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Christchurch earthquake & moral hazard

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, September 9th, 2010 - 94 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

Fran O’Sullivan joins us in asking why the Government was so quick to completely bailout the South Canterbury Finance investors and is being so miserly with earthquake victims:

“Just imagine the uproar if the sequence had been reversed [if the earthquake came before the SCF].

Consider: Key goes down to the earthquake zone. Tells Cantabrians the Government will get behind them. But it will not be able to stand fully behind those who don’t have earthquake insurance. As he told TVNZ’s Q&A programme on Sunday: “It’s the 5 or 10 per cent of people that don’t have insurance that have said, ‘Look, I’ll risk it’ … and that’s the moral hazard for the Government because, on the one hand, if we pay everybody out, why would people take insurance. On the other hand, you’re gonna have people with real hardship and deprivation, and it’s getting that balancing act right. It’s not going to be easy.”

His Government has since indicated it will come to the party with a range of social services. But nobody is pretending a bailout is on the way for those who failed to take out insurance.

Consider again: if having already made crystal clear his Government’s view that it was too concerned about moral hazard risks, and the signal that would be sent if the Crown restored the losses of uninsured earthquake victims, Key then turned around a day or so later and said the Government was prepared to overlook moral hazard concerns when it came to South Canterbury’s bond investors and creditors and fully pay them out so it could get full control of the situation.

I suspect the uproar of hatred that has been pouring out against South Canterbury founder Allan Hubbard on far too many uncontrolled websites over the past week would have instead been directed against a Government arguably looking after well-heeled opportunists to whom it did not owe a red cent as they were not covered by the guarantee scheme.

As Maier said on Tuesday last week: “A lot of bets in the casino paid off big time today.”
What we have ended up with is very untidy: the Government has paid out “in the know” bond investors and foreign preferential shareholders who did not qualify for the guarantee.

Forget about moral hazard – the smart money now knows that the Key Government can be “gamed”.

I want to make a point about this moral hazard argument that the government is so concerned about with the earthquake, which it wasn’t concerned about with SCF.

The moral hazard argument is that if the government cover someone’s losses now, it will encourage them to take uninsured risks in the future in the expectation of a government bailout if things go wrong, imposing even more costs on the government in the future and unhinging capitalism by allowing return without risk. Both the SCF bailout and covering the costs of uninsured homeowners and workers could create a moral hazard.

But, in the case of the earthquake victims at least, there’s the social justice argument that you can’t allow families, especially children, to suffer because of the poverty or mistakes of the parents or their parents’ employers. Do people deserve to have their lives ruined because they couldn’t afford insurance? We have a moral duty to help.

It seems to me that there’s a simple solution: help people now, prevent people taking uninsured risks in the future.

How does it work?

Damage insurance: Government extends EQC coverage to all homes and contents affected by this quake, regardless of whether the people had home insurance or not (side question: if you’re a renter, your landlord presumably has the house insurance so gets EQC cover but do you get EQC cover for your contents?)

In future, EQC is funded not out of a levy on home insurance policies but by a levy on residential rates. Every property owner pays rates, so there’s no moral hazard problem of people not bothering to get home insurance – instead, everyone is covered and everyone pays. Bear in mind that you can’t get earthquake coverage from private insurers in Christchurch any more but there are still major earthquakes occurring.

Wages: Government covers the wages of all employers who can’t work due to the quake on top of any private insurance that businesses have. No-one is left out of pocket.

To avoid moral hazard, in the future wage insurance for disasters will be covered by a compulsory public insurance scheme like ACC, funded by a tiny payroll levy. And I do mean tiny – a $100 million pool expected to be paid out once a decade could be funded with a levy of just 1 cent per hundred dollars of wages. Again, everyone gets covered now and there’s no moral hazard for the future because a compulsory and universal insurance scheme has been introduced.

The government can help the people who need help now while avoiding creating an undesirable moral hazard for the future. The question is: will it choose to?

PS. Since my piece the other day, respected business journo Patrick Smellie has written an article dismissing the suggestion that the earthquake could be an economic boon, and Treasury has put damage at $4 billion and the initial output loss at 0.5% of GDP.

94 comments on “Christchurch earthquake & moral hazard”

  1. Loota 1

    One thing which aggravates me no end is how the NATs are willing to come up with in depth schemes, mechanisms and rationale over months and months in order to transfer a shit tonne of money over to their mates and random speculators vis a vis South Canterbury Finance.

    But can’t be assed trying to think through how they can help ordinary NZ’ers. Instead its “Not insured? You should’ve known better. Next.”

    • Marty G 1.1

      Paul Henry saying that uninsured people failed to take ‘personal responsibility’ so stuff them is a prime example of what you’re talking about.

      The ability to double think is amazing – i’ve seen him encourage an unemployed executive to go on the dole and 20 seconds later call a sickness beneficiary a bludger.

