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Making you pay for their folly

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, December 18th, 2012 - 110 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

Well it looks like the government has finally listened to all of the arguments about how unaffordable the Roads of National Significance are.

Their response? To tax you more to pay for their white elephant.

Remember, this is a government that wouldn’t introduce a new tax to help rebuild Christchurch because it would stifle a “fragile” economy.

Unbelievable.

110 comments on “Making you pay for their folly”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I have no objection against this tax. It will have the effect of moving people out of cars. That is a good thing.

    • tc 1.1

      And go to public transport ? which they refuse to back and keep stalling on such issues as the akl rail loop.

      There’s the nact logic at play.

    • Tiresias 1.2

      And for the folk who live where there is no public transport – which is anyone in a rural area and even a small town, in New Zealand?  Or who begin and end work when public transport isn’t running?
      Of course it’s their fault for chosing to live where there is no public transport – which is most of New Zealand.  We should all live in high-rise suburbs where we can be suppied with plentiful public transport to carry us to our employment and schools and the shops and the circuses set up to entertain and mollify us.  They we’d all be out of our cars.  Wouldn’t that be a good thing?
       

    • Lefty 1.3

       
      Increasing fuel taxes won’t move people out of cars on to public transport if there is no suitable public transport available, which is the case in most of New Zealander most of the time.

      Nor will it shift people to public transport if driving is still cheaper as is often the case at present.

      Or if the distance to work is so great our slow public transport is impractical timewise.

      It will make it more costly for low paid workers to get to work though, while the business community and much of the middle class will find ways to write it off in tax or pass the cost on to someone else somehow.

      It may lead to less driving done for leisure activities by some low income people but why is it always them that has to make the sacrifice?

      This is simply a money grab so the governments can keep its promise to its mates to pay them heaps to build more roads.

      • mike 1.3.1

        Lets not forget that the ‘roads of national significance’ have absolutely nothing to do with cars or public transport. They are built to suit the trucking industry. Since trucking companies have poured so much money into the national party cofers they feel it’s their right to have taxpayers pay for infrastructure that will help them shorten travel times around cities and make more dough – in other words the new roads will be of great significance to the trucking industry – simple.

    • Mike 1.4

      Nah, most people won’t move out of cars until there’s a viable alternative. Even should an alternative materialise, I sorta think people may stick to their cars anyway. (Until ever decreasing oil production results in forced alternatives.)

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    Boy, they really don’t want to win the next election, do they? Perhaps Matthew Hooten can let us know what the long term plan is? Lose in 2014, rebuild under Collins. Lose again in 2017. Rebuild again under Bridges*, with a new 20/20 vision. Lose again in 2020. Rinse and repeat.
     
    * not an intentional troll joke, but might be useful in the future.

  3. xtasy 3

    Damned, there goes another “share” of the “middle class” vote!?

    Having to pay more for running their cars, to get from A to B will not go down well with “the centre”, still largely clinging to a lifestyle of never ending lala land (quarter acre section, 2 car garage, drive everywhere, even to the corner dairy).

    But it is smartly timed, just before X-mas, while most are busy with making arrangements for the festive days, a holiday, shopping for presents and provisions, Parliament having ended for the year and many journalists preoccupied with freak weather, a shooting in Connecticut, Kate’s invisible “baby bump”.

    It is the start of the silly season, so news are not much taken note of, generally.

  4. Do you know why this is being announced today? It is because the Government cannot make their figures add up otherwise so that they are in surplus in 2015-2016.
     
    It is no coincidence that increases in the FED are announced the same day that the HYEFUL is released.
     
    It is a sneaky tax take to pay for something that is an abject waste of time.
     
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10854830

    • tc 4.1

      What on top of the billion + hole that existed off the back of the guesstimate over asset sales, no analysis on GDST rise impacts.
      Colleagues in Oz are just flummoxed that our MSM can’t do basic maths, they’d be hung over there with this kind of bookeeping.
      But hey isn’t it great to give yourself 8/10 and fob off those annoying ‘numbers’ as irrelevant.

