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Nats sign up for KiwiBuild?

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, May 10th, 2013 - 26 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, housing, len brown, local government, national - Tags: , , ,

Last year Labour shook up the political landscape with KiwiBuild – a serious plan for addressing the crisis of unaffordable housing in NZ. At the time the Nats and their spinsters were scornful (of course), saying among other things that we couldn’t build 10,000 new homes a year:

Prime Minister John Key said he thought Labour were in “fantasy land” over their proposed policy. …

“They are proposing 10,000 homes a year. I think there were 535 built by the top three residential building companies in Auckland [in a similar timeframe].”

Looks like KiwiBuild has already been a success, however, by scaring the Nats in to producing (in conjunction with Len Brown’s Auckland) a more significant housing policy of their own:

Auckland housing: 39,000 new homes in three years

39,000 in three years? Now my maths isn’t as good as it should be, but isn’t that like, more than 10,000 per year? I hope that those that ranted that Labour’s KiwiBuild couldn’t do it will be making the same criticism here? Oh no, of course not.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Government have struck a deal that will enable 39,000 new houses to be built in the next three years.

The Auckland Housing Accord has been agreed to today by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mr Brown to “urgently increase the supply and affordability of housing in Auckland”.

It’s great that this issue is now seriously on both sides of the political agenda.

The legislation, to be introduced to Parliament as part of this year’s Budget, sets a target of 9000 additional residential houses being consented for in Year 1, 13,000 in Year 2, and 17,000 in Year 3. …

The unitary plan sets out to build 280,000 new homes through intensification of urban Auckland and 160,000 new homes in rural areas over the next 30 years.

My my – more than 10,000 a year for more than 10 years. I guess it’s only impossible when Labour propose it.

While it is a step forward, this plan is certainly no KiwiBuild:

Too little, too late from Nats on housing – Shearer

The Government’s housing accord will not solve the country’s housing affordability crisis, and is too little too late, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“The Government has had almost five years to tackle housing affordability. I welcome the fact they’ve finally woken up to this issue – but National’s proposals don’t go nearly far enough.

“Making more land available for development is a good idea. But by itself, it won’t cut it. It won’t ensure that affordable homes are actually built.

“This announcement is woefully short on detail. It talks about ‘clear requirements’ for affordable housing, but is silent on how many affordable homes will be built and how much they will cost.

“Currently just 5 per cent of new homes built are in the affordable range. There is nothing in today’s announcement that will change that.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild policy is a bricks and mortar solution. Rather than sitting on the side-lines the next Labour Government will oversee the building of 10,000 affordable homes a year right across the country. …

Behind the scenes work continues to make sure that KiwiBuild is ready to go after the next election.

26 comments on “Nats sign up for KiwiBuild?”

  1. Ad 1

    This is a quandary for Labour: go hard and early with something pathbreaking, and run the risk that the Nats will respond, or hold fire until election season proper and battle for remaining political policy-space. Labour made the right call, because the public saw it as leadership.

    However both political sides are looking at this from an essentailly end-buyer and regulator point of view.

    The effective collapse of mezzanine finance following the GFC has left too few developers, let alone developers who give effect to the public good. A part – not the only part – of Labouyr’s policy is to revisit 1946 and form entities that develop social housing blocks within the inner city and close to other core employment centres.

    Housing NZ used to do that. Auckland Council used to own whole blocks of flats. Wellington still does. It’s time Labour formed Urban Developmetn Authorities – referably in particership with Cities – adn stood in the market and developed sites themselves. Some for sale, some for public ownership. Undo the fire-sale excesses of previous Minsiters and John Banks. Come on Twyford: be more than a regulator and buyer. Step in and be the developer. Come on Len, enough with the plans. Turn your Public Works Act machine on.

  2. I thought I’d entered a parallel universe reading the Government & Auckland City proposing they can build 39,000 houses in 3 years.

    • Eddie 2.1

      of course, they’re not building shit – they’re hoping someone else will

  3. There is quite a bit of politics behind this. The Government and Auckland Council have been locked in really intense negotiations in the background over the past few months.

