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Message from Christchurch: Send Help Now

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 5th, 2014 - 36 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, christchurch earthquake, community democracy, democracy under attack, Environment, Gerry Brownlee - Tags: , ,

christchurch city

As the government and the media start their crusade to sell off the council’s assets, the Press has also found time to champion one of the Right’s other pet causes: council amalgamation. One council could well be the answer – but it depends what the question was. Maybe it was “how can we give the people of Canterbury even less say in the decisions that effect their daily lives?” While this was just a short opinion piece from the Press council reporter Lois Cairns, it managed to contain an heroic number of omissions.

First up, what she is suggesting is a merger of the city council (CCC) with the regional council (ECan). This makes it seem like these are the only two bodies in play. ECan is the territorial authority for all of Canterbury – from Timaru to Kaikoura. There are TEN councils in the area covered by ECan, and so merging two of them would create a multitude of issues for the other 9 councils. Surely the Press knows this, so one wonders what might have led them to omission.

Secondly, the comparison to the Auckland Supercity is a fatuous one. The key reason for bringing the supercity together was that Auckland consisted of a number of city councils. While there were also rural and semi-rural ones, and the Auckland regional council, this was about making a city work together as a city. The CCC and ECan have two, almost exclusive, spheres of influence at the moment – rebuilding a city, and expediting water extraction for dairy farming, Why on earth would anyone want to join these two together?*

Thirdly, when comparing Christchurch to the supercity, Cairns has completely overlooked the twin elephants in the room: Selwyn and Waimakariri. If you were going to create one council (and, if you haven’t picked this up already, we most definitely shouldn’t be) then you would start by bringing the two councils that are making bank out of the CCC being severely compromised by the quakes. Selwyn and Waimakariri are opening up huge amounts of land – fabulously fertile farmland – for cookie-cutter subdivisions on the outskirts of Christchurch. They get the rates from these sections, but the people who live there benefit from their proximity to a city to which they don’t contribute rates to.

But of all the crap in this opinion piece, this takes the cake:

Opponents to a unitary authority have cited concerns about the loss of democracy. That argument holds little sway as ECan has been democracy-free since the Government stepped in and appointed commissioners in 2010. The Government has shown little appetite for changing that situation, so if we went down the track of a unitary authority we wouldn’t be losing democracy, we would be regaining it.

So. The government took away our vote, denying us a right that is protected under a UN charter. They then used the tragedy of the earthquakes so they could postpone our rights again – and all so they could hand as much water over to dairy farmers are possible. But don’t worry – this argument has little sway with Lois. Phew. There was me thinking it was the role of the fourth estate to try and speak truth to power. Nope. Instead of being outraged by the removal of our rights, Cairns manages to spin her little proposal as one that gives us more of a vote, not less. In her mind, 1 vote is greater than 2.

This opinion reads like one that came straight from the top floor of the Beehive. No one in Christchurch is asking for this. But on top of the fight we have to save our council assets – which the council are being pressured to sell, so they can build millstones for their own neck like stadiums and convention centres – we’re fighting EQC and insurance. We’re battling against rents going up at crazy rates. We’re struggling around on pot-holed, clogged roads. We’ve got whole suburbs going under water which the government wants us to believe has nothing to do with the quakes. And all the while, extensive, extractive dairy farming is turning our great rivers into open sewers.

We’re fighting on every front, and we’re tired of it. We’ve gone on like this for the best part of four years, living in a state of semi-permanent stress. We need your help. If you’re swinging about who to vote for, have a look down here and see what it means to us. We don’t have a say in what happens to our environment. We have say in our council, but our council doesn’t have much of a say in how our city is run any more. Power has been concentrated into the figure of one man – a man who has in recent weeks shown that he thinks he is above the rule of law. You might think your one vote doesn’t make much of a difference – but it is everything to us here. Another three years of National and Brownlee, and we might not have a vote at a local level at all. Under a Labour led-government, we’d have new elections for ECan, and we’d be passing power back from CERA to the council. It looks like it is the only thing that can stop the relentless march towards turning this city and this region into a wholly owned business subsidiary of the government.

