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Oram on Nats’ economic bungles

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, August 19th, 2013 - 59 comments
Categories: economy, national - Tags: , ,

The first of two required reading pieces from the weekend. Financial journalist Rod Oram sums up the Nats’ economic performance in an excellent piece in the SST. Here are some extracts:

Full speed going backwards

…Our driverless Government is taking us for a ride. Guided by damage control, it is running amok over good governance, democracy and even its own policies and principles. … Prime Minister John Key prides himself on pragmatism. But his quick fixes, shortcuts and deals are piling up in a mass of contradictory and counter-productive actions.

First, the Government says it wants to help more first-time home buyers by expanding the Welcome Home programme it slashed in its first term. It is also easing the rules for using KiwiSaver funds for deposits, even though KiwiSaver is meant to encourage people to broaden their investments beyond the housing market. Those actions will increase demand for housing, thereby fuelling the damaging housing boom. …

Second, the Government says it wants to help increase the supply of housing by allowing open slather on subdivisions. But that will only make it harder for councils to deliver good urban development and efficient infrastructure, two crucial factors in making housing more affordable.

Third, the Government says it has brought certainty to the workers of the Tiwai Point smelter and investors in Meridian Energy by paying Rio Tinto $30 million to agree to a new electricity deal with Meridian. But the money, which breaks one of National’s much-cherished principles of no subsidies, does neither. The deal does nothing to secure the huge investment the elderly smelter urgently needs to regain its competitiveness. …

Fourth, these uncertainties in the electricity market continue to depress shares in Mighty River Power. It has yet to recover to its $2.50 float price. Despite investors sitting on a loss on MRP and the continuing threats hanging over the market, the Government is determined to float Meridian in October. It says such SOE sales are designed to encourage new retail investors into the stock market, while bolstering its own finances. But the poor showing of MRP, and thus the need to sharply discount Meridian to attract buyers, undercuts both goals.

Fifth, ultra-fast broadband (UFB) is another flagship policy of the Key Government. It is stumping up $1.35 billion to help fund the rollout of fibre to deliver it, with Chorus the main corporate recipient. … Telecommunications Minister Amy Adams is planning to intervene with a price up to four times higher than the regulator’s. Other telcos are complaining bitterly that this would inflate Chorus’ profits and share price, and reduce their ability to compete. …

Sixth, the Government has announced radical changes to the Resource Management Act. It says they will reduce uncertainty, legal wrangling and delays in the consenting progress. Some of the additional minor changes would be useful and are widely supported. But it is carving the heart out of the act. It will remove from Part 2, the purpose and priorities of the act, any reference to environmental bottom lines or aspects such as public amenity. This means the environment will take its chances alongside economic development, landowner’s rights and other considerations. …

Seventh, Key says that, once the Fonterra-tainted whey inquiries are completed, he will “travel to China and look down the barrel of their television cameras with the answers as to why this happened, give consumers confidence that it’s been fixed and all issues have been identified”. … He will damage, not rebuild, confidence in New Zealand.

If Key feels like apologising, he should start at home. Having ditched its roadmap of policies and principles, the Government is taking the public for a scary ride. It is getting more reckless by the day.

Go read the whole piece in the SST.

59 comments on “Oram on Nats’ economic bungles”

  1. mickysavage 1

    [Pssst it was in the SST]

    Excellent analytical piece by Oram. Government MPs should be strapped into chairs with their eyelids held open and forced to read this.

  2. vto 2

    The changes to the RMA are the ones that concern me. They are fundamental and they will have a significant effect on the environmental effects of proposals over many years…. unless it is changed back by the next government.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Agreed.

      Amy Adams was on the Nation on the weekend and was trying to minimise the changes. She is totally wrong.

      Out of the principles of the RMA the Government is proposing to remove the ethic of stewardship, the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values, the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment and consideration of any finite characteristics of natural and physical sources.

      This is head in the sand blind ideology thinking that we do not live on a world with finite resources.