    It has gone a bit like this:

    1. Auckland Council (at least a majority of Councillors) wanted the Unitary Plan to have effect from the date that it was first advertised. So from this September it would start to affect Auckland’s urban form.
    2. The Government did not want to even think about this. The state of the relationship is that anything Auckland wants the Government opposes. Amy Adams made it clear that she was not going to even contemplate the plan having even the slightest bit of effect before the hearings had been concluded and the decision released. This would be a few years away.
    3. Then there was a crisis about affordable housing. So how did the Government respond? It tried to blame Auckland Council for the problem.
    4. This threw the Government is a real predicament. On the one hand it was refusing to allow Auckland’s plans to have any effect for a few years but on the other hand it was blaming Auckland Council for not changing things.
    5. I understand that there were plans to take away Auckland’s planning functions but if the Government did this there would have been severe consequences. The basic problem is that the Government is perfectly happy with urban sprawl whereas Auckland Council accepts the logic of a compact city form although the right wing councillors were able to dilute the restrictions on development outside of the current urban limit.
    6. So we have this messy response where the Government has actually backed down but is still trying to sound tough.
    7. The devil will be in the detail. From my cursory reading of the releases Auckland gets to propose “Special Housing Areas” but the Government has to agree to them. Once they are agreed to then development is sped up in those areas.
    8. The proposal applies to greenfield and brownfield areas. But I am sure if the Government has its way they will all be greenfield.

    This is just the start of a potentially really fraught system. I bet the Government is hoping that this year’s election results in a change of Mayor and a more right wing council.

    • And (scuse me for replying to myself but) Auckland Transport Blog are as usual doing a sterling job at the analysis of the details (http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/05/10/auckland-housing-accord-announced/).

      There is a 6 story height restriction on brownfield development areas. And there is absolutely no teeth in policies for the provision of affordable housing. And it is cheaper to do the greenfields development because the cost of all the infrastructure such as motorways, water and sewerage not to mention community facilities will be borne by the Council and hence the ratepayer.

      How this will work out will be really interesting.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Until there is a functioning market ie developers who are prepared to work at some scale, the policy will fail. Everyone knows what they want. But who will do it? Even Fletcher Residential is pissing around over a total gimme like Manukau Golf Course.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Unless there is a “functioning market”?

          What an oxymoronic joke.

          • Ad 3.1.1.1.1

            Clearly you are not in Auckland. It’s a joy of perfect information perfect capital and of course perfection itself. Come on up and enjoy! Everyone else is.

      • xtasy 3.1.2

        So I’d be interested to see where these “special housing areas” will be, again Hobsonville and some other areas are popping up. I also note this is not allowing building upwards, so this is using land the council has to find to suggest to central government (who need to agree), to build on, brown land or green land.

        In all honesty I cannot see this working, it seems like a desperate effort from both sides, who cannot really agree, but see that the pressure is getting so big, they have to make some announcement to keep face. No, I am not convinced that this will deliver. The devil lies in the detail, and that is where Len and John will be caught out and get onto loggerheads again, sorry.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10882827

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        And it is cheaper to do the greenfields development because the cost of all the infrastructure such as motorways, water and sewerage not to mention community facilities will be borne by the Council and hence the ratepayer.

        So, not really cheaper – just massively subsidised by the ratepayers.

    • Ad 3.2

      This will require legislative change. Can Labour keep its previous housing leadership position? The challenge is to Twyford now, because Brown just said he can cut deals with the Nats and the Nats just outflanked Labour hard.

      The key player to turning this from a mess into a deal was Auckland’s Chief Planning Officer Roger Blakeley. His exchange of papers with Wellington officials last weekend, together with the Cabinet Strategy meeting this week, have been vital to turning the tone from dismissal to better engagement.

      This however is against a backdrop of central government continuing to legislate the gut local government generally and accrete more power back to the centre, still going through the House.

      Also important this week, interestingly, was the INFINZ gathering this week in which many of the major power brokers in town voiced strong dissatisfaction with Government out-of-hand dismissal of the Alternative Funding paper from the Consensus Group.

      The government will understand within the next month that it does not have the capacity or skill to engage real estate capitalism hard. Even Brownlee is now starting to read his papers then speak. Brownlee is up for the Transport Summit on May 29-30.

      This finally is leading up to the Central-Local Government meeting on July 17th led by English and a good posse of Cabinet, with Council. Papers are being drafted for this now.

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        This however is against a backdrop of central government continuing to legislate *to* gut local government generally and accrete more power back to the centre, still going through the House

        Yep for the first time in a long time Central Government can veto an Auckland local government planning decision.

  4. Binders full of women 4

    Kiwibuild is a ‘serious plan’ if your definition of serious is ‘lotto-type policy’ that ballots cheaper houses to middle and upper class families. (there will be NO targeting, and ballots will take place and you still need a sizeable deposit). I usually hate the Greens (now Rod & Jeanette have gone) but I like their progressive ownership model which plans to build just as many houses with families with children given priority.

    • felix 4.1

      I usually hate the Greens (now Rod & Jeanette have gone)

      Bahahahahahahahahaha! Good one.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Last year Labour shook up the political landscape with KiwiBuild – a serious plan for addressing the crisis of unaffordable housing in NZ.

    Was it going to create a lot of affordable $250,000 houses?

