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National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, April 30th, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: Economy, exports, farming, jobs, manufacturing, national, same old national - Tags: ,

It is always interesting reading David Farrar’s pitifully shallow analysis on most things as he parrots the National spin line. It is an exercise in how to spin the bad into a virtue. However Farrar did reach a new low when looking at our exports yesterday because he trumpeted the very flaw in our economy as being of value. As usual his analysis was a shallow as the press release from Statistics..

Look more closely and manufacturing is continuing its downward spiral, overall manufacturing is down 3.3% by value for the March year. Dairy exports are up massively. The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly. The nett effect is that we have a economy that is continuing to be completely moribund because people aren’t earning and there are few wage increases.

If you look more closely at the Table 10 in the Stats department Overseas Merchandise Trade that the press release came from this gives the gross figures on the international code basis. I’ve extracted from that table to give a better idea of what is growing and falling.

Exports and imports by Standard International Trade Classification. March results for 2014 are provisional.

Exports (fob)
 Type  March 2013($million)  March 2014 ($million) Month%change Quarter %change  Year %change
Food and live animals 2,286 2,866 25.4 28.1 16.0
Beverages and tobacco 124 159 27.9 19.3 7.0
Crude materials (inedible, except fuels) 584 617 5.6 9.6 14.1
Mineral fuels (lubricants and related materials) 167 143 -14.1 -12.5 -19.0
Animal and vegetable oils (fats and waxes) 37 27 -27.2 1.0 -18.9
Chemicals and related products 206 219 6.7 11.2 -0.4
Manufactured goods (classified chiefly by material) 378 316 -16.5 -6.1 -3.1
Machinery and transport equipment 317 330 4.3 0.2 -9.3
Miscellaneous manufactured articles 161 181 12.2 7.3 3.7
Other 147 221 49.6 9.6 4.1
           
Total:  4,408 5,079 15.2 17.4 8.5
           
Total manufactures: 1,062 1,046 -1.5 1.6 -3.3

 

So even after we look at the massive gains in dairy exports, the gains almost entirely from milk powder sold to China, we had a nett gain of 8.2% over the year in exports. However it was almost entirely in extracting resources, doing minimal processing on them, and shipping them off to other countries to add value. There are few jobs in doing that.

Anything that uses our local skills is falling because this government doesn’t give a damn about it. Instead of concentrating on things that will make all of us wealthy, they’re concentrating on the things that make themselves wealthy. Selling raw commodities offshore and having cheap imports. That is a get rich quick for a few strategy.

We have had these booms in raw and near raw commodities before. They always turn to a big bust when the prices plummet. Whatever jobs that they create disappear and the nett effect afterwards is that the country is worse off. But National’s MPs really don’t care. So many of them either own dairy land or have their noses stuffed into the trough of dairy companies that they really couldn’t give a damn about other kiwis or even their own kids. They’re just making money while the pigs trough is full.

 

National has had more than five years to show that they really aren’t interested in jobs in the economy. It shows in the export statistics that they really don’t care. They’re just after what makes them wealthy and to the hell with everyone else.

77 comments on “National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs”

  1. srylands 1

    The entire premise of this article is wrong. In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. That is a GOOD and expected trend if we want to become prosperous. It has happened all over the OECD. It has happened in Australia, which despite the recent downturn is arguably the richest country in the world. The only mistake Australian governments made was to fight the trend.

    The attached paper sets out the issues well.

    http://www.pc.gov.au/research/commission/manufacturing/keypoints

    So in summary, you are dead wrong, on the wrong side of history, and totally muddled in your thinking.

    • lprent 1.1

      sigh Perhaps you could learn to read your own links rather than being a mindless cut’n’paste drone. Reading my post would be useful as well.

      The key words were “exports” and “value” not just “manufacturing”. I focused on manufacturing because in NZ that is where the jobs come from directly and indirectly.

      But lets have a look at your link.

      The fastest growing activities have been those with links to Australia’s natural endowments and products that are more differentiated, with higher skill levels and R&D intensities.

      Manufacturing is increasingly globally oriented:

      exports increased from just over 15 per cent of manufacturing output in 1989-90 to around 24 per cent in 1999-2000, with import shares also rising.

      In contrast to the output story, manufacturing employment has declined somewhat both in relative and absolute terms over the long term, although stabilising since the early 1990s.

      In Australia as has happened here, manufacturing switched from being largely focused on the internal market and is increasingly focused on the world markets. There are two strands to it. One is adding extra processing to locally sourced raw materials, and the other is adding local intelligence and skills to products.

      If you dug around further into the NZ and Australian markets over the past decades, you’d have also found that many of the service industries with their large numbers of jobs are growing because they are supplying buy-in skills for the design and distribution sides of manufacturing. As your linked report states

      some service activities once categorised as part of manufacturing have been outsourced, though this effect is relatively modest;

      This is part of the slow disintegration of vertical integration manufacturing. But in the R&D based industries it is an especially significiant contributor to job creation.

      Problem is that in NZ over the last 5 years, the government has neither been focusing on adding value to our raw materials nor has it been supporting the growth of new export industries. So we have a job growth that is less than the growth of population, a ever increasing household underemployment, and the growth of a minimal processing of raw materials (ie milk powder) as our only major growth industry.

      BTW: Perhaps you could learn to think before wasting my time explaining the basis of your own links to you.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Hey Shitlands.

      Of course the 0.1% become richer when manufacturing is outsourced to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Wages in those countries are so low compared to ours, and the 0.l% scoop up the difference and pocket it for themselves.

      It’s called wage arbitrage.