    • tc 4.2

      What on top of the billion + hole that existed off the back of the guesstimate over asset sales, no analysis on GST rise impacts etc etc
      Colleagues in Oz are just flummoxed that our MSM can’t do basic maths, they’d be hung over there with this kind of bookeeping.
      But hey isn’t it nice to be able to give yourself 8/10 and fob off those annoying ‘numbers’ as irrelevant.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    “The certainty that this guaranteed funding stream provides means we can proceed with confidence in developing and delivering these and other major projects which will enable economic growth and provide safer journeys for New Zealanders.”

    Ha, that’s funny. the amount of driving is already decreasing due to the price of fuel and this tax increase will decrease it even more meaning that those projects won’t be paid for by the rise in taxes.

  6. burt 6

    Labour campaigning against a tax hike – sheeesh… This two party system serves the politicians and their desire to play musical chairs…. but what about the voters – the tax payers – the people of NZ ….

    Lets get this out for debate – is tax hikes to raise revenue a good or a bad thing or is it more simple than that – It’s good when Labour do it and bad when National do it… But tax cuts are also bad when National do it … Is status quo as defined by the actions of the last Labour govt the only acceptable situation to people so dim they follow a flag colour rather than a policy or principle ?

    • vto 6.1

      You seem to have all the answers today so perhaps you can answer this unanswered question.

      Given that Northland’s permanent population is relatively static and that Northland’s economic growth is static, who or what is the Holiday Highway meant to serve?

      • vto 6.1.1

        hello? burt? got an answer? or just stupid comments like the one below?

        • burt 6.1.1.1

          I don’t see the relevance – I was addressing the partisan nature of support for (or campaign against) tax hikes. I’m sorry if you can’t find a reasonable position on this debate although being a partisan flag follower I’m not surprised you are not prepared to state your position when Labour ALSO seem to only be able to oppose what would typically be their own policiy direction rather than lead with a coherent policy position of their own. 

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            burt, have a look at my hisotory of commenting on each of labour and the nats. You don’t know what you are talking about.

            And you don’t see the relevance of this question “Given that Northland’s permanent population is relatively static and that Northland’s economic growth is static, who or what is the Holiday Highway meant to serve?” when the thread is entirely about putting up roading taxes?

            You’re useless.

            • Polish Pride 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Actually he raised a very good point but because you couldn’t think of a decent response you instead attack him for his post and call him useless, instead of addressing the question he has posed….. The answer by the way is – ‘It depends on what the rise in tax is to pay for regardless of whether it is National or Labour’ followed perhaps by your personal view on ‘the tax hike for ‘Roads of national significance’.
              Would you object if the hike was to improve roads, increase passing lanes and most importantly put on place median barriers to eliminate head on collisions and save lives?

              • vto

                Polish pride, I attacked him because he couldn’t see the relevance of questioning one of the country’s most expensive roads which has, by the government’s own measures, no benefit except for holiday-makers, during a thread about increasing roading taxes. That useless road is being paid for by roading taxes – the subject of the thread. That he cannot see the relevance is useless. (btw, the “attack” word “useless” has to be about the most mild in the world)

                Sure, labour and national are both as bad as each other when it comes to taxes, but the point was about the use this is to be put to, which Bill English has said is to keep their promise re surplus and to put towards these roads.

                pretty simple.

                As for this “Would you object if the hike was to improve roads, increase passing lanes and most importantly put on place median barriers to eliminate head on collisions and save lives?”

                Yes I would. The reason is this government’s allocation of taxes. This government is putting $400million to private business in Canterbury. It loans $35million to Mediaworks, Stephen Joyce’s previous business. It put $1,700 million into South Canterbury Finance when it should not have even been in the scheme.

                Quite frankly, each of those items should come after roads have been improved, passing lanes increased and most importantly put in median barriers to eliminate head-on collisions and save lives.

                Polish Pride do you actually think spending money on private business like Canterbury farming, Mediaworks and South Canterbury Finance is more important than saving the lives of children on the roads?

                • Polish Pride

                  You get no opposition from me that the governments allocation of taxes is bs and self serving.

