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Killing the golden geese

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, October 16th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: ACC, kiwisaver, privatisation, superannuation - Tags: ,

Amidst growing realisation that the right wing “neo-liberal” economic agenda as a whole is fatally flawed, some of the previously ardent supporters of privatisation in NZ are admitting that the last round of sell-offs was a mistake. But the current National leadership haven’t got the memo. They’re ideologically opposed to state owned assets. They’re still developing an agenda of privatisation, including assets like ACC. They tried to push through the idea of flogging off KiwiBank. They cut back on contributions to the Cullen Fund, costing us an estimated $30 Million or more.

Unfortunately for the zealots, the Nats’ position makes no sense. This has become particularly obvious because of their dismal performance in lifting NZ out of recession. The occasional feeble flickers of life that we do see in our otherwise moribund economy are down to two factors, occasionally favourable commodity prices, and returns from state owned assets. For example, according to Treasury back in May:

Deficit Falls Further The Government’s deficit has decreased further, with the Crown’s operating balance for the nine months to March 31 coming in $2,006 million smaller than forecast at $1,327 million mainly due to gains on the Crown’s investment portfolios held by the NZS Fund, ACC and EQC.

Good news thanks to state owned Super Fund, ACC and EQC (so thank you Labour governments 2001, 1974, 1947). And now the same thing this month:

Oct. 14 (BusinessDesk) – The government’s deficit shrank as bigger returns from the ACC and New Zealand Superannuation Funds bolstered sagging revenue streams.

The government’s deficit narrowed to $4.5 billion in the year ended June 30, from a $6 billion deficit a year earlier, according to financial statements released today. That was underpinned by a $2.5 billion gain in the value of the so-called Cullen Fund and ACC investment portfolios

These state owned assets are generating some rare bright spots in an otherwise dismal sea of poor economic news. So why would any rational government sell ACC (or other state owned assets)? Why would any rational government be cutting back on the Cullen Fund? In short, why are the Nats determined to kill the golden geese?

42 comments on “Killing the golden geese”

  1. ianmac 1

    The lack of revenue from the tax take will lead to further justification for further cuts in State spending. So why reduce taxation? Aha! An excuse for cuts in State spending, and a platform for privatisation. Of course. Silly old me!

  2. jagilby 2

    The government is the only entity that has the ability to sell an asset (at the value of it’s discounted FUTURE cash flows) but maintain the ability to derive revenue from that asset into perpetuity (taxes) and assert its control over that asset (regulations). What’s not to like?

    Does your definition of “privatisation” also include public capital raisings for the likes of Kiwibank? In that case it’s a little disingenuous to call that privatisation because Kiwibank is currently capital constrained and will require an injection from somewhere other than the socialist money gnome at the bottom of the garden.

    • Armchair Critic 2.1

      …will require an injection from somewhere other than the socialist money gnome at the bottom of the garden.
      Primarily because that gnome is exhausted from helping National by bailing out SCF.
      Hopefully John or Bill will ask the fairies at the bottom of the garden to step up.

      • jagilby 2.1.1

        Nice to know you were opposed to Labour’s rushed implementation of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

        A scheme that I am not entirely opposed to (aside from guaranteeing interest payments) on the basis that it prevented our credit markets from absolute destruction.

        If your appreciated the facts you’d know that National effectively bailed out SCFs lenders – real people – SI lemmings who dived into SCF debentures with full knowledge they were now effectively “risk free”. If that bail out had not happened then there would be far more farms sold offshore at bargain basement prices as the market would have been flooded with supply from fire sales. What would you have thought about that?

        • millsy 2.1.1.1

          The best thing would have been for the government to secure some form of equity in SCF.

          • jagilby 2.1.1.1.1

            Equity?
            Do you mean that non-existent thing that Allan Hubbard has his name on?

            The government effectively has rights to all proceeds from the unwinding of the loan book and asset sales. I’d say that’s about as good as it gets.

        • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.2

          Nice to know you were opposed to Labour’s rushed implementation of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
          I said nothing of the sort.
          Since you apparently missed the point, I’ll restate it for you.
          I was contrasting:
          “the apparent willingness (actually it seemed more like eagerness, but let’s not overstate the case) of the government to bail out SCF.”
          versus
          “the obvious reluctance of the government to help Kiwibank raise capital”
          Got any comment on this contradiction, or would you prefer to avoid discussing this aspect of National’s double standards?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The only people who believe in pixies with free money at the bottom of the garden are NACT. This is seen as they give lots of our money to themselves and their rich mates and boost wasteful government spending. Such wasteful spending is clearly seen in Paula Bennetts requirement for people on the UB to reapply every year. It’s just more unnecessary work especially when there isn’t any jobs available.

