after 8pm because it upset the mentally-disabled guy downstairs. Such a powerless and soul-corroding experience.

  3. tc 4

    Another willing destruction of public assets for a few sheckles to try and plug the hole they punched in crown revenue with the fiscally negative tax cuts.

    Any dividend should be ploughed straight back into hew housing stock so they’ve done this knowing it will impact the state of our already low public housing numbers, so it’s cynical and focused on areas that don’t vote for them.

    Good work Mr Twyford now how about getting this fact out and about to wake the sheeple up to the nats

  4. James 5

    Ah the good old 10000 houses a year that they still have not costed or given sale prices, or proved that they can be built for x unless it’s miles away from the cities (where the jobs are). Yeah the thinking public really believe that is going to happen (esp in Auckland where it is most needed). Is laughable

    • Plan B 5.1

      you could build them in Devonport, plenty of government land available. close to the city.

  5. Karen 6

    Labour really do need to announce some policy that supports an increase in the number of State houses if it is serious about getting children out of poverty. Children need to grow up in decent, stable housing as a basic need, and without it their health will suffer and they will do badly at school. State housing should be available in every suburb – not just in deprived areas. Rents need to be based on income. I was brought up in a state house in a suburb that had a very wide range of housing with state houses scattered throughout. It was a brilliant scheme that meant the local schools didn’t just have really poor kids with all the problems that can accompany poverty.

    Of course I’d prefer to get rid of poverty but that will take much longer. In the meantime, let’s make sure there is decent hosing for all.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.1

      Labour have no interest in it’s old socialist principles.

      8 hour working day
      40 hour working week
      Right to strike
      progressive taxation
      plentiful state housing for life
      regional development
      decent benefit rates
      free secular education
      free childcare

      “In the meantime, let’s make sure there is decent hosing for all.”

      Both national and Labour do that to the poor.

      • Mary 6.1.1

        It’s time we abandoned Labour. Cunliffe was full of it when he talked about all this wonderful change. They’ve had almost three terms in opposition to get its welfare and housing policy sorted out and despite pressure from the Left have done nothing. We can only take from that that Labour will do nothing again. I’m sick to death of them. It’s time the Left gave Labour the boot and put energy into the Greens and Mana even if it means another three years of the nactoids in the meantime. Labour’s so stuffed that if that’s the price we have to pay then so be it. When will the Left reaslise that Labour no longer cares about the poor? We’ve been such suckers to keep hanging on thinking that one day they’ll change. Labour won’t change and it’s time to cut them loose.

      • greywarbler 6.1.2

        Decent hosing! We are already suffering a regular dousing from both God and the NACTs always at inappropriate times and places.

      • mikesh 6.1.3

        “In the meantime, let’s make sure there is decent hosing for all.”

        Soak the poor, ya reckon?

  6. captain hook 7

    so whats new? its the policy of all National Governments to reap where they have not sowed.

  7. Paul 8

    Savage’s dream being ripped to pieces by the puppet of international capital.

  8. Will@Welly 9

    Savage, Lee and all those who lived through the depression era knew the value of decent housing. That’s why state housing was introduced. The by-product was jobs and training. After the second world war, would New Zealand’s economy really have coped without state housing?
    The answer is no. The reason for that is as we can see today, as that department has been run down by successive governments, New Zealand now faces a housing crisis.
    As for overseas entities coming in to take over “social housing” what a joke!! New Zealand pioneered so much, now under the most corrupt Government the country has seen, our sovereignty, our way of life, our culture, our very being, is being sold off to any one for whatever as long as it benefits the Tory oligarchy.

  9. Descendant Of Sssmith 10

    And wtf is with a government who wants profit, let alone an increased profit, out of a government department who runs housing at a time there is a housing shortage.

    So they are taking an extra $45 million dollars out of housing.

    At the same time they are reviewing 800 tenants who are near market rent to kick some of them out. As they will be the higher paying tenants this will further reduce their revenue streams ( logically they will be replaced by lower earning tenants) so where will this money come from.

