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Kiwirail making big profits

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, May 24th, 2010 - 82 comments
Categories: assets, Economy - Tags: ,

We don’t expect the state highway network to turn a profit but we know it contributes enormous value to our economy. Similarly, we know that our airports, seaports, and telecommunications network add more to the economy than just the profits of the companies.

The same goes for rail. But the funny thing, considering the Right’s bitter attacks on Kiwirail, is that it is actually turning large profits and will continue to do so. In fact, by 2020, Kiwirail will have made over $4 billion of profits under public ownership.

Last year, the operating profit was $246 million in the last financial year and $125 million in the first half of this year.

In the next decade, it will make nearly $4 billion more. The ‘turnaround plan‘ of capital investment in Kiwirail will be worth $4.6 billion. $750 million of that will be new Crown investment (about 7% of what will go into state highways over the same period). The remainder will be reinvestment of profits.

Wow. We invest $690 million in a vital piece of national transport infrastructure and, on top of all the value it gives to the economy as a network, it is set to make 6 times its purchase price by 2020 all of which will go into improving the network.

Pretty sweet.

82 comments on “Kiwirail making big profits”

  1. I don’t think anyone would argue that KiwiRail should seek to pay its way as much as possible, but there are multiple problems with seeking to rapidly turn KiwiRail into a profitable concern.

    1. There was significant underinvestment in Rail from the late 1980s until KiwiRail Holdings was established in 2008; in infrastructure, rolling stock, and carriage. In fact, during the private era it was asset stripped.

    2. Rail, as a transportation system, offers huge potential, and seeking to run the entire network as a profitable system in such a time-frame would be an unfair comparison to roading. Unlike roading, I believe in fact that rail can/will be profitable in the long term, but this will take a long time to build up.

    3. It seems that one of the Government’s plans to “rebuild” KiwiRail is oxymoronic in the extreme – mothballing tracks. It needs to repair the tracks, add to the electrification, and make higher speeds possible to better compete with roadfreight.

    4. Instantly demanding a profit from those who have been the most loyal, would surely turn away even the most loyal customers. They need to build up freight tonnage/passenger capacity with low prices that can attractively compete with road/air etc. so that eventually prices can be raised.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Well said Policy! Great summary.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      And road freight needs to be properly taxed so that it’s not subsidised by all the other road users and taxpayers. They should pay their own way same as trains pay their own way.

  2. big bruv 2

    Where is the ‘satire’ tag Eddie?

  3. frustrated 3

    The EBITDA in half year to Dec 2009 is only 16 million and excludes capital and operating support grants – that’s hardly flash.

    The real figure you should be quoting is a 136 million dollar loss- which is bailed out by Crown/Regional Council funding.

    • StephenR 3.1

      I had the feeling something like this was the case, without knowing what the hell an EBITDA was!

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        The Regional/metro Rail is run at a loss, that is why there is payments from the Councils.
        All ways has been the case, name one metro rail system in the world that runs at a profit with out fare support.

      • Alwyn 3.1.2

        Don’t worry Stephen. Neither does Eddie.
        By his reasoning we should just raise their subsidy to a billion dollars a year.
        Then he could say they were making even larger profits.
        By the reasoning(?) in this post we can argue that the welfare budget is showing a profit.
        We just ignore all the taxpayers money going in.
        I am inclined to agree with BB. Where was the satire tag.
        Can we please have some accounting or economic knowledge going into these posts.
        I would like to see the left getting back into the debate, but with the ridiculous posts like this being proposed I despair for our side of the political spectrum.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      EBITDA

      The Conclusion
      EBITDA doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The measure’s bad reputation is more a result of overexposure and improper use than anything else. Just as a shovel is effective for digging holes, but wouldn’t be the best tool for tightening screws or inflating tires, so EBITDA shouldn’t be used as a one-size-fits-all, stand-alone tool for evaluating corporate profitability. This is a particularly valid point when one considers that EBITDA calculations do not conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAPs).

      • frustrated 3.2.1

        Yes agreed …….. which is why I also quoted the losses before Crown/Regional Council funding as well as EBITDA.

  4. Bored 4

    So thats why the government want to sell it off to their cronies. It would be a story of multiple heists at the expense of you and me…first up “I’ve been thinking Prebbo aka mad Dog” hocks it off to those two great paragons of virtuous Kiwi enterprise, Fay and Richwhite for a derisory sum…..they then in turn hock it off in turn for a fat profit. Many share transactions later, near bankruptcy the government buys it back (another robbery, the reciever would have given it to them given time). In between times many minor heists of assett looting take place via the accountants books etc leaving the big dent in infrastructure which we are now financing our way out of.

    Whilst all these robberies are being committed some equally virtuous “transport” felons are ripping the shit out of the roads and sending the majority of the cost of road maintenance back to (you guessed it), you and I. Then there are the tax subsidies via depreciation etc, we again get the bill.

