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National’s screwed up new housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, October 1st, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

We all know that there is a massive home affordability problem, especially in Auckland. There are 150,000 fewer homeowning families today than there would have been at 1991′s homeownership rate. So, here’s National’s plan: don’t build any additional houses, just sell some state houses (despite the waiting list for them) in provincial towns… where there isn’t an affordability crisis, and give 500 families these houses up to $20,000 of taxpayer money. That’s not a home affordability policy, it’s a parody of one.

National’s policy to give the buyers of these 500 state houses a 10% or $20,000 gift (whichever is least) will cost $6 million all up. That’s $6 million in subsidies to 500 families is a hell of a lot of money – $12,000 each on average for houses that are worth $120,000 on average.

And families with incomes up to $83,000 will be able to buy them. Usually when you talk home affordability crises, its because the average house is 5 or more times the average wage, not 1.5 times. What you’re going to see is a handful of middle income families buying houses that they can afford and getting a taxpayer gift on top. Helping middle class families to buy cheap houses (that, by the way, poor people want to live in!) seems like a bloody strange way to spend taxpayer money.

Ff the Government really doesn’t need these particular state houses anymore, it should just sell them at market price and use the funds to buy new houses of the type and in the place needed. There’s no need for a big subsidy to a random few. It’s not just that one middle class family gets $12,000 that they don’t particularly need while another down the road, or in another city, that can’t buy an ex-state house misses out.

The Greens say that they actually looked at deposit subsidies when they put together their housing policy at the start of the year. They quickly worked out it’s a big per unit cost – it can be help lots of people where it’s really needed only if it’s really, really expensive, or it can be tiny and half-arsed, which is what National’s presented. The Greens, instead, decided on a cost-neutral modern version of State Advances to compliment Labour’s KiwiBuild.

Actually, this subsidised sale scheme reminds me a lot of the Nats’ asset sales subsidies: they only benefit a relative few at relatively large cost to everyone else and for no good economic reason, just a political one.

43 comments on “National’s screwed up new housing policy”

  1. greywarbler 1

    I noticed that this help is for those under the average wage. Isn’t that half of NZ? Ooh we’d have given our grandma’s knickers for the average wage. Why we had to live under a house and sweep the joists with our moustaches etc.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “National’s policy to give the buyers of these 500 state houses a 10% or $20,000 gift (whichever is least) will cost $6 million all up. That’s $6 million in subsidies to 500 families is a hell of a lot of money – $12,000 each on average for houses that are worth $120,000 on average.”

    They say it will be largely cost neutral, in that by selling these houses (which are mostly vacant) they won’t have to pay ongoing maintenance, security, management costs and council rates.

    Of course if they didn’t give a subsidy then rather than being cost neutral it’d make them money, but on the other hand a cost-neutral subsidy to get the house off their books, freeing up capital isn’t the most terrible thing in the world.

    So is the policy by itself completely terrible? No. But it simply is far far too little, far too late, by this government. If it was a tiny line-item amongst a bigger housing policy it wouldn’t be too big a deal.

    Eddie: don’t fall for that ‘cost neutral’ bullshit. the alternatives are 1) rent the house and use the rent to cover those outgoings 2) sell the house and let the new owner take over the outgoings. If the state houses are really ‘surplus’ and this isn’t actually a sale of useful efforts, then just sell them, like governments have always done

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Re: Eddie.

      1. The houses are vacant because they can’t find tenants.
      2. That’s what they’re proposing. If the market price is $120,000 and it wouldn’t sell at that price (same reason the houses are vacant), but if you gave a (say) $12,000 subsidy to people in a select group to buy it, then it’s the same as if you sold it for $108,000, but you get to give the subsidy to a particular group rather than just anyone on the open market.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        Lanthide at (1), an entirely false proposition, the houses are vacant because they do not want to find tenants, there’s a huge difference…

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          They say it’s because the houses are in the wrong place and the wrong size.