      Of course, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs decimates the NZ working class and eventually the rot reaches the middle class as well (USA and UK being prime examples).

      But I wouldn’t expect a foreigner like you to give a damn.

      • srylands 1.2.1

        Stop being so rude.

        It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

        Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders. I want a modern economy. Not an agrarian green economy with a few alternative medicine providers and basket weavers. Parasites in other words.

        Get real. And I repeat – stop being such a rude bastard.

        I have no idea what the “foreigner” thing is about.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Rude lol, you don’t deserve anything else Shitlands.

          Why don’t you leave the political economics of NZers to NZers you paid foreign hack.

          It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

          Yep it’s good for the 0.1% who then pick up the wage difference that NZ workers lose, and then pocket it for themselves. It’s called wage arbitrage, Shitlands.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders.

          No you don’t, you promote policies that are good for the 0.1%.

          You really haven’t been keeping up with the research that’s been coming out lately have you? You know, all the research that proves you completely, totally and utterly wrong.

        • felix 1.2.1.3

          The “foreigner” thing is about this being a NZ blog and you having never been here.

    • Naki Man 1.3

      “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly”

      There are approximately 17,000 employees working for Fonterra, the average factory employee
      salary is about $80,000 per annum. Fonterra contributes about $20 billion to the economy per annum.

      • Tracey 1.3.1

        what is the median salary naki man?

        given how well fonterra is doing, is anyone on the minimum wage.

        tia

      • Molly 1.3.2

        … and the tax given to government by each farmer… apparently $1506 in 2011.

        A mere drop in the bucket to help offset the cost of dairying to our waterways I would think.

        And before you state that Fonterra pays a lot in company taxes, they have rebates and other methods of reducing net profit earnings.

        I have no doubt that there are farmers out there who love the land, the water and try to farm responsibly. Unfortunately, when Fonterra was created their autonomy was lost, and their values and decision making no longer provide the local restraints on water protection and conservation that otherwise might have prevailed.

    • miravox 1.4

      ” In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. “

      Tell that to Germany, if you like

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel was once asked by then-British prime minister Tony Blair what the secret of her country’s impressive success was. She famously replied, “Mr Blair, we still make things.” In Germany, manufacturing still dominates finance, not the other way around, as Germany has continued to emphasize manufacturing and exports over the financial industry.

      [my bold]

  2. greywarbler 2

    Meanwhile back in the process, a little barrier to progress. A double rainbow – what can it mean?? A double whammy to our direy industry. This from Radionz News.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/242869/new-rules-threaten-formula-exporters

    Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain what this new Chinese requirement means? Perhaps they noticed, after the botulism scare that firms and entities like Fonterra can lose track of what their distant sub-companies are doing and want to get better oversight and less trouser-sitting, meeting and conferring and finger-tapping skills displayed in the management of the produce.

    Synlait presumably has good direct lines between NZ production and Chinese retail.

    New Zealand’s infant formula manufacturers could be stopped from sending fresh product to the Chinese market from Thursday and the Government doesn’t know how long that could continue.
    All companies wanting to export formula produced from 1 May will need to be registered with authorities in China and some manufacturers warn the process could take months.
    Roger Smith of the Ministry for Primary Industries said one of the new rules was that brands and manufacturers must be closely associated…..

    Mr Smith said the situation is the same for every country exporting to China. “Everybody’s working through the same process,” he said….

    The Labour Party says the Government needs to demand answers from China on how New Zealand manufacturers can get approval to export infant formula there.

    (From Synlait with large Chinese ownership.)
    A large manufacturer, Canterbury-based dairy company Synlait Milk, said it needed to make some minor changes to its processes, that could take two to three months, to regain export approval for product manufactured after 1 May.

    However managing director John Penno said it would not be too disruptive long term. “China is an important market – it’s the biggest infant formula market in the world and we’ve been able to position the business for these changes.”

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I’m pretty sure that Chinese owned Synlait will have a smooth and expedited approval process.

  3. Wayne 3

    Iprent,

    I assume from this that the manufactures are defined to be essentially machines, tools and other metallic and plastic elaborating transformed manufactures.

    Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are. For instance there is a big difference between a meat cut, which is essentially not modified from the animal as it was killed in the freezing works, and an expensive bottle of wine or a packaged and processed food item. In the latter case there has been quite a degree of transformation. In short our food exports are progressively moving up the value chain. They require more staff and factories, which at least in part will explain the increased workforce in this area.

    I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

    These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors.

    You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

    • McFlock 3.1

      there is a big difference between a meat cut,[...] and an expensive bottle of wine

      I am sceptical of your suggestion that a winery employs more people than a meatworks for a given export dollar value. Expensive wine might take a bit of craftwork, but most wine is basically similar to milk processing – maybe even less.

      • cricklewood 3.1.1

        There is a lot of low value labour in vineyards picking and pruning etc so man hours wise it is possible certainly way more labour intensive than milk…

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          And those damn meatworkers are all unionised! We actually have to pay them properly, unlike the cheap compliant immigrant labour in vineyards!

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          like apples, then

        • Naturesong 3.1.1.3

          This.

          If you’re around Marlborough, Gisbourne, Nelson, or any other area known for wine making, go and talk to the folks that prune and pick and clean and bottle.
          The ones that ensure that the vines and grapes are top notch so the wine maker can do their magic.

          I’ve known a couple of people who have done this work. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
          It’s hard, hard work, tough on your body and tough on your mind.
          It’ll make you age quickly, and for that you get minimum wage, you’ll be casual, no holidays and be living day to day.
          And you’ll be out in all weather, day in, day out.

    • greywarbler 3.2

      These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors….