      • jagilby 2.2.1

        Wasteful government spending? Ha, you mean that nine year project from circa 1999-2008 that is currently being wound down?

        Lots of “your” money… how much tax do you actually pay. Personally. In absolute terms.
        Now quantify how much benefit you get from Government – come again with what side of the ledger are you on again?
        Also, can you make out the difference between
        1) “giving lots of our money” and
        2) “taking less of something that wasn’t yours in the first place”.

        Why are there no jobs available?
        Our capital markets are an absolute joke that’s why. Anyone with a half decent idea can’t raise capital necessary to progress it to the next level and scale up their operations.

        Where exactly do you think your beloved ACC investment portfolio and NZ super fund have been making the lion’s share of their returns? In the offshore capital markets, that’s where – you know, those massive evil capitalist institutions of greed – That reality must be very difficult to come to terms with.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          What absolute delusion.

          Ha, you mean that nine year project from circa 1999-2008 that is currently being wound down?

          The waste that NACT can’t actually find? They’re cutting anyway and making sure that the government doesn’t have enough money to do anything so that people become even more dependent upon them and their rich mates so that wages can be forced down.

          Why are their no jobs available? Because the delusional ponzi scheme known as banking and finance destroyed the economy by creating lots of money through debt that can’t be repaid.

          That reality must be very difficult to come to terms with.

          No, once I realised that capitalism is pure delusional ponzi scheme it was quite easy to come to terms with. BTW, ACC gets it’s money from the workers and “invests” it’s surplus, ie, it wasn’t having a financial crisis as claimed by NACT which proves that they lied.

          Also, can you make out the difference between
          1) “giving lots of our money” and
          2) “taking less of something that wasn’t yours in the first place”.

          Yes, I can detect delusional RWNJ thinking when I see it. Society is expensive and yet you think that it costs nothing rather than that you have to pay to keep it going.

          • jagilby 2.2.1.1.1

            Haha, Ponzi scheme. The word of the day on Sesame Street. We’ll be here all day on that.

            Well actually, they might not have mentioned this in all the books you selectively choose to read and tout as qualifications, but financial position is defined by the rules of accrual accounting – that means stating all of your current obligations. For ACC their current obligations include the future funds required to rehabilitate injuries etc that have already occurred (i.e. the “outstanding claims liability”).

            So come by me again with that “surplus” idea – presumably you’re talking about the $12.8b of investments they have against the $24.4b of outstanding claims liabilities?

            Read some more books, this time on financial statement analysis and then have a look at ACC’s last two annual reports and tell me what you think about their debt-equity ratio – You might have some questions about what it means when that number is in the negative. That’s not usually covered in the books. In short it means you’ve got a pretty big issue to contend with.

            Just wondering what your take is on my initial thoughts on privatisation though (you know the part of my initial post that you ignored) – Sale price recognising all future free cash flow streams (cause that IS how any going concern is valued – thus if you had a golden goose it would recognise that) and continued revenue and control. Seems pretty attractive to me.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.1

              As I said, it’s delusional.

              Sale price recognising all future free cash flow streams (cause that IS how any going concern is valued – thus if you had a golden goose it would recognise that) and continued revenue and control.

              If someone is willing to pay X amount for something then it must be worth more than that and so it’s worth keeping it. Ergo, no such thing as a sale price.

              In reality such things as Kiwibank and ACC are more valued by the services they provide to the community than by their cash flow. ACC worked fine before it was shifted into a pre-funded system. Kiwibank could be easily expanded to meet the needs of NZ by the simple expedient of the government investing in it with money printed directly for the purpose (any inflationary aspects of printing money can be offset by increasing taxes).

              • jagilby

                Haha. You’ve just stepped way out of your depth here. You have no idea how much pleasure I’m taking in retorting to this.

                M&A and Corporate valuations have been my bread and butter for the last 5 years. While you’re on here all day vomiting bile onto your keyboard, talking about the evil forces of imperialism and finding fun new ways of calling Key the anti-christ I’m doing this shit in the real world. So I find it hilarious when you talk about what happens “in reality”.

                You’ve completely missed the issue of fair value – i.e. “amount of money for which it is assumed an asset or liability could be exchanged in an arm’s length transaction between informed and willing parties”. Key points being “informed” and “willing” parties.

                Let me break down exactly how the Government would benefit from selling assets.