          Reflexively disbelieving everything the government says because it doesn’t suit your political position isn’t particularly constructive.

    • Rogue Trooper 2.2

      Like

  3. xtasy 3

    From the Herald:

    “The new FirstHome scheme would allow modest wage earners to be gifted a 10 per cent deposit, and would give them priority to purchase empty homes which were no longer needed by Housing New Zealand.

    To be eligible, a buyer would have to earn $53,000 or less and commit to living in the house for a minimum of three years. A couple would have to earn no more than $80,600.
    Housing New Zealand would make a grant of 10 per cent of the property’s value, up to a maximum of $20,000.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11132933

    “Where will the state houses be sold?

    Housing New Zealand area Number
    Northland – 63
    North Waikato – 14
    Rotorua/Whakatane/Taupo – 31
    Hawke’s Bay – 27
    New Plymouth/South Waikato – 67
    Manawatu/Levin/Wanganui – 46
    Kapiti – 19
    Marlborough – 17
    Canterbury (excluding Christchurch City) – 26
    Otago – 27
    Southland – 23″

    Wow, what a magic solution by Nick “Shit”, ahem, sorry, Nick Smith(erines Brain). And I thought I was going “nuts” at times.

    So we have houses that Housing NZ no longer need. Why do they no longer need them? Is it because there are few if any jobs where the houses are? Maybe the new owners will be commuting from there to Christchurch and Auckland for work, that is not that easy to get in most provinces?

    By coincidence, I have been on the Housing NZ list for years, and I am astonished they now have houses they “don’t need”. What about those with permanent disability, serious illness and work incapacity to be given an option to rent – before selling them with a “sweetener” to some adventurous middle class people that may want to try the provinces?

    Next on the agenda: Nick Smiths great weekly HOUSING LOTTERY!

    All is done to address housing shortages in NZ now, rest assured, the government is taking real action now. Twyford said on the TV news that this is “nuts”, and proves that the government has no policies and no solution for the housing crisis.

    • miravox 3.1

      “So we have houses that Housing NZ no longer need. Why do they no longer need them? Is it because there are few if any jobs where the houses are? Maybe the new owners will be commuting from there to Christchurch and Auckland for work, that is not that easy to get in most provinces?”

      ^^ This.

      And after the new owners have bought their homes, there will be a reinvigorated policy of docking the unemployment benefit because they can’t move to where the jobs are because of their ‘investment’ in an area of economic decline.

      Regional development might fix that, but I think this housing policy shows that won’t happen.

    • xtasy 3.2

      Correction: Phil Twyford was stating on the TV news that these efforts by the government were “desperate”. I thought he used the word “nuts” at some stage, but maybe I heard him say that on a radio program last night? I do not want to put words into Phil’s mouth, apologies.

      • Phil Twyford 3.2.1

        I could have said nuts. It is nuts.

        • Rogue Trooper 3.2.1.1

          I have pondered on this announcement; it appears balanced (notwithstanding “property investors” taking liberties ); nonetheless, clever politics.

    • Treetop 3.3

      xtasy, the government narrowed the criteria to rent from HNZ, this is the main reason for any so called surplus.

      • xtasy 3.3.1

        Treetop – I know all about it, as I am affected as a long term “priority C” waiting list dweller. They shafted me and thousands of others, but I was never having a real chance anyway. Thousands are only kept on the list, as the Nat government “promised” during the tightening, that they would not throw anyone off the list, who was already on it. That though will turn out to be a lie, as they are only waiting for a good enough time and excuse, to clear that backlog. It is ONLY priority A now, who have any chance to get a HNZ home, all others will possibly at some stage be “assisted” to find something “suitable” on the market.

        Struggling with high rents on the market, while suffering ill health, constantly being between a rock (WINZ) and a hard place (“the market” and landlord), that does anything but assist my recovery from certain illness.

        But wait, Dr Bratt has the solution, I am told!?

