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Nats don’t believe in Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 14th, 2010 - 43 comments
Categories: Economy, employment - Tags: , ,

National and Kiwirail CEO, Jim Quinn, have displayed a pitiful lack of belief in the ability of New Zealand and the kind of knuckle-dragging narrow-mindedness that has been holding this country back ever since the neoliberal revolution.

Quinn told Kiwirail workers yesterday that the company won’t even be tendering for the contract to build the new railcars it is purchasing for Auckland. That means the job will definitely go overseas.

I can see the logic if it was decided that the costs and benefits of a Kiwirail bid didn’t stack up, but to not even bid, that is shameful.

If he had wanted to, if he had believed in New Zealanders, Steven Joyce could have put the word on the board of his expectations. Or he could have made new rules for Kiwirail so that when making purchasing decisions it must consider the whole of government, of whole of country costs and benefits; not just just what is best for its balance sheet as a sub-unit of the government but what is best for New Zealand.

It is simply illogical for government bodies to only consider what is best for them as if they are private, independent companies. You don’t let your hand do whatever it wants without thinking of the consequences for the rest of you. You wouldn’t expect a subsidary of a major company – say Fonterra – to act without considering the costs and benefits to the wider group. So why the hell should a government body be allowed to send work overseas when it is clearly in the fiscal interest of the government as a whole and the econoic interest of the country to keep the work here?

This isn’t just about national spirit and a belief in New Zealand. It’s about acting smarter and making the right choices for the economy. Joyce and National have proven that they neither believe in New Zealand nor have the brains to recognise the smart moves for the country.

43 comments on “Nats don’t believe in Kiwis”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    They should make it clear the tender would be as subcontractor for the designers of the rail vehicles.
    And it would mainly be ‘assembly’ work.
    But that works well for DesignLine, a kiwi based company who builds buses of their own design internationally ( with some overseas assembly as well).

  2. vto 2

    Not very aspirational is it..

    I think they have missed an opportunity to both achieve something and be seen to be working with NZ workers to achieve something. Very good politically I would have thought.

    Many people love trains – they are big and romantic. It would clearly have given many people something to be proud of.

    Aspirational, Key, aspirational. I mean, what the fuck, you go on about achieving and aspriation and blah blah and when an opportunity is handed to you on a plate you do this…

    … maybe you should be dinner after all. not much use for anything else so off to the knackers yard.

  3. Armchair Critic 3

    If he had wanted to, if he had believed in New Zealanders, Steven Joyce could have put the word on the board of his expectations
    It seems to me that he probably did, and (I’ll speculate a bit about what happened) when he was informed by that notorious pinko leftie who was chairman of the Kiwirail board that Kiwirail could build the trains, SJ knew he had to relieve Jim Bolger from his responsibilities.
    I knew as soon as I read this article a couple of months ago that something was up.

  4. I can understand how Kiwirail would take a blinkered short term view of the matter and only concentrate on the immediate financial implications of the decision to the entity itself.

    I cannot understand how Joyce and the Government can take the same view however. They ought to be thinking about the total benefit to the country. It is clear that this sort of thinking is beyond them.

  5. Hamish 5

    “I’ve outlined the reasons why building the EMUs (Electric Multiple Unit) in New Zealand would be a challenge we couldn’t meet. Firstly and most important, we simply could not build them here in time for Auckland’s requirement. We lack the scale.

    “Secondly, we will not be cost competitive in the build process and while $500 million sounds a lot, it is a limited amount of money for this order.

    “Thirdly, we have never built EMUs before and that fact represents significant risk in the build project. It is a cost risk that KiwiRail would struggle to take given the priorities we already have in re-building the rail system.”

    Laughable to see some here still think they know more than KiwiRail itself, their experts, engineers, design teams, etc. Laughable and sad. Armchair experts, huh. If you know better than KiwiRail why don’t you go have a talk to them and tell them there are doing it all wrong?

    Good to see KiwiRail is putting it’s money into areas that will make money, not some pot-shot crack at building something never done here before.

    When the report on this first came out, I said it would be given the consideration it deserves.

    And it was given just that. Good work KiwiRail!

