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Key’s speech bereft of vision

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, January 26th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: john key, leadership - Tags: ,

Key’s opening speech for the year is a dreary, dishonest, and vacuous affair, completely bereft of vision. I haven’t seen an enthustastic response reported anywhere yet. At time of writing:

3 News headlines one of National’s biggest problems “Will Key’s State of the Nation stem the flow?“.

One News gives the headline space to Labour’s response “Apprenticeship overhaul ‘too little, too late’“.

Stuff doesn’t headline it at all, but under the National news section the only mention again goes to Labour “Apprentice scheme attacked“.

The Herald (underneath the more important piece about the weekend weather) chooses to lead with Key’s attack on KiwiBuild “PM: KiwiBuild policy ‘dishonest’“.

No doubt some positive reviews will be rounded up for the weekend papers, but that is a terrible initial response to a speech that was supposed to set the agenda for the year, and give some hope to a country still wallowing in stagnation.

I meant to go on and pick apart some of the spin, and the tired old failed policies in the speech, but honestly, it’s putting me to sleep. So let’s crowdsource the exercise (i.e. I’m tired and lazy). Courtesy of The Herald, here’s the full text. Have at it…

Ladies and Gentlemen

I hope you all had a good Christmas break and that you’re starting 2013 eager and energised.

I know I am.

And I know the Government is, because there are a lot of things to get done this year.

We have a re-energised team of Ministers, which I announced earlier this week.

And we have a very busy agenda.

Whether it’s welfare reform, law and order, education, the rebuild of Christchurch, or continuing our improvements in public services, it’s full steam ahead.

But the big focus for New Zealand remains the economy.

The economy will be front and centre this year.

The Government has a very substantial programme of work ahead of it.

I have told Ministers I want them to get on with the job.

Article continues below

And I’ve told them to step up momentum, building on the work we’ve already done over the last four years.

That work has been substantial.

We’ve made a huge turnaround in the government’s books, we’ve brought in the biggest changes to the tax system in a generation, and we’re making significant changes to reform the welfare system and strengthen work obligations.

Among other things, we’ve introduced 90-day trials; set time limits for the consenting of large projects under the RMA; introduced a competitive new system for awarding oil and gas exploration permits; got ACC back into good financial shape; and kick-started a multi-billion dollar programme of infrastructure investment.

And throughout that time we’ve been dealing with three major challenges:

• an economy that was left unbalanced, and in poor shape, by the previous government

• the impact of the Global Financial Crisis

• and the Canterbury earthquakes.

Each one of those challenges is still with us.

Around the world, for example, the recovery from the financial crisis is proving the most difficult since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Europe is struggling with high levels of government debt and poor productivity. The United States has well-known fiscal issues to deal with. And, only yesterday, the IMF again downgraded its expectations of world growth.

But I remain hugely positive about the future for New Zealand.

Our economy is robust.

Since the bottom of the recession, in mid-2009, the economy has grown at an average of just under 2 per cent a year, and economists are expecting that to strengthen further.

Our employment rate is very high in comparison to other countries, with over three-quarters of all New Zealanders aged 20 to 64 in work.

There are still too many people looking for work who can’t find it. But forecasts show employment continuing to increase and unemployment falling.

Interest rates are at 50-year lows. Prices for primary exports are holding up, and our terms of trade remain high.

That is helping to support a high New Zealand dollar, which is proving a head wind for other exporters and firms that compete with imports.

But the flipside of a high dollar is that goods priced on world markets are cheaper than they otherwise would be. This includes goods that are crucial to households like food, clothing and fuel. So inflation is running at less than one per cent a year, food on the whole costs less than it did a year ago, and businesses are taking advantage of cheaper capital goods to invest in plant and machinery.

Looking ahead, New Zealand faces some big opportunities.

Our trade and investment links are increasingly with Asia, which is the fastest growing region in the world. Over the last four years, our exports to China have trebled.

And New Zealand faces a domestic construction boom.