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages. There are some and then there are the larger group of others, working long hours without much return per hour.

      Dairy should not be our main event full stop. The economy being wrapped around this industry is ignoring the rest of the country and those who aren’t and shouldn’t be part of this sector-heavy investment. Just think, while the athletes in the Olympic games compete in the events that suit their competitive advantage, the rest of the country goes about its business. Some people are involved in running the Games and catering for its needs, the others have other ongoing jobs and business.

      This excerpt from the headings page on google explains in business terms how we in NZ are making a mistake in concentrating mainly on dairy business. This comes from business – so why do our smart government business operators not follow their own best practice? They should just take up this excellent advice available to even the meanest intellect – on google.
      Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio | Investopedia
      http://www.investopedia.com/university/simulator/diversified-portfolio.asp‎
      Simply put, it is foolish to invest all your money in one investment. … nature of diversification, which is actually more common sense than you might expect. … do need to purchase at least 8 more stocks, around one from the remaining 8 sectors.

      • greywarbler 3.2.1

        The idea that our competitive advantage is with IT and elaborately changed food processes sounds good but? Food would require factory workers, infrastructure etc. I think of Hubbard muesli – a success. Yet our big customer has been Australia and for food, over there it is dominated by oppressive supermarkets. To produce any new item and sell it successfully for a length of time is difficult because of price gouging by them from suppliers. If popular, soon the supers muscle in and take it over with their brand name.

        IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet. We hear all the time that employers can’t get the right people. They should look at themselves and their narrow little minds, probably most operating on rote rules and fitting the Peter Principle. Shades of the Office.

        And they have to fight over IT jobs that often are impossible to fulfil within the time specified and encompassing the add-ons that dreamers from the employing firm or department include. Often they will be beyond the capacity of the program machine that is being designed. we have all heard about massive fails. Police INCIS, Novopay, hospital ones, today a report that a Justice Department employee is blaming the Judges themselves. I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

        But past competitive advantage came from developing our own industries here, then exporting good established products. We had a deep bank of jobs and business providing a vibrant economy, now we have a few remaining like the rare bits of native bush in the countryside which have to be nurtured to ensure that they can hold out against the predators from overseas.

        We must buy local, we must have work here, done as efficiently as possible but allowed to make a profit by protective tariffs set at a reasonable level. Lots of other countries do, and we trade with many of them. We should not just be buyers of remaindered goods from vast factories, buyers of the marginal product of volume producers overseas. We are becoming a nation that goes for cheapness all the time, and it produces the second half of the saying, the nasty results that we can see all around us.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You should do because we’re actually very good at it. The failures you here about are just part of the overall industry and in many cases, like in the case of Novopay, done overseas because the government department pretty much ignored the NZ talent.

        • lprent 3.2.1.2

          IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet.

          What you are describing is what happens in the small to medium export enterprises in startup or near startup phase. Larger companies are much more likely to take on apprentice level people straight out of academic or vocational training.

          But you are mistaking where the bottleneck usually is. Companies would probably like to train more people. It is the experienced people who could train them that don’t want to.

          It takes at least a year before most inexperienced people in IT stop requiring a having someone more experienced hand (and expensive) holding them. They irritate the hell out of their mentors with the questions that they ask, and if they don’t ask those questions then they take forever to be useful.

          I’ve trained quite a lot of “apprentice” IT over time because we used to get them out of the end of university courses. I can testify that training anyone while you are trying to code is like being pestered by a small child while you are trying play high level chess. It doesn’t work well. The productivity drop is immense and without the brain chemistry changes that parents get, after a while you want to take another job to get away from the pests.

          That makes it a hell of a large investment for any company and tends to drive people like me spare.

          The usual problem in most companies is that they don’t have enough experienced people willing to put up with hand-holding the novices, so they’re very picky about who they inflict on those who are willing to “mentor”.

          Incidentally, that is why in IT ads these days for both experienced and junior people the word “mentor” features so highly.

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You are confusing the suppliers of local IT with those providing export based IT. Just to give you a hint on how separated those two industries are, the last time I worked for someone providing for the local industry was 1995. Most people I know work for one or the other of those two industries, but the seldom travel back and forth between them.

          Almost all of the big failures you are talking about are in local IT the government/corporate area and mostly where an overseas supplier has tried to develop something unique for NZ or adapt an overseas package. More often than not the actual issue has been with the client being incapable of knowing what they are asking for (the INCIS project being a prime example) and changing their mind in a way that prevents projects going to fruition.

          But I personally suspect that the government and its subsidiaries would be a hell of lot better off if they started using local suppliers. Problem is as the old saying goes from the heyday of big iron IT – “You don’t get fired for using IBM”

          • greywarbler 3.2.1.2.1

            @lprent
            Builders hate clients who accept a quote and then want to make this and that change of a window or door added, perhaps a serving hatch! I guess that IT designers feel the same. But the person at the business end who screws up the program generally seems to find a soft landing.

            These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

            How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

            • Tracey 3.2.1.2.1.1

              builders also hate writing out exclusions… and those that do hate explaining them.

              • dave

                changes =more money that part they dont understand only when its time to pay !

            • lprent 3.2.1.2.1.2

              How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

              I reckon that my usual learning curve per year is in the order of 20-30% per year. That is how much time you have to dedicate to staying close to the top of the game. I’ve also built a lot of training simulations mostly for management training. I think that a simulator to teach people to code has a very short lifespan. But you could find them on the net.

              Problem is that mostly what you have to teach is not the mechanics, but is the attitude towards how to approach problems.

              These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

              Outsourcing is fine for corporate programs where the solution space is known. But in our export industries that is seldom the case.