      These guys have to be voted out of office before they wreck the place.

    • Macro 2.3

      Absolutely agreed vto the proposed changes to Part 2 are environmental vandalism at its worst. They must be repealed. National are nothing more than vandals and the sooner they are gone the better for humanity and the environment.

    • Macro 2.4

      Absolutely agreed vto the proposed changes to Part 2 are environmental vandalism at its worst. They must be repealed. National are nothing more than vandals and the sooner they are gone the better for humanity and the environment.

    • Bearded Git 2.5

      We are making the RMA a local election issue in the Queenstown Lakes District Council because the outstanding natural landscapes in this District will be wrecked by subdivision and development if the changes get through. This will appear in the Wanaka Messenger tomorrow:

      Council Response to Drastic Changes to RMA Pathetic

      The following was presented to council by UCES’s President last week at Public Forum:
      “The government is in the process of “gutting the RMA”. These are not my words, they are the words of respected financial commentator Rod Oram in last week’s Sunday Star Times. 13277 submissions were received from the public on the proposed changes to the Act- 99% opposed the changes.
      The changes allow new subdivision and development anywhere and everywhere unless a council expressly restricts this through a plan rule. The QLDC has a discretionary regime in its DP for subdivision and development which means no subdivision is expressly restricted. This change is a recipe for urban sprawl and ad hoc rural subdivision anywhere in the mountains and along around lakes and rivers in this District. This has the potential to devastate the landscape values-values that that this District largely relies upon for its economic wellbeing.
      Anyone who has a secluded rural residence should be scared because under the changes a subdivision will be able to be dumped next to you as of right.
      Commissioners at QLDC resource consent hearings will be powerless to decline subdivision and development. Council’s power to control adverse effects will be massively reduced. The changes overturn decades of planning law.
      There are major changes to s.6 and s.7 of the Act that will dilute provisions relating to matters of national importance. The requirements to maintain and enhance “amenity values” and the “quality of the environment” are deleted.
      There is a new requirement that Outstanding Natural Landscape (ONL) must be “specified”. In this District there is a gradual process taking place to identify landscape categorization boundaries through the Court. This process is far from complete. The changes will mean that large areas of ONL currently non-specified in the QLDC will be removed from protection from inappropriate subdivision and development.
      The changes reduce public participation. Councils currently notify only 4 to 6 per cent of applications for public submissions and only 1% of applications are appealed. The changes further reduce the need to publicly notify applications and further limit who is an affected party. The changes also further limit matters that submitters can comment on.
      The changes to the Act are based on ideology rather than any evidence of the need for change. They will make 22 years of case law largely irrelevant.
      The Society respectfully asks that when the Bill goes through the Select Committee process the QLDC submits in opposition to the changes described above especially any that reduce the protection of landscapes from inappropriate development.
      Council’s response has been through QLDC policy and planning general manager Marc Bretherton in the Central Otago News: “Council’s approach is to adopt a watching brief. These matters will be traversed by councils throughout New Zealand with deeper pockets. The council will participate where we see value in doing so to advance the interests and protect the values of this District.”

      Council proposes to do nothing because it doesn’t have the money. Future participation will be irrelevant as the bill will be progressed through parliament soon. This is a pathetic response-it pretends that the massive changes to landscape and lifestyles of people in this District resulting from the Resource Management Reform Bill is not worth $2,000 of planner’s time.

      The Society proposes this week to ask all of the 23 council and mayoral candidates at the upcoming election the following question:

      “Would you support council submitting to select committee in opposition to changes contained in the Resource Management Reform Bill where they will significantly reduce the protection of landscapes in this District from inappropriate subdivision and development. Please answer Yes or No.”

      The Society will publish the responses in the Messenger in 2 weeks time. If a candidate does not respond this will be taken as a “No” response.

      UPPER CLUTHA ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIETY, PO Box 443, Wanaka uces@xtra.co.nz

      I suggest other Districts similarly target their local council candidates.