That will be centred, of course, on Christchurch, where the spend is now estimated to be around $30 billion.

But construction is also expected to pick up in other areas, and manufacturers across the country will be gearing up to supply materials.

The Government, for its part, is going to press on and expand its economic programme.

We’ve been very clear and consistent about that programme.

We’re managing the Government’s finances to get back to surplus and start reducing debt.

And we’re pressing ahead with a wide range of measures to build a more productive and competitive economy.

That’s an economy where growth is based on the solid foundations of investment, exports and savings.

Investment is crucial.

Because the truth is, you only get jobs and growth in the economy when people invest money, at their own risk, in setting up a business or expanding an existing business.

Why has Australia been doing so well over the last few years?

Because there has been massive investment in its economy.

Investment in Western Australia, for example, has seen the lowest unemployment rate, and highest population growth, of any Australian state.

Over this side of the Tasman, the Taranaki region has attracted significant oil and gas investment. It has a low unemployment rate and workers’ incomes have grown faster than anywhere else in the country.

The key factor is investment, and not just in oil and gas.

So here in New Zealand we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s investment by individuals and small businesses as well as big businesses; and it’s investment by people from overseas as well as Kiwis.

The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created.

That’s not to say there won’t also be jobs lost.

In any three-month period in New Zealand, between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs disappear, and between 100,000 and 200,000 new jobs are created, as businesses start up, expand, contract and close altogether.

The labour market is a very dynamic place.

But the only way net new jobs can be created is by private investors putting their money into businesses in New Zealand.

Governments can encourage investment but they can also discourage investment.

A government can load up big costs and uncertainties onto business.

It can make people unwelcome because they are considered to be the wrong nationality to invest here, or in the wrong industry.

And it can lock up the resources of the country.

That would certainly discourage investment.

But as I said, we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s why my Government is working hard to reduce costs and uncertainties for business.

That’s why we welcome investment that benefits New Zealand.

That’s why we are keeping our own costs down.

That’s why we are ensuring people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce.

That’s why we are ensuring the country has the infrastructure it needs to grow.

And that’s why we’re focused on opportunities to use our natural resources productively and sustainably.

This programme is set out in our Business Growth Agenda, which details a large number of initiatives in six main groupings: skilled and safe workplaces, infrastructure, natural resources, exports, capital markets and innovation.

There is a lot to that Agenda, but today I want to pick out a handful of things which are either new or where I really want us to step up this year.

Skilled workplaces

First, in terms of skilled workplaces, the big challenge for New Zealand over the next few years – especially in the context of Christchurch – is to have people in the right place to do the work that’s available, and to have people with the right skills.

Put simply, there is going to be a lot of work in Canterbury, and there are going to be people in other parts of the country who need that work and could do it, particularly if they get the right training.

The first element of that – getting people in the right place – is going to require some initiative from workers, but also a good deal of innovation from businesses involved in the rebuild, and from the Government.

We aren’t going to micro-manage that process, but we can help it. That’s what we’ve done – for example, with the new Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub, which provides a one-stop shop to link local employers with people looking for work, before turning to immigration.

We’re also looking closely at how we can encourage people to work in Christchurch.

In terms of skill-matching, we are focusing in particular on young people and on vocational training.

This year we are launching five new vocational pathways that clearly signpost the subjects young people should take to prepare for vocational careers in construction, manufacturing, the primary sector, the service sector and social services.

This year there will be over 4000 places available in trades and services academies, allowing young people to explore vocational career opportunities while still at school.

And there will be around 8700 Youth Guarantee places for young people to study fees-free outside the school environment.

But the big changes we are making this year are to industry training and, in particular, to apprenticeships.

Under Labour’s wasteful management, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact “phantom trainees” who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive.

So we have been streamlining this scheme, reducing the number of qualifications and putting the emphasis on achievement rather than token participation.

That has freed up some very significant funding to re-invest in expanding apprenticeships.