If you think you can help with my campaign, or want to know more, you can sign up here

  • except maybe if you were the government, and you wanted to combine the only two things that were driving economic growth into one beast with complete Beehive control, no environmental restrictions and no means by which to democratically express their dissent. Putting all our eggs in the one basket, then placing the basket in front of a bulldozer for which only Gerry has the key

36 comments on “Message from Christchurch: Send Help Now”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I hope this gets as wide a readership as possible.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Assured if you could get the small army of taxpayer funded spin doctors at CERA and CCDU and other places to tell the truth about the recovery and the insurers for once? It’s hard to blame the media when they are confronted with a daily deluge of orchestrated ‘good news’ about all the wonderful ‘progress’ being made, and constant bullying from Gerry and his cronies. I hope the good folks of Canterbury can see through it all.

  2. Ann 2

    The rest of New Zealand need to read this story !

  3. vto 3

    “… living in a state of semi-permanent stress …”

    This is most definitely the case. The things just keep popping up and making the head explode. Rebuilds, repairs done badly, no repairs, bumpy roads, road cones in crazy places, cbd like a bomb site… on it goes as everyone knows…

    good thing is the cbd looks like being about to flower soon and that is exciting. Methinks it will be quite something, eventually.

    bad thing is the children who have suffered. Have mentioned a few times how if you are an 8 year old then half of your life has been living with earthquakes and blown apart city and homes. That is significant and real. A quake a couple nights ago set one of our multiple off again – easy to tears.

    Mind you – at least we aint at war. Imagine that..

  4. fambo 4

    I hope Christchurch residents stop voting for National but I reckon a sizeable lot of them will anyway, no matter if it is their school that closes or their house that sinks under the water. They seem to believe that National is the one true government and like going to see the King, their only means of bringing favourable change is to beseech John Key, Gerry Brownlee and whoever else belongs to the Court. They are living in a pre-democratic state of existence in their minds.

  5. tricledrown 5

    The best help New Zealand can give Christchurch is to get rid of bully Brownlee and cronies like Jenny Shipley who is in the taxpayers trough to the tune of $450,000 for a few meetings a year.
    While Brownlee has wasted $100 of millions on Dodgey repairs that will have to be done all over again.
    Now he’s bullied the ChCh city council into selling off income earning assets .

  6. Pete 6

    Hi, while I am a commentator from the right, this call goes out to all sides of the political divide. It is clear that there is an orchestrated plan by left supporters to systematically destroy National election signs in the Port Hills and Lyttelton Harbour areas (and others). While this may seem like a useful activity, in reality is simply perpetuates the views by many that the left are an angry mob willing to resort to criminal activity to support their position. Would Labour and The Greens like it if national supporters defaced their election signs? What message does this mindless vandalism send to our community and the youth voters who will lead our nations future? Perhaps if both sides were willing to condemn this activity we would all be the better for it, and fairness would prevail on the campaign trail?

    • minarch 6.1

      Enough of your obvious concern-trolling Pete

      Those signs are being vandalized up and down the country, In my area they have had to put all the National signs on private property rather than the road side as they only last a couple a nights when the public can access them freely

      nothing to do with any “orchestrated plan by left supporters” , just resentment from the general community toward the incumbent parliament.

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        No problem with a prime minister caught in hundreds of lies since 2008 though…

      • Pete 6.1.2

        If my intent was to troll you’d know about it! Wake up, it’s criminal activity, and you’d cry like only the left can if it happened to your own signs. I’m sure you’ll be condoning the continued attacks, just want to confirm that’s the position of the left.

    • Molly 6.2

      Another spin on the “… if yer no wi’ me, yer agin’ me..”.

      “It is clear that there is an orchestrated plan by left supporters to systematically destroy National election signs…

      Show the proof if you have it. If not, have you just considered that those who are doing the destruction are just doing it?

      No orchestration is needed when graffiti happens – and it doesn’t indicate an organised collective of tidily painted walls.

      It is the nature of elections that public hoardings are vulnerable to defacing and attack. From a personal point of view it serves no political purpose, and I would not do it.

      That’s it.

    • karol 6.3

      So you consider some damaged billboards are more important than the topic of this post – the lives of people in Christchurch destroyed by the earthquake, followed by the Nats destruction of democracy, and poor help to the people devastated by the quakes?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4

      Pete, you don’t have to confess to being right-wing: it’s obvious from your feeble grasp on logic and reason.