  2. Jenny 2

    My question is, what about those who couldn’t afford mortgages and have had to rent, but have lost their homes?

    If the rental property that housed their family has been damaged and is now uninhabitable, and as a result, they and their family are in a shelter. What assistance is being being given to them?

    Is the Minister of Housing going to break his silence on this issue?

    Is Housing New Zealand going to get the budget to increase their housing stock to meet the need for more rental accomodation?

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Very good questions, to which I would add one more: What, if anything, will be done to stop landlords who own an intact house profiteering as demand hugely exceeds supply by racking rents? And as a corollary, will a sitting tenant facing eviction on a flimsy pretence so the owner can flip the house and bring in new tenants at a much higher rent have any sort protection (other than the long, drawn-out and unpredictable Tenancy Tribunal process)?

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        Your right Rex to stop the speculators the obvious thing to do, is for Housing New Zealand to buy up the necessary number of suitable and undamaged empty homes from the private sector to add to their rental stock and rehouse all the homeless families.

        Sure this would cost, but it would only be a tiny fraction of the money made available to bail out SCF investors. Even Fran O’Sullivan realises who is the more deserving.

        captcha – “bought”

        • Herodotus 2.1.1.1

          How long do you think that will take, great idea.
          There will be months years depending upon the lenght of after shocks.
          There will be extensive geotech work being undertaken so as not to build on suspect land or to ascertain what geotech requirements are needed to protect the land, also I would imagine that the fault will have to be tracked & mapped.
          Roads that had minor hairline cracks on Monday now due to aftershocks have 1m fracture lines. One reason why it is taking so long to review the damage. So in some cases raoding and other infrastructure initially passde has subsequently required 2nd or 3rd visits to find out that it requires remedial or replacement.
          Making land available, it does not magically appear from a tree. There is extensive town planning infrastructre planning e.g. stormwater, wastewater efects on traffic movements etc. If we fast track then there is a great potential for poor planning and a disaster. this sad event has allowed us the potential to redesign a major city and with wisdom and knowledge to improve on what was there.
          We currently have one major disaster partically caused by haste, poorly designed law and companded by poor decision making. Do we really want to be the authors or 2 really basd decisions within a year?

          • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1

            .
            Herodotus it would only take a matter of days for HNZ to buy up the necessary number of undamaged vacant rental properties.

            My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.

            captcha – “fixes”

            • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In fact with the political will it shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to ring all the real estate agents and offer them a lump sum for all the vacant properties on the books.

              If there are any families still in shelters by the end of next week it is because someone wants it that way.

            • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1.2

              In fact with the political will it shouldn’t take HNZ more than an afternoon to ring all the real estate agents and offer them a lump sum for all the vacant properties on their books.

              If there are any families still in shelters by the end of next week it is because someone wants it that way.

            • Herodotus 2.1.1.1.1.3

              There will always be a sector of the pop whos actions are detesable e.g. breaking and stealing from special needs school as per TV1 news. You would require a willing vendor, and with this catastrophe so freash that to spend time and valuable resources in this would be taking away from the initial needs. HNZ cannot even manage the properties within Auck that the either own or lease. “My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.” agreed, That is if there are any vacante properties within Chch which I doubt.
              But my response was that I think the relief effort re housing and infrastructure will being to slow down for many valid reasons. Yet there will be some incl bloggers & media with their selfish agendas that are more important than those at the coal face working thru the issues that the public will not be aware or have any understanding of as to why. e.g. the results of after shocks requiring extra inspections. I have not heard from media of this, so many will be unaware of such events and the unavailablity in their situation of roading, building inspectors and other staff.
              Whilst there is this immediate need, as a minor feel good for those in Chch when the initial problems are resolved, perhaps a AB game against Canterbury (festival type incase Dan or Richie get injured for next year) at Lancaster Park and free with TV rights and a telthon type assisting in financial support for the area. (A bit like the forest fires in the mid 80′s in Sydney when our cricket team went and played the Aussies in a one dayer)

              • Jenny

                .
                Herodotus, from your comments I gather that you think rental tenants on low incomes made homeless by the quake, are undeserving of any government help to get a roof over their heads. (Well at least, less deserving than the millionaire investors in SCF who were bailed out to the tune of $1.6 Billion)

                Firstly you cynically set the scene with a broad smear:

                There will always be a sector of the pop whos actions are detesable e.g. breaking and stealing from special needs school as per TV1 news.

                Secondly you infer that putting funds into housing the homeless renters will be taking money from more deserving causes, (though you don’t say what, but most of us can guess):

                …to spend time and valuable resources in this would be taking away from the initial needs.

                Thirdly along with fake praise, you try and infer that there may be no suitable houses:

                “My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.” agreed, That is if there are any vacante properties within Chch which I doubt.

