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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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    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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