  7. ianmac 7

    One solution is to get rid of this Government and regain democratic ECan. Without Brownlie maybe better priorities would emerge. Less the stadium and no huge Conference Centres at least until after the essential rebuilds have happened.

    What happens to dear Christchurch is a blueprint for a city near you.

  8. tricledrown 8

    Dalziel is just protecting her chances of winning the next Mayoral Race

  9. Bill 9

    Unfortunately, and very disquietingly, that loss of democracy with its granting of power to Brownlie received cross party support. Just saying.

  10. johnm 10

    This government bailed out SC for a billion dollars – private speculators. If I were government I’d gift CHCH a billion dollars and enable them to hold their assets. Why so mean to NZ’s second city? The rest of NZ has a duty to help. Neolibralism and privatised greed will kill us as has happened to the shell society the U$.

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100…a caring society would bail Christchurch out of all earthquake debt and restore all the old buildings …especially the Cathedral

      ..we dont need John Key NACT’s motorways

    • vto 10.2

      exactly.

      Christchurch should say fuck off and we aint paying no more until we can afford it.

      That is the conservative position after all.

      If the rest of you want more then you pay for it

    • john 10.3

      The government insured the finance sector because many companies were falling over and thousands of small investors were losing their life savings. Companies were failing, not because all the companies were bad, but simply because everybody was pulling their money out.

      Those in the scheme paid the government around $750m in premiums, and the govt recovered nearly $1b from SCF.

      So the scheme was highly successful as stopping good companies falling over, and even with the massive losses from SCF and a couple of other companies, the whole scheme will take in virtually the same amount as it paid out.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        The government should not have paid out any interest at all, and especially not to the get-rich-quick types who heard that a bailout was underway.

        It would also have been appropriate to cut in half each dollar of payments to depositors over say the $200K mark, in order to safeguard ordinary Mum and Dad investor savings, but also tax payers’ interests.

        • john 10.3.1.1

          That would have failed badly right from the start.

          Why would people keep their money in a company if they were only guaranteed to get half of it back?

          • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1

            In the scheme as I proposed it, someone with $500,000 invested in a dead finance company would have got $350,000 back. That’s a pretty good bailout. Better than waiting for 5 years of court action to get 11 cents on the dollar eh?

            So the only people the scheme would have failed would have been very wealthy people with very large sums foolishly invested in risky, over leveraged, under capitalised institutions that they didn’t do appropriate due diligence on.

            And of course in future they wouldn’t re-invest in such risky institutions; they would keep their excess funds in proper banks that are regulated by full Reserve Bank oversight.

            • john 10.3.1.1.1.1

              It would have failed badly.

              Because those with large sums would have pulled their money out.

              So dozens more companies would have failed ANYWAY, even with the scheme.

              But the taxpayer would have had to them fund billions of dollars more in payouts to all the smaller investors (who made up a big part of the billions lost in the 60 or so companies who failed BEFORE the scheme).

              • Colonial Viper

                How can those with large sums “pull their money out” when a statutory freeze on all large transactions is activated?

                What makes you think that there was any liquidity in any of these shonky institutions to even support 5% of withdrawals?

                An orderly unwinding of institutions too shaky to last is an easy and well documented process to institute.

                • john

                  So you would have legally forced people to keep all their money in a company that was likely to go bust – with due respect, that’s totally nuts.

                  The problem was a quarter of all deposits were going into finance companies, and when they started to have problems that dropped suddenly to just 1% of deposits by mid 2006.

                  So by the time the Labour Party designed the deposit guarantee scheme in late 2008, finance companies had been starved of new funds for over two years, but all the while people had been taking their money out – a 5,10, or even 20% liquidity was never going to cope with that.

                  Which is why 60 finance companies went under, and the only way to stop the dominoes was a guarantee scheme.

                  And it worked very well. Only around three more companies failed, and the money taken in premiums and recovered from the failed companies was virtually the same as that paid out.

          • vto 10.3.1.1.2

            john it is clear you are from the nether regions of our fair lands which benefited from the fraudulent underwriting of South Canterbury Finance. Your view is distorted. Especially in light of your uninhibited glassy-eyed view of Bill English.

            Have you sucked his cock?