                  Useless – to be of no use at all …..yet he has like everyone a vote should he choose to exercise it and unlike me.. I am sure he will…

          • ColonialPete 6.1.1.1.2

            Consumption taxes are in no way progressive and do not serve the purpose of redistributing wealth from the rich to the poorer in society through the provision of government services. This kind of tax is regressive in that it sucks up a greater proportion of the income of the poor and the lower middle class, while the harm on the wallets of the rich is barely noticeable.  A progressive tax system places the burden more on those who have the wherewithal to afford it. So, for example a road user charge on vehicles over 3.5 tonnes – commercial vehicles – would be a better way to pay for this than a fuel tax on a harried solo mum doing the school run. 

        • Populuxe1 6.1.1.2

          Well at a guess I’d say that encouraging internal tourism to the picturesque but difficult to get to far north might actually make its economy less static, and indeed offer opportunities for growth and employment. But then again I might just be a “queer cunt”, so what would I know…
           

          • vto 6.1.1.2.1

            Well, the Nat’s own studies apparently say that those benefits which you mention do not actually measure up.

            So I will ask it again, who or what is the Holiday Highway meant to serve?

            And yep pop, you could well be just a queer cunt, lotsa people are. Wouldn’t worry about it if I were you though, it is almost a term of endearment for some.

          • felixviper 6.1.1.2.2

            You’ve always struck me as a bit of an odd character Pop.

          • Matthew 6.1.1.2.3

            a four lane highway between Puhoi & Wellsford will do nothing for tourism in Northland, & combined with the added tx on fuel, could even see it go down.

          • bad12 6.1.1.2.4

            For you i pick option 2…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Raising taxes for things that are good (hospitals, feeding children etc, etc) is good, raising taxes for things that are bad (Nationals RoNs, increasing GST so that the rich can have tax cuts, etc, etc) is bad.
      There, I think that’s simple enough even for you to understanf burt.

    • felixviper 6.3

      National campaigned hard for at least six years on cutting taxes burt, but they’ve been raising them since they got into office.
       
      Sure, they took a few cents off the top income rate, but up goes the GST straight away. And look at all the other levies and surcharges and fees they’ve raised. Registered your car lately? 

    • QoTViper 6.4

      Burt, you’ve been around here long enough to know that IrishBill’s opinion =/= Labour Party policy statements.
       
      More’s the pity.

    • Mike 6.5

      Tax hikes to raise government revenue are not a bad thing, if they are the right kind of tax hikes. Raising consumption taxes always hurt the poor and those on low incomes far more than they hurt everyone else. This is because consumption taxes on essentials form a far larger percentage of a poor persons income than that of a wealthy person.

      Regardless, we live under the ‘illusion of democracy’, having been brainwashed into believing that voting for a different party to govern actually really changes anything. Just another example of divide and conquer working perfectly. Give the masses 2 sides to vote for and call it democracy, they’ll be so busy fighting amongst themselves over petty political differences that they won’t notice what’s really being done to the world.

      “Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.

      These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

      – Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, New York, 1924.

      I think Mark Twain is credited with the quote “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” He was right.

  7. Daz 7

    From the title I thought this would about people on benefits having kids……..

    • IrishBill 7.1

      Because children are a folly? Fuck off misanthrope.

      • Daz 7.1.1

        Folly
        1 Lack of good sense; foolishness: “an act of sheer folly”.
        2 A foolish act, idea, or practice: “the follies of youth”.
        Having children when you can’t afford to provide for them fits with this quite well I think.
        My comment was made my tongue firmly in my cheek fwiw.
        I had thought that calling this place a hate blog was a bit of an exaggeration on whaleoils behalf but after the rather unpleasant and over the top responses I am starting to think that he may just be right (in terms of comments at least)

        IrishBill: if you don’t like it, don’t comment. The last thing we need here is another spineless rightie having a wee cry.

        • onsos 7.1.1.1

          Your comment about having your tongue in your cheek is bullshit.
          You have expressed that people who choose to have kids are foolish. Tell me what the other options are when people find themselves pregnant, and get off your high horse.

          • Daz 7.1.1.1.1

            Step 1, Don’t find yourself pregnant – plan when to, we have the science/technology to control it now and much of it is subsidised.
            There is no Step 2.