Currently, Modern Apprenticeships are only available for people who begin their training between the ages of 16 and 21 and they attract a significant top-up in funding to pay for advice and mentoring. The top-up is in fact greater than the subsidy that supports their learning programme.

So today I am announcing a new initiative to expand and improve apprenticeship training.

This has a number of parts to it:

1. From 1 January next year, we are going to combine Modern Apprenticeships and other apprenticeship-type training under an expanded and improved scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. These new apprenticeships will provide the same level of support, and the same level of subsidy, for all apprentices, regardless of their age. Fewer than half the people doing apprenticeship-type training are actually funded as proper apprentices, through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and we are going to change that.

2. We are going to boost overall funding for apprenticeships. The current top-up for Modern Apprentices will be redistributed across all apprentices, regardless of age, as an extension to their learning subsidy. In addition, overall subsidy payments will be increased by around $12 million in the first year, rising over time. Increased funding for apprenticeships will allow industry training organisations to invest in the quality of education for apprentices, lower fees for employers and encourage growth in the uptake of apprenticeships.

3. We are going to boost the educational content of apprenticeships. At a minimum they will require a programme of at least 120 credits that results in a level four qualification.

4. We are going to set clearer roles and performance expectations for ITOs, and give employers other options if their ITOs don’t perform; and

5. To lift the profile of, and participation in, apprenticeships, we are going to give the first 10,000 new apprentices who enrol after 1 April this year $1000 towards their tools and off-job course costs, or $2000 if they are in priority construction trades. The same amount will also be paid to their employers.

As a result of these changes, and stimulated by the boom in construction and other trades that is already underway in Christchurch, we estimate that around 14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast.

The whole idea is to kick-start new apprenticeship opportunities ahead of the curve, so that thousands of New Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a lifetime.

Infrastructure

Moving on to infrastructure, the Government will this year continue its significant programme of investment, which supports thousands of jobs across the country.

And we are doing so in a way that involves private sector disciplines as much as possible.

The first major public-private partnership ever undertaken in New Zealand will open this year, with the first group of students attending the new Hobsonville Point primary school.

A new secondary school at Hobsonville is also being developed through a PPP, as is the new prison at Wiri and the Transmission Gully project.

By the middle of this year, around 300,000 businesses and homes will be able to connect to ultra-fast broadband, and around 1300 schools and 30 hospitals will have fibre to the gate. In addition, almost 100,000 rural homes and businesses are expected to have access to faster broadband through the Rural Broadband Initiative.

The Government is also continuing to support the development of water infrastructure. Earlier this week we announced we would be establishing a new Crown-owned company to invest in commercial-scale water storage and irrigation projects, and set aside $80 million for the initial stages of its operation.

In terms of housing, the Government is itself planning to build more than 2000 houses over the next two financial years but, more importantly, wants to work with local councils on the underlying problems of land supply, building and resource consents and provision of infrastructure.

We need more houses built in New Zealand, at a lower cost.

That means we need more land available for building, more streamlined processes and less costly red tape.

This doesn’t require the Government to spend a lot of money. We are already a huge player in the housing market and I’m very wary of spending more of taxpayers’ money.

But there are plenty of private sector investors who want to invest in housing – if only we can remove the roadblocks that are slowing down the process and driving up costs.

It’s ridiculous, for example, that developers can wait six to 18 months for a resource consent.

It’s ridiculous that we allow councils to demand almost anything as a condition for the consent.

And it’s ridiculous that we allow them to charge whatever fees they want.

Unless these sorts of issues are dealt with there won’t be more affordable housing built.

Labour’s so-called ‘plan’ to build 100,000 houses doesn’t do anything to fix the actual cost of building – so will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people don’t want to live in, or require massive taxpayer subsidies.

It’s dishonest and it doesn’t stack up.

As I said, we want to work co-operatively with local councils and I believe our goals in the end are the same.

In particular we are keenly awaiting the Auckland Council’s spacial plan, and I’m expecting it to include multiple options for both greenfields and brownfields residential property developments.