      • xtasy 3.3.2

        I was also absolutely flabbergasted, when HNZ staff told me, that having an uninsulated home, where temperatures drop to 10 or less degrees in winter, was not a reason for getting higher priority for state housing help.

        If you are without running water, without proper toilet or cooking facilities, with no proper roof over the head, basically out on the street, or living in a tent or a garage (as a mother with kids), then you may have a chance.

        To “qualify” for HNZ support one has to be in very extreme circumstances, as the experiences I had with a mate of mine losing his flat (due to a developer buying the whole block and throwing all out) showed me.

        Even after months in a cockroach ridden, overcrowded, damp and noisy boarding house, he was left waiting and waiting. Only finally involving someone from the media brought about a “sudden change of mind” in the manager at the HNZ office he was registered with!!!

  4. Molly 4

    Just posted this on Open Mike but relevant for this post – and – I don’t know how to link directly to my comment – so –

    Create a different model than one that can systematically get destroyed every time National gets in.

    Utilise the current National Govt Policy and HNZ sales to:

    1. Buy adjacent state houses in blocks to create small co-housing developments.
    2. Existing tenants can either buy or be assured a state housing rental when development finished.
    3. Develop the land in the style of cohousing in Denmark – increasing the density, but reducing the cost of individual houses and making common areas/facilities
    4. Rent the same number of dwellings to HNZ, sell others to those who want to buy, and if possible set up a couple of dwellings in perpetual affordable housing.

    Benefits & added potential:
    1. Cohousing is similar to how healthy Maori and Pasifika communities live, and allow for shared use of facilities – ie. one commercial laundry room, one lawnmower, car sharing.
    2. Small strong community networks are formed – stress levels go down, and time and energy for local solutions to other problems can result.
    3. Tie in the building of these small developments with on-site training and apprenticeships and you have the basis for good, local upskilling.
    4. If this is run with the support of multi-partisan and Auckland Council support, development loans can be applied for at low interest rates from the Reserve Bank. Potential owners at planning stage will already have a good amount of equity in the property by the time it gets to personal mortgage stage.
    5. The ideal areas for this kind of development to take place are the low value areas in Auckland – they also have the community networks that will increase the chance of success.

    Been thinking about this for a while….and come up with a couple more considerations:

    1. If this is done in South Auckland an apprenticeship education partnership with the Building Department at MIT could help implement it
    2. Current/potential owners are the developers – cuts out the middleman proportion of the house price.
    3. Sustainable building methods that require high labour but have good environmental outcomes ie. earth building, cob – can be done by residents and apprentices upskilling both, while keeping costs down.
    4. Requires a team of consultants – designers, builders and planners – that will only get better with each and every development. This is the practical support that could be provided by Auckland Council and the government.
    5. A sustainable business model making standard fittings could result.
    6. National has a history of offering state housing as development sites – this makes the current residents the developers…

    • Ad 4.1

      Molly I would recommned if you are in Auckland that you drive out and see the Hobsonville development. That was a development corporation set up by central government on public land. It was supposed to have pepper-potted state rentals, and also “affordable” units within it, but they were killed by Key.

      But what you do have there is a well coordinated small town with health, police, education, public transport and sustainability features built in from the beginning. Unfortuantely that initiative began under a Labour government with the progressive Waitakere City Council, and I’ve not seen anything as good since.

      Instead we have a draft Unitary Plan in Auckland which actively discourages the kind of cooperation you are promoting, and special housing legislation going through in which greenfield sites will be plonked somewhere with little coordiantion whatsoever.

      Whatever Labour is planning, it will have to reverse a whole lot of that momentum built up over 6 years.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        I have seen the Hobsonville development, and the Salvation Army has written up that debacle in their Adding it all up report. Ngati Whatua is doing something similar to cohousing – but with development focus and prices start at around $700K

        Cohousing development is MUCH smaller than Hobsonville. Denmark has found the maximum limits are approx 50 adults/150 residents. Their optimum minimum size is 15 adults. This size seems to promote better connections between the households while making sure there is enough energy and diversity to thrive. Land area can be only 1- 1.5 acres, so 4-6 adjacent state houses, a different scale to Hobsonville.