  3. karol 3

    Yes Oram doesn’t hold back and focuses on the important issues of policy – unlike Colin Espiner in Sunday’s SST – praising Key as a politician at the peak of his powers, and for demolishing John Campbell – then ending with a small aside that the GCSB Bill is bad law passed in haste.

    Espiner says:

    But Key is coming into his own as a politician of considerable skill and finesse.
    [...]
    The fact that Key is at the very peak of his powers will see the spying bill passed without too much fuss…

    Surely this makes Key a con man at the peak of his slippery powers, and not a brilliant politician?

    And the Chinese, on the attack over Fonterra, can’t be pleased at Key changing the GCSB Bill to please his US-Echelon masters?!

    • Veutoviper 3.1

      On your last para, Karol, I took a quick look at this special on TDB last night on the “China Issue” but was too tired to take it in properly. But the little I did read suggests that China is not happy with the GCSB/US situation – nor presumably the TPPA possibilties. [I heard that Groser has left for more TPPA discussions with pressure on to conclude the agreement by October. ]

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/08/18/special-feature-for-china-is-the-gcsb-bill-one-insult-too-many/

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1

        yes, wandered through that informative, if a little long, piece yesterday for my sins.

      • karol 3.1.2

        Yes, Veuto, I had that in mind with my comment above. I also have only skimmed it – after a day at work I was feeling a little jaded – on my must read and digest list.

    • Bunji 3.2

      makes Key a con man at the peak of his slippery powers, and not a brilliant politician

      karol: Colin Espiner probably sees those two as the same thing.

    • Macro 3.3

      Yes I read that Op Piece by Espiner in disbelief! Talk about fuzzy logic! How can anyone honestly praise someone for being a brilliant politician and at the same time be critical of the their Law making? Surely the definition of a good politician is the fact that they introduce policies and laws that protect the rights of individuals not trample over them.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        How can anyone honestly praise someone for being a brilliant politician and at the same time be critical of the their Law making?

        It seems that, in Espiner’s world, being a brilliant politician means being able to lie smoothly.

  4. bad12 4

    Rod Oram is always a good read or a listen to on His regular spots on RadioNZ Natioanal, His is not the dry economics of % of this that the other, we always get an explanation from Oram of how He has arrived at the economic conclusions he shares with us,

    i will tho disagree on one point that Rod makes in this article, his assertion that should the Tiwai Point aluminum smelter close electricity prices will be forced to drop,

    Rod of course is talking from a point of their being an actual free market operating within the electricity generators and the various retailers, this in my opinion is not the current practice, electricity pricing in New Zealand is a matter of ‘Cartel Price Fixing’, there is in fact no apparent competition based upon price evident anywhere among the major retailers…

  5. tracey 5

    They lie. People swallow. Nats win next election.

  6. Bob 6

    First: “Those actions will increase demand for housing, thereby fuelling the damaging housing boom”
    So what you are saying is first home buyers should be deterred from purchasing because they will make housing more expensive? Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    Second: “the Government says it wants to help increase the supply of housing by allowing open slather on subdivisions. But that will only make it harder for councils to deliver good urban development and efficient infrastructure, two crucial factors in making housing more affordable.”
    All well and good, but councils have had years to come up with effective development plans, it hasn’t worked so now it is time for central government to step in, again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    Third: “the Government says it has brought certainty to the workers of the Tiwai Point smelter and investors in Meridian Energy by paying Rio Tinto $30 million to agree to a new electricity deal with Meridian. But the money, which breaks one of National’s much-cherished principles of no subsidies, does neither. The deal does nothing to secure the huge investment the elderly smelter urgently needs to regain its competitiveness”
    Think of this around the other way, the government doesn’t step in and 800 people and their families are directly affected, while another ~2000 people and their families are indirectly affected in the Southland region. If it was revealed it would only cost $30M to save all of those jobs for at least 3 years to give the Aluminium price time to recover, and they didn’t do it, could you imagine the uproar. Again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    Fourth: “these uncertainties in the electricity market continue to depress shares in Mighty River Power. It has yet to recover to its $2.50 float price”
    I fear this has more to do with Labour/Greens electricity policy more than anything the current government has done!