But if councils aren’t able to change their planning processes, then the Government would have to get a lot more proactive, because we are very serious about resolving this issue.

Natural resources

In terms of natural resources, I think all New Zealanders are aware that our economy and natural resources are closely linked.

New Zealand is rich, for example, in minerals. The Greens and Labour oppose it, but we are going to continue to encourage development of our country’s oil, gas and mineral resources.

Looking across our resource base as a whole, what’s clear is that we need a much better system of planning and resource management – one that enables growth and provides strong environmental outcomes, and does so in a timely and cost-effective way.

We’ve already made changes to the resource management system and we’ve got more in the pipeline. There is a Bill already in Parliament to set a six-month time limit on the processing of medium-sized consents, and to establish a streamlined process for Auckland’s first Unitary Plan.

But as a country, we’re still not planning well enough for our future.

The RMA is constantly cited as a source of frustration, both by investors wishing to develop on their land, and by communities left waiting for years to know the outcome of a project.

There is not enough national consistency. Across New Zealand’s 78 local authorities there are over 170 resource management planning documents. Consistency is important because New Zealand is a small country and local decisions have significant effects on our national economy and national environment.

We also need to ensure that local plans aren’t overly restrictive and that consent processes are proportionate to the scale of the activity.

Public participation on whether an individual builds a deck on their property, for example, is profoundly different from a decision affecting water quality in a lake.

So the Government is working on a comprehensive package of reforms to the resource management system, which we’ll release in the next few months.

I want to see big improvements in this area and it’s going to be a high priority for the Government this year.

Export markets

In terms of developing export markets, the Government is currently negotiating free trade agreements with 11 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including the United States, and separately with a number of other countries including India, Russia and Korea.

We’re also about to begin negotiations for a new 16-nation regional free trade agreement across Asia and the Pacific.

Trade agreements can take a long time. But the TPP negotiations are well advanced and negotiators have been asked to try to conclude the broad outline of an agreement by October this year.

The Greens and their fellow travellers say the TPP is anti-democratic. That is nonsense.

A high-quality free trade agreement with the world’s biggest economy, that includes agricultural exports, would be a significant achievement.

The Government has also been ramping up its engagement with Asia, because we see there are huge opportunities there for New Zealand businesses.

This year, for example, we will continue to focus on Chinese tourism.

Before Christmas, some of our opponents thought it was a tremendous scandal that high-value, low-risk and well-travelled Chinese were able to get a New Zealand visa with a little less red tape.

I thought it was a scandal that we hadn’t done this earlier, because Chinese tourism has the potential to be huge for New Zealand.

Finally, on tourism, the best thing we can do to increase high-value tourist numbers – as I’ve said time and time again – is to facilitate the development of a national convention centre in Auckland. The sooner that can happen the better.

Capital markets

When it comes to capital markets, the biggest thing happening this year is the Government’s offer of shares in state-owned energy companies.

Subject to the Supreme Court’s decision, this will start in the first half of the year with our offer of up to 49 per cent of the shares in Mighty River Power.

We also want to proceed with another IPO later this year.

The whole share offer programme will be a shot in the arm for New Zealand’s capital markets.

It will give New Zealand savers an opportunity to invest in big New Zealand companies, and the companies themselves will benefit from better monitoring and market disciplines.

At the same time, the Government will maintain majority ownership of the companies, and will use the proceeds to invest in other public assets, like schools and hospitals.

New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for shares in these particular companies, but in general we continue to welcome foreign investment in New Zealand.

That’s because overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own.

It creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow.

Overseas capital can make things happen here that wouldn’t otherwise happen, grow businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have the means to grow, create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist, and pay wages that are higher than they would otherwise be.

So it’s sad to see the Labour Party that was such an advocate of trade and investment in the past somehow turning into the number one defender of Fortress New Zealand.

Innovation

Finally, despite tight times, the Government is continuing to put a real priority on science and innovation.

Research funding will be greater this year than it ever has been, because new ideas are a key driver for a modern economy.