              In those you are almost by definition working in areas where there is no good definition of solutions to problems. The advantage that we have here is that where somewhere in the US or the UK will require a team of a hundred employees to do something, we will do it with a handful.

              Working remotely is something that gets done everywhere in IT to one degree or another. I spent 7 years coding (and training people) remotely from home back in the 90s and early 00s. Source control systems and remote access makes that kind of thing trivial to do.

              The real problem is when you’re bouncing ideas around to figure out solutions to unsolved issues. Then you need a whiteboard and a huddle.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages.

        He said highest revenue not highest wages. Big difference.

        And IIRC, it was actually the tech sector that returned the highest revenue and wages per person.

        EDIT:
        Found it
        It appears that Fonterra does have the highest revenue per employee but the high tech sector has more potential.

        • lprent 3.2.2.1

          I can’t find it, but there was this interesting comparison I read a year or so ago about capital investment on tech vs farming.

          If you go profit or revenue/capital for a rate of return rather than profit or revenue/wages then dairy looks rather sick. The problem of course is the extremely high (and ever rising) cost of the land sucking up vast amounts of capital.

          The difference of course is to do with risk. However when you consider that we’re looking at a largely commodity industry in dairy, completely exposed to world prices and demand, and to a large extent in a fashion area like milk powder – the risks in sinking the amount of money that NZ has into dairying is pretty damn risky.

    • lprent 3.3

      Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are.

      It’d be nice if that was in fact the case. That would be adding value to the local raw materials.

      I used table 10 because it was a summary easy to put on to a post page.

      But look at the more detailed table 2 in the spread sheet. The effect you are describing isn’t really noticeable

      For instance in the two examples you used, the exports of

      • Beverages, spirits, and vinegar *declined* by 8.8% over the year and was only $20 million anyway
      • Miscellaneous edible preparations where a lot of processed meats live *declined* by -5.3 and was only $64 million
      • Other animal originated products *declined* by -2.0% to $55 million

      There are a number of different categories where processed foods live in. But if you look closely at them the smaller ones by value the overall trends are downward or static over time. It is certainly bloody hard to point to any actual instances of extra value being exported in quantity.

      In any case they are dwarfed by these two largely unprocessed or minimal processing categories that are the export sectors that are actually increasing.

      • Milk powder, butter, and cheese *increased* by 30.5% to $1,527 million – it is now about 30% of the exports of this country
      • Logs, wood, and wood articles increased by 23.6% to $385 million

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Sure but productivity is almost irrelevant when it isn’t jobs and wages and therefore doesn’t reflect well back into the economy. It just makes investors with dairy investments (including many National MP’s) richer.

      Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.

      Try finding the productivity increases being reflected back into the wages of dairy processing workers for instance. They have been getting minimal increases even during this boom in their industry. Which is why the rural regions in this country are depopulating rapidly and their economies are near moribund even with a dairying boom going on around them.

      I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

      Sure. I work around that area. The problem there as I have pointed out before is that there are very few new businesses being formed. The growth we are getting now comes from businesses that were formed in the middle of last decade when there were flood of those types of businesses being set up. As the survivors move out of startup phase they expand into their overseas markets and grow.

      Problem is that there are virtually none of them being setup here now. The main reason for that is that almost all of the environmental and economic incentives put in by the Clark government to encourage the formation for IT and tech based businesses were dropped. They largely haven’t been replaced. The replacements that have been begrudgingly put in place are pretty useless. So those companies aren’t forming.

      To grow a sector like tech and IT you need to have a continuous replacement of smaller companies being formed because it is a world with an immense pressure in innovate and change. Even large companies will die in it. And in NZ of course we have the issue that eventually many of these companies will move/be sold offshore when they become mature and no longer need the innovation that we are good at producing.

      Essentially National is strip-mining the resource in a unsustainable way put in by previous governments for credit while not sustaining an industry that produces jobs rather than capital gains. Just as they usually do.

      The problem with relying entirely on the dairy and other raw material exports is that they do virtually nothing to much of the economy in terms of real job growth. This is directly reflected in the tax returns that are bedevilling this government’s ability to stop their rising debt levels.

      [lprent: Drat. Had to go into the database to set the correct comment I was replying to. ]

    • geoff 3.4

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Is that some kind of average? Link? Because the latest news regarding employment in the dairying sector doesn’t gel with the rosy picture you are painting, Wayne.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242872/farmers-told-to-keep-up-paperwork

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242777/dairy-farmers-breach-labour-laws

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        Wayne is obfuscating.

        From memory, although revenue per person from dairy is reasonable (and ignoring that farm workers get a tiny share of that revenue), it is still significantly under what serious advanced countries get from industries like biotech and pharmaceuticals, electronics, and software.

        Wayne is basically saying that dairying does better in this one measure than say fishing or forestry. Whoop dee doo.

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.1

          So let’s refer to Prof Callaghan’s presentation directly

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCAyIllnXY

          At 6:10 it is clear that our GDP per capita is total shite compared to Australia. (NB China is no longer going to be Australia’s economic growth magic charm for the next decade, so Australia is fucked).

          At 7:20 it is clear that NZ is the second hardest working OECD country by labour hours, but the value of our output per hour is total shite.

          At 9:10 you can see that Fonterra has a high level of revenue per employee – but of course Fonterra relies on the production of a hell of a lot of farmworkers who are not their employees, and they ain’t counted.

          Then at 9:20 it becomes clear where Fonterra’s stats of $350K per employee actually stand. Apple produces $1300K per employee. Nokia $1100K per employee. Sony $646K per employee.