    Fifth: ultra-fast broadband (UFB), “Telecommunications Minister Amy Adams is planning to intervene”
    She is planning to intervene, so she hasn’t intervened, but she may intervene…..possibly, so the government is contradicting itself by apparently thinking of maybe doing something in the future. Top marks there.

    Sixth: “the Government has announced radical changes to the Resource Management Act”
    For the most part these are populist changes, however, the changes to part 2 do go too far. On this I am in agreeance.

    Seventh: “Key says that, once the Fonterra-tainted whey inquiries are completed, he will “travel to China and look down the barrel of their television cameras with the answers as to why this happened, give consumers confidence that it’s been fixed and all issues have been identified”. … He will damage, not rebuild, confidence in New Zealand”
    This is a fairly pointed, entirely political assumption! Just last week a number of people here were saying John Key only came across well (to those who had both eyes open) on Campbell Live because he had good media training, now this states he won’t come across well……..for no reason??? John Key is constantly under-estimated by opposition, you may not like what he stands for politically, but the one thing he can do is make an audience listen. Also, if he didn’t front in China to reassure our now biggest trading partner that we are still a safe nation to trade with he would be chastised! Again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    • karol 6.1

      Again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

      I’d rather John Key just didn’t & packed his bags for a permanent retirement in Hawaii. He’s making one big mess of NZ that will take decades for others to clean up.

    • vto 6.2

      Bob

      “”First: “Those actions will increase demand for housing, thereby fuelling the damaging housing boom”
      So what you are saying is first home buyers should be deterred from purchasing because they will make housing more expensive? Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don’t!””

      No that is not what is being said. You should stop assuming. Try again.

      “”Second: “the Government says it wants to help increase the supply of housing by allowing open slather on subdivisions. But that will only make it harder for councils to deliver good urban development and efficient infrastructure, two crucial factors in making housing more affordable.”
      All well and good, but councils have had years to come up with effective development plans, it hasn’t worked so now it is time for central government to step in, again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!””

      No that is not the situation at all. You are confused as to what has not worked.

      “”Third: “the Government says it has brought certainty to the workers of the Tiwai Point smelter and investors in Meridian Energy by paying Rio Tinto $30 million to agree to a new electricity deal with Meridian. But the money, which breaks one of National’s much-cherished principles of no subsidies, does neither. The deal does nothing to secure the huge investment the elderly smelter urgently needs to regain its competitiveness”
      Think of this around the other way, the government doesn’t step in and 800 people and their families are directly affected, while another ~2000 people and their families are indirectly affected in the Southland region. If it was revealed it would only cost $30M to save all of those jobs for at least 3 years to give the Aluminium price time to recover, and they didn’t do it, could you imagine the uproar. Again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!””

      No that is not what Oram is saying. He is pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of Key and English in “picking winners”, which they rail against unless it helps their personal politics. He is also pointing out that this corporate welfare in fact does nothing to save jobs as the smelter is doomed. The people get an extra 18 months only

      • Bob 6.2.1

        VTO
        “No that is not what is being said. You should stop assuming. Try again.”
        Please explain the situation to me. When I read “Those actions will increase demand for housing, thereby fuelling the damaging housing boom” in relation to first home buyers, I see political point scoring, not economic analysis.

        “No that is not the situation at all. You are confused as to what has not worked”
        So councils haven’t had years to come up with effective development plans? Or its not time for central government to step in? Those are the only two points I made in my statement, so I am confused by your response.