    At the same time they are going to start subsidising private landlords (through social housing ) which will take further money off HNZ. As if private landlords don’t already get enough subsidsation through accommodation supplement and the tax system.

    So three actions designed to destroy state housing.

    Align that to the separation of assessment of need from the delivery and the maintenance of the houses themselves, look back at the 80’s and 90’s and you would reach a logical conclusion that if National gets in next term the whole housing stock will be up for sale. – cause you know there’s no f’n alternative.

    Completing what Labour started – the complete destruction of the state except for politicians, policing and imprisonment.

    Remember part of the strategy will be to make it too expensive (in theory) to get the housing sold off back or to rebuild. Just like Labour bulldozed the hospital wards or the railway workshops as quickly as they could once they closed them.

    These pricks know how to destroy.

  10. RRM 11

    People complain that old state houses are damp and cold.

    So the Govt sells the old state houses to fund the construction of new better state houses.

    And what message does the left take from that?

    “ZOMFG John Key is SELLING STATE HOUSES!”

    For goodness’ sake…

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 11.1

      The housing are being sold to pay an increased dividend to the government.

      Along the way some new houses are being built.

      The total state housing stock continues to decline.

      You don’t need to sell a house to make it warm or to rebuild it.

      Most state houses aren’t cold or damp and they have done people very well for generations.

      The state housing stock should have increased in line with population growth but has not.

    • TeWhareWhero 11.2

      Ah, so the government is selling damp, cold State houses to poor people or to landlords who will rent them to poor people. That’s as sensible as it is humane.

      “….to fund the construction of new better state houses” – you clearly know something I don’t.

      The sale of social housing is another one of those monetarist practical jokes.

      So that poor people can get onto the housing ladder, the State sells them something that they already part own. The poor people borrow money from private banks thus making themselves perpetual debtors and paying a fortune in interest and opportunity costs, and hostage to interest rates. Unless they can make a significant capital gain on selling the house (unlikely unless they have been able to improve it and the neighbourhood in which it’s located) they are worse off than they would have been in social housing – or even in a good quality private rental.

      A lot of social housing is sold on a ‘buy to rent’ basis, and all those reality TV programmes that talk up the buy to rent boom as a great thing are careful to avoid giving any air time to the slum landlords and those who have made squillions from buying social housing in prime locations. Their function is to perpeutate the notion that it’s all about empowering the ‘Mum and Dad’ investor – another one of those chimeras.

      • miravox 11.2.1

        “So that poor people can get onto the housing ladder, the State sells them something that they already part own.”

        They can’t even get a chance to buy the houses they already part own. Even if the poor could get the mortgage they needed for their first home the property vultures snap houses up far too quickly.

    • Jackal 11.3

      There’s a few paragraphs you missed out there RRM.

      People complain that old state houses are damp and cold.

      But instead of making those houses watertight and liveable again for the thousands of eligible New Zealander’s needing assistance, National decides to have a fire sale. They also cut the amount of state houses being built and spin this socially destructive policy with their usual propaganda that is happily promoted by a compliant and biased media. The forced evictions see very little coverage and because they predominantly affect people who wouldn’t normally vote for the Natz anyway, they simply don’t care.

      So the Govt sells the old state houses to fund the construction of new better state houses.

      However the government only manages to sell a few state houses to their rich mates that are in prime locations leaving many thousands of houses empty after their forced evictions. Some of these get vandalized making them even less desirable for investors and house hunters. Many of these former homes are then demolished and not replaced by any type of new build. That’s why the overall amount of state houses is in decline under this right wing government.

      Between 2008 and 2011 the overall state houses available declined by 171. National also managed to increase the amount of vacant state houses by a whopping 471 in the same time period. 256 houses were demolished.

      But don’t let these facts get in the way of your blind devotion to John Key RRM…egg!

      • RRM 11.3.1

        “However the government only manages to sell a few state houses to their rich mates that are in prime locations leaving many thousands of houses empty after their forced evictions.”

        State houses should not be in prime locations. They should be in cheap locations, so that the available funds can stretch to as many state houses as possible. The goal of state housing is to provide roofs over needy heads, not to provide a swish lifestyle to those who can’t afford to pay for it.