In particular, this year will see Callaghan Innovation, the new advanced technology institute, up and running, and working with firms involved in high-tech manufacturing and services.

The National Science Challenges will be finalised in the next few months, and a greater proportion of resources put towards addressing these challenges.

So as you can see, we’ve got plenty on.

But I can guarantee you one thing – Labour will oppose almost all of it.

And the few things they might find to like, Russel Norman or Winston Peters will vehemently oppose.

And that’s the irony of the New Zealand Opposition in 2013.

They criticise the Government for being too hands-off; and yet between each of the Opposition parties they oppose every hands-on change we make to encourage investment, growth and jobs.

Tax changes – they oppose.

Major roading projects – they oppose.

A free trade agreement with the US – they oppose.

RMA changes – they oppose.

90 day trials – they oppose.

Work expectations for beneficiaries – they oppose.

Oil and gas exploration – they oppose.

The Hobbit legislation – they oppose.

A national convention centre – they oppose.

Every piece of legislation or policy we have developed to encourage growth and jobs they have opposed.

And that’s because there is only one type of activist government they know – the big-spending and big-borrowing kind that we know so well from the Labour Party and the Greens.

It’s called “chequebook activism” and New Zealanders know it well because they’ve seen it before.

As a country we are still paying for it – literally.

It means big, wasteful and unaffordable spending, charged to the taxpayer’s bill. And it means Labour and the Greens meddling and choking off private sector investment.

As for the National-led Government, our plan will encourage investment, strengthen the economy and boost jobs.

People know what that plan is, we have stuck to it and we will continue to stick to it.

And New Zealand is heading in the right direction.

The Government’s economic programme is laying the foundations for a stronger economy, sustainable jobs and higher incomes.

The world is full of opportunities for New Zealand over the next few years.

We need to seize those opportunities with both hands.

That’s why the Government is getting on with the job.

Thank you.

35 comments on “Key’s speech bereft of vision”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The world is full of opportunities for New Zealand over the next few years.!!

    Ah the ” brighter future”

    If he was brutally honest, he would have said ” but I was conned by the IMF and Bill English 4 years ago and I have shit to show for our time in office until now”

    • bad12 1.1

      Actually Slippery wasn’t conned by the IMF in 2008, the interim report from the IMF to that incoming National Government, (which i can no longer find online) directly advised the Government to seriously consider ‘quantitative easing’ as a means to shield the New Zealand economy from the adverse effects of the financial meltdown,

      My understanding is that the IMF interim report is then referred to the Government for it’s comments after which the final report is produced,

      This, the final IMF report was produced with NO reference to ‘quantitative easing’ after the input of the incoming National Government,

      It’s pretty obvious that despite the IMF being okay with the National Government printing the 300 million dollars a week it now borrows, National, (presumably both Slippery and English) deliberately chose that borrowing so as to ‘kneecap’ any following Government…

  2. QoT 3

    Oh gods, I hate this style of speech.

    Vague, unconnected sentences which don’t build towards anything.

    Engineered to make good soundbites.

    That’s the kind of speech I hate.

    A speech which has no ambition for New Zealand.

    No continuity and no real overarching message.

    Full of.

    Significant.

    Pauses.

  3. RedLogix 4

    The Plan is “Keep Selling it Off” ….

    All the more reason, therefore, to welcome the clarity of the message in yesterday’s state of the nation speech. This country, the Prime Minister said, had to be a magnet for investment. “The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created,” he added to reinforce the point.

    An unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent, the highest since 1999, may have concentrated Mr Key’s mind. So might the example of Taranaki, where substantial oil and gas investment has prompted a low unemployment rate and faster-growing workers’ income than elsewhere in the country. Whatever the reason, the Prime Minister has become an unequivocal supporter of investment from any source.

    In that context, New Zealanders’ placement at “the front of the queue” for shares in the part-sale of state assets would be an exception, rather than the rule, the Prime Minister indicated.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10861510

    And Shearer could stop the whole process in it’s tracks by uttering one word …”re-nationalisation”.