                Well on this you can easily be proven wrong;

                Here are scores and scores of recent listings for unsold houses in good condition at reasonable prices in Christchurch, on just one Real Estate company’s website.

                Some are advertised as already tenanted but many are vacant.

                You can wriggle and squirm all you like, but the fact is, that for a small fraction of the cost of bailing out well off investors who bet on a lemon, all the families suffering homelessness from the earthquake could be housed.

                All it will take is the political will. The “Moral Hazard” that Fran O’Sullivan talks about is when apologists for this sort of double standard like your good self, try and argue against any bailouts for the less well off affected by an earthquake but have no problem gifting hundreds of millions of dollars to the well off.

                • Jenny

                  .
                  Herodotus; It is interesting, that in your diatribe against Housing New Zealand taking any role in housing the homeless, you also claim (without citation):

                  HNZ cannot even manage the properties within Auck that the either own or lease.

                  This shows to me that you are philosophically opposed to the state having any role in the social provision of housing even in case of dire emergency. Using the old chestnut that the public sector is inefficient, your argument implies you believe the private sector would be better left to house the low paid homeless, and that state rentals should be abolished, or run as a subsidy for privat landlords. Which is arguably happening now in Auckland where HNZC leases homes from private landlords providing them with a permanent income.

                  I also notice that you think that rather than address the problem, you suggest “feel good” palliatives:

                  Whilst there is this immediate need, as a minor feel good for those in Chch when the initial problems are resolved, perhaps a AB game against Canterbury (festival type incase Dan or Richie get injured for next year) at Lancaster Park and free with TV rights and a telthon type assisting in financial support for the area. (A bit like the forest fires in the mid 80′s in Sydney when our cricket team went and played the Aussies in a one dayer)

                  Your suggested strategy, reminds me so much of the arrogant quote from Roman times in answer to the inequality of that ancient decadent society, give them “Bread and Circuses”.

                  P.S. Another weird thing. When you click on the link to the real estate listings, it it like the Christchurch earthquake never happened. In this alternative universe, middle class suburbia is as immaculate and untouched as ever.

                  capcha – “columns” -Roman maybe? collapsing even? – (Herodotus, like your argument.)

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Can’t agree with the article by Smellie. Something he has overlooked is that substantial amounts of the money will come from overseas insurers via reinsurance by NZ insurers and reinsurance by the EQC.

    Thus a lot of the money coming into the Canterbury, and indirectly NZ economy will be coming out of the bucket of overseas investors. Thus, new money will be coming into the economy. Therefore, it won’t be a zero sum game, so far as the NZ economy goes anyway.

    One interesting thing to note with the effect on Christchurch and its surrounds is the vast disparity of the effect. Many of the houses (including mine thankfully) have been largely unaffected. I went down to work on Saturday morning to check out our building. I was expecting to see the area (Sockburn) flattened. Our building is typical tilt-slab construction. I have always felt a bit nervous about being in that type of building with having great slabs of concrete that could potentially tip over. However, to my surprise there appeared to be little or no impact on the area. We rang around our clients on Monday morning and most of them had little damage as well.

    Given the proximity, shallowness, and strength of the quake, it is amazing that there was not a hell of a lot more damage.

    It appears that the damage is largely limited to eastern areas with sandy soil, and older buildings that weren’t earthquake-strengthened.

    Where rebuilding is required my view is that the government, insurers etc should put money into buying up land that will stand up well to earthquakes for rebuilding houses. I see little point in rebuilding on land that is likely to suffer the same effect next time there is a major quake. The alpine fault is still lurking, after all. In this way some real gains could be made for the city in terms of survivability next time there is a big shake.

    • Marty G 3.1

      ts. your problem is that you’re seeing GDP as a measure of economic wellbeing. The fact is we’ve lost $4 billion of capital wealth and will now be replacing it.

      It’s not just me and Smellie saying this. check out the rightwing economists at The Visible Hand in Economics. The author, Matt Nolan, is regularly published in the Dom.

      As TVHE says:
      ” [People are] confused between the flow concept, which is investment and GDP, and the stock concept, which is capital and underlying wealth. We have lost capital, and we have lost wealth – this negative shock is not just sucky for the people who had to face a disaster, but it IS a “negative for the economy” in terms of measured wealth.

      I mean flip, if destroying a city is “good for the economy” why don’t we send the tanks into Wellington to blow it up right now? Actually, I’m in Wellington – lets make that Auckland instead

      And there was a very good article on yesterday’s morning report.

      I think it’s somewhere here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/business/morning/2010/09/08/morning_business_for_8_september_2010

      and this ABC article

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/07/3004467.htm?site=thedrum

      don’t mistake economic activity for economic wealth.