        In community work I have been doing, I have been following the Unitary Plan closely, and compared to our Franklin District Plan – cohousing development will be easier under the proposed new rules. I consider the Special Housing Accords to be a concession to the bullying tactics of the government – and as you say, are completely at odds with affordable housing and good long-term planning.

        John Abrams, from South Mountain Company on Martha’s Vineyard in the US has written a book about his company which progressed from a design and build partnership, to a cooperative ownership/management model. Over the last couple of decades they have trialled and designed successful models for perpetual affordable housing, cohousing, relocations etc. Worth reading just to see how small projects can make a difference – The Company We Keep.

        Also, my sister is part of the management team for a non-profit affordable housing development company in Australia. They are not government funded, and they compete against private developers, but they have gone from fairly small developments in the last decade to much larger. So, development of affordable housing is achievable if the skills sets are in place.

        The component that is missing is professional and development advice. The developers are the owners/tenants and they are also the future residents, they will only go through this process once. A specialised consultant team that goes through the planning, design and development financing process is something that could be provided by a Labour Government or Auckland Council that is serious about creating communities along with affordable housing.

        Mana Housing policy is already halfway there.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          From the report you mentioned:

          “Swedes have tended to live in flats which are either cooperatively owned or rented from a not-for-profit landlord, while Australians either own houses or rent privately-owned houses. Kemeny suggests this difference in tenure leads to quite different lifestyle choices around where people choose to live, the mix of private and public space they have around them, and how they allocate their lifetime earnings to paying for their housing. From these suggestions, Kemeny contends that there is a link between more densely-built urban environments that make more use of public facilities (such as space and transport) and which
          are tenured through some form of corporately-owned rental housing, and less densely built suburban environments that are characterised by individual ownership with greater use of private space and private transport.”

          This if true (and the public submissions reaction to the draft-draft Unitary Plan tells me it is), says you won’t change much tilting at an entire culture of property-based entitlement. For me a more apposite comparison is the 1980s book from Mike Davis City of Quartz, which details well the contests between residents groups that ensured that noting in LA was built over 2 storeys for miles and miles. It’s a great analogue for Auckland and its politics – writ large right now.

          People such as your sister who rail against the degree of force are heroic. They will make a local difference, but not a policy-scale difference. I want to see Urban Development Authorities, Hobsonville-like partnerships, and other public sector-driven instruments that enable policy to partner with private capital drivers. There are large blocks of brownfields land we all know of across New Zealand cities that need attention, and don’t have to buy into the poor-quality construction standards and mezzanine-finance ripoffs of the previous decade.

          Mana-scale outcomes I am sure are rgeat, but what I am watching is the structural moves Mr Twyford will respond with.

          • Molly 4.1.1.1.1

            I too would like to see hard and fast policy at national government level for affordable housing – and communities. Small projects such as those I outlined will not negate that – but may be a way to provide relief at local levels.

            The reality is – a good national strategy will not happen immediately – or even within the forseeable future.

            Meanwhile, those tracts of HNZ land that are released – are being released to private developers – and are gone forever. If small developments – such as those I outlined above – are supported – then those policies that are currently decimating our HNZ services and communities – can be offset by some of those communities remaining. And by use of the cohousing model – (where the property is owned by the collective and the houses are owned by the individual) – keep those communities stable despite future changes in policy.

            Noted the reference to Australia – they actually have an affordable housing strategy… we don’t. And while this inaction remains – we continue to have state housing being used as a political punching bag everytime National gets in.

            We have communities needing local solutions now. There are opportunities that have been put in place for developers – that can be grasped by communities.

            • Ad 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What do you see as deficient with Kiwibuild as a national housing policy?I view it as a bold breakthrough.

              Also, I don’t believe that just because a state house is sold it is gone forever. The Public Works Act does not need amending to acquire further land for housing purposes, or indeed for urban renewal purposes.