    • rosy 4.1

      Sounds like that editorial was written by Fran. Did you catch Brian Fallow’s piece about how selling power company shares before the fate of the Bluff smelter is known is a ‘folly’

      It is folly to press on, full steam ahead, with the partial privatisation of the state-owned power companies when the future of the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter is unresolved.

      It would be no better to capitulate to Rio Tinto’s demands for a better deal merely in order to remove that dark shadow of uncertainty overhanging the electricity industry, in order to get the floats away.

      Demand for power is growing slowly. There is overcapacity in generation.

      Were the demand side to shrink by 14 per cent over three years, if the smelter closed, it would have huge implications

      Maybe that’s why Key is continuing with the Kiwi share. Maybe he thinks we’re financially naive enough to buy anyway whereas overseas buyers would realise they might very well be had.

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Shearer will find it very easy to declare the books are in an abysmal state (Key did), that the National
      government were useless and that extreme measures are needed. Print money and re-nationalize the energy companies. In a world were lying about economics is the rule, that banks printing money from leveraging has not been the norm, its not in any way wrong for any future government, National or Labour to do so. I mean Labour brought us Rogernomics, so why can’t a future National do re-nationalization.

    • xtasy 4.3

      Key is in favour of “prostitution”, no doubt, he is one of the first lining up for the money!

    • burt 4.4

      RedLogix

      And Shearer could stop the whole process in it’s tracks by uttering one word …”re-nationalisation”.

      Nationalisation worked so well for Muldoon – lets try it one more time with a red flag and pretend the outcome will be different this time.

      • KJT 4.4.1

        I am no fan of Muldoons, especially the borrowing for election bribes, like the social welfare for sheep, (Many similarities with Key’s National there) but “think big” was one of his better ideas.

        In fact, Burt, many of the think big projects gave excellent returns, for their private owners, after the rogernomes sold them off.

        NZ Refinery, for example. 300 million sale price, 300 million spent on upgrades before sale. 300 million profit to the oil companies in the first year.

        The returns would have made Muldoon a hero if oil prices had continued to rise, at the time, as most people expected them to.. New Zealanders were not privy to the US decision to overthrow regimes and go to war to keep oil prices low in the early 80’s.

        The mistake was borrowing from the IMF, and possibly doing it at a time of high resources and labour demand, instead of using QA and waiting for a recession to free up resources, , like the first Labour Government.

      • mike e vipe e 4.4.2

        burt Cullen saved Air NZ you Dumbarse

  4. Blue 5

    To summarise:

    “It’s all Labour’s fault….Christchurch rebuild will save us…we need foreign investment…need to wreck the environment to make money….’encourage’ people to work…cut red tape…TPP…sell assets…Labour sucks.”

    Jam-packed full of original ideas, then.

  5. Why bother to reproduce this bullshit as if we could find some ‘vision’ to latch onto.
    Key is the franchisee for US global capitalism. That is the vision that he projects. It is echoed by todays corporate granny hacks.
    That vision is rip, shit and bust economics for the kumara republic.
    The biggest ripoff is the property market, it shits on workers making them homeless or debt slaves to finance capital. It is the biggest bust looming. $630 billion in unproductive residential property while the NZX has only $66 billion. Of course the billions in secret trusts never pass through the books.
    Key’s vision is to make workers produce more profits for the bosses on their path to destruction of the planet.
    You should know that by now.
    Think of what we propose to do about it and whether the Labour Party will be part of that plan.
    I doubt it because it means taking direct action to close down fossil fuels and impose draconian taxes on greenhouse polluters and rent rorters.
    Labour is far too committed to managing capitalism to imagine an alternative.

    • David H 6.1

      “Of course the billions in secret trusts never pass through the books.”

      Maybe Shearer should grow a pair, and target these hidden assets for taxation just like the Americans are doing all over the world.

  6. Possion 7

    Lot of Rhectoric ,and response to criticism which suggests that Key and not an anticipator a bottom dweller in any food web.