        “No that is not what Oram is saying. He is pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of Key and English in “picking winners”, which they rail against unless it helps their personal politics. He is also pointing out that this corporate welfare in fact does nothing to save jobs as the smelter is doomed. The people get an extra 18 months only”
        Correct, that is what Oram is saying, and I am saying look at this the other way, what would you say if the government let the smelter shut? Would you have congratulated the government for walking away from the smelter and letting it close? If not, then my statement is correct, damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1

          The government could have said “we’ll let the smelter close, which will mean job losses, but we are going to save $Xbn in power costs by doing this, and get $Ybn in extra tax revenue, so we are going to put $Zbn into the region to boost the employment market there.”

          But that would require a pro-New Zealand approach to policy.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1

            The $Ybn in extra tax revenue – is that from a tax increase? They will argue that closing the smelter means that the public balance sheet takes a big hit (financial value of Meridian and all other power assets declines), as well as a reduction in profitability of all generating assets – hits to the government’s revenue stream.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope – from the bigger profits brought on by lower power prices across the whole economy.

    • karol 6.3

      but councils have had years to come up with effective development plans, it hasn’t worked so now it is time for central government to step in, again damned if you do, damned if you don’t!””

      Huh!? Auckland (supercity) Council went live in Oct 2010 – they have come up with comprehensive plans and are engaging in public consultation – Key’s government wants to step in and stop that in order to insert their damaging plan.

      • Bob 6.3.1

        Huh!? Are you saying all seven local councils that merged into the Auckland (supercity) Council all had comprehensive plans in place prior to the merge? What about every other council in the country (excluding Chch as plans have obviously changed down there)? Or does your entire rebuttal revolve around one city’s council merge?

        • karol 6.3.1.1

          In my area, New Lynn, Waitakere City Council had comprehensive development plans, already being built, then along cam Auckland Council, and continued many.

          My main knowledge is around Auckland Council – and it’s a major development issue on a national scale – it’s one where the government has stepped in. So you want to just ignore the biggest council in NZ to justify your original claim?

    • Murray Olsen 6.4

      I can imagine Key saying that he’s not worried about Fonterra and that the Chinese regulatory agencies are all wrong will go down very well on Chinese television. His Crosby Textor training is all about how to make a Kiwi audience listen and think what a nice guy he’d be to have around for a barbecue. It’s just possible this won’t go down too well in China, where scientists and other academics are respected above spinners of idiotic anecdotes.

      I’d rather he didn’t go anywhere near China, but let MAF handle it, but that may not be an option since the Tories stripped that department bare as well.

  7. tracey 7

    Bob

    what makes you think lowering developers fees will be passed onto home buyers? In my experience developers will pocket it as profit.

  8. pollywog 8

    As it relates…

    Shades of Leaky building syndrome?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9047287/Council-development-costs-restricted

    By allowing the government to veto council development “contributions” currently paid by developers in a bid to lower costs passed on to home buyers, are we opening up the possibility for property developers to allow sub standard planning and materials which local bodies may have to pick up the charges for and remedy in the future? The cost of which will inevitably be passed on and paid for by the existing ratepayer in the form of exorbitant increases that already exceed the rate of inflation.

    And what guarantee will the government put in place to ensure that the developer will pass that current council development contribution saving on to the homebuyer?

    If local councils are to maintain, replace and upgrade current infrastructure to keep pace with population growth and technological progress, then a premium cost needs to be factored in to the price of new housing to reflect that, along with the environmental and social cost. It guarantees home buyers the satisfaction of knowing their property is futureproofed for some time to come and could hold developers to account for their work in any future insurance wrangles.

    No one wants to be replacing a burst sewer pipe or water mains to a new home within 10 years because the current government saw fit to play fast and loose in vetoing local council bylaws in favour of unscrupulous developers looking to save a buck and cut legislative corners.

    First world infrastructure comes with a first world price tag.The price may add to the cost of a new home but it also adds value. to your property, which in turn adds value to the community and the region

    By the same token, local councils shouldn’t use the Resource Management Act or Development levies as a means to gouge ratepayers and citizens. Either way, failed anecdotes are not evidence of a need to gut the Resource.Management Act in favour of economic development at the risk of polluting the environment further or detracting from the regions attractiveness. Nor should it give central government carte blanche to ride roughshod over local democracy and reduce council’s effectiveness in their regions by further centralizing power in Wellington through the Local Government Reform Bill to be introduced this year.