        “But don’t let these facts get in the way of your blind devotion to John Key RRM…egg!”

        I have a small framed photo of Dr Cullen in the living room of our house, because without Kiwisaver we would never have got our deposit together in the time we did, and we’d still be renting right now.

        We also have a coarse mat outside the front door, where visitors can wipe their prejudices off their boots before they com inside. Egg.

        • RedLogix 11.3.1.1

          State houses should not be in prime locations. They should be in cheap locations, so that the available funds can stretch to as many state houses as possible.

          Which indeed they originally were as a rule.

        • Te Reo Putake 11.3.1.2

          Jeez, learn some history, why doncha. The first wave of state houses were built in areas that were, at the time, far from being prime locations. Many still are in lower socio economic areas, but, as our cities have grown, some state house areas have become prime real estate indirectly and unintentionally (cf Orakei). If this Government was into selling the now desirable houses in order to build many more, I’d be Ok with it. But they ain’t. They despise the poor, something you probably have in common with them.

        • Jackal 11.3.1.3

          Segregation based on income isn’t very forward thinking RRM.

  11. RRM 12

    “The poor people borrow money from private banks thus making themselves perpetual debtors and paying a fortune in interest and opportunity costs, and hostage to interest rates.”

    Oh, I see, you’re a child. It all makes sense now.

    Houses cost what they cost. If you can’t afford to pay cash for one, (and who can?) there is a competitive market of banks who will loan you a hell of a lot of money, if they like the look of you, and the interest rates on this have NEVER been lower.

    If you don’t want to be a part of that, then don’t. Some of the most astute young guys I know are renting as cheaply as they can, staying out of debt, and putting their savings into shares or managed funds or other things rather than paying off a mortgage just because that’s what other people do. Do you know WHY you want to buy into this owning the roof over your head lark? Are you sure?

    Don’t be a victim, don’t pretend your woes are all due to some malign big bastard pulling the strings, that belief will get you nowhere.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Well I remember that my parents purchased a very nice house in a very good part of Epsom about 40 years ago for $18,000. (And when I mean nice I mean that I my paper boy run cut through Government House.)

      Now if I apply the CPI over those 40 years General Inflation has increased about 10 times, wages about 13 times and the value of that house about 110 times. Where do you think all that extra money came from RRM?

      And here is the fascinating thing. That house originally cost about 1300 Pounds to build some 70 years ago. The section would have been a few hundred quid. Yet in the intervening years the banks have taken in a total mortgage interest on that property in the order of many, many millions of dollars.

      A very peculiar system really.

      • joe90 12.1.1

        Same, in 1981 earning $157 a week and a first home at $23,000 was three years nett income. The same house is on the market today at $265,000 – eight years nett income according to the inflation calculator.

        • dave 12.1.1.1

          you got it Joe house should cost no more that 3x income that is affordable debt can be serviced
          us housing market collapsed at 5 x income Auckland is at 10 x income jesse columbo has got it right kaboom is coming!

    • TeWhareWhero 12.2

      “Oh, I see, you’re a child. It all makes sense now.”

      Out of the mouths of babes and all that.

      The rest of your post doesn’t make much more sense.

    • blue leopard 12.3

      RRM,

      There is a social issue involved with high house prices and decreasing ownership.

      Those that rent are more likely to fall under the poverty threshold.
      Those who are using mortgages to buy when house prices are high – have less disposable income – are putting their money into banks (banks profit) – this means less custom for businesses.

      The Poverty Measurement Project discovered that if you are retired and don’t own a house you are more likely to be under the poverty threshold. Therefore this issues feeds into the whole issue of the financial cost of ensuring retired people are well catered for.

      i.e. This issue of increasing house prices, speculating on houses so that an individual (or one family) profits, and decreasing home ownership is at the expense of many and the county’s economy as a whole – it is leading to greater levels of poverty and increasing inequality.