    • Armchair Critic 5.1

      Hamish celebrates the “can’t do” attitude.
      Is this what the government means by aspirational for NZ?

    • insider 5.2

      No no Hamish, you don’t understand. This is about religion – you have to believe you can do it and have faith and all will be well.

      • IrishBill 5.2.1

        No it’s about the analysis done by the people on the shop floor (you know the ones who do this for a living every. single. day.) and BERL.

        But of course a provincial one-shot businessman like Joyce would know better.

  6. sweetd 6

    “I can see the logic if it was decided that the costs and benefits of a Kiwirail bid didn’t stack up”

    End of story then.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Joyce and National have proven that they neither believe in New Zealand nor have the brains to recognise the smart moves for the country.

    Sending the work overseas shows their irrationality. They’re not making decisions on a rationalised process but through pure, delusional, ideology.

    • insider 7.1

      ANd you’re making demands based on ideology that “Kiwis can”. Well yes, but more slowly, more expensively, and more riskily than others. If it were your money and you were say, building a house, would you prefer the guy who builds houses for a living but is based in Rotorua or the guy who installs conservatories on the side and lives down the road? What if the concervatory guy charges 50% more and takes twice as long?”

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Um, the people at the railways know how to build trains and can do it just as well as the other people. On top of that even if it did cost slightly more the country gets more benefit per dollar than building them elsewhere.

  8. joe bloggs 8

    Sending the work overseas shows their irrationality. They’re not making decisions on a rationalised process but through pure, delusional, ideology.

    So you would have NZRail tied up for months spending millions on writing a submission when they already acknowledge that they cannot satisfy the requirements of the job????

    NZRail lacks scale, they’re not competitive, they can’t meet the timeframe and they don’t have experience in this work.

    Seems to me that this decision is realistic, rational and pragmatic whereas the desire to build here in NZ is where the pure delusional ideology exists.

    And the irony of your delusion is that, were the National government to award the Dunedin workshops with the work, you’d be baying for blood for a massive overspend on rolling stock when better value alternatives are available.

    • Kevin Welsh 8.1

      Speaking of ‘delusions’, NZ Rail hasn’t been in existence since 1993.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      NZRail lacks scale, they’re not competitive, they can’t meet the timeframe and they don’t have experience in this work.

      Considering that they’ve had a look and said that they can do it then I’d say that you’re talking out your arse.

  9. Hamish 9

    >>>Hamish celebrates the “can’t do’ attitude.

    Of course we can do it; but at what cost. Sadly, we can’t do it on time. Sadly, we can’t do it for a competitive price. Sadly, we cannot do it without KiwiRail taking on an incredible risk, a risk so big that if the project was to have a problem, (keeping in mind we’ve never built an EMU train before), KiwiRail would require a bailout.

    >>>”I can see the logic if it was decided that the costs and benefits of a Kiwirail bid didn’t stack up’

    They don’t need to. This is simply a SOE purchasing some new rolling stock. Sadly, Labour and the Greens turned it into a football. Even when some facts come out that are in favor of KiwiRail NOT bidding, they still think they know better then KiwiRail’s experts, engineers, designers etc etc.

    Will the looney tunes come out and say “We are wrong” ? Or are they just a little bit busy yelling abuse outside a tennis match ?

    edit–just read your post “joe bloggs”, thumbs up here :)

    >>>And the irony of your delusion is that, were the National government to award the Dunedin workshops with the work, you’d be baying for blood for a massive overspend on rolling stock when better value alternatives are available.

    They would not care. So blind..

  10. prism 10

    Politicians should stop thinking of the country as a business. It needs to be run efficiently but going for the cheapest tender is not the way to go. There are more considerations to make than just considering the returns expected by a discrete group of shareholders as in business. Perhaps there can be a sort of metal portal like a security screen that pollies have to go through to check whether the thinking part of the brain is big enough to handle the job.

    There’s no future for us as a modern, diversified country if pollies and their advisors, or those they listen to, just get injected with education about current practices that are most fashionable and then don’t do any more cogitating. We’re too small to do things for ourselves! How pathetic. Sounds like the learned helplessness that the right wing like to preach is the prime problem of government beneficiaries.

