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National’s ICT failures.

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 pm, March 4th, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: labour, national, same old national, Steven Joyce, telecommunications - Tags: , ,

After having the past five and bit years with National’s negative policies about anything to do with new technologies, it is really nice to see some effective red-tinged morning ideas appearing on the sky’s horizon.  Of course that they were accidentally released because of a technology screw up does make them somewhat more delicious. And no it wasn’t Clare Curran who screwed up. She just took the hit.

Of course getting caught by a slow auto-fill in a email program is a classic mistake. In this case it meant typing in the correct recipient but getting caught hitting return on the first (?)  person in the parliamentary database – Amy Adams. She happens to the opposition’s minister for doing stuff slowly and very reluctantly – currently:-

  • Minister for the Environment
  • Minister for Communications and Information Technology
  • Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

You have to remember that National has since 2008 managed to do exactly two things in the infotech area as far as I’m aware. They have been most notable for doing  both extremely badly. Slowly dragging out a rollout of fibre, and surveillance

Their takeover of the Labour policy for a fibre rollout has been a monument to how slow it was possible to make something happen. The current plan is to get to 75% of household by 2019 – 11 years after they promised to start. They over-promised what was feasible, fibre to the home (FTTH) rather than Labour’s much more feasible fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)  and then they funded it for less than Labour’s proposal. That is why it has been so damn slow. Most of the time was simply trying to get corporates to come to the party, and since then they have  managed to finish the fibre to the node (FTTN) that was already underway prior to any political proposals.

It was also a comedy of errors,  because while some of the first zones to be done were where there were high density residential housing in the central cities. However some idiot (probably Stephen Joyce) managed to forget that high density housing often consists of apartments. The agreements didn’t negotiate exactly how the fibre was going to be taken to those apartments. Consequently it is only in the last six months that there has been any take up in strata-title apartment buildings. 

This is one of the main reasons that residential take up has been so slow.

The other has been that most people really don’t need fibre speeds. Quite simply the servers of content are mostly offshore and we have some of the worlds slowest download speeds to the major suppliers. It doesn’t really matter how fast the download connection is when you can’t get data at anything more than a fraction of the speed.  We have a single expensive and rather rationed pipe the Southern Cross cable between us and the rest of the world from a monopoly supplier.

Where we have some local content providers, the speed on the local network is great. But with the exception of the Ubuntu local download servers and the old TV and movie content on Quickflix nothing much runs at speeds above offshore links. Which is why Chorus is dragging their feet over the price differential between copper and fibre lines. They know that there won’t be any significiant takeup of residential fibre for some time. People can’t get anything faster than they already are.

The 20 megabits per second of a urban download ADSL link are more than ample for everything that is currently available.

But personally I’d love to have fibre at home. We have a need for it. But I’m a computer programmer and blogger who routinely pushes about 40-50GB from my desktops to servers every month for work and ‘pleasure’. My partner is a filmmaker who can easily push 100GB offshore when the festivals are on.

But we can’t get fibre installed to our house because it is an apartment, and despite the fibre being laid outside the block nearly a year ago. So both of us are selling intellectual property exports to the world at a maximum and incredibly sluggish rate of just over 100 kilobytes per second. It takes about 3 hours to send a gigabyte of data offshore, about an hour to restore the database for this site at a server, and about 12 hours to send a copy of a documentary to a festival.

Then there is the problem caused by National’s other ICT venture in the last 5 years. They have massively increased the potential level of legal surveillance by bodies like police, SIS, customs, GCSB, and any of the GCSB’s 5 eyes partners.

After having watched these various bodies massively misusing their powers of undocumented and unsupervised surveillance over the last 6 years both with people I know and with apparently almost everyone, I now routinely run much of my traffic over encrypted streams. They re-enter the net in countries that don’t have policies that confuse democratic activism with subversion and view commercial espionage as their rationale for operations.

I’m not exactly alone. This means at present I spend a lot of time squirting data from NZ to a location somewhere in the world that isn’t the 5-eyes territory, to come back into NZ. I’m not alone. After seeing the disasters that National and other foolish governments have been making with their security policies pandering to paranoid dickheads and commercial spying and it’s impact on the net, I just do this to increase the amount of encrypted traffic they have to handle.

I guess National seems to enjoy slowing down the net. I really haven’t liked the lack of new local tech startups recently. It means that when the current crop of startups fostered prior to 2009 either grow to maturity and usually move closer to their markets or die, that the industries that support them also dies. The R&D and developmental assistance that National has slashed is one part of it. The other is the lack of suitable ICT infrastructure for all types of tech companies. It is just so damn short-sighted. But we’d be lost without National trying to support the commodity industries and their crony capitalists in the way that their fathers did..