    • lprent 3.2

      It is pretty obvious. It is a negative to zero sum game. At the end you don’t have any better abilities to generate wealth than you did before the quake. Sure a few people will be better off because they’re doing construction, but others will take a hit.

      Unconsolidated (compaction) or weathered sediments (slips) are always the big issue in earthquakes and probably cause more damage than the actual shaking. One of the issues with trying to pick winners in house siting is that you really can’t be too sure about what sites are ‘safe’ until after the event that destroys some. Even then, a slightly different other event may cause a destruction that the first didn’t. You can only really estimate and guess. It is simpler and more effective to simply over engineer.

      These local shallow earthquakes are far more dangerous to ChCh than the alpine fault. That will have dissipated most of its high yield energy through distance and won’t affect the local sediments as strongly.

      • Mr Magoo 3.2.1

        Rod Oram spoke exceptionally well (again) on the topic on national radio. (podcast available)

        It is worse than that. The foreign money rebuilds the old assets and it is true that all those working on this are extra stimulus. Note also that the industry it will be propping up is in serious trouble and looking at laying off 20k people at the moment.
        However those overseas insurance firms are going to want to recoup that money and thus premiums for the whole country are going to go up to cover that – so we pay in the end anyway.
        He also noted that the rebuild will not increase productive capacity at all.

        The way I see it this just ends up being the short term stimulus the nats failed to give us in the first place. What is better is that this foreign money it is coming from greedy insurance companies. Sure we have to pay it back but in the interim it is stimulus and if the government borrowed it for stimulus we would have had to anyway.

        He was saying he hoped that CHCH and the government would use this as an opportunity to rebuild the city and make it better rather than just rebuild what was there.

        Fat chance there of course. Between the greedy insurance companies wanting to do the min possible and this no-ideas government that will never happen.

    • Lazy Susan 3.3

      substantial amounts of the money will come from overseas insurers via reinsurance by NZ insurers and reinsurance by the EQC

      This is a specious arguement as insurance payouts are not “free” – they are paid for with past and future premiums. Had there been no insurance or EQC then the money saved on premiums would have been available to invest in the economy.

      Captcha: faults!… is this software really that smart?

      [lprent: Nope. It just has a very long list of words and a pseudo random number generator. Humans are good at reading meaning into almost anything - tealeaves? entrails? captcha? ]

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      It’s always a zero sum game no matter how hard the economists, RWNJs and other idiots try to believe it isn’t. When there are limited resources (real resources, not money as money isn’t a resource) then it is always an either/or option. You either put the resources into doing one thing or the other. In this we are now putting resources into rebuilding Christchurch rather than doing the 1001 other things that the community needs.

      And yes, as has been pointed out, the loss will be increased by the deadweight loss of profit.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    “your problem is that you’re seeing GDP as a measure of economic wellbeing. The fact is we’ve lost $4 billion of capital wealth and will now be replacing it.”

    Depends on how we rebuild. The earthquake has shown us what stands up and what doesn’t.
    To that extent what we have lost was going to be lost at some stage anyway. So, a fair degree of the damage could be described as a contingent liability. That contingent liability has been effectively offsetting the asset values in Christchurch for decades.

    If we rebuild in ways that mitigate future problems we will have eliminated a fair degree of the contingent liability for the future, so there will be an effective net gain in assets over the long term as there will be less loss in future events. Therefore, even from the perspective you are arguing real wealth will have improved because the spend will reduce future liabilities, not just replace what has been lost.

    • Marty G 4.1

      We’ve lost $4 billion of physical capital. Now we have to expend financial assets to rebuild that. It is not a wealth gain. It is a wealth loss. The rebuilding will boost GDP but that just shows the limitations of GDP as a measure of economic or broader human welfare.

      • Bunji 4.1.1

        GDP is just cashflow. Any analysis of a balance sheet for the economic wealth of a person or business is going to look at assets as well as cashflow, as it needs to for a country. Yes, your cashflow has increased, but your assets have been wiped out. The bank isn’t going to look at your mortgage more favourably if you get a pay rise but the house it paid for has been destroyed.

        (and GDP certainly isn’t even trying to be a measure of broader human welfare…)

    • Loota 4.2

      If we rebuild in ways that mitigate future problems we will have eliminated a fair degree of the contingent liability for the future,

      If you can tell me how Key and Brownlee’s ‘retroactive building consents’ i.e. ‘build now and get it approved against current standards sometime in the future’ system will get Christchurch to improve their buildings and “mitigate further problems” I will be really impressed.

      Basically the only improvement I see happening is that old weaker buildings have been taken out of the stock. But the earthquake did that, not the Government.

  5. The dilemma seems to originate from a misplaced expectation of consistency.
    Welfare for the rich has never been a problem for National and ACT.
    It’s only abhorrent to them when it’s welfare for those who actually need it.