    This a likely due to prior failures of predictive job creation in his prior occupation.In 1982 Merrill Lynch for example as a response to deregulation and a booming sharemarket created an additional 6000 positions,by april 1983 they has laid off 2500 due to decreased profits hence one should be wary of Hedeghogs (those with only one big idea) such as the market.

  7. PlanetOrphan 8

    Well good ole DunnoKeyo really pulled this one out of his arse didn’t he ?

    We need to seize those opportunities with both hands.

    And of course they are such competent hands that NZ won’t want to …
    “BURN THEM IN EFFIGY” every weekend.

    As usual with the Gnats it’s all care but no responsibilty.

    Incompetent people endevouring to be “Hands ON” = RIOTS IN THE STREETS
    (Sorry should call them “Peacefull Protests” but the Gnats call them RIOTS M8!

  8. bad12 9

    In all honesty i have to give the empty suitcase of intellectual rigor we have as Prime Minister half a point for the apprenticeship scheme and it’s focus on the building trades,

    It is as described ‘too little” but not i submit ‘too late’ perhaps the Slippery little Shyster would care to double the numbers as after November 2014 both Labour and Green policy would dictate the need for a far greater emphasis on the workforce needing qualifications in the building trades,

    While Slippery is at it could He rearrange the immigration criteria so as to promote immigrants with those same building trades experience and qualifications ahead of others wishing to settle in New Zealand, doing it now will just make the ‘Kiwibuild” after November 2014 that much easier to get operational and save the Labour/Green coalition the need of one piece of legislation,

    As far as the rest of that ones ‘grand vision’ goes it’s simply kick the poor to remind the middle class how ugly things get if your not on the ‘winners’ side and carry on with the enrichment of the already rich…

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    I tried to read Key’s speech, I really did, but a whole lot of my brain cells cried out all at once and were suddenly silenced.

    • rosy 10.1

      Ha. I true to read it as well but nodded off at the bit about it being Labour’s fault.

    • bad12 10.2

      LOLZ,as it was intended to do, it’s a series of ‘opium hits’ designed to put anyone who listens or reads the whole thing to sleep and when they awaken they only remember certain ‘catch-phrases’,

      Clever newspeak!!!

      I see a clinic full of cynics,
      trying to twist the peoples wrists,
      they watch everything we say,
      all are included on their lists…

      • bad12 10.2.1

        PS, in ‘newspeak’ the catch-phrases are important as Key during the year will keep using them in whatever context is relevant to the ‘message’ of the moment,

        People having already had the phraseology inserted in their minds,(and who don’t actively despise the Slippery little Shyster and everything the National Party stand for),immediately get ‘re-connected’ via that particular phrase having been inserted into their psyches personal library…

  10. pollywog 11

    Jeez what a tool..Seems written with primary school kids in mind.

    i is feeling soooo dumbed down.

  11. Plan B 12

    Catch the IPO comment in the speach about asset sales .

    We also want to proceed with another IPO later this year.

    Definition of ‘Initial Public Offering – IPO’

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public.

    So does this mean that they have already decided to move beyond a 49% sales

    He did not have to use the term Initial Public Offering for the 49% sales of shares. so why did he in a speach with everything written down so there are no mistakes?

    • bad12 12.1

      Slippery’s intention is that Mighty River Power (who’s assets center on the hydro-dams across the Waikato river) be the first of the State assets to be flogged off,

      Am not sure what comes next but can’t see that being the States mining company ‘Solid Energy’ as in the current economic climate it would fetch pea-nuts,

      Then again as fully half the National Government benches seem to be occupied by some form of genetically inferior neanderthalic ape-like creatures perhaps pea-nuts is all they require…

  12. I do ask – is John Key saying, he sees that Jenny Shipley made a huge mistake when she eliminated the apprenticeship scheme when she was Prime Minister.