          At 9:50 it is clear that NZ’s biggest export earner is manufacturing. Not dairy, not tourism. Yet we continuously treat our manufacturing sector with such disdain. (Fuck that Shitlands character).

          At 13:10 it becomes clear that the things NZ are good at exporting are things people do not expect. Frequency oscillators, radios, payroll software etc. And politicians are shite because like Wayne they like to oversimplify things down into meaninglessness, or worse, sheer disinformation.

          Our top 10 high tech companies have $3.9B in revenues. Fonterra is pretty average in this crowd.

          One of Prof Callaghan’s last points – NZ needs to be the country where great, motivated, talented people want to live and want to enjoy their lives and raise their families.

          Not a dug up mined out hole overflowing with cow shit.

          • Wayne 3.4.1.1.1

            CV,

            Broadly I agree with Sir Paul. His book from memory covered all the people in the dairy industry, not just those directly employed by Fonterra. Yes, I have noted the point about low paid farm workers as raised by Josie Pagani yesterday. But I know this since my brother in law actually is an employee on a large dairy farm.

            I consulted Sir Paul a lot, along with Neville Jordan, when I was Minister of Science and Innovation. On of the initiatives that I introduced was a big increase in grant money for those firms who had the highest levels of innovation in manufacturing and IT. Companies like Tait Electronics, Gallaghers, F & P Healthcare, Weta Digital, Pacific Aerospace, Orion, etc.

            This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

            • lprent 3.4.1.1.1.1

              I try pretty hard not to get involved in growing them directly. I write code to solve awkward and hard problems because that is what I like doing.

              But I got into coding to get out of management because managing other people is a damn sight less fun than building things yourself.

              This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

              The problem is that with technological and market attrition you need to keep creating 30 companies with a year with only a few employees and a dream to maintain having 30 companies at that level. The effects of the changes in 2009/10 was to make it a damn sight harder to get the initial R&D and first test marketing offshore done. The effect is that it makes fewer nascent companies to be created and more of them to fail early.

              Also an awful lot of the growth fund is tied up in funding graduate students often with some pretty dubious results in terms of getting anything to market for smaller companies. It is a good effort for larger firms where they need new ideas, but it is usually just a damn distraction for smaller firms who are mostly concerned with how to bring their idea to a marketable stage.

              • Wayne

                There are two main types of grants (1) project grants which are usually for smaller firms and (2) the growth grants which are for the larger, but highly innovative firms. The growth grants do not relate to any specific project. There is also much smaller grants for firms to employ graduate students.

                It is all set out on the Callaghan website. And Callaghan now has real momentum, after a bit of a rocky start. They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups. That will be healthy since there will need to be an active interchange of people between Callaghan, universities and private business.

                The growth grants are a high trust model and have relatively low compliance checking once a firm has qualified for the grant. If a company has a high level of innovation, a growth grant to boost innovation is likely to lead to more innovation because that is the culture of the firm.

                A firm qualifies for growth grants if they have a track record for innovation and typically have more than $20 million annual revenue.

                It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                My prediction for government election policy. Currently the grants administered by Callaghan Innovation stands at $140 million per year. I reckon this will grow to $250 million per anum over next three years. This is not based on any inside knowledge, just my perception of what will happen.

                • Ad

                  Great to see a former Minister mixing it here.

                  I was at MoRST when we were developing the Fast Forward Fund.

                  Have you or Labour policy people started considering alternatives to this fund that would generate a deep and enduring compact between the pastoral industries (but especially dairy) and the Crown eg with the CRI’s?

                  I have never really forgiven National for axeing my project; I wanted some measure and discipline to the state and the dairy industry become basically an uneven binary system. The growing proportion of dairy in export receipts was even in the last years of Clark’s government quite amazing to track. I recall one analyst referring to the New Zealand economy in 2008 as “a dairy play.”

                • lprent

                  It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                  That is going to be an interesting question isn’t it. Will those types of firms take up growth grants or will they simply sell ownership stakes in the markets that they want to penetrate into. Usually the latter is what usually happens. It allows startup investors to get out with cash in hand before their holdings get diluted by demands for expansion money. It allows the companies to get into markets where they can get real finance to expand with. A lot of the time they descale locally after that.

                  I don’t think that having a bit of R&D money available here will break that pattern (R&D tax credits might). Just trying to explain a business targeting micro-niche markets to people from outside of those markets is bad enough. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how smart they are and much they research it, the eventual decision is made mostly on a gut feel and a one way bet on the people. It gets even worse when you get to trying to explain how the technical aspects of the design operate and integrate.

                  However I can tell that with the gutting of MFAT’s trade side supporting first steps outside the country and effectively excluding most startups until after they have a track record of sales slowed and in my opinion largely stopped the formation of smaller companies after 2008.

                  They’re starting up again these days, but mostly with overseas investment (and often these days with net campaigns for investment) and frequently moving overseas at the onset. There is literally nothing to make them want to startup here.

                  They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups.

                  That wouldn’t surprise me. However the track record of aid ‘insiders’ in doing tech startups is (to put it mildly) piss-poor. I’ve avoided them for quite a few years. They tend to spend their time on getting aid rather than getting sustainable product and markets.

          • greywarbler 3.4.1.1.2

            Yes CV I have started reading up about Norway, etc. Sweden as someone the other day noted, has had a RW govt and is getting prepared to extract defeat from the jaws of victory or something. I don’t think that the World Health Org has caught up with the TINA disease but it sounds as if Sweden has got this debilitating fever. Instead of bringing down the top tax from over 90% to say 60% and striking a ‘Being fair’ pose, they seem to have started on the tinkering with the system approach.