            To be clear since some people don’t seem to be getting it:
            I was saying that when people who are on a benefit get pregnant and have a baby other people have to pay for that baby, because the people in question are on a benefit and need the assistance it is a folly to have a child.
            The folly is having a child you can’t support.
            I was not saying having children in general is a folly.
            Clear enough?

            I assure you that it was tongue in cheek (the right one) but maybe I was expecting to much for people to follow my train of thought and see it as potentially being a headline for an article having a go at “dole bludgers”
            I would apologise for expecting to much but it really isn’t my fault if people are dense.

            • One Tāne Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              [citation(s) needed]
               
               

              • Daz

                For what exactly? I haven’t quoted anybody or presented any statistics or anything, merely laid out my reasoning.

                • QoTViper

                  For starters, you could point us to this magical world where sex education is comprehensive, doctor’s appointments are free, contraception is infallible and abortion is easily accessible.  Seriously, I’d love to visit that fairyland.

                  • Daz

                    Nice list of statements I didn’t make.
                    I’ll repeat that for the thicker commentors
                    Nice list of statements I didn’t make.
                    I’ll address them anyway

                    Pretty good sex ed in NZ but irrelevent since I wasn’t talking about kids since they shouldn’t be on a benefit (barring extraordinary circumstances)

                    As for doctors appointments, heres a citation for something I didn’t even say http://www.familyplanning.org.nz/our_clinics/clinic_fees
                    Pretty cheap when they aren’t free. I believe there was also a proposal for free longterm contraception for beneficiaries that the left had a collective shit fit about.

                    5 seconds of googling gets this on contraception http://www.contraceptivetechnology.org/CTFailureTable.pdf
                    Pretty decent levels of effectiveness there

                    As for abortion access – don’t know, never needed it and we are close enough to our PLANNED parenthood that we could afford to have a baby now if the methods of contraception that we have been using successfully for years failed.

                    I never proposed an alteration of the laws around benefits or the having of babies but you seem ready to go very in depth into a one line comment, maybe if you poured some of that scorn on the absolute failures that the left has for political parties at the moment then you could win the next election. Face it national have done so well because they are good but because labour is so fucking useless.

                    • Te Reo Viper

                      So much anger, Daz. Do you fear the next government that much? Still, always good to hear from someone with a vitriolic contempt for the less well off in NZ, reminds me why I’m a lefty.

                    • onsos

                      Don’t find yourself pregnant – plan when to, we have the science/technology to control it now and much of it is subsidised.
                      Who do you mean by “we”? I have this access. Middle-class and educated, went to a liberal school with good sex-ed, and work in health promotion. I know what works, and where resources are. I presume you do, too.
                      The interesting question is who doesn’t have this access, because of religious conservatism and educational failure, because of logistical and financial pressure. They don’t have the science/technology you are talking about.
                      Moreover, imposing that technology is morally abhorrent.
                      That’s where you need to substantiate your claims.

                • McFliper

                  [facepalm]

        • onsos 7.1.1.2

          Wow. A tax grab because they can’t balance the books like they promised they would.

        • Daz 7.1.1.3

          Somebody is upset at losing their lucky charms :(
          Don’t worry I can take all the childish abuse you throw at people who seem to have a different view point from you or make a joke about what type of article a headline would have following it on right-wing blog. Enjoy your life full of hatred :)

          • One Tāne Viper 7.1.1.3.1

            “…make a joke…” the stock-in-trade excuse of the bigot. 
             
            I can’t be bothered destroying the assumptions in your initial statement: if you’re naive enough to believe your “argument” rests on any thing but quicksand more fool you, but you should know that your “having children you can’t afford” meme is bogus, a zombie argument that was debunked years ago, but just keep moaning and shuffling and eating right-wing brains. 
             
            What is it about you people that you’re so easily lied to?

            • Daz 7.1.1.3.1.1

              Pointing out how the same title could be used by both sides of the politcal spectrum in reference to different things by using a play on words is a joke. (not necessarily a good one)
              Implying that you must be of inferior intellect due to your race/gender/sexual preferences is being a bigot/racist/sexist.
              Calling people a bigot/racist/sexist instead of telling them why they are wrong is laziness (or stupidity if you’ve got nothing else to say and are trying to cover for it).