    Now we come to the next opportunity for trough feeding….lets say the price of fuel rockets up as peak oil grips the world supplies of fuel. Trucking becomes rapidly uncompetitve compared to rail. The $4 billion might just be the tip of the iceberg, its beginning to look like a very attractive target for foreward thinking corporate larcenists.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      You mean what basically happened to all the privatisation last time and what NACT are promising to do again.

      NACT: Voted in for promising to steal from you.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.2

      Well said, Bored. The right (Prebble, then National) were idiots (albeit cunning, greedy idiots) for selling it, and Labour were even bigger idiots (given that cunning and greed played no part in their decision) for buying it back because, as you point out, they’d have picked it up for nothing eventually.

      Just gives you a warm feeling all over, doesn’t it, to know our fate as a nation is in such intelligent hands. But hey, we get to choose between greed and stupidity every three years, so everything’s fine.

      • Bored 4.2.1

        Yes Rex, spot on, quite funny really. As Forrests ma done said “stupid is as stupid does” and we all vote.

      • Luxated 4.2.2

        …Labour were even bigger idiots (given that cunning and greed played no part in their decision) for buying it back because, as you point out, they’d have picked it up for nothing eventually.

        Rex, while it is true that the way Toll were running it would have devalued rail over time, there would have also substantial costs involved in renovating the network to even the standard it is now (fairly poor) this could have easily outweighed the savings on the purchase price. Added to this is the cost to the economy of having an under-performing substandard rail network. While I’m not saying that Labour necessarily bought it at the perfect time, waiting may not have saved any money in the long run at all.

  5. StephenR 5

    We don’t expect the state highway network to turn a profit but we know it contributes enormous value to our economy.

    We do expect users to pay pretty close to the full price for it though…

    • Doug 5.1

      But they don’t pay the full price. Ask the Ministry of Transport there have done a number of studies to determine the full cost. For one thing there is no requirement for return on the value of the road asset. We expect a return on other national and local government assets why not roads?

    • Bright Red 5.2

      every year roading gets hundreds of millions of dollars on top of the money raised from petrol excise and road user charges. And that’ justified because it has a wider benefit than just to road users. Same goes for rail

      • StephenR 5.2.1

        Thanks Bright Red. Without wanting to be one of those commenters who always demands more and more effort and research from others, any idea what proportion isn’t from fuel tax? Hence my ‘pretty close to full price’ comment.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      IIRC, road freight pays about 1/3 to 1/2 of the damage it does to the roads so, not close to full price.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Actually the roading is fully paid by users , the difference is the trucks offload their costs to the private motorists who are asier to fleec

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Eg The roading fund pays the police for about $200 mill per year for traffic policing- and the results are measured from the police ie so many hours etc

      • George.com 6.1.1

        Local councils pay a significant amount for roading maintenance & constuction. This is not from road user charges, this is from rates.

  7. Irascible 7

    Wait till Key & NACT rediscover the accounting cons used by Greece and start mortgaging the roading system to PPPs who then toll the piece of road they’ve acquired for 35 years or so in return for a promise to maintain it on behalf of the government (taxpayer). It’s a great way to hide state debt and make the books look good until the hard questions begin to be asked by outside agencies.

    Ooops Hide already has that in mind as the rape of Auckland hurries towards its NACT conclusion.

  8. Hamish 8

    How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?

    You do know that KiwiRail is required to class any grant (such as the 500mil for Auckland’s new rolling stock) as income, huh ?

    • Bright Red 8.1

      How much profit does NZTA make once all the crown funding is removed?

      • Doug 8.1.1

        BR technically the Crown does not fund the National Road Fund (or whatever they are calling it now). Funding comes from the petrol levy and RUC, which does not go into the Crown account.

        However, since the Government imposes these levies on road users you’re not wrong in practice. To answer your question the NZTA makes no profit on the multi-billion assets that is the state highway system. The largest single capital asset in New Zealand.

        • Bright Red 8.1.1.1

          the money does go to the consolidated fund, and is then sent to NZTA, and NZTA gets more money than is raised by petrol excise and road user charges.

          but we don’t expect roads to operate at a profit. we get far more value out of them by not limiting demand by price.

    • lprent 8.2

      I’d put the question another way.

      The trucking industry currently doesn’t pay more than a small fraction of their maintenance impact on the roads. They are subsidised by car and bus users. When we remove their subsidies – how much will the industry have in profits? Can the trucking industry move freight economically without having their current special hidden subsidy?

      Perhaps you’d like to answer that one. I’ll give you a hint – the subsidies for truckers are at least an order of magnitude greater than those for rail.

      • Armchair Critic 8.2.1

        I would ask the question this way – how much profit would New Zealand businesses make without efficient transportation systems? Yep, without efficient transport systems our society would, at best, look quite different.
        So shouldn’t we treat transport systems fairly and equally and not subsidise one mode more than any other? What was the old slogan – level playing field, or something like that? Not that we have one of those for transport, at present.