            But generally I despair of down here. We’ve only got Australia near us, and with friends like them who needs enemies. The Asian people are perhaps more straightforward and understandable, once known. We are very isolated with throwbacks from early colonial days running the country in a similar fashion to 100 years ago. If we can’t break the cycle it will be necessary to seek virtuous circle clans working together in small communities as we would have to give up on the zombies.

    • Tracey 3.5

      interestingly agriculture is about 8% of gdp but banking and finance sector is 28%

      bother you at all?

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Banking and finance produce only intermediate goods, no final goods. And should be kept at around 10% of the economy, max.

        • Tracey 3.5.1.1

          yup.

          and is central to every economic collapse since 1980.

        • srylands 3.5.1.2

          That is crazy. The services sector, including finance, will continue to grow. In Australia the services share of the economy is over 75% of the economy, with the finance sector a major wealth generator. We can’t match that but we should expect to see the finance sector hit 40% of the economy. Manufacturing will continue to decline towards 10%, which we should applaud. Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

          This is a result of our international linkages which Phil Goff deserves a lot of credit for.

          There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

          • Tracey 3.5.1.2.1

            god slylands. not the services sector. the finance and banking sector. try to follow the grown ups or go play outside.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.2

            Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

            I’d say it’s because, unlike you, he’s not fucking insane.

          • Colonial Viper 3.5.1.2.3

            There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

            Cheap oil is going away Shitlands, and with it the global economy. Every kid in highschool today is going to see this occur before they hit middle age.

            So in terms of alternatives – yours doesn’t even register as sane and must be discounted.

          • ropata 3.5.1.2.4

            slyrandian has gone off the deep end this time.

            why the hell would we want foreign banks getting their greedy mitts on 40% of the economy?

            all banks and insurers ought to be nationalised, or at least reviewed every year by the commerce commission and the serious fraud office

            • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.4.1

              Country only needs one bank and a state bank can out compete the private banks.

  4. blue leopard 4

    It seems to me sensible for us to diversify in how we, as a country, generate wealth.

    This seems especially important when we appear to depend on a sector that is polluting our environment – water supplies – when word gets out how filthy this country is becoming – we might just find any ‘competitive advantage’ in farming has withered to nothing.

    What a pity that Nats take such an unreasonable and frothing-at-the-mouth line toward the Greens; it seems to me that what the Greens promote would go a long way toward protecting the farming sector, for example, from the above disastrous outcome.

    Diversification also avoids monopolistic effects, which is when power gets concentrated and starts to sway the political agenda – like Amy Adams appears to have done with the RMA – having a few people having undue influence leading to them making arbitrary decisions on the entire country and leads to poorly thought out decisions – which can already be seen, in farming, to be threatening the very industry that the self-interested monopolistic elements in that sector are trying to profit from.

  5. geoff 5

    Nice analysis, lprent.
    According this: http://www.dcanz.com/about-nz-dairy-industry/dairying-today

    29% of our export dollars are from dairying. All entirely dependent on the milk solid commodity price?

    • lprent 5.1

      Pretty much. I’ll have to dig around. But last time I looked last year all of the other export products inside the dairy industry were largely static or tiny, and only milk powder was growing.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        If I squint hard and cross my fingers and toes I can imagine the dairy industry as a transition industry from a really low-value, low-productivity, low capital intensity, low-wage agrarian economy to a high value food specialist economy.

        The one big thing that holds it back in my view is Fonterra failing to live up to the reasons it was set up in the first place: to to add value to milk. Fonterra needs its original legislation reviewed – they have to be forced into higher value products. I know it’s taking the higher and harder and more risky route. farmers will otherwise realise too late they cannot remain addicted to the favours of a great dragon.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          That is definitely a problem. I haven’t looked recently at what else Fonterra have been producing. But looking at the numbers, the milk powder to China appears to drown out all other growth.

          Part of the problem is their governance. I really don’t detect much sign of thought. Just look at how late it was before they realised that dropping crap into their waterways that they depend on was not the way to build a sustainable industry. It is going to take decades at the best possible rate to clean up the damage they already caused to themselves.

          The other problem of course is that a base growth factor for Fonterra has been purely population growth, fading out in about 30 years. The other growth factor of markets growing into affluence like China is right now – but I can’t see that much opportunity for that to carry on without the environment fallout from using cheap fossil energy stifling that. Looks like the green movement in China is going to come from the more affluent who don’t want London smogs blighting their lives.

          Kind of an interesting example for other nations looking to grow fast. I’ve been catching up on The Economist back issues today as well.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.1

            If only we could see Fonterra’s CE strategise beyond China – he is increasingly tempted to drive milk protein marketing through his drying plant Asset Management Plans, as if it were a bulk utility.

            It amazes me that Key doesn’t register that Fonterra executives are more powerful than most Ministers. In the midst of the botulism crisis we saw much of cabinet shown running around in full media scrutiny of most of China’s tv channels and many other global outlets. And failing. Would even a Foot and Mouth event require the Prime Minister to personally do an apology tour to China?

            Forcing diversification of Fonterra would decrease the massive exposure any future government has to dairy in particular to Fonterra.

            A start would be if the MPI Minister was required to be on the Board, and the Landcorp Chair were required to be on the Shareholders’ Council.

  6. “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly.”

    vi) Number of Direct jobs in the Dairy Industry

    Over 26,000 people were employed as dairy farmers and dairy farm workers
    Over 11,000 people employed in New Zealand by Dairy Companies
    Over 37,000 direct jobs in the New Zealand Dairy Industry

    http://www.globaldairyalliance.org/english/2/newzealand/statistics.shtml

    That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

    On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

    Without the dairy industry a big chunk of New Zealand would become ghost towns and villages.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      That’s about 2% of workers and so, yeah, very minor.