              Are you aware of any cohousing examples in New Zealand that are operating? The only one I can think of is the earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood in Auckland’s Ranui.

              • Molly

                The only cohousing I know of is that in Ranui as well, that also benefitted from Council funding in order to build. I’m just suggesting that instead of these incentives or grants being taken up by private developers and individuals, some housing initiatives for social housing could take advantage of these when they occur.

                Why don’t we have more in NZ? Probably because of the persistence of the 1/4 acre dream. I would only be speculating. But Denmark only began their cohousing models in the 70′s and now have hundreds of these communities operating in all kinds of built environments.

                For affordable housing these models work successfully overseas – the fact that NZ hasn’t attempted it may be a lack of innovation and nerve on the part of politicians. Perhaps it is due to the fact that cohousing is developed by those intending to live on the property – rather than professional developers. A lot of Kiwi’s don’t like the thought of sharing space and property.

                However, cohousing – as I said – is in line with Maori and Pasifika cultural living styles, and looks to create community alongside housing. This can be done very expensively – or very cheaply. For me, the social housing that is provided using this model allows such as collaborative consumption of other items – such as cars, childcare, whiteware etc and does not only provide shelter – and provides social networks and support as well.

                Kiwibuild as a national policy is not flawed in intent, but may be in delivery. Affordable housing is more than building. Houses need to be affordable to live in, in terms of energy use, and access to amenities, activities and work. No use living in a house in the boondocks if it costs you $200/wk in transport costs. Also, vast areas of housing without planning can result in ill-conceived and built environments that do not encourage healthy communities.

                I don’t think that I’ve suggested it as a replacement for a national housing policy – I am advocating for an additional strategy at local level, not a panacea for all housing issues in NZ.

                There are opportunities available in policies like the Southern Initiative, Sustainability grants and HNZ sales that are currently being taken up by private developers – why not existing communities?

              • Rogue Trooper

                Agree

          • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.1.2

            do not agree

      • greywarbler 4.1.2

        Ad

        Instead we have a draft Unitary Plan in Auckland which actively discourages the kind of cooperation you are promoting, and special housing legislation going through in which greenfield sites will be plonked somewhere with little coordiantion whatsoever.

        The ‘plonked’ subdivision far from facilities and with no amenities, was a feature in the past and has been assessed as bad and roundly condemned. There were expectations that lessons would be taken from that so it never happened again. Hadeehah.

        It is so naive to not recognise that the Nacts never learn anything and never let good research findings get in the way of quick, profitable, simple common-sense solutions for problems that can be flourished and implemented within a single government term. Look we are magicians, and will produce a rabbit from this empty top hat in only minutes!

  5. ScottGN 5

    Nick Smith is taking heavy fire from all sides with this half-baked policy. I must say it’s a rare day that I find myself agreeing with John Banks but he has a point when he says that first home buyers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will feel aggrieved to see people in provincial centres getting a pretty generous leg up from the government while their aspirations wither under theses new Reserve Bank rules.

  6. Sable 6

    Hmmm afraid that building new homes in central cities might jeopardise the capital gains on their mansions the Tories have come up with the genius plan of sending the peasants out to live in the boondocks. They don’t have jobs to go to and never will so what does it matter where they live, right? Give them $20K that should shut them up and hey, they may be so grateful they will even vote for us. Yay!

    Wankers….

    • greywarbler 6.1

      Sable
      But hold on. That idea of sending people to live in the boondocks completely contradicts recent social policy that has forced people to leave the cheaper boondocks because there were no jobs there in that region, and return to the more expensive cities.

      There in the concrete jungle there are established trails for the tramps (not trampers, that is a different cultural phenomenon) to follow between possible employers. Or maybe public facilities where they can do their personal PR using computers or such, just to show how modern they are, prepared for this new age of vital, thrusting, busy commerce offering work opportunities for capable people with similar descriptions keen to offer 110 per cent to their employer.