                In any transaction the vendor (i.e. the Government in this case) will forecast what it expects to achieve from the asset in question. The modelling period could be as far out as 50yrs and take into account expectations for strategic expansions, increases in operational efficiencies etc etc. From these forecasts a fair value is established that the vendor will likely add fat to. This is all kept confidential but establishes a lower bound that the vendor is “willing” to sell at – the vendor will only sell for a minimum value that it thinks it could realise with its resources. That is key.

                The bidders/purchasers then have the opportunity to open the books (conduct due diligence) and model their own forecasts. Now this is where the difference in what something is “worth” will start to play out. The purchaser may have different expansion plans or be able to achieve additional efficiency through synergies with their current business.

                Then the negotiations begin with the vendor not willing to sell for less than the value it could realise and the bidder not revealing the upper bound that it could achieve. If the bidders modelling does not result in a price that the vendor is willing to accept then the vendor doesn’t have to sell. The vendor (Government) would only sell above their modelled fair value but, importantly, would not have access to those synergies or be party to bidders confidential expansion plans so would not be able to realise the additional “worth” of the asset to the purchaser in any case.

                Ergo, the sale price benefits both parties.
                The vendor gets more from the sale price than value they could derive; and
                The purchaser get the asset for less than the value they could derive.

                In the event of a sale involving the Government, the Government has the advantage for 3 reasons:
                1) it can sell assets for at least what it derives as fair value and still tax benefits derived from synergies or different expansion plans that it would never have been able to achieve had it held the asset;
                2) it can regulate the purchaser if the purchasers objectives post-acquisition are not aligned with what the Government wishes to achieve; and
                3) As with any purchase the vendor has a more complete set of information on which to base its assessment of fair value.

                I’m not going to even get started on how bad an idea printing money would be let alone offsetting inflation by increasing taxes. I’ve wasted enough time without arguing against pure insanity.

                • KJT

                  It is a good idea to let the private financial gambling sector to go on printing money at will?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Key points being “informed” and “willing” parties.

                  The government selling off state assets didn’t have anything to do with informed or willing parties. Nearly everyone opposed it. Considering that they were sold off for less than what they were worth to the community also proves that the government wasn’t informed.

                  You’re arguing from the PoV of a neo-liberal and I’ve already answered that. In other words, you’re arguing from the PoV of the delusional.

                  • jagilby

                    It’s the PoV of a practitioner.
                    Your PoV is clearly blinded ideology – you can’t claim to actually understand the process at all.

                    “Willing” as in the Govt not acting under duress – I wasn’t meaning the electorate.
                    But you knew that, you had to blur it because you don’t have a leg to stand on.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ergo, the sale price benefits both parties.

                      Nice theory – it doesn’t work as reality has proven. Nearly everything that the neo-liberal theory says is wrong. Considering that it’s also based upon some assumptions that just don’t apply in reality it basically means that the entire theory is delusional.

                      “Willing” as in the Govt not acting under duress – I wasn’t meaning the electorate.

                      Do we live in a democracy or a dictatorship?

                      We are worse off after selling state assets. Obviously, we didn’t get any advantage from selling them. Why didn’t we if all due diligence was done as you say? The only answer is that not everything was taken into account when setting the sale price. And, again, if someone is willing to buy at that price it must mean that it’s worth more, ergo, selling it at that price is irrational.

                      One question I believe wasn’t asked when they sold off Telecom was How much will it cost to run two or more telecommunications networks? This is an important question because they were talking about competition and the only way you can get competition in telecommunications is to have two or more networks and paying for the extra networks would have to come out of the economy. That means that everything else that needed doing would have to be put on hold as more resources were diverted to telecommunications. Result – massive friggen waste. We don’t need two or more such networks – one’s fine.

                      The same applies to ISPs, phone and electricity suppliers. If you only have one network, because it’s the most efficient method, then having more than one ISP just creates unnecessary bureaucracy.

                • Rijab

                  “Haha. You’ve just stepped way out of your depth here. You have no idea how much pleasure I’m taking in retorting to this.”

                  … A dangerous thing to post on the internet; your arrogance mixed with lively ignorance must amuse many observers. If this is your “bread and butter”, then I strongly suggest you head back to University. But hey, I’m sure everything in ‘your’ life is running exactly to plan, everything seems so simple, so who needs to comprehend more than that right?!

                  Keep on keeping on.

        • millsy 2.2.1.2

          \”jagilby\”,

          How many hospitals did National close between 1990 and 1999?
          How many hospitals did Labour close between 1999 and 2008?