    I have a positive vision of how ethical government, both local and central should be, and it starts with us as individuals making informed choices and taking personal responsibility.

    • vto 8.1

      I think you are confusing two things there mr polly. Firstly, like foreign ownership, restricted land supply, building supplies cartels… so too do development contributions put the cost of housing up – and significantly. Each component of the housing supply cost structure needs to be attacked, which is slowly being realised and attended to. This is one of them.

      The things that development contributions are supposed to pay for have in the past been paid for by all home owners using them, which is as it should be. The current system means that the whole cost of those things is paid for by the first home owner, which is not right.

      The above has nothing to do with quality of work.

      • pollywog 8.1.1

        I think you are confusing two things there…

        Only 2 :)

        I’m saying Local councils know best what the true costs of maintaining first world infrastructure is and that is factored into the development contribution of a new house.

        New homebuilders should accept that there is a Council premium to be paid to tap into existing infrastructure and allow for upgrading as well.

        It just seems like a Wellington power grab to weaken local bodies in favour of developers looking to grease Central gov’ts palms and get a sly backhander in the process, while also being seen to be doing something about lowering house prices.

        But really, it’s all smoke and mirrors stuff and if it turns to shit, it’ll be the rate payer and council who will pick up the tab to fix it not the gov’t or the developer..

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          The problem with current development contributions is that the first homeowner pays all of the cost of, for example, the sewer system that relates to that house whereas it should be spread over all homeowners who use that sewer system (through rates as had been the case in the past).

          This recent practice distorts the cost of housing.

          There is no argument about providing first world infrastructure or requiring homeowners to pay for it. It is the manner in which this is achieved that unreasonably puts the price of housing up.

          In addition, the quality of the work has nothing to do with development contributions.

          • pollywog 8.1.1.1.1

            The problem with current development contributions is that the first homeowner pays all of the cost of, for example, the sewer system that relates to that house whereas it should be spread over all homeowners who use that sewer system (through rates as had been the case in the past).

            Think of it as a connection fee like getting your phone on and then paying line charges thereafter. Developers are going to charge for it anyway and not pay it to the council or pass the savings on if they’re not forced to by law.

            If there is no development contribution to council, they won’t in principle have to monitor developers for compliance with codes and open the possibility for them to allow substandard planning, materials and workmanship.

            • vto 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Except that what is paid for is a connection fee, line charges, and the actual line installation costs all when you first get your phone on. That is the analogy.

              “Developers are going to charge for it anyway and not pay it to the council or pass the savings on if they’re not forced to by law.” That is not the way it works. Business will lower prices if they can while maintaining the same margins, in order to compete and sell their products. What you suggest there is simply not the case.

              Your last paragraph polly is also simply wrong. Any person building any such structure requires a building consent which complies with building code which is monitored by council inspectors for compliance. It bears no relation to financial contributions.

              • pollywog

                Any person building any such structure requires a building consent which complies with building code which is monitored by council inspectors for compliance. It bears no relation to financial contributions.

                Housing Minister Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain said they would restrict the charges developers paid to councils in a bid to lower costs passed on to home buyers.

                “We are going to narrow the charges councils can put on new sections, provide an independent objections process and encourage direct provision of necessary infrastructure to get costs down,” they said.

                Surely they’re implying they will also monitor compliance with codes themselves or trust developers to act in good faith ?

                Then it’ll be a case of letting the inmates run the asylum.

                It all relates directly to the contribution currently paid to Council.

                A commercial landlords group, the Property Council, said it had long campaigned for greater consistency in how local authorities calculated development contributions and on how the money was spent.

                “The existing policy frustrates affordable development and has done so for more than a decade,” chief executive Connal Townsend said.