        • burt 8.2.1.1

          You are asking socialists if they think it is wrong to pick winners and losers… How can a guaranteed to fail ideology of redistribution ever get a chance at being elected if it can’t pretend that it is right via stealing from the losers (people who don’t vote for a doomed to fail ideology) to prop up the winers (dim-bulbs who failed to notice socialism always ends in recession) so they vote for it?

          Rember the days when it was illegal for trucks & busses to travel from A to B faster than the train to protect the rail business. They were the days eh, playing field tilted in the interest of the state so the state could pour massive amounts of tax payers money into making a monopoly look efficient by restricting competition.

          • Armchair Critic 8.2.1.1.1

            You are asking socialists if they think it is wrong to pick winners and losers
            I’m kind of over the whole left vs.right thing at present.
            The irony of a group of people advocating for a level playing field and then vehemently opposing the same level playing field for transport strikes me every time a politician does something rail-related.
            I don’t mind my taxes being used to subsidise transport, my objection is to the difference in the rate of subsidy between various transport modes. With the history behind transport and transport funding in NZ and all the vested interests there is little hope of the situation being properly addressed in my lifetime.
            And I don’t remember the days when rail was protected from roading competition, but I am aware it happened.

  9. Hamish 9

    So you can’t answer the question, I take it ?

    I can’t really be stuffed explaining people who think that grant is somehow a profit. What a wonderland you must live in.

    A turkey took the original post to TradeMe, he did not get far: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=300044

    [ I generally don't like cross-posting but can't be stuffed explaining the obvious ]

  10. Hamish 10

    Without changing the subject, is ANYONE capable of answering the question:

    How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?

    [Okay, I'll answer it: It makes no profit. But a loss of $136million. Good thing the original post left that out, otherwise it could have been mistake for something truthful!]

    • Anita 10.1

      Out of interest, how’re you quantifying the subsidies? A friend tied herself in knots trying to do it by attempting accounting magic with the equity injections.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Would they be running the suburban train services at all if they werent given subsidies. The regional councils set the service levels etc. eg Auckland had no trains after 6:30 Pm and none at all on Sundays until the region stumped up the cash. The same goes for the rolling stock, unless the customer wants to pay for the upgrade to electric for Auckland, they aint getting it.
      How many times do you think trying the Goebbels approach, just repeating the nonsense you are spouting, will make it true

      Look at Telecom they receive subsidies, dont see you docking the $70 mill from their annual profit

    • Fisiani 10.3

      Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters. You have to apply the Keith Locke test. If either the Standard or Keith says it is bad then common sense means it is good and vice versa

      • Galeandra 10.3.1

        Hello Fisiani & Hamish, black suited and bicycled. Are you here to educate us or to convert us?
        ‘Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters.’ Can’t stay away, eh? Love your good manners and your blind faith. Do you always wear pinstripe when you ‘re delivering tracts?

  11. RobertM 11

    Operating profits for freight do not actually give the real picture. Despite the comments on my literacy, sobrierty on the Guyon -English blog I am actually the gentleman who did most of the paid media commentary in NBR, Press and occasionally the Southland Times, NZ Herald and Australian on the issue of rail privatisation in l993. At the time the media and most of the population clearly wanted the railways privatised, comment that was pro or neutral was publishable what was critical and raised questions was filed. The Treasury’s motivation was pretty much to get rail off the books and let it be run down quietly over 20 years. Heeln clark called a stop to the process. I have always been primarily interested in rail passenger services because I see modern railways as primarily passenger carriers and only really suited to specialised freight business such as coal, logs and dairy. In NZ I do not see rail freight as viable. The South Island system isnt economic. The possibility of a strong national rail system and a mining economy when constructio worked stopped on the Nelson Wesport line in l931 because the Murchison and Napier earthquakes had revealed the route was too geologically unstable. It was therefore decided to complete the picton christchurch railway, but that line remains a fragile third world link very steeply graded and uneconomical. Building Clifford Bay to eliminate some of the 1/33 grades and two new rail ferries will cost $1.4 billion within ten years. The line Rolleston is not really heavily trafficed enough to justify it as an alternative to good roads and the last years of the Southerner with numerous bad train road crashes at level crossings revealed any development of fast passenger services would need massive work to seal of the track. The cost of operating the trans alpine line and the steep grades and dangerous tunnel operation makes the value of the coal trade margineal. About 4 million tons of coal goes over the line but the Queensland narrow gauge coal lines are electrified and carry $120 milllion tons. They are being privatised and so should the alpine and northland lines.
    The possibility of a national rail passenger system was massively put back with the decision not to electrify in the mid l950s and the cancellation of the second batch of the Fiat railcars and the refusal of Budd to deliever narrow gauge cars in l957 that were planned to provide fast.frequent railcar services Auckland-Hamilton, Wellington -Palmeston North, Auckland- Wellington, Dunedin Invercargill and Christchurch. In l974 Labour did plan $22 million worth of new stainless steel trains on provincial routes but the Railways and Treasury were largely opposed because it would have used up too much freight and skilled staff resource and run at an enormous loss. The proposals had no hope of approval with Roger Douglas starting to dominate transport policymaking. My l981-82 Canterbury MA thesis argued that railcars would have been far more economical and faster than trains and 20 modern fiat railcars could have been ordered in l975 for $5 million. The report into rail passenger that Muldoon called from Booz Allen of Boston, USA in l983 confirmed my line that railcars and multiple units were far economically superior to the small train option labour argued for, but Prebble sat on the report and rails losses under him reached $332 million a year. That is why Richardson brought in Fay Richwhite to run the rail under her supervison in l991 and clean out the deadwood