          Does it occur to you that this \”wasteful government spending\” you go on about was actually ensuring that people actually got a healthcare system, and not just a bunch of crumbling boarded up buildings?

          anti spam word: memorys

          • comedy 2.2.1.2.1

            Aren’t the more reasonable questions to ask

            1. How many hospital do we need ?
            2. What services should they provide ?
            3. Where should they be situated ?
            4. How much funding will they require ?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Great questions. National didn’t ask them either before closing a few dozen.

    • bbfloyd 2.3

      J… in an ideal world you might have a point….. unfortunately we have had such luminaries as bill birch and bill english driving these policies through. this is the first fatal flaw in any of these strategies. the second, of course is the fact that overseas interests have bought up these assets at ridiculously low prices and promptly started the bleeding process. for privatisation to work requires responsible owners running these assets in a fashion that actually grows the investment for the long term good of the companies AND the society that they are supposed to be serving… as you well know, that hasn’t happened.

      i would contend that playing relatively meaningless, and contradictory word games does no more than inflate your own sense of intellect rather than contribute useful information..

      • jagilby 2.3.1

        Well that’s correct and that’s the point I was trying to get at.

        Privatisation is not, in of itself, a bad thing as some people will have you believe.
        There has just been a history, as Jim Bolger also pointed out this week, of particularly bad and rushed execution in New Zealand (I’ll just ignore the snails pace that the electricity sector was/is privatised at).
        That goes for buying assets too – Jim, as chairman of KiwiRail, was too kind to admit to that.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1

          Privatisation is not, in of itself, a bad thing as some people will have you believe.

          Yes it is as it’s done solely for the benefit of the individual rather than the benefit of the community. As such the community always loses as has been conclusively proven by our experience ever since our governments started selling stuff. Telecom is the glaring example – if we’d kept it we’d already have FttH and the ultra fast broadband that comes with it. We certainly wouldn’t now be having to bribe further private organisations to put in place the infrastructure that we need.

          • jagilby 2.3.1.1.1

            Really? FTTH already?
            What basis do you place that on?
            Because so many state-owned incumbent Telcos have mature FTTH networks… oh wait.

            There are actually no countries with FTTH penetration above 30% – Japan has the highest at ~25%-26% at last check. South Korea has ~50% FTTB. And guess what – as far as I know all of the major FTTH rollouts have been done by private companies.

            For it to be all up and running we’d have to have started 5-10 years ago. You really think that the NZ Government, had they owned Telecom, would have forked out $5b-$7b for FTTH (because that is what the final cost to lay fibre nationwide will be)? Before anywhere else. Wow… talk about going out on a limb with big calls.

            And you call me deluded.
            Just keep playing at The Standard all day and further removing yourself from reality.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.1.1

              You either forget, or just didn’t know, that Telecom was making a profit in the 1980s and it was that profit that profit that put in all those nice digital exchanges, the really big cables so that everyone could have a phone as well as started the original fibre network.

              1985 – $272m
              1987 – $300m
              1988 – $310m

              those figures are not adjusted for inflation but are the reported amounts.

              Telecom started rolling out FttC in the late 1980s. Telecom, in the late 1990s and early 2000s were taking it out and replacing it with copper so that they could get ADSL out. The better option, but more expensive, would have been to start the ADSL cabinetisation process then (late 1990s, probably best in early 2000s). The chances are, this is what would have happened if Telecom had still been state-owned and the profit, instead of going overseas, was still being put into the network as it was in the 1980s. Basically, what we’re talking about here is about another $10b to $20b, in today’s dollars, being fed into the network over the last 20 years. FttH? Not a problem and it wouldn’t have been the government funding it.

              Telecom went the cheap way that allowed them to maximise profit rather than the best way that would have maximised benefit to the community.

              South Korea has ~50% FTTB. And guess what – as far as I know all of the major FTTH rollouts have been done by private companies.

              http://www.itif.org/files/2008BBAppendixF.pdf

              Through these programs, South Korea not only invested a substantial amount of money from the government budget, enacted promotional regulations, and provided incentives to private companies to build networks, it also enacted a number of successful efforts to spur broadband demand and digital literacy.

              Private companies – with government funding.

        • KJT 2.3.1.2

          Privatisation of natural monopolies especially those involved with vital infrastructure have proved to be a bad idea anywhere they have been tried.

          That is from another practitioner.

          Accrual accounting is designed for no other purpose than deciding on tax to pay. A gerrymander for accountants in and out of parliament.
          Any relationship to company values/profit is entirely coincidental..