Digging through the Labour’s ideas. They won’t be able to do all of them immediately, but at least they seem to be looking at doing something. I’ll write some more on those in a few days.

23 comments on “National’s ICT failures.”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I’m now on VDSL. I get 40Mb down, 10Mb up, $95/month for 200gb including VOIP line.

    Fibre isn’t actually an attractive alternative to me because what I have now is well-fast enough.

    I saw a story on Slashdot within the last few months about new technology pushing 100Mb+ speeds over plain telephone copper.

    In this context, FTTH sounds like a 2003-2004 solution, with new ADSL technologies catching up in capability. FTTC as the standard practice would have been much more sane.

    • Paul Campbell 1.1

      VDSL is iffy, depends a lot on how close you are to the cabinet – I get ~22 down, lots of errors, and it stops when it rains

      (puts on hardware designer’s hat) 100Mb/s over copper will be equally, if not more iffy and will run more risk on radiating into the RF spectrum – it probably wont work to my house 3 blocks from the cabinet

      Do you really think that Chorus will spend money speed up copper if they have fibre installed (that makes no sense) – if we had 2 competing suppliers (Chorus with copper and someone else with fibre) we might see that now we’re stuck – Chorus chose it’s monopoly position, it needs to suck it up and also accept the regulation of its prices that must come with being a monopoly

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        ???

        Not sure what your final paragraph is about. My point is if we had fibre to the cabinet, Chorus wouldn’t have a FTTH network. So they would of course invest in whatever was the cheapest and most effective technology for the last mile, which could be new flavours of DSL, or it could be fibre, or it could be cable, or some new form of wireless, or combinations of all of them depending on the locality. But now that they’re going to have a FTTH, they’re stuck with it, even if it isn’t the optimal technology in a lot of places – as Lynn has already made clear with the apartment situation.

        • Paul Campbell 1.1.1.1

          I’m pretty sure Chorus already has fibre to the cabinets – just not to the block – that’s the ATM loop that your DSL backends on to

          The apartment issue is simply that no one’s figured out who’s responsibility it is to plumb the fibre into the apartments from the street (Chorus? the landlord? the tenants?) it’s a similar sort of issue if you’re going to plumb Sky from a single dish (someone has to pay to build a splitter/amplifier tree to feed all the apartments – fortunately cheaper in NZ because orbital slots are not at a premium)

          Wireless is OK in some places – Christchurch maybe – but not here in Dunedin with its crinkly topography

          Oh – my final paragraph is about National (despite their claims to free markets) giving their mates a monopoly contract that’s not in our interest rather than setting up something that might leave us with cheaper connections

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            The apartment issue is simply that no one’s figured out who’s responsibility it is to plumb the fibre into the apartments from the street (Chorus? the landlord? the tenants?)

            Exactly. But think what a FTTH actually means in the context of apartments. And you haven’t seen the other obvious legal issues with apartments?

            The distribution box that is owned and run by chorus is typically stashed in the bowels of the apartment block. Thats where they’d have to pull the fibre from the street to. Probably a single fibre to some kind of junction from what I’ve heard. Then like the copper you have to take a single fibre strand from there, distribute around the cable trays and up into the apartments. Chorus have now taken about 3 months to start talking about doing the first bit – after innumerable meetings.

            Apartments are typically owned on a strata title where the body corporate controls all of the communal areas. The apartment owners – typically in a average mix of ~25-30% owner-occupier and the rest rentals – have little or no permission to install anything in communal areas. It is also a owner democracy. Purchases have to agreed with at least half of the owners agreeing.

            In my apartment block of 60 apartments this means about 45 owners. Two thirds of whom will turn up. The ideal would be to fibre ALL apartments at the same time. But bearing in mind that most of the land lords would see no point of return to them, it isn’t going to happen.

            So now it becomes up to each owner and their ISP. Some of whom will want to get a fibre interface, others who’d probably prefer to just use existing copper to the fibre, and others who’d probably want to something weird like install CAT6.

            It all HAS to be done on the interior of the building and through the cramped cableways for a three story building….

            Complete confusion reigns, especially for those on our third floor.

            I hate to think what happens in a 12 story apartment block. One guy I know just pushed it all through his body corporate and has it installed. It took 10 months. He got it installed and running. Then someone contracted by Chorus accidentally pulled the whole building off line at the exchange.

            Now he has just dumped Orcon and moved to a ISP who doesn’t have a 3 day callback policy from the Philippines for a dealing with an outage. He hung on the phone for an hour to get through to Orcon sales to tell them where to stick their contract because they hadn’t held up their side. Then he rang a telco contractor and had it fixed in 20 minutes.

            BTW: Orcon’s support completely sucks these days. I’m dumping them as well as soon as I move to fibre, VDSL, or whatever. Couple of thousand dollars per year of business that I’ve had for them for the last 8 (?) years. Stupidest thing that I have ever seen was them cutting their NZ support operation – it was pretty adequete. That was why I moved to them in the first place.