    • F.Y 5.1

      true. I’d say it’s not entirely “welfare” but the passing of potential to influence power structures in the future. Poor people/non-company investors are outside the group/culture and could believe/do anything. Why give them anything? They’re impossible to control/predict.

      By giving money to SCF investors but not specifically people who have lost in the quake, the balance of power goes to those with the financial resources to influence Christchurch in the rebuild/allocation of work/livelihoods.

  6. BLiP 6

    I see that premiums are going to rise for all of us because of that luckless lot in Christchurch – its something about “spreading the risk” – fucking socialist insurance industry!!

    • Loota 6.1

      I propose that we put a 100km ring around Christchurch and legislate so that insurance companies must draw their increased premiums from within the radius.

      After all, why should I have to pay for someone else’s frakked up property with my insurance money when I chose to live in a property sitting on top proper bedrock and they took the risk of living on swampland?

      Teach them some individual frakkin responsibility for their bad choices.

      • Mark M 6.1.1

        Your all class Loota. (NOT)
        cantabrians dont complain when regular North Island floods push up premiums , when overseas Earthquakes and Tsunamis push up premiums.
        thats because we have compassion , something you, on whatever planet you live on seem to be lacking.

        Im sure if the shit hit the fan in your area you would be the first one whining for help.

      • Puddleglum 6.1.2

        I’d go further Loota – I don’t think I should provide a subsidy to all those who build on hills, near the shore, in wet areas, etc., etc.. In fact, I think it should be illegal for insurance companies to charge any two home-owners the same premium – why should I pay for my neighbours’ bad decisions on how they situate their house on their property, the kinds of materials they use, etc.?

        And don’t tell me the transaction costs for insurance companies (who would no longer be able to operate from actuarial tables at all) would go through the roof. So what? Why should I subsidise the insurance companies doing business by having them walk all over my economic freedom NOT to have to pay for others’ mistakes??? Of course, that would mean that all our premiums would probably go up astronomically as the cost of the insurance business goes up but at least we’ll all be FREE and unconstrained by our fellow human beings’ choices!

        Bliss!

  7. jbanks 7

    You buy a house, you buy insurance.

    That is all.

    • BLiP 7.1

      You invest with a finance company, you take the risk, that is all . . . oh, hang on

      • jbanks 7.1.1

        There was a Guarantee Scheme in place that both Labour & National supported. The Govt. is obligated under this guarantee to pay out the investors. The Govt. is under no obligation to pay out home owners who choose not to insure.

        It’s really not that hard to comprehend.

        • Blighty 7.1.1.1

          no legal obligation, no. But that’s not the test of whether a government is doing what’s right. If it was (Godwin alert) then everything that the National Socialists did was OK because it was within the law of Germany at the time.

          the question is what is morally right, not whether the government is doing the bare minimum that it legally must.

          • jbanks 7.1.1.1.1

            What’s morally right is what is best for the survival of the group. Paying out house owners who undermine our vital insurance system will only benefit them at the determent of society.

            • r0b 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m just curious jbanks – who do you think makes up “society”?

              • jbanks

                A collection of individuals.

                • r0b

                  Individuals, like, say, house owners?

                  • jbanks

                    House owners are a part of society. But as I said, paying out those minority uninsured individuals would be at the expense of society as a whole.

                    • r0b

                      I don’t think it’s so easy jb to distinguish between the health of society as a whole and the health of the individuals who make up society,

                    • jbanks

                      “I don’t think it’s so easy jb to distinguish between the health of society as a whole and the health of the individuals who make up society,

                      Imo if people choose to risk not to have insurance then that’s their responsibility. Giving people without insurance the same benefits as those with is a dangerous precedent to set.

                    • r0b

                      Imo if people choose to risk not to have insurance then that’s their responsibility.

                      Imo one of the defining features of a society is how it chooses to take care of its weakest members.

                      Gotta go for now…

        • BLiP 7.1.1.2

          Can you please show me where in the DoG it says New Zealand has to pay back foreign investors, with interest?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          The government is only obligated to do so if the finance company hadn’t broken the terms of the agreement. This government didn’t even wait long enough to discover that before paying out.

    • Blighty 7.2

      like BLiP said but also, what do you say to the children of parents who lost their jobs, couldn’t afford insurance, and now have wrecked houses? Do you say ‘thems the breaks, kid’?

      • jbanks 7.2.1

        What on earth are you on about? Welfare is still available after the earthquake. There’s even Earthquake Support Subsidies & Earthquake Redundancy Payments.

        Also there’s no such thing as ‘couldn’t afford insurance’. You buy a house, then insurance is part of this process.

        Wtf is the point of people getting insurance if the state will bail them out if they choose not to fork out all that money for it?

        • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.1

          So you object to the 350/week/employee subisdy being paid to SME owners who failed to get insurance?