          The value of ACC to the economy is in the savings we make from not having the dysfunctional legal and medical answer to industrial accidents that they have in the USA.

        • Vicky32 2.3.1.3

          “Privatisation is not, in of itself, a bad thing as some people will have you believe.”
          Er, of course it is.. and I am not going to argue economics, I know from nothing about it, but I do know that Thatcher was totally wrong when she said there was no such thing as society..
          Deb

  3. Treetop 3

    Quite frankly it is a no win for anyone, history will repeat itself to those who do not learn from it:
    The Muldoon government of 1975 destroyed compulsory superannuation.
    ACC is working and far better than anticipated.
    Kiwibank is growing.
    NZrail will now pick up due to two mayors having vision for it.
    EQC has resources for its intended purpose.

    I have come to the conclusion that Key’s style is a moving money around. The NZ economy cannot be run like a stock exchange.

    • millsy 3.1

      “The Muldoon government of 1975 destroyed compulsory superannuation.”

      Even if the New Zealand Superannuation Corporation, and the scheme that it had administered survived, I still belive that someone would have ended up flogging it off or breaking it up down the track.

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        Just look at the fragile super fund we have now and how sucked dry it is. I agree with you that the temptation would have been too great with the 1975 super fund.

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          First it would have been sucked dry by fees to financial service providers, as most super schemes were in the seventies, then the 1984 Labour Government would have sold the remnants to their mates for half price.
          Followed by a knighthood for the buyer.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        M .. even for an assumption, that is teetering on the edge of the cliff… how do you think people would have reacted if the muldoon government hadn’t dismembered the scheme, and it had been allowed to develop without interference?….. i would contend that a safer assumption would be that it would have become polically difficult to do as you assume.

        if you doubt this, then it would be instructive to ask students of political histories how the fear of electoral backlash have tended to dominate decision making.

        • millsy 3.1.2.1

          The Fourth labour government didnt really appear to be worried about political backlashes.

          Nor did the Fourth National.

  4. millsy 4

    The goverment needs to start buying things back, not selling them.

    A good start would be Telecom, and possibly the forests that we flogged off in the 1990′s though with the Kaiangaroa forest, some sort of joint ownership arrangement with the new iwi owners may have to be thrashed out.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    In short, why are the Nats determined to kill the golden geese?

    They don’t want to kill them, they just ownership of them so that they and their rich mates gets the massive benefits rather than the people (us) that they were set up to help. It’s juts another round of privatising the gains and socialising the losses.

  6. Rharn 6

    In recent years the National Party has never acted in the National interest. They are ideological driven because those that sit ‘behind’ the National Party i.e Buisness Round Table and the right wing think tanks, control the policy of the National Party by way of party funding.

    • clandestino 6.1

      I wouldn’t fret too much, the prevailing macroeconomic edifice is set to crumble before our very eyes when protectionism v.2 with a mercantilist twist kicks in.

  7. jagilby 7

    I actually thought, after reading the title, that this post was going to be about the NZ film industry.

    I guess that might have read “killed” rather than “killing”.

    • millsy 7.1

      So you are against film industry workers getting decent wages and conditions then?

      Given that the set designers in the LOTR series did an excellent job, it would be a bit saddening to learn that they earn less than minimum wage…

  8. Maggie 8

    The normal process of privatisation:

    1. Government sells asset to Rich Cat Capitalists
    2. RCCs hike the price of services to public in order to maximise profits to shareholders
    3. RCCs ignore any need for investment in, or maintenance of, infrastructure
    4. Asset falls into disrepair and service becomes nonexistent
    5. Asset faces bankruptcy as customers boycott it because service is too expensive and unreliable
    6. Government steps in to buy asset back in order to rescue it
    7. Government faced with huge bill to rebuild neglected infrastructure

    Examples: Air New Zealand, Kiwirail

  9. Brokenback 9

    I have a simple response to the much promoted sale of ACC ?

    Why is it necessary /adventageous ? because it is a planned outcome of the NACT govt.
    The private model swings on “outcomes” .

    Why this particular outcome?
    Because the transantional Insurance Companies, regional offices Australia, who gave willingly to Nact campaign chest want their reward .

    Compulsory Universal Insurance in a fascist society , without the legal right to sue for Punitive Damages , is a license to print money— even if it is the artificially propped South Sea peso.

    The campaign against the sale.

    NO SUE , NO SALE.
    Should get a few pesos out the back door of the Law Society for leaflets.

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    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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