    [lprent: I'd suggest using paragraphs with lines between them. It'd make your comments a lot more readable. ]

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Sighs…for all your familiarity with railways you keep missing the obvious.

      No sane person expects the rail system to be ‘economical’. Few rail systems anywhere in the world make an an operational profit, anymore than a trucking company would if it had to build and maintain it’s own roads.

      We don’t expect hospitals, schools, police, roads, pensioners, the armed service and the like to make a ‘profit’ …even though as a society we spend a great deal of public money on them. We do these things because we recognise they return a wider, over-arching benefit to all of our society, not because we expect a profit in the narrow and limited sense you have in mind.

      All other developed and civilised nations are currently investing heavily in new rail systems, while the head-up-ass right wing in this feeble little backwater are still justifying their ideological fixation with crippling the potential of NZ’s rail.

      • Nick C 11.1.1

        Redlogix you could make that argument for anything. The government could form a giant human chain passing boxes of freight from Wellington to Auckland. You could jump up and say; ‘Sure, it will cost billions, but it doesnt have to be economic, cos its a public service’

        The reality is that there does need to be some sort of degree of economisation- otherwise you justify any absurdly expensive public services. In this case Rail needs to be economic relative to other transport options (i.e. thats which we dont form the giant human chain, because it isnt economic relative to other options). I think you will find that the majority of people with anything more than armchair expertise on the subject will say that Rail isnt economic in NZ.

        • Galeandra 11.1.1.1

          A pathetic case of reductio ad absurdem. You give elephants a bad name. Leave the room.

  12. Hamish 12

    >>>Hamish. This is The Standard. No one takes it seriously. You surely don’t expect truth from the posters.

    heh heh.

    >>>You have to apply the Keith Locke test. If either the Standard or Keith says it is bad then common sense means it is good and vice versa

    I think most of us do already use that test when you see Comrade Keith on the news…

    >>>Would they be running the suburban train services at all if they werent given subsidies

    We know that the suburban trains require subsidies to work. So do suburban buses etc. However, what should not require that is the freight side of KiwiRail.

    The original post by ‘EDDIE’ is a total load of BS. Sure, it may fool your average pre-school child, but anyone that has half a brain cell can work out if KiwiRail (freight) is receiving subsidies, then it is NOT making profit!! Problem is, KiwiRail classes grants etc as income, thus how the fruit loops have come up with that “Kiwirail making big profits”.

    Even our stupid news media would not fool for this kind of logic…

    • RedLogix 12.1

      but anyone that has half a brain cell can work out if KiwiRail (freight) is receiving subsidies, then it is NOT making profit!!

      And by this criteria there are no trucking companies make a profit either, because they are all using taxpayer subsidised roads. But because they can privatise their gains on their books for personal benefit, and socialise their costs off their books to the cost of the rest of us…they’re in your ideological blind spot.

      • StephenR 12.1.1

        But because they can privatise their gains on their books for personal benefit, and socialise their costs off their books to the cost of the rest of us they’re in your ideological blind spot.

        Eh? Is the trucking companies ‘paying their costs’ a left/right issue somehow? How are these subsidies justified or why were they enacted in the first place?

    • lprent 12.2

      Hamish: obviously you have very few brain cells. The tracks are the part of Kiwirail receiving subsidies – not the freight operation. The reason why they have to receive subsidies is because Toll never put the required work or money into them to maintain them. The idiots who sold the rail (Prebble from memory) said that wouldn’t happen. It did.

      Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

  13. Frank Macskasy 13

    Funny thing…

    When NZ Rail was in private ownership, the following occurred;

    * Taxpayers and ratepayers still paid subsidies to the private owners. Now why was that? I thought private ownership was more efficient?

    * The railway stations were badly run down; signage missing; and stinking of urine. So much for private owners maximising the value of their assets.

    * Except for the Kaitaki, not one new piece of new rolling stock was purchased by the private owners. What they DID do, however, was to asset strip the company. Faye & Richwhite sold all the spare parts to the Hungarian units as scrap metal. Result? When a Unit broke down – there were no spare parts!!