      Is this what an oxymoron is? It’s such an interesting word that pops into my head when I hear government policy these days. Or perhaps it’s just the moron part I should be applying.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.2

      This, does not follow

  7. bad12 7

    Bravo Nick Smith, a 6 million dollar publicity and propaganda campaign that will have gone down in the bigger cities like a lead balloon,

    The sad fact is that these HousingNZ properties could have all been tenanted by simply offering them to long term beneficiaries in the bigger cities,

    It is tho probably a good idea that Smith didn’t think of this in His rush to try and con the electorate that He is doing something about affordable housing as He would have been flicking off the houses vacated in the cities instead,

    Even the long dead ACT Party has come back to life long enough to criticize Smith over this latest sell off of the HousngNZ stock…

  8. fambo 8

    Doesn’t matter what the problem is, the answer is always sell a state owned asset. Anyone spot a pattern?

  9. Intrinsicvalue 9

    The basis of Labours housing policy is a CGT, and restrictions on foreign ownership. These policies have failed everywhere they have been tried, most notable in Australia. The basis of National’s housing policy is to release more housing onto the market, including substantial amounts of affordable housing. That will work because it is simple and sensible economics.

    [karol: Intrinsicvalue, aren't you permanently banned?]

    • ScottGN 9.1

      You’ve conveniently left out a central plank of Labour’s policy which is to build 10,000 houses a year.

      • Intrinsicvalue 9.1.1

        Oh yes, shouldn’t forget the impossible should we? I must have been too busy rolling in laughter at DC’s latest blunder – using a yuppie wanna be property mogul as an illustration of the downtrodden! Hilarious.

        • ScottGN 9.1.1.1

          You guys have become totally fixated on this so-called misstep by Cunliffe. Guess what? Nobody else is really. National is getting a right butt kicking on housing issues and you know it.

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.2

          of no intrinsic value, at all!

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.3

          “Oh yes, shouldn’t forget the impossible should we? ”

          What’s so impossible about building 10,000 houses a year, exactly?

          You’ll note that National now have their own policy of building 39,000 in 3 years, or 13,000 houses a year. Except National aren’t even going to attempt to make them ‘affordable’.

          At least if Labour tries, and fails, they’re better than National who didn’t even try.

  10. Delia 10

    This is another one of those housing schemes with limited take up, will run for a limited time and be forgotten about.