          • jbanks 7.2.1.1.1

            Morally I object. But I think that it’s a pragmatic thing to do temporarily.

            Forking out tens to hundreds of thousands to people I object to.

            • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Why is one pragmatic and the other not?

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1.2

              So Social Welfare for employers and wealthy investors is OK but Social Welfare for income poor landowners is not?

              • jbanks

                You got it. It’s about viable investment.
                Not paying out irresponsible landowners will not be detrimental to our economy. Not paying out employers and SCF investors would be.

                You own a house, you have insurance. No exceptions.

                • F.Y

                  Not paying out irresponsible landowners will not be detrimental to our economy. Not paying out employers and SCF investors would be.

                  LOL You’re taking the piss, surely. Are the implications of the statement due to self parody or mental retardation?

                  • jbanks

                    You not speeka da finance fool?

                    SCF’s collapse would have damaged the economy a whole lot more than the cost of paying out investors.

                    • BLiP

                      You’ll have some evidence to back that up, then?

                    • jbanks

                      Finance Minister talks of ‘minimal disruption’ to wider economy from South Canterbury collapse.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/video.cfm?c_id=3&gal_objectid=10670273&gallery_id=113600

                    • bbfloyd

                      not forgetting, of course, that the nats encouraged a rash of high risk investment by extending the guarantee scheme earlier this year. one wonders how this would have played out if they had played it straight.

                      if you were capable of pulling your head out of your arse, then wiped your eyes with a clean rag, you might see the timeline that goes back to that decision creating a huge money pit for the wealthy nat backers.

                      btw, how big will your payout be?

                    • BLiP

                      That’s it? A New Zealand Fox News Herald puff piece – reporting the words of Blinglish – without one specific?? I’m going to assume you’re in Christchurch and waiting for your primary school to re-open. There’s the indelible odour of young troll about you. Tell me, what’s your favourite iwi?

                • Blighty

                  or, to put it another way: ‘fuck you poor peps ,more taxpayer money for the rich!’

  8. Richard 8

    I think that there is absolutely a moral argument to provide for the uninsured in CHCH. Yes, it would be better if those people had insurance, but due to some combination of being either poor, stupid, or misinformed, they don’t. We should be helping them out of their situation, not blaming them for their situation.

    In some ways, the same argument applies to SCF. If somebody who invested in SCF lost so much that they could no longer avoid housing, clothing, or food, then the various social mechanisms that we have (dole, etc) should have looked after them. And that would be good. Such people (if there were any) were obviously stupid, greedy, or misinformed, but we shouldn’t blame them for this, we should help them out of their predicament.

    The problem with the SCF bailout is that it didn’t just target those who really needed help, it targeted those who had only lost a bad “investment” (which is likely the majority of investors) and also those who invested at the last minute in the anticipation that they would be bailed out. Neither group actually need rescuing by the tax payer from the poverty line.

  9. disengaged 9

    One thing (of the many) that I am finding interesting about the SCF Vs Quake debate is that most people seem to be assuming that the SCF investors were all greedy fat cats taking advantage of the taxpayers to feather their own nests, whereas the uninsured quake victim is a worker poor, hard done by victim. I actually suspect that they may in fact both be very similar people.

    Most of the people who I know that have been effected by SCF (which granted is a limited subset) are retired people who have invested large portions of their lifesavings into SCF for two reasons: 1. Because of that nice Mr Hubbard man and 2.Because it was covered by the Govt Guarantee Scheme and therefore the risk of them losing their lot was greatly reduced. They weren’t greedy or looking for quick returns, but because they are living off of the interest of these investments even a 1% increase on return would make a big difference to their life. So if they had lost their savings they more than likely would be left pennyless at a time in their life where it is impossible for them to recover (not a great deal of employment opportunities for octogenerians).

    Turning to the uninsured quake victims, If you have a mortgage then normally it is compulsory to have your house insured (not the contents), in fact if you don’t do it yourself in many cases the bank will do it on your behalf and add the premiums onto your payments. So the people most hurt are likely to be the retired people who are asset rich (paid off their home many years ago) but are cash poor (living on a pension) and have cut their expenses to the bone. They will have no means to rebuild and many may be forced to give their independance and move in with family, retirement homes etc.

    Either way it’s not a pretty picture and I’d like to think that New Zealand is the type of country that will work to help those in need.

    I like your idea of compulsory EQC cover being included in rates (I’d also like to see third party car insurance added to registrations too, but that’s for another debate). As at the moment the only benefit I see from EQC is to the insurance companies, not to the insuree.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Either way it’s not a pretty picture and I’d like to think that New Zealand is the type of country that will work to help those in need.

      This.

      • jbanks 9.1.1

        Providing welfare such as Earthquake Support Subsidies & Earthquake Redundancy Payments – YES

        Spending tens of thousands on fixing or hundreds of thusands on replacing your home –
        NO

  10. Bill 10

    Why is the industry of vultures (private insurance) allowed to exist in a civilised country?