    * The private owners couldn’t make a profit, and kept bleating about the State “subsidising” the roads; unfair advantage; yada yada yada. Oh puh-lease. Since when the the State owe these corporates a living? They sound like farmers in the USA, holding their hands out for more and more subsidies…

    I think I got more sick of the whinging from the private owners, than when it was in State ownership…

  14. Hamish 14

    >>>The tracks are the part of Kiwirail receiving subsidies not the freight operation

    True. Which is turn is subsidizing the freight side on loss making lines.

    >>>The reason why they have to receive subsidies is because Toll never put the required work or money into them to maintain them.

    Toll never owned the tracks. It take’s less than 30 seconds to find that out.

    >>>The idiots who sold the rail (Prebble from memory) said that wouldn’t happen. It did.

    Has it ever entered your mind that our rail network is simply to large in size? Suggest your look up treasury papers on the matter…

    >>>Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

    Why is it, when I question the original post’s lack of truth, that you throw this question up? Is it an automatic response to being caught-out, perhaps ?

    >>>Taxpayers and ratepayers still paid subsidies to the private owners. Now why was that? I thought private ownership was more efficient?

    Because under private ownership (like we still have now) there were loss making lines. They require either of two things to happen: 1) Shut the line down or 2) Get a handout to keep the line open. It’s good to see now, rather than National keep on handing KiwiRail money to keep these loss making lines open, they will close them. Should have happened years ago.

    >>>The railway stations were badly run down; signage missing; and stinking of urine. So much for private owners maximising the value of their assets.

    Nothing to do with Tranz Rail or Toll. The stations are now owned privately. Go and bitch to their respective owners about the condition.

    >>>Except for the Kaitaki, not one new piece of new rolling stock was purchased by the private owners.

    Sort of. They brought a bunch of diesel locomotives, as well as about 90 (I think) British Rail Mark 2 cars.

    • lprent 14.1

      Toll never owned the tracks. It take’s less than 30 seconds to find that out.

      Yes, and Toll basically didn’t pay the usage charges that they were required to that were meant to maintain the track. It’d take slightly more than 30 seconds to look that up. Instead they preferred to pay dividends to shareholders. That was the reason that KiwiRail was brought back – it will take you minutes to find that out as well.

      > Now about these freight trucks with their subsidized roads? But I guess you were too moronic to understand that discussion either.

      Why is it, when I question the original post’s lack of truth,

      Because that is the nub of the question. Like Toll, the truckies are not paying their full proportion of the maintenance cost of the roads. Presumably because the government considers the roads to be a social/economic cost that bring greater benefits to the economy as a whole and are willing to tax consumers to maintain the transport network.

      Exactly the same criteria about economic good should be applied to rail track for the same reasons. However you seem to want to use different criteria for the same type of economic operation. You appear to prefer heading towards a predefined conclusion rather than have a debate about freight transport.

      It does make you look like a fatuous fool.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.2

      Bought a bunch of diesel locos??
      They didnt buy a thing. the last locos bought were a bunch of second hand QR machines in 1995 , which were withdrawn in 2005.
      Toll bought into Tranz Rail in 2003. ( probably sold the old QR machines in Australia to make a quick profit)
      n 1998 Tranz Rail began to export locomotives to Tasmania for use on TasRail, then part-owned by Tranz Rail. In total, 12 DQ were exported, along with three unrebuilt QR class. – Wikipedia
      Kiwi Rail has an order for 20 chinese locos

  15. Adrian 15

    I drove from Wgtn to Ak last week with my teenagers and while talking about doing the same trip many times around 30- 40 years ago, it occured to me that the road surface was seriously inferior to those days. There are repairs and patches every few hundred metres, it is bumpy and rough and even recent resealing is breaking up making the whole experience tiring and trying, but the worst aspect is the coarse chip seal that even in a modern car produces an incredibly fatigueing “road roar”, the quietness and calmness when you get on the hotmix of the motorway after Huntly is dramatic. How much does this contribute to the fatigue and sleepiness that is the biggest cause of road fatalities. I’m convinced that the use of the cheap coarse chip , which breaks up a lot sooner than the best options, is because those responsible for maintenance are trying to stretch the budget further due to the huge amount of damage inflicted by heavy transport. The other cost not included in HT’s mix is that apparently about 26% of road deaths and accidents involve trucks, factor that in as another subsidy transferred to health and policing and HT is bloody expensive.

    • insider 15.1

      I drive half of it a couple of times a year and the road is way better than in the 70s. No more Caravan Corner on the Mangaweka switchback, no Vinegar Hill track, Taihape to Waiouru is far better than five years ago.

      Way wrong on accident rates. Trucks have a low rate based on kms travelled. Yep high fatalities but that is directly related to size. Injuries are on average similar to percentage of kms travelled http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/Documents/Trucks_2009.pdf

      spam word – holidays :-)

      • Adrian 15.1.1

        I said ‘road surface’ and the accident rates come from stats of about 2 years ago, confirmed by Gary Clift ( i’m pretty sure ) road policing chief of Canterbury in reply to questions about ‘ boy racers ” from memory deaths involved ( not nessecarily caused by ) HT 26.2%, ‘Boy racers” 2.4%.