  6. BrucetheMoose 6

    Goes to show how out of touch Key is with reality. In Christchurch, though the rebuild is not materialising at the levels anticipated, the building activity is definitely on the increase. The shortage of skilled workers is starting to show now and will seriously be exposed in the coming months as consented works start translating into active projects. In particular, the larger commercial buildings, while not as numerous as it would be liked, they will still soak up large numbers from the skilled workers pool. Companies in Chch are struggling to get suitable staff now are resorting to poaching from each other to cope, and it will only get worse. They have been also relying on a degree of these workers and companies coming down from the Auckland region. With the Auckland area only building around five thousand homes a year, the numbers of skilled workers will need to be increased by at least twice. You don’t train people properly in less than 1 year and the more skilled core trades some it takes 3-4 years. Added the fact the constant demand in Canterbury….? Not sure who is going to build the 700 home Key promised at the end of last year. Wouldn’t hold the breath on that one anyway.
    Sounds good for tackling the unemployment issue, but either they haven’t done the maths, or looks more like good ol’ electioneering to me. Either that, or we are going to solve Ireland’s unemployment problem.

  7. xtasy 7

    Hey, Anthony Robins, I am sorry, but this to me sounds more like a desperate sellout by Len Brown to the government!

    The news at least report this is all going to happen on “green field” land. And transport will need to be made available. So it is more like a two edged sword scenario. Where the government will make a deal with desperate Len (struggling to get the cash to even get Auckland transport investment together) to now have 39 thousand homes built out of the established built up city area.

    This is NOT intensification, it is NOT about additional sections in areas handy to centres, this is about further expansion in some pockets on the fringes!

    Len Brown has backed down to National’s proposals, to sprawl in areas, and he is left the fig leaf to prove he can still do some intensification under the Unitary Plan. Indeed this is undermining the Unitary Plan, from what I have heard. And even Shearer does not believe that the homes talked about will be affordable as suggested under Kiwi Build.

    I am not sure what gets you enthused on this topic, and I see that Labour are now in disarray again, not knowing what is going on, Shearer contradicting, you apparently interpreting this as the government coming to the party with Kiwi Build.

    No get a better advisor for your party, please, this is not convincing, I am afraid! Of course the Nats are despairing also, but hey, who will pay for the infrastructure to these proposed new dwellings? Len has not got the money for the city rail link, so is he getting the money for Hobsonville, South Auckland and other pockets of expansion then? FAIL!

  8. xtasy 8

    So what the hell does it all mean? We get Len Brown tell us his story, we get Key and Smith tell us another one. Agreement upon proposals by the Auckland Council appears necessary. I read though Helensville, Takanini, Pukekohe, and so there are supposed to be sections readily available?

    Not wanting to build out but up is still Len’s words. So are we getting cheapo apartment blocks out there, or what? Except Pukekohe, it is all out on the fringes. To me it seems that Len agreed to have the greenfield developments go through fast lane first, and the rest (of his Unitary Plan) will be dealt with later.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8658540/New-accord-to-boost-Auckland-housing

    I see in that photo three men pretending to smile, it is all HUGE FAKE, for a smile at least, and that does not forebode anything good to me!

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      “I see in that photo three men pretending to smile, it is all HUGE FAKE”

      One thing Key must be strongly acknowledged for is that his smile is consistent and persistent.
      :-)

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    The one question that no one seems to have asked:

    What gives central government control over a city?

    It really isn’t the central governments place to tell a council and the local people how to develop their city.

  10. Herodotus 10

    To develope a green field development , there needs to occur planning, design, earthworks , civil works then the construction of a dwelling. This excludes the construction and location of infrastructure such as storm water ponds. These take time and resources which are currently employed in existing developments like long bay, stone fields, Orewa, so given the Christchurch situation where is this capacity and what will these added developments do to the tendering prices?
    Nat and Len will be far gone when this policy fails to deliver but at least to appearances someone is making headlines as of they are being proactive and doing something.

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    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • New pipe ban will increase harm to cannabis consumers
    The Government will increase harm by further restricting the sale, supply and importation of drug harm reduction equipment. “This National-led Government seems to be encouraging use of the more harmful synthetics over safer natural cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Council can’t ban legal highs
    Under current law Gisborne District Council cannot ban the sale of legal highs (psychoactive substances) in our district. Council can restrict where these substances are sold....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Online job vacancies pick up in March
    The number of jobs advertised online grew by 1.9 per cent in March 2014, following a 1.3 per cent decrease in February, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal
    The White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal, the main fundraiser for the White Poppy Peace Scholarships, starts tomorrow and runs through until Thursday, 24 April....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lawyers saddened at passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    New Zealand has lost one of its greatest jurists with the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore said today....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • “Rock star economy’ throws hospital staff out the window