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        Yeah, right. And it’s growing.

        The dairy sector is especially short of workers. It’s estimated that at least 2,000 more workers are needed every year to cater for growth in the sector.

        http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/working-in-nz/great-job-opportunities/agriculture-forestry-jobs

        Multiply that for the service industries – in some areas of New Zealand a quarter of jobs are related to dairy. Try telling Waikato, Taranaki or Southland they’re ‘very minor’.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          See my comment in 6.3 about the effect of modern dairying on rural depopulation.

          Generally you’ll find farming areas with a mixed farming style like used to exist in the Canterbury and Southland plains supported a lot more people with work than dairying does.

          Older dairy areas like Waikato, the Thame plains and Taranaki have effectively managed to massively increase production without a corresponding increase in the number of people employed directly or indirectly. Much of the money from the increased production hasn’t been going into wages or even the farmers pockets. It has been going into interest payments and profits to investors

          This is what it means when people concentrate on productivity. You create deserts where the number of people diminishes and where the industry has less and less beneficial effects for the whole economy.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.1

            Rural depopulation occurred on a major scale long before dairy came to dominate.

            You need to also take into account a much more mobile workforce and industry. For example sheep and cattle farming used local trucking companies, dairy transport can be more factory based, they go and get the milk whereas other farms deliver with local transport.

            Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “…thought…” – well there’s your problem. What goes on in your head is too distorted by self-regard and bias to be considered thinking.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs

              You’d have thought so yes. But only if they remained on the same kind of tech as they had previously. When I was milking back in the late 1970’s we had a large herd of about 280 cows with a couple of us milking and on the farm. As at 2011/12 it was nearly 400 cows as an average herd.

              Herd sizes

              They will still be doing that with just a couple of people.

              Depending on what was being farmed in a particular area before, you will usually find that the rural population will either remain static or decline after the dairy conversions are done. That is what we are seeing happen particularly in areas that converted from mixed farming to dairy. You will get increases in population in areas that have a conversion from hill sheep and beef to valley dairy using the hills as a runoff. But there aren’t that many of those.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.2

            Actually this is surprising:

            In 1881, the rural population of New Zealand numbered 291,237 (excluding Mäori). While the rural population had increased to 532,740 in 2001, it was 501,258 in 1916, so the population of rural areas has increased very little since the early twentieth century.

            Instead of depopulation there is probably a change in the location and composition of the rural population. Counties near urban areas, where, either coincidentally or not there are a number of small holdings, tend to have increasing populations.

            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile/historical-context.aspx

            That’s just up to 2001 but the rural population has changed rather than shrunk up to then.

            And this table seems to support static rather than depopulation since then (I only had a quick look).
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile-update/people.xls

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.2.1

              As I said in another comment, it is variable what happens depending on what the existing tech was compared to the encroaching tech. You also have lag effects because of the retired and those who remain unemployed or under employed in an area.

              The most effective way to look is usually to look at the population in the 20-30 age band. When employment drops away, they are the “fast responders” who move away. Conversely they are the people who move into new demand areas.

              BTW: You’d need to look at the 2013 population statistics to see the changes from dairying. Most of the conversions happened after 2005 when the FTA talks with China were started. It’d been happening from the early 00’s but at a less marked rate than it achieved just before and after the time that the FTA with China was signed in April 2008.

              It was the FTA that really supercharged the international market for exported dairy products because we started sending a hell of a lot of product that way rather than into the previously rather moribund international trade.

            • Ad 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Almost all local authorities outside the cities are losing people. The stats professor at Waikato can give you chapter and verse on this. Local Government New Zealand will also fill you in.

              The dairy sector has been a major increase in capital intensity, and in productivity per hectare. And that’s excellent – a massive step up from low density and low capital farms from the days of Footrot Flats mythology.

              But it’s not enough. We’re not going to reach those high salary jobs when the farm staff are still largely on minimum wage or close to it. Any hick can hose down the shit.

              And any dumbass exec in a dairy company can keep treating dairy factories with the same value-add as a dam-based electricity generator does to storing water: it’s simply a bulk commodity being sold in units like electricity.

              We should expect more.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2.3

              500,000 in 1916 – half of the population
              500,000 in 2001 – about an eighth of the population

              Looking at absolute numbers can give a dreadfully inaccurate picture.

        • lprent 6.1.1.2

          BTW: You should look at the numbers.

          Last year the dairy had at about a $500 million increase in revenue. But they only need about 2000 new workers? That means that every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually. Needless to say this isn’t reflected in their wage packets as they are not exactly overpaid – which is the main reason they aren’t inundated with eager recruits.

          As I say, this is an industry that poses a problem for NZ. Especially since it is in a commodity market that is dominated more by fashion than need, it can easily lose it’s recent stellar export prices at any time.

          It is much the same issue that we had with the wool industry, the beef industry, the venison/velvet industry, the kiwifruit industry, etc etc.

          As far as I remember, none of those got anywhere near being 30% of our total exports by value. That is a ludicrously risky position for this country to be in.

          • Wayne 6.1.1.2.1

            “That means every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually.”

            Well, that is exactly the case and was well illustrated by Paul Callaghan. It is why investment is flowing into diary production. It pays off, even if it is capital intensive.

            Sure, it feels like we are putting an awful lot of eggs into one basket, but my sense is that diary does not feel like other boom and bust agricultural businesses such as deer, kiwifriut, lamas and blue berries, et al.