  12. Marius 13

    Marcus Lush asked John Key in an interview a couple of days out from last Christmas if it is a busy time of year for the Key family. ‘Yes’ replied the pm – ‘Bronnie’s putting up the Christmas tree which is always a busy time – but that’s ok, a couple of guys from the store are delivering it and will help her set it up’. Waaaahhh the stress.

  13. Jim47 14

    First of all I want to say that I saw D.C on tele this morning at the ANZAC service so that should encourage him that he was not left out .(poor we thing).
    Second when you report on news paper articles you should report on the whole article and not be shifty like your leader .
    When referring to diverdents the article pointed out that under labour they were higher than under national.
    Also it said that the selling of the houses to build better ones ,that money was not part of the diverdent nor was the insurance money from the earthquake .
    As far as Micky savage and co was in the thirties they would not have bar of what the Labour Party is today as a matter of fact they would be rolling in their graves.
    My grandfather was an original member of the Labour Party and what he and my grandmother told me as I grew up is nothing like you are presenting now.
    Any way to harp back to the thirties in the hope that you will get some votes isn’t going to work.
    I started voting labour but never again.
    This country needs an effective opposition and we have not got one.
    The worry is that it is going to be the greens soon and that is more concern than what we have now.

    [lprent: Perhaps you should read the post. It was written by karol who isn’t a member of any party and generally couldn’t be regarded as a Labour party supporter. So trying to suggest that she regards David Cunliffe as her “leader” would have to be one of the more pig-ignorant statements by a concern troll that I have seen recently.

    Looking through the rest of the waffle in your comment. It shows the same care and attention to detail. For instance it was talking about some letters in 2011.

    Basically I’d say you are simply lying through the whole thing – just as you have in the past under other names.

    We really do need to encourage a better informed level of trolling ]

    • greywarbler 14.1

      Jim47
      You’re a twit – why don;’t you go out and dig the garden like your wise old parents taught you to knowing that you would never be one to make it relying on your mental acumen.
      My grandfather was an original member of the Labour Party and what he and my grandmother told me as I grew up is nothing like you are presenting now.
      Any way to harp back to the thirties in the hope that you will get some votes isn’t going to work.
      I started voting labour but never again.

      Yet so many commenters here are harping back to what their wise old grandfathers and mothers and fathers et al told them and Labour don’t know what they are saying or doing and the Greens might overwhelm us and oh dear i don’t know how we had the strength and bravery as a country to fight in two world wars because we are so scared of people like the greens who would like to save our environment and our country from being a waste land and us all becoming unemployed and barefoot as so many did during the Depression. That needed a World War to get through to our drongoes of right wing politicians. The cure is as bad as the disease. Wouldn’t it be good if we could do things better now Jim47?

      Here is a song about this sort of thing, not to play with the gypsies in the wood! If you are too slow to pick up the analogy, the gypsies are in this case like your attitude to the Greens.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwgjI16rdAk

  14. greywarbler 15

    The religious fellow was talking about housing at the memorial service I went to! It would be ‘naice’ to hear some real negative emotion about war and approved killing at these ritual remembrances, and also about a happy future to aim for, caring for each other in a practical way by organising jobs and housing as was done for the returned servicemen.

    John 14.2
    New International Version
    My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

    (Did others hear the interview about the background to the book The Land Girls about the wonderful young women, facing dislike, suspicion, prejudice at times, who went and learned to do the hard jobs helping to grow the food so desperately needed?)

  15. Awww 16

    Here is an interested TM discussion regarding commercial lending rates for residential landlords. Sounds like people owning more than 5 properties have already found ways around this so that it hasn’t actually discouraged people from owning multiple properties (and therefore pushing the price up due to demand) after all.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=1418559&topic=21

  16. greywarbler 17

    Red Logix may like to comment on this from Awwwv at 16.

  17. RedBaronCV 18

    What’s with this government and leaving large amounts of state housing empty? Generally they seeem to be saying it is not up to earthquake standard, and I’m sure they are not up to the new earthquake standards, along with needing insulation and yes they may be houses nearing the end of their life. But if chimmnys are taken down, as they a major earthquake worry, then surely these houses are still better and safer than a garage, the back of a car, staying on in a refuge, another overcrowded house etc.etc amd would provide a better and surely cheaper roof over people’s heads than many of them now have?