            • McFlock 10.3.1.1.2.1

              nah – he’s previously claimed to live in auckland. Don’t blame us for him 🙂

            • john 10.3.1.1.2.2

              If you get frustrated with your own inability to put forward an intelligent argument you could always give up trying to be intelligent and just resort to abuse.

      • vto 10.3.2

        you are a fucking lunatic

        please install an insurance scheme which underwrites my business by the taxpayers, you useless communist prick

        • john 10.3.2.1

          No – a lunatic would let the whole financial sector melt down and bankrupt thousands of ordinary Kiwis simply because people were full of panic, when a scheme that cost virtually nothing in the long run could stop it.

          And the government does already underwrite businesses – we pay ACC so the govt covers our workers if they get injured, we pay EQC in case our business in damaged in an earthquake, and we pay a fire levy so there is a fire service to protect our businesses.

          Businesses also pay tax, despite many getting virtually nothing from the government for that tax.

          • Colonial Viper 10.3.2.1.1

            Sorry John, don’t try and hold the economy hostage with the “financial melt down” card.

            Capitalism is based on business failures and buyer beware. Small investors should be protected but large investors should know better.

            We’ve seen time and time again that reckless behaviour increases when the private sector thinks that it is backstopped without limit by the tax payers pocket.

            All I’m doing is proposing some sensible limits.

            Businesses also pay tax, despite many getting virtually nothing from the government for that tax.

            They can leave the country if they don’t want to operate here. Other people who understand opportunities better will quickly fill the gap.

            • john 10.3.2.1.1.1

              No – it’s not sensible in the slightest.

              The whole point of the scheme was to stop companies falling over because of people pulling money out.

              If you only fully guarantee the small investors, but the bigger ones stand to lose half their money, then of course they will pull their money out – and the company would fall over, so the scheme would fail.

              And then the taxpayer would be left to pay our billions to all the small investors who left their money in.

              That’s why unless the scheme guarantees ALL money, in a company, it would be worse than pointless as it would certainly fail, and cost the taxpayer billions.

  11. Ad 11

    Not enough people care about local government voting for this line of argument to have much force any more.

    Better to concentrate on the practical everyday concerns of people, and how they link pretty well to Labour’s solutions in housing, skills training, and insurance.

  12. OwTim 12

    @ Bill
    ….. raises another issue, and one that most don’t seem too concerned about, or willing to address.
    WHAT (if anything) are political parties of the left going to do to preserve various democratic institutions in future?
    How has it become so easy to
    – destroy public service broadcasting and any sort of legitimate public sphere
    – sell/privatise assets owned by the public – effectively move their value from the hands of the wider electorate into the hands of the few and provide those few with the legalese of property rights that trump a voting public
    – pass legislation that does not conform to BORA, The Treaty, etc (in the abscence of a formal constitution)
    – use urgency to pass legislation at will, and to give equal effect to it as would that which had gone through ‘normal’ process
    – demolish (in this instance corporatise) the public service institutions such that elected representatives can use excuses such as “I cannot interfere in operational matters”, AND/OR various other (now cliched) excuses to do nothing when various government corporate feifdoms fail their public so blatantly and poorly
    – allow the permanence of all the above to have existed for so long
    ??
    Surely – given that the left-right pendulum has swung so far right over the past 30 years that the Natzis are referred to with a ‘centre’ prefix, the means of preventing a future repetition should be paramount. I’ve yet to see any ‘left’ slash ‘liberal’ slash ‘progressive’ party address this.
    It’s probably also why I cannot give Labour my party vote until I next see their record – post this election

  13. Ad 13

    OwTim
    About a third of people don’t vote in central government elections, and over two thirds don’t vote in local elections. Democracy is no vote winner.

    You are essentially asking if the decline in the entire public sphere can be reversed. My experience is that it takes pretty charismatic leaders to achieve that. Plus at least a decade of work. Check the strength of National’s membership, because of John Key, and the surge in Labour membership due to a refreshed democratic process and a strong, smart leader in David Cunliffe.

    They need to be in government for three terms, have committed activist Ministers, and a public service who are motivated. That’s a whole bunch of stars to sustain in alignment.

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    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    29 mins ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    60 mins ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    60 mins ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    4 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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