    Looking overseas for goods and expertise, while themselves living off the country, has been the same theme with pollies since ACT first injected us with their virus like biting mosquitoes carrying diseases. They were busy ordering grandly from overseas then, at the same time they were encouraging the demise of NZ business on the basis it was too small, inefficient, too costly etc.
    I think they said that it would free up capital for more efficient businesses. Perhaps they were affected by Richard Prebble having grown mushrooms once. They thought perhaps that businesses sprout up like mushrooms, or perhaps are even found under cabbage bushes.

  11. What’s wrong with diesel/electric? By some more secondhand Aussie engines, convert them here. Run the trains and buses on biodiesel and leave the coal in the ground.
    Labour should say now that it will cancel any contract the banksters sign for Auckland and give the new Auckland council the power to run the suburban rail.

  12. Hamish 12

    >>>What’s wrong with diesel/electric? By some more secondhand Aussie engines, convert them here. Run the trains and buses on biodiesel and leave the coal in the ground.

    Very expensive to run, slow take off times. An electric fleet will take off much faster, no where near as loud, no nasty diesel fumes for passengers etc.

    As I understand it, some of the diesel units (from Aussie) will serve areas where the electric wires will not reach.

    As for using bio diesel, you still have the problems above, so your not really gaining anything. Back in 2007 Toll Rail did a test of 5% bio diesel in a locomotive, never heard anything more about it, though.

    • insider 12.1

      Re biodiesel – there’s not enough of it, quality is a problem and it is too expensive. Apart from that it’s great

      • IrishBill 12.1.1

        Actually quality isn’t a big issue for big engines and it’s cheaper than fossil but hard to supply in large quantities. Although that’s unlikely to be an issue for long (and considering we’re running diesel units that are 40 years old a short (most likely half decade) fossil/bio transition period is negligible).

  13. Fisiani 13

    Well worth repeating.
    Why can’t the left ever learn business sense. Cos they are wealth spreaders not creators.

    “I’ve outlined the reasons why building the EMUs (Electric Multiple Unit) in New Zealand would be a challenge we couldn’t meet. Firstly and most important, we simply could not build them here in time for Auckland’s requirement. We lack the scale.

    “Secondly, we will not be cost competitive in the build process and while $500 million sounds a lot, it is a limited amount of money for this order.

    “Thirdly, we have never built EMUs before and that fact represents significant risk in the build project. It is a cost risk that KiwiRail would struggle to take given the priorities we already have in re-building the rail system.’

  14. Hamish 14

    Don’t go posting those facts there. The unions and select people know better than KiwiRail’s experts, designers, engineers do, of course. Socialists, huh, they always know best. No matter what.

    • Armchair Critic 14.1

      Where are the facts? Fisi merely quoted the CEO of Kiwirail, who was expressing his opinion as CEO. The only fact is that this is his opinion. So far the best reason I have heard to support building the EMUs overseas is that the CEO of Kiwirail says “we won’t build them”. Which is pretty weak and made worse by its ad-nauseum repetition by people like you.
      It would be great to see Jim Quinn be a bit more open and tell us the fourth reason he won’t let Kiwirail put a bid in – which is that Steve Joyce told him not to.

    • Bright Red 14.2

      BERL’s report is based on the engineers’ assessments and BERL is hardly socialist.

      • insider 14.2.1

        BERL will say what you want them to say like any good consultant or lawyer

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          Jesus, what a load of codswallop. Consultants are there to tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. If that’s all they did then they would go out of business very fast.

  15. joe bloggs 15

    sad to say, team – this is a pragmatism-free zone, check your facts at the door – idealogues only!

    • lprent 15.1

      Not exactly. There are few absolute ‘facts’ anywhere because almost everything has exceptions and viewpoints. You cannot simply assert a ‘fact’ and not have it challenged (in other words have your links ready). You can then expect to have your facts examined and frequently your interpretation or the source is rubbished.

      In other words, it is a credulous fool free zone. Wingnuts frequently have problems with that because they tend to be ‘religious’ about frequently repeated doctrines that they read in the sewer and other similar dives.