              • One Tāne Viper

                It’s laziness, and boredom. I’m bored of doing it – hence the reference to “zombie argument” – and you’re too bloody lazy to do a little elementary fact checking.

            • Polish Pride 7.1.1.3.1.2

              Actually OTV he is bang on You seem like an intelligent guy who could make your points quite articulately and without the insults and negativity. Your approach is more likely to switch people off instead of having them reconsider their position.. You could change it but then I get the impression you’d prefer to deal out negativity. I hope I am wrong.

              • One Tāne Viper

                Your approach is more likely to switch people off instead of having them reconsider their position..

                Several facts argue against this. Firstly, confirmation bias causes people to cling even harder to false beliefs when facts contradict them. Secondly, studies show that right wingers lack the cognitive ability to recognise their own incompetence. Thirdly, that for people of low intelligence, emotive arguments have more impact that factual ones.

                Hence my question: “why are you people so easily lied to?”

        • McFliper 7.1.1.4

          Folly
          5 A popular name for any costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder

          Personally, arguing that some children shouldn’t exist seems to me to be pretty hateful. But whatever.
           

      • Polish Pride 7.1.2

        Folly
        1 Lack of good sense; foolishness: “an act of sheer folly”.
        2 A foolish act, idea, or practice: “the follies of youth”.
        Having children when you can’t afford to provide for them fits with this quite well I think.
        My comment was made my tongue firmly in my cheek fwiw.
        I had thought that calling this place a hate blog was a bit of an exaggeration on whaleoils behalf but after the rather unpleasant and over the top responses I am starting to think that he may just be right (in terms of comments at least)

        IrishBill: if you don’t like it, don’t comment. The last thing we need here is another spineless rightie having a wee cry.

        Really!?! I would have thought that what would have been good is more considerate and intelligent minds that despite being from different positions on the political spectrum could add to intelligent debate and come up with solutions to fix the problems that we currently face…without flinging insults.
        I thought he was (arguably) doing exactly that.
        Or do you seriously believe that all will be fixed once Labour is back in power….

    • Schlurps McGoo 7.2

      Disgusting comment. What moves you to type that shit?

  8. vto 8

    Didn’t the Nats come in on reducing taxes? And isn’t that what they did when they first got into power?

    So why are they putting the taxes up again? Are their policies failing again?

  9. Bill 9

    While acknowledging the hypocrisy of this government hiking taxes, I have to say I think that 3c is woefully inadequate. (That’s aside from the fact that the shit it’s going to fund is just plain wrong.) I’d far rather see ongoing $1 per liter increases channeled into a rapid development/expansion of non-petroleum public transport infrastructure.

  10. vto 10

    I am going to walk absolutely everywhere now. The government can go fuck itself.

  11. the pigman 11

    Like GST, petrol is an area that affects those within all income brackets, especially commuters driving from increasingly far distances to work due to urban sprawl, unaffordable housing and less-than-mediocre public transport options.

    That is the principled reason for Labour opposing the hike. I thought that would be pretty obvious to people like burt, but apparently not.

    Then again, I suspect the attempt to reduce the debate to simple binaries of “National dislike tax, Labour love it, so why are they complaining?” is just tory spin designed to distract from the unprincipled nature of this tax hike.

  12. indiana 12

    This is a consumption tax – the more you buy , the more tax you pay. If you can manage your consumption, the tax increase will be marginal. At least with this tax hike, you get the revenue straight away unlike a CGT that takes 15 plus years to materialise.

    • Napkins 12.1

      But consumption taxes are almost always regressive. They broadly and severely hit those on lower incomes who have to consume most of their income just in day to day living expenses.
      They broadly miss those whose income is so high that most of their income is saved or invested in property or shares, not spent on day to day consumption for survival.

    • Mike 12.2

      FFS! How many times do people like yourself have to have explained to you why increasing consumption taxes on essentials is extremely unfair towards those on lower incomes who can least afford any tax increases?