  16. RobertM 16

    My reply to Red Logix is that at a certain point the balance sheet means something. Rail to Gisborne in 2010 which hauls less than the Roxburgh branch or Waimea Plains Branch in 1968 is hardly rational at all. Many of my Professors argued sea was the better freight option in NZ and that could certainly be argued in terms of future export of Gisborne logs. In terms of the viability of a National NZ wide rail passenger service with general container wagon traffic it is the economics of the Wellington-Christchurch link that is at the core of the issue and the economics.
    Many experts would argue modern Wellington-Lyttelton freight shipping roll on -roll off would be far more economical and sensible than new rail ferries and attempting to maintain and upgrade the Chrisitchurch-picton rail link. Without the 1200km rail freight journey between Auckland and Christchurch the economics of general freight within the North Island alone is less than marginal.
    The current debate essentially started in the l970s with the Treasury judging NZ Rail unneccessary and unviable and the Railways stuck in l930s national development thinking of a protected mass haul freight service and passenger services only for commutters and isolated areas.
    During the kirk-Rowling Government debate over the future of rail and passenger services was already being dealt with essentially by committees focusing on the future of Christchurch-Wellington rail links in part due to issues of Union steamships Rangatira and the extortion of the shipping unionists and seamen. Already by l974 Roger Douglas was starting to dominating transport and labour cabinet debate and conflict with his dynamic views and model essentaily stalemated any progress but also exposed the weakness of government and railways proposals which had not no economic merit and were based on social, labour and short term logistics considerations.
    Labours current enthusiasm for railways is something of a new development as the cabinet members in the Nash, Kirk, Rowling and Clark governments did not entertain great enthusiasm for rail development and rail and rail passenger has always been a bit of an orphan for the left in this nation because like Herbert Morrison in London they thought it better that the worker got a car for his wife and children and trains were really for the stockbrokers to ride in and play with.

    • insider 16.1

      Strait Shipping pulled its Wellington Lyttelton service a couple of months ago….

    • felix 16.2

      My reply to Red Logix is that …

      If you want Red Logix to know you’re replying to him, all you have to do is hit the “reply” button under his comment. Confusing, I know.

  17. Hamish 17

    >>>Yes, and Toll basically didn’t pay the usage charges that they were required to that were meant to maintain the track. It’d take slightly more than 30 seconds to look that up. Instead they preferred to pay dividends to shareholders. That was the reason that KiwiRail was brought back it will take you minutes to find that out as well.

    Toll could not come to an agreement with ONTRACK regarding the amount of track access charges they were to pay. Both sides were probably at fault; apparently Labour appointed some real winners to run ONTRACK, no surprises there.

    >>>They didn’t buy a thing. the last locos bought were a bunch of second hand QR machines in 1995 , which were withdrawn in 2005.

    Ohh my god! You’ve outdone yourself! Have a look at which year the DQ (QR in Aussie) class were purchased. [Hint: It was after the sale of New Zealand Rail Limited]. Tranz Rail were the ones that purchased the DQ’s! You have the fact’s from Wiki right in front of you and you still are unable to work it out!! Priceless!

    And of course Tranz Rail were the ones that purchased the 90 odd (?) British Rail Mark 2 passenger cars. They form a massive fleet of passenger cars in Auckland today.

    Now, put your blinkers back on…..

    • lprent 17.1

      I noticed that you ignored the question of rather excessive road freight subsidies yet again. It is clear that it is pretty pointless debating with you.

      You sound like a spinster for the Road Transport lobby…

      Personally I think that road charges per tonne of axle should at least quadruple over the next decade. Then they’ll be starting to get back in line with the subsidies for rail track.

    • Armchair Critic 17.2

      Simple question for you Hamish – why should taxpayers subsidise roading more than any other mode of transport?

  18. Hamish 18

    >>>I noticed that you ignored the question of rather excessive road freight subsidies yet again. It is clear that it is pretty pointless debating with you.

    Yes, I did ignore it. We are talking about rail, not roading. Seams to me that when I ask something about rail, you come back with some ramble regarding roading, ignoring the original question, like you are trying to turn the topic another way, perhaps…

    >>>Simple question for you Hamish why should taxpayers subsidise roading more than any other mode of transport?

    Which method of transport do people use more [directly] ? Road or Rail ?

    >>>Because they use roading more than any other form of transport ?

    I’d tend to agree with that, but in saying that I’m not basing my opinion on any stats…

    • felix 18.1

      “Yes, I did ignore it. We are talking about rail, not roading.”

      No, we’re talking about transport subsidies, both road and rail. Read the post.