      I’d add that moonbats also have that problem

  16. Hamish 16

    >>> Armchair Critic [lots of dribble]

    KiwiRail do not have the capacity to make the EMU units; fact. KiwiRail cannot make the time frame; fact. KiwiRail has never build them before; fact. KiwiRail simply cannot handle the large risk, thus: If something went wrong; KiwiRail would need a bail out.

    I’ve read a certain document and I can tell you that the report was based on measurements, requirements etc that are far from what KiwiRail need. Simple things like length of the EMU units, for example.

    If we could build them here, both our government and KiwiRail would JUMP at the chance. But sadly we cannot meet the requirements that the contract will ask for. Hence, KiwiRail won’t even waste the dollars to put a bid in themselves. Say’s it all, really.

    • MikeG 16.1

      I guess that sort of thinking is why the right wing party in the UK is called the Conservatives. Let’s take a bit of a risk and create some real NZ jobs. Why is the BERL report being dismissed by the right? Are the numbers just a little inconvenient for their idealogy?

      • Hamish 16.1.1

        >>>Why is the BERL report being dismissed by the right? Are the numbers just a little inconvenient for their idealogy?

        Na, just the fact the report is based on false assumptions that are not remotely close to what we will require.

        But don’t let that get in the way, do carry on…

        • Bright Red 16.1.1.1

          Come on Hamish, tell us which of BERL’s assumptions are false.

          • Hamish 16.1.1.1.1

            >>>Come on Hamish, tell us which of BERL’s assumptions are false.

            Sure:

            1) Motive Power
            2) Brake System
            3) Car Length
            4) Setup costs
            5) Time to delivery of units

            There are also some more problems…

            Happy now ?

            • RedLogix 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Hamish,

              BERL are bullshitting. As I stated a week ago, I’ve had a first hand conversation with a senior engineering person at the Woburn workshops. I’m not going to identify him because it was a private conversation, but I assure you if anyone would know the answer to this question he would.

              The answer is that these EMU’s are relatively simple to build, the under-chassis and bogies are simple engineering, the bodies the sort of thing that have been refurbished in NZ before and are not a lot different to buses. 85% of the value could be easily done here in NZ.

              The only items that would need to be imported would be the electric traction motors, their associated controls and …oddly enough… the actual wheels which are a specialised casting they usually get done in Australia.

            • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Now prove your assertions.

    • Armchair Critic 16.2

      KiwiRail do not have the capacity to make the EMU units; fact. KiwiRail cannot make the time frame; fact. KiwiRail has never build them before; fact. KiwiRail simply cannot handle the large risk, thus: If something went wrong; KiwiRail would need a bail out.

      None of those are facts. The facts are that Jim Quinn said:
      “Firstly and most important, we simply could not build them here in time for Auckland’s requirement. We lack the scale.
      Secondly, we will not be cost competitive in the build process and while $500 million sounds a lot, it is a limited amount of money for this order.
      Thirdly, we have never built EMUs before and that fact represents significant risk in the build project.”
      Facts are that the BERL report does not concur.
      The report proposes that the timeframe can be met (section 5, first and second paragraphs on page 5). It proposes that Kiwirail would need to increase its capacity to build the EMUs on time (section 3.2.1). Given that unemployment has soared while National have been in government, Kiwirail should find it easier to find new staff.
      The report states that the costs per unit are “in line with international trends” (section 3.1 bullet point 1). It further notes that the comparison being made is of capital costs only and does not include life cycle analysis (section 3.1 penultimate and final paragraphs). It also notes that the comaprison is based on current exchange rates, which favour overseas manufacture (section 3.1, bullet point 3).
      The report is on economics and does not address risk in a substantial way. However, if the CEOs of any company I am directly involved with cast as much doubt as Jim Quinn has on the ability of him and his senior management team to manage risk I would be asking them some pretty probing questions. Really, he has dropped a big hint that they are incapable of proper risk management. Which leaves some basic questions to be answered, like:
      – what are Kiwirail’s risk management capabilities?
      – what risk management capabilities should Kiwirail have?
      – how will Kiwirail develop their risk management to the requisite level?
      Fact is that not casting doubt about your own abilities is one of the fundamentals of being a CEO.
      Facts are that Jim Quinn has only been in the job for a year, according to his bio on the Kiwirail website, and that he has no previous experience with heavy engineering or manufacturing. Which makes his advice on Kiwirail’s heavy engineering capabilities less reliable than other aspects of the business where he has more experience.
      Fact is that his appointment as CEO was a surprise.
      Finally, for your first paragraph at least, fact is that if something went wrong with an overseas supplier there is a reasonable chance that Auckland would end up with money spent and no EMUs.
      Fact is you are weighing four sentences against a 30 page report.