                Development contributions were meant to be spent on essential infrastructure to support development but too often were being wrongly used to cross-subsidise other projects.

                Oooh yeah well that requires a law change then. Cos some privateer has a failed anecdote to trot out and justify it…pfffft

                • vto

                  Such private provision of, for example, sewer still requires the building consent process. The ability of the private sector to process such consents and to monitor construction and to issue code compliance at the end has been removed as an option following the abject failure of this system which was one of the causes of the leaky building syndrome.

                  Private provision of, for example, sewer is a good idea. Subdivision roading is already provided by the private developer and transferred to Council ownership on completion (and through this same building consent process). Recently had some involvement with a developer who was looking at having to pay the local council about 50% more than it would cost for a private sewer system to be installed in the subdivision. (i.e. around $15,000 compared to around $25,000 for Council system).

                  I don’t like this government and its underhand ways and deceptive manners but on this issue it is right and will help with bringing down the cost of housing.

                  • pollywog

                    Tremain said a law change would be included in the Local Government Reform Bill to be introduced this year

                    Development contributions needed to fairly balance the costs “that should rightly rest with a new development and those of community benefit that should be paid by general ratepayers”.

                    “There will always be pressure on councils over rates and we need a check on development contributions to ensure the new-home owner is not overcharged,” he said.

                    The check is to vote for more ethical local body politicians not change laws to weaken councils.

                    on this issue it is right and will help with bringing down the cost of housing.

                    Bet you it doesn’t :)

                    • vto

                      Well mr polly, it already has – in Christchurch, where such contributions have been canned for new residential around the CBD as part of the earthquake rebuild, asking prices have been lowered as a result. Fact (trust me).

                    • pollywog

                      Christchurch can be made an exception for pretty much anything.

                      Waiving council levies there is just an attempted sweetener to draw money in to what was already a dying cbd and surrounding shithole suburbs even before the earthquakes.

                      Seriously who the fuck wants to live in Sydenham, Richmond, Phillipstown or the non existent cbd itself ?

                      The smart money will move out and build by the airport.

                    • vto

                      May well do. However the effect of dropping council contributions has been lower prices and that is the point.

                    • pollywog

                      So new home prices in Christchurch have dropped by an average of 14 000 because of reduced council contributions and we can expect the same across the board when the gov’t starts over riding council consent procedures ?

                      I beg to differ…

                      Christchurch’s median house price has hit a record $381,250 as buyers continue to compete for properties.

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/8787178/Median-house-price-hits-record

                      You’re missing the point, and that is National are going to weaken councils and change laws because of vested interest anecdotes. You can pretty much guarantee new house prices will increase in the next year regardless of whether developers pay a council levy or not.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.2

      raining ideas. :)

      • Greywarbler 8.2.1

        Trouble to make any impact on those in the driving seat the drops need to expand in size to hailstones as big as golf balls. Having a thick skull and skin seems a core necessity for such.

  9. tracey 9

    Plus 1

    developers escaped largely unscathed from the leaky home abomination, especially when compared to builders yet their financial decisions dictated quality and price of materials systems and labour.

    funny how developers dont carry 10 years personal liability now like builders and designers.

  10. Wayne 10

    The Nats tend not take too much notice of Rod. If an economic commentator opposses everything you do, it is not likely you will listen to that person. If on the other hand he was selective, said good policy in these 4 areas, but bad in this 1, well that would be different.

    By the way the Nats do actually beleive in the value of what they do, in the same way that the Labourites beleive in what they do. However they are two different world views. Of course the Nats do consider they have more economic rationality on their side.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      Yes, you display it ad nauseam, but I have a question. How are you measuring it? By GDP you’re a close second behind Labour, so what’s your benchmark? A higher GINI?

      • Greywarbler 10.1.1

        By the way the Nats do actually beleive in the value of what they do, in the same way that the Labourites beleive in what they do. However they are two different world views. Of course the Nats do consider they have more economic rationality on their side.