    For goodness sake private owners and landlords are not clearing themselves or tenants out of houses for earthquake standards.
    Looks like NACT excuses not a real reason.

  18. Ad 19

    Top work Twyford.

    If a new progressive govt spent much of its political capital tilting NZ real estate capitalism through Capital Gains Tax, foreign owner restriction, house building policy, and reforming HNZ, that would be a fair terms’ work (would have to be root and branch and HNZ).

    All power to you Phil.

  19. Thanks for posting on this Karol. Just had a chance to catch up with it. Some responses to various points made above:

    The important thing here is that since it came to office National have made a net withdrawal of $216m from Housing NZ, and are budgeting to take out another $252m over the next three years. They are asset stripping Housing NZ in the middle of a housing crisis.
    Nick Smith’s defence that Labour took out a big dividend in one year ($176m in 2002) is pathetic. During its years in office the 5th Labour Government made a net injection of $430m.
    The OIA documents show Housing NZ intended to fund the dividends Ministers were demanding by using money from the Canterbury earthquake payout, cutting front line staff shutting offices and making tenants use an 0800 number to contact the organisation, and delaying repairs and maintenance of state houses.
    National have also reduced the total number of state houses by 700 over the past year. Waiting lists have blown out to 5000, and there are about 3000 state houses lying empty.
    They are taking away security, perhaps the most important aspect of state housing – rolling out tenancy reviews for all state house tenants including pensioners, the sick and disabled, and families with young children.
    Under National, Housing NZ have undertaken a series of “redevelopment” projects in Glen Innes, Maraenui and Pomare where tenants have been evicted with no commitment that they will be able to return to their community.
    We need more state and social housing. Labour will announce policy on this in the next few months.
    We will also:

    * implement a Capital Gains Tax excluding the family home
    * restrict purchase of residential property to NZ citizens and residents
    * build 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers
    * legislate minimum standards for heating and insulation for all rental properties.

    • miravox 20.1

      <a href=”http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9980030/Priority-family-living-in-tent>Meantime, a brighter future

      Great to see Phil commenting and I applaud the policies that will improve housing affordability. However, Murray Olsen (below) is right, imo. A concerted effort to provide better social housing is urgent. I’m saying this from a position to compare the 60% social housing in the city, rent controls, long-term leases and proactive housing research and State-led development for future housing needs in Vienna with the free-for-all developers and landlords and decline in social housing in New Zealand.

      Any housing policy that can’t urgently address the housing needs of the Houia family is unconscionably lacking. Just appalling. I cannot believe that people will vote for a government that will not address the basic need of people for affordable, safe housing. Basic, basic stuff.

    • karol 20.2

      Thanks for the added information and clarification, Phil.

      I am pleased to hear that Labour will be announcing something about the need for more state and social housing. I am hoping it will include a substantial state housing building programme.

      Good work on the OIA.

  20. Murray Olsen 21

    The housing problem is urgent and I can’t see any way out of it other than a large state house building program. This would also have payoffs in terms of health, employment, and education. There is no downside. Programs helping young professionals into ownership of $300k or $400k just don’t cut the mustard and may actually do a lot of harm by pushing minimum prices up. Capital gains tax is also just playing around the edges, as is cutting back on foreign speculators. Even without them, prices are already so high because of the perverted distribution of wealth in Aotearoa that many people will still be locked out.

    In the meantime, an IRD actually interested in catching tax evaders could maybe read Trademe and arrange for the people boasting about their trickiness to have a chat with the Serious Fraud Office. A few confiscations of the proceeds of crime, including digging into trusts, would soon see these creeps on their best behaviour. However, taking money off beneficiaries who’ve dared to accept an air ticket seems to be much more of a priority.

  21. Treetop 22

    As an interim measure the accommodation supplement needs to be increased, (those who are really struggling would benefit the most).