    People making profit out of the misfortune of others, or those peoples’ fear of misfortune, while condemning those who didn’t buy into the fear or who couldn’t afford to, is beneath contempt.

    In the earthquake situation, the existence of private insurance is about to lead to a whole raft of class ridden aftershocks that wouldn’t exist if the state controlled the entire insurance market.

    Time to shut out the private insurance companies.

    • clandestino 10.1

      Insurance is one of the most brilliant and fair concepts ever conceived by man. Get your head out of your ar$e

      captcha: ‘market’…this thing IS rigged

      • Tigger 10.1.1

        Cland – that’s the stupidest generalization I’ve read in ages.

      • Vicky32 10.1.2

        Oh yes – do you remember that before Fire Brigades existed, competing insurance companies would literally fight so that their crews could sign up a desperate home-owner while her house burned around her ears, and only then would the winner extinguish the flames? Brilliant – yeah.
        Last night on Fair Go I saw again the story of Sovereign’s refusal to pay out for a man who’d had a mortgage protection policy, and who had lost a leg, on the grounds that he needed to have lost *two* limbs in order to qualify! Brilliant for Sovereign, yes, but fair? Get *your* head out of your bank book…
        Deb

        • Loota 10.1.2.1

          Come now Vicky, I am pretty sure the guy who got maimed had an insurance policy which stated very clearly, somewhere in the 30 pages, in 7.5 point arial, as part of a footnote, that the insurance company could only pay out in the event of losing two limbs and a simultaneous martian invasion. Look that’s fair and square, buyer beware.

          Yeah thank you Sovereign, you bunch of ***holes.

          • Vicky32 10.1.2.1.1

            The worst thing is that the insurance was through ASB who insisted on it as a condition of his mortgage – he hadn’t even wanted it, then was thankful he had it after the horrible trauma of losing his leg.
            I know what company(ies) to avoid! I’ve noticed that most insurance companies always go out of their way to not pay out – except I must say good on you State who paid without question when some tosser stole my son’s bag at the IMAX cinema in Auckland in 2008…
            Deb

        • clandestino 10.1.2.2

          What about all the times insurance has worked for those who bought it? The stolen stereos, the broken windows? As a fair measure of risk and value it is proven.
          I suggest you watch less TV….or get a job

          • Loota 10.1.2.2.1

            Frak the stolen TVs and the broken windows, we are talking about a man maimed for life here and a corporate which has walked away; not replacing BS material possessions.

            • clandestino 10.1.2.2.1.1

              What about the straw-man in the hayfield??? You’re gonna have to do better than that emotional blackmail…show me something endemic

              • Maynard J

                How about this. Two Christchurch homeowners face houses in ruins. One will get all their money back, and be well looked after in the mean time. One has no idea what their future holds and can do nothing tohelp their situation now. The first, of coruse, took out home insurance, the second did not. The first, in paying for insurance, forfeited the fourth week of a European holiday. The second, in not buying insurance, chose not to forfeit new shoes and school uniforms for their children, home heating and repairs on a washing machine.

                How is that brilliant and fair? Simple example, but the idea that those who don’t take insurance out are being cowboys with risk is absurd, inaccurate and simplistic. It’s easy to spend a little extra money if you have a lot to spare, once your needs have been met.

        • infused 10.1.2.3

          How about they read their policy… It’s the same as investing… for gods sake, do some research first. Almost a darwin award.

          • Maynard J 10.1.2.3.1

            Yeah, the dumb bastard should have known that they were going to lose one limb in a few months and looked for a policy that would have covered it. But then perhaps they did, and the two-limb policy didn’t cover a scalping while using a go-kart and they couldn’t afford both policies, and their crystal ball got it wrong, they lost the limb and didn’t get scalped. ffs mate are you really stupid enough to believe what you wrote there?

            If that’s how dumb you are, no doubt you’ll be up for one when you decide to chop your arm off with a chainsaw to win a bet or something that’s actually stupid.

            • infused 10.1.2.3.1.1

              The one arm/one leg/two arm/two leg is quite comonly known. People should read their policy.

      • Puddleglum 10.1.3

        I can see how insurance is brilliant, in the sense that it’s a brilliant device for leveraging money from anxious people in individualistic societies where they are left to manage risk in isolation from each other.

        But how is it ‘fair’?

        • Bill 10.1.3.1

          It is fair insofar as we are all fair game. No?

          I mean, seriously. My peers (as expressed through societal norms) expect me to get life insurance!

          ie Society expects me to pay money to get money for when I no longer exist? And if I don’t then I’m selfish…not that insurance agencies are shameless profiteering bastards?

          • clandestino 10.1.3.1.1

            The money’s for your kids (if you have any). Why can’t some people just accept some things are here to stay coz they are simply too good to throw away??