  13. It all represents what disastrous managers of the economy they are.
    Key can give $600 grand of tax payers money to the Hill golf classic,while cutting
    crucial social services, rape centres,budgeting advice centres and others.
    Key can give tax cuts to the top earners, so they can have more holidays and buy luxury
    boats,cars and property,the tax take shows the tax cuts are not filtering back into the
    economy, that plan failed.
    Key can give $14 billion to roads of ‘their national importance’ but can’t grasp that
    child poverty is real and needs attention,right now,not in 2-4yrs time.
    People needing food grants from winz have got to bare their souls and almost beg,while
    having to show and prove what they spend their yearly $10-$12 grand on,dispicable.
    How much tax payers money went to the yachting cup? a huge packet from memory.
    How much has been wasted on getting advice from Goldman Sach’s and others, the same
    crowd in charge of the partial sale of our assets,nz’s tax payer assets.
    If Key came here to wreck the nz economy,it’s obvious he is on the right track.
    Can nz afford another 2yrs of Keynesia,Blinglish?, absolutely,positively,not.

  14. indiana 14

    “How much tax payers money went to the yachting cup? a huge packet from memory.”

    Trevor will tell you that was one of his finest investments ever on behalf of all New Zealanders!

  15. ColonialPete 15

    This also happens shortly after the student loan repayment rate increases to 12% and the minimum Kiwisaver contribution goes up to 3%.

  16. bad12 16

    So, Slippery and His Minister of Finance think that ‘the books’ will be balanced in 2014/2015 by rack raising petrol taxes,

    English like Rowan Atkinson in Mister Bean has made an art form from out-right idiocy, in Atkinson’s case tho there is at times genuine humor in the practice of this art which sadly for English is entirely lacking,

    The Mister Bean of New Zealand having foisted a very sick and un-funny joke upon New Zealand, (along with His ‘National wont be raising GST mate Slippery),with tax cuts for those who least need them have now found that despite rack raising consumer taxes the hole in the Governments revenue stream steadfastly continues to grow,

    Mister Bean in His Bill English guise glibly told reporters today that ‘petrol taxes’ will fill this hole and give the Governments accounts a surplus by 2014/2015, having made the claim in all the previous years after the tax cuts fiasco English should not be believed and this consumption tax will simply do to the Government deficit what raising GST and other consumer tax rack raising’s like those upon tobacco products did,

    The plan is,with raising the petrol tax to gain through taxation another 500 million dollars for the Government, unfortunately while the mechanics of this can be demonstrated against current usage of the product being taxed as the un-thought of consequences of such taxation have obviously not been taken into account there is in fact no way that English will balance those books by such means,

    In simple terms, part of that expected taxation will not be collected as those with the least disposable income severely cut their use of the product,in this case petrol while further up the income ladder many will also cut their use of the product,

    As such taxation effects those with the least income the most, to in effect pay the tax via use of the product those with the least income MUST spend less in other areas of the economy, should the 40% on the lowest income continue to use the product at it’s present level of consumption then it is a ‘Given” that they must stop spending their share of that 500 million in extra taxation in other parts of the economy,

    Take as a given that should that 40% of taxation be accrued to the Government then the deflation of spending in the local economy from those who have little disposable income will amount to 200-250 million, the cost of this will tell in further job losses in the local economy where any gains from petrol taxation will be more than wiped out in less GST and taxes from profit, taxes on income and a further increase in unemployment numbers of an estimated 5000…

  17. BM 17

    More than happy to pay a bit of extra tax to sort out the roads.
    The savings in fossil fuels and the decrease in pollution well and truly offset the extra cost.

    • McFliper 17.1

      Indeed. I’d just love it to be on the roads more travelled, not the roads less travelled. Truckies have the RUC to pay for their roads.

      • BM 17.1.1

        In Hamilton they’re finally getting the ring road sorted, It will save an immense amount of time and save people heaps.You may not realise but the internal combustion engine is at it’s least efficient when idling, you want to keep people moving not stuck in traffic jams.
        Labour should be right behind this.

        • McFliper 17.1.1.1

          Relevant to RoNS how?