      I’ve read a certain document and I can tell you that the report was based on measurements, requirements etc that are far from what KiwiRail need. Simple things like length of the EMU units, for example.

      So provide a link so any commenters here can assess the validity of your certain document. Otherwise I call BS. Update – it appears that Draco TB (at 7.44pm) may be calling you for BS, too.

      If we could build them here, both our government and KiwiRail would JUMP at the chance.

      You are assuming that because the government are not jumping, therefore the EMU’s can’t be built here. Doesn’t stack up for me, I don’t accept either premise.

      But sadly we cannot meet the requirements that the contract will ask for.

      So write a different contract. It’s still fair if all the tenderers are subject to the same condition.

      Hence, KiwiRail won’t even waste the dollars to put a bid in themselves.
      Say’s it all, really.

      Finally something we agree on, even if it is for totally different reasons.

      Armchair Critic [lots of dribble]

      Try seeing a doctor for your ptyalism, it could be a symptom of rabies.

  17. tc 17

    Jim Quinn’s not really to blame, he’s just another compliant soul plucked from another SOE to do what he’s told……the nat’s are so much better at doing this as they have the connections to the right type of individual to blame share along with them.

    Reward your mates…nudge nudge wink wink. Joyce is one of their best…..scary indeed.

  18. Hamish Gray 18

    [lprent: All good points – however… Have you read Lange vs Atkinson yet? Otherwise you’re still on commenting leave until the 20th. ]

  19. Puddleglum 19

    Hamish, Joe Bloggs, et al.. I think what you haven’t picked up from the post or other comments is that, ultimately, it’s not the business case for KiwiRail that is the issue. This may or may not be in favour of building the units. The CEO obviously thinks it’s not on his ‘cost-benefit’ calculation. That, however, doesn’t make it wrong or stupid or economically negligent to build the units using KiwiRail (and others). Other benefits, beyond KiwiRail, accrue – as may other costs.

    This, like so many decisions by government, is not a technical matter – it is a matter of values. Your values appear to be narrowly financial. That’s fine, but recognise that they ARE values, and you’re putting them ahead of other values – e.g., values associated with the maintenance of people, families, communities, etc.. Having those latter values as a priority may mean that financial values have to be partly sacrificed. This is the heart of my concerns about today’s world: it’s organised primarily to increase profit, private wealth and economic power. It is not organised to ensure that people, families, etc. can flourish, be stable and provide the kind of environment that works for individual people.

    anti-spam word: budgets – the invasion of financialese is everywhere!

  20. ak 20

    Goodness me. Just looking at the heavy input from “fisiani” and “Hamish”, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that the tory polls indicate that this is a winner issue for the left. Stands to reason too: BERL aint no pinkoes, not by a long shot. Get into it brothers and sisters, I smell blood.

  21. Sam 21

    Sign the petition if you like, or even better download the paper one and get your workmates and friends to fill it in : http://rmtunion.org.nz/articles/article-building-rolling-stock-in-nz.php

  22. motorways madness and neoliberalism 22

    I always wondered why Bolger was replaced as chair of Kiwirail.

    http://www.nztransport-logistics.co.nz/home/free-articles/nz-rail-new-chairman-has-right-stuff-to-steer-kiwirail.html ‘John Spence is currently deputy chair of state coal miner Solid Energy..

    Clues to Spencer’s ongoing role will come when Transport Minister Steven Joyce addresses the NZ Rail 2010 conference on April 21, setting out the Govt’s priorities for rail and possibly hinting at the amount of capital the Govt is prepared to stump up.’

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    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    2 days ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    2 days ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    14 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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