    • bad12 13.1

      NO, Slippery is simply playing reactionary politics, having been out-manouvered by Labour’s housing policy He had to do ‘something’ or lose the political initiative within which He has up to that point had a free hand,

      Putting Nick Smith into the un-HousingNZ portfolio was His counter to the housing policy released by Labour, but He was then totally blindsided by the release of the Green Party housing policy and totally losing the political initiative that He has so far had free rein over the apprenticeship scheme announced yesterday was His reactionary means of attempting to seize back that initiative,

      Obviously the apprenticeship scheme should have been upgraded as soon as the damage from the Christchurch earthquakes became apparent and god only knows who Slippery and National have had in mind since those earthquakes that was capable of undertaking the rebuild,

      As an effort from National to provide a reposte to both the :Labour and Green Party’s housing policy it’s simply appalling and shows the Archilles heel of both Slippery’s leadership and the National government policy where they continue to cling to market economics which have FAILED in the housing market,

      Other than that the National Government fronted by Slippery have nothing to give New Zeland in the form of affordable housing policy except their ‘Leader’ whining endlessly about the Auckland City Council taking 18 months to give them resource consent to bowl over what He calls a ‘few’ houses so the developer mates can build even more overly-large icons to over-consumption on the sections,

      That of course is just more lies from those who Govern via the use of a continual pattern of untruths the ‘few’ houses talked of being a ‘few’ hundred State rental houses only a third of which will be replaced as the developers have no interest in building affordable housing and in all reality nor does the National Government or it’s ‘Leader’…

      • millsy 13.1.1

        The CHC earthquake shambles is also owed to the 4th Labour government for dismantling the Ministry of Works and Development, and the resultant loss of expertise. A public service stacked with lawyers, accountants and professional managers is pretty much hopeless.

    • xtasy 13.2

      NOOOOOH –

      He will blame Labour for not having fixed it again, before he came to power and NOW does (belatedly and only insignificantly) “fix it”!?

  13. Poission 14

    Iceland president had an interesting vision

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTljJA_0Y6Y

  14. millsy 15

    John Key’s speech was essentially: Market good, state bad.

  15. xtasy 16

    Key’s message in brief:

    The economy is our focus, and it all hinges on the “mighty” Christchurch rebuild.

    Train apprentices when the work they are supposed to be trained for is already being done by thousands of imported migrant workers, some of whom are employed under dubious conditions and terms, and working for low pay (even below the minimum wage).

    Threaten local body administrations and councils: “Deliver us available, cheap land, to build affordable homes on, or we will pass laws to force you to make some available”. “Nick the Dick has been put in the job to deal to you”.

    Now, that is really smart politics, I suppose, is it not?

    All the rest is basically more of the same we have been told over the last 4 years, a bit of hyped up smart talk, little of substance and propaganda. Naturally lashing out at the opposition, who come up with some alternative ideas (even if they need a bit of enhancement and in the case of Labour a partial rethink), that is apparently the best Key can deliver.

    While I think the apprenticeship program that is proposed is somehow constructive and a good idea, it comes far too late, and starting it next year makes it a ridiculous kind of measure to supposedly create the workforce that is already needed now for construction and related jobs.

    It is a poor attempt to fix training, that was destroyed and neglected for many years, naturally primarily by National.

    Now, there is a chance for Shearer, we will all be fixed to the radio and television, I am sure?! To be honest, I do not expect him to deliver the stuff that is needed and that I want to hear and see.

  16. millsy 17

    “Threaten local body administrations and councils: Deliver us available, cheap land, or we will pass laws to force you to make some available.”

    While I am fully aware that he means zoning, etc, I thought land was owned privately? And perhaps farmers and other land owners dont actually want to sell?

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Yes that one in particular boils my blood. It’s flat-out lies. Slimy, shitty filthy lies.

      You could make an infinite amount of ‘free land’ available to developers and it would make very little difference to the price of retail sections. The cost of the raw land is only a small fraction (about 10-15%) of the price the builder pays for the section.

      The only people who would benefit from ‘free land’ would be the developers. Key knows this and it’s why he’s happy to plug the lie.

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    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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