            When I have to waste time getting stuff fixed, the last thing I need is a techno illiterate with a bad script. What I want them to do is to test my link and router from their side now (because I have already checked everything on my side to errors at the router) rather than on the 3rd call.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I dumped Orcon and moved to Snap. I signed up with Orcon ’cause they gave me a really good deal with 2 months of a 12 month contract free (in total it was a $260 discount). But they royally fucked up the initial provisioning and install, I got absolutely no where with their customer support phone numbers – promised to fix the problems but never did. Tech support was surprisingly helpful, though. In the end I complained on their Facebook page and the guy there magically fixed everything in a few minutes.

              Also when I tried to leave them I had to ring up about 8 times. It appears saying “I want to cancel and I realise I have 1 month left of contract” doesn’t actually mean you have cancelled, it just means you have the intent to cancel. So I had to call back to confirm dates, and ended up having to push it back by a week because Snap never bothered to tell me that I had to be at home when the Chorus person installed the VDSL connection (my previously dealings with Chorus I never saw the technicians, they did everything at the exchange). Then finally, because Orcon have an antiquated billing system and the delay with Snap pushed the final date of service to the 23rd of the month, they billed me for an entire month in advance of which I would be using exactly 0 days service, then sent me a letter saying I was in arrears and they’d send debt collectors after me because I hadn’t paid it. The next month they reversed the charges.

              • David H

                Hmmm Maybe i’ll just stick with Slingshot ADSL. My speed ranges from 6Megabits to 15 on a good day but it don’t matter the fastest I have ever seen a d/load go here is 1.2M I have a package of 200gig with data rollover so I have about 700 gig’s to burn a home ph and 2 cell phones so is not a bad package for what I pay. But then again the biggest files I grab are about 9 gig’s. And after hearing the horror stories of Orcon. And after Telstra clear I swore NEVER again will I go with a company with a helpdesk in the Phillipines.

              • Paul Campbell

                I too dumped orcon and moved to Snap about a year ago too – largely because when asked they said “we’re doing fibre, not VDSL” and as I said we’re not getting fibre any time soon – Chorus seem to be spending their money in Auckland where the returns are larger (yes all those apartment buildings).

                Here in Dunedin we were screwed by the “unbundling” while Orcon et al spent their money installing their gear in high profit exchanges in Auckland Telecom/Chorus rushed out installing dslams in boxes in the neighbourhoods where they knew there was no room for 3rd party gear

    • Paul Campbell 1.2

      (I should add VDSL is generally better than ADSL, even mine is, even though its performance is ‘lumpy’ – just not as good for every one as you see)

    • Chris 1.3

      I see your point – VDSL works for you, but you’re very wrong about the capabilities of copper vs. fibre. For all this govt’s retardedness, doing FTTH, at least as a concept, is a great idea that will provide us with good infrastructure free of contention and latency problems for years.

      FTTH is the most desirable option and we should absolutely be supporting the national rollout, even if it should probably have been better managed. FTTC is a half-assed hack, leave that shit to Tony Abbot.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Problem with FTTH the way Steve Joyce, Amy Adams, etc rolled it out is that it amounts to a subsidy for people living in villas in leafy suburbs and businesses – because that is who the policy is designed for.

        Occasionally by accident it manages to offer the opportunity for those who could use it productively, but unless you live in a villa like so few working programmers do in auckland (they live in apartments) it will cost a lot of time, money and effort to install. Creative businesses it helps. But it wasn’t sold as a subsidy to a small group of businesses.

        So far about the only useful economic benefit has been the supply to schools. The problem is that they aren’t funded for the cost of using the bandwidth. So take up of its use is low and (you guessed it) largely confined to schools of the affluent whom can afford large school fees.

        Basically FTTC would have been a whole lot more equitable. Then those who needed it could have simply brought a link without all of the silly pissing around that we aporn and gaming etting from chorus, and we wouldn’t collectively subsidizing the porn habits of the affluent villa owners.

        This incidentally is why as a programmer who spent much of my career working from home on servers offshore that I thought that the FTTH was stupidity made up by politicians less concerned by its economic benefit and more about supporting the use of online porn by their constituents.

        Nothing about about its implementation has caused me to change that opinion. I think it sucks as a idea.