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  • Bye bye, Colin
    National has all-but confirmed today that there no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays, or for any other Conservative. This was the right thing for them to do, for one simple reason. All the stuff about Winston running...
    Polity | 27-07
  • Speaker: A true commitment
    In recent weeks, the Government has come out in support of a push for strangulation to become its own offence. One of a number of recommendations by an independent committee into family violence deaths, the Family Violence Death Review Committee...
    Public Address | 27-07
  • June 2014 Patronage
    The patronage results for June are out and like recent months the results are particularly good for the rail network. The June stats are also significant as they represent the end of financial year results for Auckland transport. The 12...
    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    Press Release – iPredict The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealands online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Press Release – Public Good Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy....
    Its our future | 27-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #30
    SkS Highlights Dana's Climate models accurately predicted global warming when reflecting natural ocean cycles examined a new paper by James Risbey et al that takes a clever approach to evaluating how accurate climate model temperature predictions have been while getting around the noise caused by...
    Skeptical Science | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to protect workers from exploitation and abuse....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Womensfest at UOA
    Apologies for lateness!...
    The Hand Mirror | 27-07
  • Update on the Downtown Shopping Centre
    There’s a good article up on the Herald website today, with an update on what’s happening with the Downtown Shopping Centre. I’d suggest heading over there and checking it out. The article notes that “Precinct [Properties] expects to release images...
    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • I am still waiting for my cheque
    I have often said I wonder how some of the anti-science propagandists sleep straight in their beds at night. Lately this refers to various members of the local anti-fluoridation movement and their claims. Pity I am not the litigious sort – there...
    Open Parachute | 26-07
  • Yet Another National MP Spending Tens of Thousands of Tax Payers Money…
    The list of National MP’s whose arrogance is beyond measure, grows … “National list MP Paul Foster-Bell is defending a huge spike in his taxpayer-funded expenses as he campaigned for a seat selection. Wellington-based Foster-Bell’s spending increased from $7459 between...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • National Party Plans on Near-Starving Hospital Patients to Save Money
    Yes, the National Party continues destroying the Health system and now it’s patients with it! Article below from the ODT Warning over hospital food cutbacks Nutrition experts have warned a government cost-cutting team that patients could suffer malnutrition or even...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • Northcote Walking and Cycling improvements
    Auckland Transport are starting consultation tomorrow for a series of walking and cycling improvements to Northcote. All up there will be 5.2km of improvements from the intersection of Taharoto Road and Northcote Road through to the Northcote Ferry Terminal. Along with improving cycling facilities...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • Thankfully, Tories are ALWAYS wrong
    Back in 2008, 2009 and 2010, were we not assured, absolutely assured, that debt rising above 90% of GDP would send the economy into a deathly death spiral and lead to death?Indeed, ladies and gentlement, you had better hope the...
    Left hand palm | 26-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30B
    14 concepts that will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change Abrupt climate shifts in the past offer warning for future Changing human behavior is major factor in selling cleaner cars, curbing congestion China’s energy plans will worsen climate change, Greenpeace...
    Skeptical Science | 26-07
  • French Lessons
    Aux Armes Citoyens! Exacerbating Labour's current difficulties is the unfinished character of the rank-and-file's 2012 revolution. It was as if the revolutionary crowds of Paris, having torn down the Bastille, then decided to build it back up again!“APRÈS MOI, LE...
    Bowalley Road | 26-07
  • Most politicians don’t care about elderly
    Back at the end of June the New Zealand Aged Care Association ran a full paged advert in the NZ Herald concerning a number of questions they wanted politicians to answer. They also sent each party a letter outlining their...
    The Jackal | 26-07
  • I wish you all solidarity
    On Thursday night was my valedictory speech in Parliament – the last official word of my nearly nine years as a Labour MP. Valedictories are rites of passage.  Some of us will be remembered.  Most of us won’t, until we...
    Red Alert | 26-07
  • Billboards
    We drove out to Porirua today and back through the Wellington commuter suburbs: Johnsonville, Ngaio etc. There was a scattering of billboards around, almost all of which were TeamKey/National billboards. Here’s a picture of the cluster near to where I live on...
    DimPost | 26-07
  • Billboards
    We drove out to Porirua today and back through the Wellington commuter suburbs: Johnsonville, Ngaio etc. There was a scattering of billboards around, almost all of which were TeamKey/National billboards. Here’s a picture of the cluster near to where I live on...
    DimPost | 26-07
  • Reconcile this, please, Mr Coleman
    National’s Jonathan Coleman has some explaining to do. He has stated that: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.” The NZ Herald reports that Immigration NZ received a detailed briefing regarding the FBI’s interest in Kim Dotcom, ahead...
    Occasionally erudite | 26-07
  • Much to fight for in the Maori seats
    We all know it could be a fight to the death in the Maori seats this election, but it's startling to think that some candidates are borrowing money off their mortgages just to be able to stand at this election.It seems...
    Pundit | 26-07
  • A plea to all Labour Party activists
    Let's focus on being unfocused. Hey, maybe it will work....
    Imperator Fish | 26-07
  • Hosking hits back
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I’m broadcaster and National Party stalwart Mike Hosking and I just wanted to take a bit of time out of my busy Saturday eating Gruyère cheese and supping trim latte’s to speak on a...
    My Thinks | 26-07
  • The CRL and City Centre Office Shortages
    When the government finally announced they would support the CRL – but starting in 2020 – they listed two targets that would need to be on track to being met to bring construction forward. Rail Patronage to double to 20...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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