        • gnomic 17.1.1.2

          This is just so nonsensical it’s hard to know where to start. Would it not be true to say that the ring road was planned decades ago by local government, despite the efforts of the smirking weasel and the local deadbeat MPs to take the credit currently? And given that Hamilton’s traffic congestion problems are fairly trivial what is the return on investment? As for Labour, somewhat to their shame, they did throw large amounts of money into roading in the electoral auctions towards the end of their last term in office, in the futile quest for that ideal state where all happy motorists can drive everywhere at all times without having to wait. Now the weasel and cohorts are bribing local government to push the wondrous ring road through earlier than planned somewhat to the consternation of council planners, because it will stuff things up and result in (gasp!) congestion. But the current regime must hang on to those Hamilton seats at almost any cost. Hell, we’ll even spend money we haven’t got to that end.

    • felixviper 17.2

      I imagine you’re also more than happy to pay a bit of extra tax to ensure that no-one in our society is hungry, homeless, or unable to get whatever help they need to be safe, warm and healthy.
      The savings in health and the decrease in crime well and truly offset the extra cost.

      • BM 17.2.1

        No, I think our social welfare policy is generous enough as it is.
         

        • felixviper 17.2.1.1

          Of course you do, the real problem facing our nation is that some of the roads aren’t quite wide enough.
           
          ps it’s not generosity. It’s not charity. There’s a price attached to having a fucking society that everyone can afford to live in.

          • BM 17.2.1.1.1

            Get bennies out cleaning gullies ,planting up riparian strips, doing work that makes NZ a better place.Then I might be a bit more enthusiastic about increasing  social welfare payments.Sitting on your chuff all day not so much.

            • Napkins 17.2.1.1.1.1

              A few thousand new public works jobs then.

              • BM

                Nothing wrong with taskforce green.
                Get beneficiaries out working 2 days a week,they’ll feel better contributing to the country and tax payers won’t be so grizzly about paying tax towards social welfare.

                • vto

                  I’ll be happy when the minimum wage pays enough for a man and his family to live on instead of the fucking less-than-it-cost-to-keep-a-slave wages paid now by a whole bunch of fucking arseholes in New Zealand who keep voting for the National party.

                  • BM

                    Damn those National voting arseholes.
                    Damn their eyes,damn their britches

                    • gnomic

                      Yes, well let’s look at the record.
                      Holland – nasty piece of work. Not exactly a democrat, and an enemy of the working class when there was still one in New Zealand.
                      Holyoake – pompous sounding but asleep at the wheel while the country was still on the sheep’s back. Slavish foreign policy.
                      Muldoon – why didn’t the party commit suicide in shame over that episode? Spineless worms. It took Bob Jones to get rid of NZ’s Mussolini. The bag of pus as I once heard Mallard call him in Parliament. Not in Hansard probably.
                      Bolger and the dynamic duo of Richardson and Shipley. The decent society. Yeah right. More hypocrisy from the party of hypocrisy. Aided and abetted by such would-be luminaries as Roger Kerr and Rod Deane.
                      And now the current crew, with focus group aid from the great Lord Ashcroft and Crosby Textor. Key, English, Joyce. Pass the sickbag. Key’s political hero Muldoon. Who knows what inspires the other two? The Pope? Greed and arrogance?
                       
                       
                       

                • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                  Bm
                  Very sensible having pep jobs and task force green, some pollies turned up their noses at those programs because in their wisdom, doing manual work isn’t a ‘job’.   Someone was going to set up first world tech jobs and we should all be ready for the cargo cult of prosperity that would come next year when the jobs landed.
                  But a more contentious employment and social support problem is that of the growing number of oldies who are still spritely and who should be required to put in time at something helpful for the country every year.  Either some hours a week, or seasonal work they are still able to do or something.
                  It is a really bad outlook by supposed intelligent and mature people that they seize on every chirpy commentator with a social work diploma who insists that the country can afford to allow people the luxury of being paid welfare when they have stopped contributing to the community.  
                   
                  That’s not an example of a caring community, which provides mutual support.   Yet the community is expected to pay for their medical bills so they can live longer, more to 100 years, something once very rare.  And objectivity is required here.  I am over 70 myself, and am well aware of the attitudes of the different social strata and age groups in Nz.

                • felixviper

                  Now you’re talking BM. We’ll make a Green voter out of you yet.