        I wonder how the NACTs would define economic rationality and how it guides their thinking and what outcomes it leads to that help in their task of running a modern country accountable to all citizens.

        This economic rationality is a term amongst a maze of rationality types on the net.
        But there were some books on rationality. One sounded like the NACTs type -
        “Accounting for rationality: double-entry bookkeeping and the rhetoric of economic rationality”.

    • pollywog 10.3

      National’s “short term gain, long term pain” ideology isn’t really economically rational though is it?.

    • Tracey 10.4

      He was outlining the “contradictory and counter-productive actions” which by definition will probably not favour the Government but he was by no means highlighting all government policy Wayne.

      “Of course the Nats do consider they have more economic rationality on their side.” Of course they do and they regard the UK and USA as running “looney” and “money printing” economic policies. The fools.

  11. Mary 11

    Add these seven things that’ve happened over just the past ten days to everything else that Key and this shonky government are doing and we have a very different New Zealand to what we had when Key lived in a state house and Bennett used the training incentive allowance to get her BA.

  12. peterlepaysan 12

    We have a greedy heartless government led by an american citizen who likes to brown nose his wall street and hollywood cronies, (sorry, I forgot chicago economists).

    Er, excuse me where is there any opposition?

    Greens maybe but unlikely to get enough to scare national.

    Mana? not with their nonsensical gst policy.

    Peters, same as the greens, neither of those groups would agree except to disagree.

    Dunne? Done his chips.

    Conservative party? If they play it correctly could be very significant.

    Pity that there are no other viable alternatives to the national party.

    Whether Key stays or goes will still leave us with a heartless wall street, hollywood, washington brown nosing national party in power.

    groan…

    where is the opposition?

  13. BrucetheMoose 13

    Like the government’s whole management of Christchurch and the ‘recovery’ is comming along superbly. Like a 747 that’s just dropped out of the sky and hit a fuel refinery.

  14. xtasy 14

    Yes, I heard Oram state pretty much the same on Radio NZ National a week ago, Tuesday last week. And he was so adament, that it was a stupid idea by the PM to go to China to basically apologise for the Fonterra stuff up. I have to agree with him totally, as that is not necessary.

    Apologising to a country and system, that had and still has its fair own dairy and food scandals, even more in numbers and frequency that little New Zealand, seems to be damned stupid idea. It is like inviting trouble. And on Monday this week, on Kathryn Ryan’s political commentators at 11 am, even damned Hooton agreed with Oram!!!

    So Oram is right again. He is not always right, but often he talks sense.

    Key seems to be keen to open up to a new large trading partner, that NZ has become too damned dependent on, and the country and people are paying the price now, with another scare published just yesterday.

    It is time to tidy up, to get things investigated and sorted, but also, to diversify in markets AND products, as this over dependence on basic dairy products is going to leave NZ too damned vulnerable. Value added manufacturing of high quality goods is needed, and if it cannot be done here by NZ companies and the government doing it themselves, better talk with the “devil” and invite investment from at least friendly countries. Many such in Europe are desperate for new investment in safe locations and markets, and they also have heaps to offer, that will benefit all involved.

    Do stop selling out to Mainland China, and do stop exposing the country and people to blackmail by one of the most corrupt and worst food standard delivering country there is, please. You would have to be an idiot to make yourself dependent on one such market. Only NZ First and Greens realised the dangers with the FTA with Mainland China. It is coming back to haunt NZ now. Forget the gold digger days, selling the “white gold” at ease!

  15. Greywarbler 15

    xtasy
    Gold rush, white gold rush, venison rush, deer horn rush, wine rush, free market rush, IT rush, surveillance rush – what other great ideas have we honed in on, abandoning previous ideas and procedural standards?

    We need new ideas but I think that analysis would show that those that get embraced would have similar attributes that group them away from the sustainable and secure multiple-employing group of both skilled and semi-skilled workers.

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    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
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • 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
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 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
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