            • Loota 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah, you’ll see this argument come back to haunt ya.

            • Bill 10.1.3.1.1.2

              No, you idiot. The money’s for the recipients (the insurance companies) to invest and make a profit from.

              You’re just the expression of the fear factor that provides them with their cash flow.

              • clandestino

                Riight…it’s idiots like you that are gonna cost us all a fortune…we’ll see how that comes back and haunts us.

  11. Treetop 11

    I have been doing a comparison with the Christchurch earthquake residents and South Canterbury Finance. I have asked myself the following questions:

    1. Christchurch earthquake magnitude?
    2. Government assistance for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    3. Source of resources for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    4. Level of trauma for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    5. Duration of trauma for the Christchurch earthquake residents?

    Substitute the word Christchurch earthquake for South Canterbury Finance.

    My fifty years of life has taught me to look at my own resources first.
    Read the fine print when signing a contract.
    Experience is something you get after the event.
    Anger is an emotional response to discomfort.
    What goes around comes around.

  12. Jenny 12

    Fran O’Sullivan worries that the Christchurch Earthquake is a “moral hazard” for the government.

    The answer must be that:

    The Christchurch Earthquake has split open this government’s caring facade’ and revealed a very serious deficit in their ability to address the problem of those on low incomes made homeless by this quake.

    The Minister of Revenue has put out a statement on the earthquake here.

    Yet dispite the homelessness caused by the earthquake the Minister of Housing is still keeping silent about what the response from his department will be.

    In Fact yesterday in Hon. Phil Heatley’s first Media release since the earthquake. It was like it never happened.

    Media Release – 08 Sep – Hon Phil Heatley

    Has the Minister and his Government Department been caught flat footed by this disaster, because Housing New Zealand has been turned from a Social Service provider, into a cash cow provider for landlords and developers?

    In my opinion there is no excuse for even one family to be homeless by the time of the Mayoral election. If any suitable and undamaged property on the market is left empty by the inaction of the Ministry of Housing then serious questions need to be asked.

    I hope both candidates are lobbying central government for a proper response, from the Ministry of Housing. If not the voters of Christchurch need to ask why?

    Is this silence from the Ministry of Housing trying to hide a deliberate and callous decision made by the Minister and his advisers not to make a response to the Earthquake?

    Is Housing New Zealand trying to increase their rental stock Christchurch to meet the demand?

    Will the Minister allow them to?

    captcha – “actions” how we will know them.

    • Jenny 12.1

      With Minister of housing Phill Heatley still crouched under his cone of silence. Now might be a good time for the shadow minister of housing to speak up.

  13. Where have we seen this before, oh yes big banks baled out while subprime homes abandoned for c
    carparks.

    antispam: pause (between aftershocks)

    • Bill 13.1

      Indeed Dave.

      I live a ways south of Christchurch and am about to put up my first refugee…a renter who has lost their home and is touring the S. Island on the fly buying time. (Anybody want to claim that such people are not refugees…internally displaced persons?)

      In two weeks my home opens to a Cantabrian seeking temporary respite. And I very much suspect the fact it is temporary is only down to the fact that their connections are just a bit too deep for them to feel able ( at this moment) to tear up their roots and walk away for good.

      There are going to be significant numbers of people flooding out of Christchurch in the not at all too distant, adding all types of additional pressures to already barely adequate social provisions in NZ.

  14. Augustus 14

    The more risk cover can be taken away from private insurers the better. A universal levy through rates is a far better option. That would also not give insurance companies an excuse to increase premiums, after all they’d cover less risk. Maintaining the insurer’s profit margins was not part of my insurance policy contract when I signed it, but it seems to be their all overriding concern. They must spend more staff time on finding loopholes than on helping clients.

  15. prism 15

    I was unsure of tenants responsibilities for insurance as I had read about a demand for reimbursement for house damage against a tenant by a landlord. It seems that a tenant can be found liable if a landlord can make a viable case against him/her. If there was to be an absence of moral hazard to both parties, it seems the tenant needs to pay a compulsory minor insurance cost to cover the risk of negligence etc. I think people would not know the extent of tenants’ liability – at present the dwelling insurance situation seems inadequate.

    I found this – on the NZ Dept of Building and Housing info under landlord’s obligations : link
    Pay rates and any insurance taken out by the landlord. (Any insurance taken out by the landlord is unlikely to cover the tenant’s liability for damage.)

    This is expanded further on the Otago university site :
    What insurance should I have?
    The landlord is responsible for insuring the building. As a tenant you need to have your possessions adequately covered by an all risks policy. It is also advisable to take out liability cover in case of major damage to the landlord’s property (eg a fire caused by cooking or by an electrical fault in an appliance owned by the tenant).
    Otago link

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    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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