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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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    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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