      Also, can you try a couple of things, just for me? One is the reply button. The other is quotation marks.

      Both of these would help greatly with reading your comments in context (if that’s what you want).

      • Hamish 18.1.1

        The original post claimed KiwiRail made a profit. I suggested that this is because it receive some subsidies, without which it would make a 130million loss, then I get the typical “what about the trucks?” line thrown at me. Because people are unable to grasp the way KiwiRail classes grants as income, they resort to the trucking line…

        And yes, I used the reply button, I hope that saves you a couple of brain cells while reading….

        • Anita 18.1.1.1

          Hamish,

          You might need to explain this to me slowly; some balance sheet math makes me squint, and once I might have to factor in the PFA my head starts hurting.

          The govt gives money to a SOE for the purchase of assets, the assets go onto the balance sheet, the SOE is now worth more. Therefore the money looks like income because it increases the value of the SOE. Is that the situation?

          If it is, I see why it’s problematic to treat the increase in capital value as “profit”, but I also can’t see how else it should be accounted for, there is no offsetting debt so the net position is better. How should it be treated?

          • Hamish 18.1.1.1.1

            Okay: KiwiRail has been given 500mil for Auckland’s new electric train’s. This is to be used to purchase them. However, for whatever reason, KiwiRail class this as income, which in turn can be classed as a profit.

            Do you think you can see why this may be a problem ?

            • Anita 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Um… I said that I could see the situation I outlined as problematic. I explained how I think it is accounted for, and said I could see the problem but no way around it. I asked you whether my description of the situation was correct. I asked you how you thought it should be treated.

              You restarted your original description, without any additional detail, you didn’t answer either of my questions (whether my guess at how the accounting situation occurred is correct, and how you thought it should be handled).

              I am starting to think that

              * you don’t actually know or understand the detail,
              * you don’t understand accounting enough to address the actual situation,
              * you can’t come up with any way that it should be accounted for, and
              * that you’re simply parroting something you heard somewhere else without thinking about it or understanding it.

              Wanna try again?

            • lprent 18.1.1.1.1.2

              You mean the trains that Auckland transport planners have been trying to get for almost 70 years? The trains we’ve been paying taxes for? Along with the double tracking that would make them work.

              That is a large part of why Kiwirail was purchased by the government – so Auckland could finally get a transport system that works. To make a commuter system that works here requires commuter trains. We certainly don’t need more buses.

              The commuter train system is a social/economic service – not a freaking business. You seem to have the things screwed up in your head between freight and commuter services. The government is providing the money to start a service (at last).

              Of course we also do the same for the buses here. They are heavily subsidized by both local and central government. Without them, most industries would fall over because a high and rapidly increasing proportion of the workforce (including me) use them to get to and from work. Each person that uses them frees up the roads – thereby requiring less roads to be made.

        • felix 18.1.1.2

          It’s just polite to use the reply so you don’t end up plastering the thread with out-of-context repetition.

          Please check the first paragraph of the post. The questions you are openly ignoring are entirely germane to the post and the topic in general.

          It’s very clear that both road and rail are subsidised by the state but you are only taking issue with one and studiously avoiding discussion of the other.

          Why do expect everyone else to join you in ignoring half of the argument?

          • Hamish 18.1.1.2.1

            >>>It’s very clear that both road and rail are subsidised by the state but you are only taking issue with one and studiously avoiding discussion of the other.

            No, I’m not. It seams some posters bring up roading / trucking when I ask a question regarding rail..

            I’ll give an example:

            I said: “How much does KiwiRail make once you remove the subsidies it receives ?”

            Someone replied: “How much profit does NZTA make once all the crown funding is removed?”

            That is called avoiding a question. I’m not avoiding any trucking / roading question I’m simply wondering why some feel the need to change the subject to avoid answering a question. Because they don’t have a reply to the question, perhaps, so they feel they need to change the subject..

            • felix 18.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s not avoiding the subject, Hamish, that is the subject – read the first paragraph of the post.

              If you insist that your question re profits from the rail network is relevant then you must accept that the same question can be asked of the roading network – I’m presuming here that you want to present yourself as having some level of intellectual honesty.

              If you don’t accept this, please say why.

              Because so far it looks like you know full well that the two are comparable but are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid admitting it.

              Do you know my friend Tim?

