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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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    21 hours ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    23 hours ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    23 hours ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 day ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
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    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
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    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
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    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
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    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
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    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
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    2 days ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
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    2 days ago
  • Some big news, for me
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    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
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    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
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    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
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    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    14 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    16 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    18 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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