            And I personally believe the environmental issues will be manageable as the industry expands, though it will take a lot more effort and leadership by Fonterra than they currently show.

            Diary products are much more ubiquitious in daily diets, and as Asia grows, demand will continue upward.

            After all diary has been the basis of much of New Zealand’s prosperity for 140 years, and for the vast majority of that time has been a very good bet for our country. It has dipped significantly only during the the late 1970’s and 1980’s when the UK joined the EU (and I guess in the 1930’s).

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Until we run out of land and considering the water shortages and general pollution of our waterways I’d say that we did that years ago. And no amount of increased intensification and productivity is going to substitute the needed resources to support more cows.

          From Callaghan that I linked to up thread:

          But looking at largely brain-based business, it does seem, overall, that high technology companies come out quite well. Indeed there are several companies, in the US
          especially, where $1 million US revenue per employee is not uncommon. Of course large revenue will be most interesting, from a wealth generation perspective, when it arises from the lowest raw materials input value, or supplier product input value (and least capital asset base). In this regard, Samsung, which makes its own chips and consumer electronic products, could be close to that ideal. The point is that Samsung produces about half New Zealand’s GDP with 123,000 employees. That’s a sobering thought.

          We could easily put 123,000 employees into high-tech and match that and yet there’s absolutely no way that farming will ever be able to do it. It would, though, need a lot of backing from government both in R&D (direct government through universities and other government research institutes and government funding of small private firms) and building fabrication plants. Basically, the same way that the US does it.

    • geoff 6.2

      @PG

      Did you not read Lynn’s comment above??
      http://thestandard.org.nz/nationals-exports-how-to-lose-value-and-jobs/#comment-806793

      he said…
      “Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.”

    • lprent 6.3

      That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

      You should probably read the sources in your links. Decade old sources are pretty useless.

      Information Source: Livestock Improvement Corporation “Dairy Statistics 2003-2004″.

      It is somewhat higher than total direct 37 thousand jobs now. As I said last time I looked it was about 68k

      On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

      That is the interesting thing. Go and have a look at the population in areas like the Southland plains where there has been intense conversion to dairy over the past decade from a more mixed farming style. What you will find is a depopulation going on in the towns and even out in the farmland. Dairying on large farms is quite intensive and once it is past the conversion stage is intensely productive at a labour and supply chain level.

      They spend a lot on initial equipment but it doesn’t need much maintenance or replacement. They also don’t need as many people in the supply chain. Which is why intensive large scale dairy areas often look like people deserts

      So no, you are wrong on this as well.

  7. greywarbler 7

    Something that ‘someone’ here doesn’t get is that employment from dairying isn’t great. That’s on the one hand, but then on the other, if dairying started providing lots and lots of jobs in particular areas or all over the country, then that isn’t great either.

    Because we have become too ‘exposed’ to the one industry. If dairy is our main industry and anything goes wrong in it, here or in the world that buys our milk, then we are stuffed. We could then form a rabble and go round smashing everything down in anger which would be the type of thing we humans do. But that would be as foolish as putting all our economic eggs in one basket as the wiseguys and girls now are doing. Stop and think, look left and right, before taking any more steps forward you morons.

  8. Philj 8

    xox
    I remember reading “a hundred year ago ” reference in the newspaper and it was all about government and industry leaders talking about adding value to our commodities. Nothing really has changed in this
    respect. Maybe worse. Now we have legions of workers from the Pacific and Asia working on slave ships, vineyards, rest homes ,and increasingly plastering and painting houses in Auckland. Not so evident in Christchurch,yet.

  9. Steve Bradley 9

    Bang on regarding the politics of the ‘NZ dairy export economy’. Reminds me of the National party in government during the 1970’s when Holyoake and then Muldoon rode the sheep industry and its rural seats into the ground after Britain joined the Common Market rather than make necessary incremental changes to the benefit of all New Zealanders. That death grip ended with Rogernomics and Ruthanasia as workers, particularly Maori, were made to pay the costs. Their decendents fill today’s jails. Up to a point the dairy industry can be useful, but now its excessive growth is becoming an ecological disaster as well. Not only with continuing consumption and pollution of limited water resources. But also with the sheer waste of fossil fuels as we burn our precious natural gas supplies to evaporate water from milk. Perhaps some of it is justified in providing milk powder as an emergency food supply in case of natural disaster; but just to make money is an economic negative. Manufacturing (including agricultural processing) still occurs in New Zealand, but for a couple of decades it has been seen as less sexy than than other activities such as film making, IT, money massaging. These can all be positive too. But there is a growing realisation that manufacturing requires skilled operational staff, substantial research staff, and can make decent profits as goods are produced that people around the world actually need and are prepared to pay for. More analysis of the data will help a Labour-led government facilitate increases in productive capacity.

  10. mike 10

    do what you like with the stats but everything is rosy. Get over it

    • felix 10.1

      Ooh, a plea to ignore facts and focus on the slogans.

      Night shift is here. :roll:

    • lprent 10.2

      Ah right. You divined this from what? How your navel hair and dandruff looks when you scoop it out and inspect it?

      There is a reason why we go to the considerable expense of collecting and publishing statistics. It so that we have a moderately objective base from which to examine what is actually happening. It so we don’t have to waste time some pinhead like yourself practice your black magic powers of divination.

      Of course we know that is just a cover for your illiteracy with numbers. But hey, we won’t harp on about that or your next claim of having an 18″ dick and that “many” women love your grafted on horse member…

      There is always a dickhead from the nomadic warrior clans around. Grunting to them in their own language usually works wonders

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    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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