    • Armchair Critic 18.2

      Which method of transport do people use more [directly] ? Road or Rail
      By distance travelled, yes, but that wasn’t the question. I’ll put it bluntly – those trucks you see driving down the road, you are paying them to do it through a subsidy. Those trains you see running along tracks next to the road, you are also paying them a subsidy. They are both doing the same thing – moving stuff from A to B. But, and here’s the kicker, the rate of subsidy for the truck is higher.
      Given that most transport companies are marginally profitable, it is reasonable to suggest that most of the trucking companies would not be profitable without these subsidies.
      So the answer to your question about how profitable Kiwirail is without subsidies is Kiwirail is about as profitable as trucking companies doing the same thing, i.e. not profitable at all. It is clear you don’t like that answer. I’m disappointed at the quality of your attempt at an answer to my question too.
      I’m surprised that the comparison between road and rail transport seems to upset you so much, it really is a quite pertinent comparison to make. The whole issue about how best to transport goods and people around the country needs serious examination and discussion of stuff like the costs, efficiency, profitability, environmental impacts, funding and sustainability. Taking a roading good, rail bad approach into the discussion shows a distinct lack of intellect.
      Finally – I am basing my comments on my analysis of data available on the internet. If you want to be taken seriously, you should consider doing the same. Your “…I’m not basing my opinion on any stats ” statement does you no favours.

      • insider 18.2.1

        Where are the stats saying that road transport is subsidised more than rail? I haven’t found any.

        • Armchair Critic 18.2.1.1

          Like I said – it requires a bit of analysis. If you are interested then you could have a look through the ltsa website (they have helpful stuff like traffic counts, RUC data and manuals for estimating costs), and also the websites of the statistics department and the various industry groups.

          • Armchair Critic 18.2.1.1.1

            Or you could try this, which I have just found and haven’t read completely yet. From what I have seen it mostly supports what I have found through my own research, but it does not support other parts. And it doesn’t go into so much detail as to state whether any particular mode of surface transport is more subsidised. Specifically, it says:
            There are no up to date studies which use a comparable evaluation framework for estimating costs and charges across the three transport modes. There is also no agreed evaluation framework between stakeholders in the three transport modes on which to collect comparable costs and charges information. Therefore, this is a major information gap which is of the highest priority.
            Which is only about the costs and not on subsidy rates.

          • insider 18.2.1.1.2

            Oh so it’s data you created in some way only you understand. Well I suppose I’ll just have to trust you that you have looked at the right numbers, compared them appropriately and reached a sensible if somewhat general conclusion that “Kiwirail is about as profitable as trucking companies doing the same thing, i.e. not profitable at all”.

            That said, it’s not a good start when you refer me to the LTSA when they haven’t existed for about 5 years…

            I’ll stick to something like the Main Report which packages all the info into a tidy bundle and actually says what they looked at and how. Depending on how you read it, road users more than pay their way or pay only 30% of the cost.

            • Armchair Critic 18.2.1.1.2.1

              Steady on, it’s data I found, not data I created.
              You don’t have to trust me, you have a choice; accept my assertions or dispute them. Go wild. Given that the best you have come up with so far is “I haven’t found any“, followed up with a “I’ll stick to something like the Main Report…” from a report I found for you, I’m not expecting much.
              Accessing the data through http://www.ltsa.govt.nz is easier than http://www.ltnz.govt.nz – I’m well aware that LTSA do not exist as a separate entity. And since you have chosen to be pedantic – I referred you to the website, not the organisation.
              As for what the report says, I haven’t read it completely and from your final paragraph it seems you haven’t either. I’m still trying to decide whether I agree with its methodologies and conclusions and I won’t be quoting from it further until I’ve made up my mind about how reliable it is.

              • insider

                our responses crossed so I didn’t see your link. I already knew about the Main report. I think the problem you may have is the word subsidy. There is no direct subsidy on roads unlike rail, even though you might argue some of the funding has a similar effect. And teh system smears costs so some roads get more and others less per user. Is that a subsidy or just a practical management tool?

                I’ve read a lot of the rport and much of it is too specialised for me but it looks at cost of operation and revenues, and value of the assets on both road and rail. One analysis says vehicles pay their way another says they don’t. Depends on what you want to capture. Whereas rail doesn’t pay its way and needs cash from somewhere to maintain itself.

              • Armchair Critic

                our responses crossed so I didn’t see your link
                Fair enough. Having read some of your other comments after submitting my last comment it does not surprise me that you had already found the report I found. My comment about not expecting much was uncalled for.
                Is that a subsidy or just a practical management tool?
                That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I don’t have a problem with either, I just want to see them (whatever they are called) applied equally to land transport, and to get away from the whole road versus rail debate. Because that debate is not constructive.
                …[the report] looks at cost of operation and revenues…
                I recall a comment in the report that further detailed work is to be undertaken. I hope it addresses some of the issues raised here – efficient transport is so important for a NZ.

  19. Bored 19

    I think I might have started this point on the thread a few days ago. You are quite correct to point out it is not a road bad rail good argument.

    My original contention was that the road operators / privatising lobby might find rail to be much more attractive an investment if the price of fuel went through the roof (as I am certain it will). Rail has a massive advantage over road in terms of wieght moved to energy required, and a lot of the track is electrified which is even more advantageous given our hydro resources. Coastal shipping is even more efficient….I can see us going full circle but thats another story.

    My comments are based upon looking ahead at requirements that are of a national interest, and my fears that the same rentier parasitic classes might again try and take advantage and hold us to ransom.

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    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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