    The housing stock (both public/private and single/family) needs to be increased without further delay. Single accommodation targets those with complex health needs and an aging population. Family accommodation keeps children at school, away from the GP/hospital and carers of children can reduce their stress due to reduced accommodation costs.

    In every aspect of housing the government has not delivered and they will continue to go backwards due to their USELESS housing policies.

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    A new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) Jan Wright released today highlights the perilous status of our national institution – the seaside bach or crib. The PCE’s report is a summary of the state of the...
    Gareth’s World
  • Climate change: Rising seas
    One of the primary consequences of climate change is sea-level rise due to thermal expansion and melting ice. What impact will this have on New Zealand? The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is going to tell us:The Parliamentary Commissioner for...
    No Right Turn
  • Guest Post: Dear AT HOP
    This is a guest post by reader Frith Stalker Dear AT Hop I have used Auckland buses for 30 years I am very smart, very pedantic, very polite and very Rule Abiding I am your perfect customer. I always thank...
    Transport Blog
  • Staff deserve right to use te reo Māori
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 41 Student’s at most tertiary institutions have the right to use te reo Māori as provided for and protected in their institution’s policies and practices, but staff do not always have that same right. TEU’s...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
    Imagine you are 10 years old and your crazy aunt is taking you out for a treat. A crazy aunt can be fun. Problem is this aunt is also a creationist and she is taking you to the local natural history museum....
    Open Parachute
  • Government digs deeper into $10m fraud
    The government has uncovered nearly $10 million in misappropriated tertiary funding and is expanding its investigations into other institutions around the country. Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce told the New Zealand Herald the Tertiary Education Commission is planning 12 more...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Unleashing hell
    There's a great scene in the first season of the British political comedy The Thick Of It. The fictional PM's office is, in the parlance of our times, in the shit. And their response is to try and utterly confuse...
    Polity
  • 4 percent cut to per student funding
    Tuition funding per student has fallen $800 or 4 percent since 2008 according to data compiled by the Parliamentary Library. The Green Party’s new tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes requested the information and shared it with TEU. It shows that...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Otago cutbacks mooted to fund building
    Otago University is considering making significant cuts in 2016 to fund its $600 million building programme according to the Otago Daily Times. The university’s chief financial officer Sharon van Turnhout told the paper this could include job cuts. ”As staff...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • EBS Christmas Newsletter
    Welcome to our EBS Christmas newsletter, we hope that the end of the term is starting to wind down now and that you are looking forward to a long summer break! Our union bargaining power enables us to offer you...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • The problems of measuring water quality
    Professor Gary Jones from Canberra how is the keynote speaker at the 2014 NZ River Awards tonight. The following podcast is Gary speaking to Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan about the vexing questions of water quality and quantity.  ...
    Gareth’s World
  • Collins cleared; Slater lied
    On the same day as the Cheryl Gwynn report was released, we also got the release Justice Chisholm’s report into Judith Collins and the allegations that she undermined former-SFO head Adam Feeley. The report was ordered after the release of...
    Occasionally erudite
  • Gordon Campbell on government arrogance, Ferguson, and Police pursuits
    As anyone who’s ever encountered him around Parliament will verify, Chris Finlayson’s arrogance is matched only by his sense of self-esteem. On RNZ this morning though, he exceeded himself on both counts. Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Hard News: The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act
    Even as it was making its way to the statutes,
 New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk
 of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that...
    Public Address
  • John Key implodes over the Gwyn report
    The Cheryl Gwyn report into the release of SIS information relating to whether Phil Goff was or wasn’t briefed about the Israeli spy saga  was released on Tuesday. It makes for compelling reading as it investigates whether Goff lied, whether then-head...
    Occasionally erudite
  • NZSIS: Mandated abuse of power?
    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • On the uncanny resemblance between John Key and Sergeant Schultz
    In the 30-odd years that Judy and I have been providing media advice and training to prime ministers, prostitutes and pretty well every profession in-between, our teaching mantra has remained the same: “Be straightforward, tell the truth, admit your mistakes”....
    Brian Edwards
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
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