  2. Paul Campbell 2

    I work at home, consult for US companies – I blew 4 hours yesterday sitting on my thumbs pulling a software tree from my client – I have (crappy, unreliable) VDSL I’d love fibre, they’ve installed it all around my neighbourhood but not into it – the install date changes periodically, started at 2015, now it’s some time after 2016. A friend elsewhere in Dunedin is a core firefox developer, according to Chorus I don’t think he’s going to see it, at least not according to their maps, he’s in a poorer part of town (Mongrel Mob territory) apparently only the rich are getting fibre

    Have you tried calling Chorus – they closed their Dunedin office when they laid off all their technicians and rehired them as “independent contractors” so I can’y knock on their door, call their 800 number and ask to talk to whoever’s in charge of deciding when fibre will be installed in Dunedin and you get the worst runaround – it’s so transparent it’s silly, even the person answering the phone couldn’t keep a straight face.

    Remember now that Chorus is a monopoly we’re not the customers, we’re what they are selling

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    @lanthanide

    ftth is the optimum solution. The problem is that it should be 1gbps both ways rather than the 100/30 top speed that were getting.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The most expensive part is laying the fibre. Once it’s in, increasing the speed is an easier problem that can gradually happen over time as HW prices come down.

      So yes, fibre is likely to be more future proof than copper wires can be, but at the moment there isn’t a great use-case for fibre – all we’re told is that it will let us view television over broadband instead of through the air, but that’s not actually providing us anything new. So in the short-medium term, FTTC + investing in other last-mile technology seems like a better use of money.

      Similarly, instead of getting FTTH in the 30 biggest towns/cities in the country, focussing on FTTC in those 30 towns/cities, and then increasing rural broadband rollout, would benefit the country much more.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        So yes, fibre is likely to be more future proof than copper wires can be, but at the moment there isn’t a great use-case for fibre – all we’re told is that it will let us view television over broadband instead of through the air, but that’s not actually providing us anything new.

        Considering my hobby of CGI I tend to think more in terms of the possibility of collaboration. You see more and more of this happening around the world. Musicians and others getting together across the net to produce music, video and other forms of work that requires many people. The type of collaboration that can only be done with a reliable high-speed internet connection.

        Similarly, instead of getting FTTH in the 30 biggest towns/cities in the country, focussing on FTTC in those 30 towns/cities, and then increasing rural broadband rollout, would benefit the country much more.

        We could actually do both but that would require employing a few thousand more people which would drive wages up against John Key’s and National’s desire to lower wages. As I’ve said for a while now, we have the resources, we just don’t seem to have the political will to actually use them.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Totally. Killer app for many people/businesses may be high-definition videoconferencing. Spending another few billion on proper fibre would make way more sense than on highways. Elect smarter governments, people.

  4. Keiv 4

    1Gb upload on VDSL would be around 17 mins.

    Personally switched to VDSL 18 months ago and it’s been rock solid, 40 down, 10 up.

    I tend to download & then re-upload work material from home to works local ftp site, as work offices currently only get adsl2+ (20/1).

  5. NZ Jester 5

    That’s the problem with the current fiber roll out in New Zealand. Until we get some competition in the link in/out of New Zealand, all we really have is just a fast intranet and not fast internet.
    I have downloaded files from overseas that should have only taken a quarter of the time they actually did with the speed of my ADSL. If I upgraded to fiber once available to me, only local New Zealand content will be faster and all the international stuff will still be exactly the same speed. I doubt the time it took me to download the ISO images of a few of the Linux distributions at home to play around with while I was on a Hardware and Operating systems course last year would have been any faster.
    I also found it very frustrating trying to download the large ISO images due to a few times getting time outs on a few of the downloads that made me have to restart those downloads all over again.
    I ended up just downloading and trying out only 3 of the various Linux distributions instead of all the ones I wanted to compare.
    I had to use my home internet sparingly also for the rest of the month when I was getting the ISO image of the Fedora Linux install DVD at 3.57GB in size. I used up a lot of wasted Gigabytes from my monthly data cap as it twice stalled out and canceled after getting just over 3GB in the downloads. So just getting that one DVD used up about half my monthly data allowance of 20GB.
    Something that should have only taken me a week to do to compare the Linux distributions ended up taking me a couple of months due to download problems/speeds and my internet cap.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      There are usually local mirrors for most genuine linux ISOs (as opposed to things people sometimes euphemistically called linux ISOs).
      Use bittorrent when downloading anything big, if possible. It’s likely to be much faster, and you won’t have the problem of having to throw everything away and starting from scratch if it ‘fails at the last minute’.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    And at a totally non tech pededestrian people level, everytime I hear the well paid in govt waxing on about iGovt I think, – great for all those people who can barely afford a few minutes of prepaid cellphone – they are totally locked out . If govt want to use it then they need to have people hooked up to it.

    • lprent 6.1

      That was why the hints at minimal allocation of bandwidth were interesting. It’d be reasonably cheap to provide a targeted allocation. It’d probably be pretty good for providing opportunities as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      If it becomes a right to have access to the internet then there’s no problem with affordability – it will be supplied.

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    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    13 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    17 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    17 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    19 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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