            • Mike 17.2.1.1.1.2

              That would cost alot as you would have to pay them at least the minimum wage. I’m sure most on the unemployment benefit would be happy to do this. However the unemployment benefit is only a very small percentage of total welfare spend and the number of people on the unemployment benefit is only a small percentage of total persons receiving benefits. (Think working for families, state pension, etc)
              Closing tax loopholes and forcing corporations to pay their fair share of tax would be a much better way of increasing government revenue.

        • vivaciousviper 17.2.1.2

          BM, i hope that by any strange twist of fate, you dont have to survive on a benefit,
          could you manage on $12-$14 grand a year ?

  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 18

    Ken Shirley has just damned cross subsidisation of rail and said that roads are self-funded – Is that true? It’s all right with him about rise in petrol tax (I think diesel is going up too.)
    ( KS became chief executive of the Road Transport Forum when former National Party cabinet minister Tony Friedlander retires from the lobby group in July 2010.)

    Incidentally these notes on whos who by Frank Macskasy
    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/ken-shirley/

  19. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 19

    Great shots of NZ past. Is it a test to see how many we can identify.

  20. Craig Glen viper 20

    To make matters worse MPs get a pay rise cos they are struggling you understand, and Teachers are being offered one percent. Hone says its not deserved but Shearer er arrgh its not up to me to say what I should get paid! What a bloody joke he is, this clown has to go.

  21. Tiresias 21

    I heard Bill English on “PM” explaining that the fuel-tax increase was a result of the Government not been afraid to take the tough decisions to balance the books even with a fall in tax income resulting from a fading economy, and the vacant Mary Wilson failing to point out that it would not have been necessary had National not cut taxes for the wealthy – and themselves – almost as the first thing on getting the Treasury benches.

    Cut taxes for the wealthy and recover it from everyone. Sounds like socialism to me.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 21.1

      Tiresias
      Give Mary Wilson a break.  She’s quite an attack dog.  She may already have covered the bit about tax cuts for the wealthy, she wants to hear what Blenglish has to say now.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    So if petrol taxes to pay for roads is so bad, why has Labour been so keen on them?

    • bad12 22.1

      The rack raising of petrol taxes as announced yesterday isn’t tho specifically to pay for roading, as English says,”they will help the Government get back into surplus by 2014/2015”, unquote,
       
      It won’t of course, close the gaping hole that has been apparent in the Governments revenue from taxation since the GST raise/tax cuts for the wealthy stupidity of 2008/2009 that is,
       
      It’s a consumer tax, as such there is going to be a drop in consumption of the product as people stop making use of their cars as a tool for pleasure across the spectrum of those who the Government intends to collect these extra taxes from,
       
      Of course there will be no choice in this for the bottom 40% of income earners, having no discretionary income that 40% of consumers should they keep to their current usage of petrol products will have to stop spending in other areas of the economy by the amount of that taxation,
       
      Should this occur,and, it’s a given that it will or the Government will not be collecting as much extra taxation from petrol products as it calculates, then, while collecting the extra in petrol taxes the Government will lose the taxation from that bottom 40% of income earners having prior to the raising of the tax on petrol products spent that money elsewhere in the economy,
       
      There is a further price to pay for the Government inherent in having that bottom 40% of income earners shift spending from elsewhere in the economy to pay for the raised petrol taxes in that it then becomes a given that 200-250 million dollars annualy WILL NOT be spent into the local economy but instead will become a direct transfer to the Government,
       
      For the Government, this redirection of that 200-250 million dollars away from the local economy will directly result in a lowering of the tax income through less GST, less tax on profits, higher unemployment, so less PAYE collected and more dole payments to make,
       
      Don’t be surprised that as a result of this tax alone a conservative estimate of the unemployment generated in an already fragile economy will be 5000 and 18 months to 2 years from now the hole in the Governments revenue from taxation will not have closed but instead doubled…
       

  23. Rich 23

    Here in Wellington, I’d like to know why Labour and our allegedly “Green” mayor are still supporting various tunnel/flyover schemes at the Basin Reserve. Traffic’s falling, it’s never taken me more than 5 minutes to get through the tunnel/basin area and in any case Wellington has one of the quickest city/airport journey times in the world.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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